Miami – The Expense-free Redux

About a year after we vacationed in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, Florida, we had an opportunity to return through a last-minute vacancy in a business-organized trip.  Aaron’s company offered him the suddenly open spot, and much like the last time we were offered a free trip, we jumped on it!

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Of course our agenda was much different, given we weren’t really planning this trip, but it was still just as fun as the previous.  And the obligatory seminar was worth getting the airfare and per diem on someone else’s dime.

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Hawaii: South Point

Come explore the southernmost point in Hawaii and (debatably) the U.S. Take the plunge off the 40-foot cliff if you dare…

LotsaSmiles Photography

We couldn’t visit Hawaii without hitting the southernmost tip of the United States.  We had, of course, already been to Florida’s Southernmost Point (though this isn’t even accurate), but this is markedly less touristy and clearly more south.  

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Newport Oregon: A Coastal Gem

Oregon has some magnificent coastal areas that are more than just beaches. Several rock formations create some very unique landscapes that you cannot find anywhere else. Last weekend we enjoyed our time with family, an accommodation with a view, and some delicious seafood during our stay. The weather felt like it was summer even though it was early November.

Beach near Newport Oregon

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Hawaii: Waipio Valley

We’ll keep the posts to Hawaii for a little bit, then we’ll switch it up again. It’s hard to decide what to post; we do so much!

This trek down to the beach was quite exciting, but we got some cool pictures and some fun memories!

LotsaSmiles Photography

“Waipi’o” means “curved water,” and this can be seen in the concave shoreline and the arcing twin waterfalls visible from the beach nearly a thousand feet below the viewpoint.  Images primarily feature the lofty view.  Most don’t dare brave the 25% grade, 4-wheel-drive-only road down to the bottom, but we aren’t “most people.”

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Hawaii: Two Step

We’ve been posting a lot for Japan, and we have more we’d like to share with you, but we do travel to other places! We thought we’d give you a bit of variety with some other locations.

This was an impromptu photography trip to Hawaii, and it was quite the adventure!

LotsaSmiles Photography

It’s been too long since we’ve travelled (Japan feels so long ago!), and we’ve been itching.  So when a photographer friend invited us to Hawaii for a week of photos, how could I resist?

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Florida: Our Journey to Key West

Throwback Thursday: May 2011

As a traveler, I’ve always loved going on road trips. There are times where it makes sense and other times when it doesn’t. This was one of those times where it didn’t make sense, at least not the way I did it. Oh, I have learned from my mistakes, but I decided anyway to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back in one day. This is about a 4 hour drive each way, and the way back was not forgiving. But I still had an amazing time that I will never forget.

key West Florida Marina

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A Taste of Japan: Old Meets New

I loved the mix of old and new in Japan!

LotsaSmiles Photography

Japan is full of some of the most amazing culture and fascinating history.  With a civilization many centuries old, Japan has had a lot of time to evolve.  However, they staunchly retain the rich past that defines their architecture, shrines, attitudes, and traditions.  They respect each other and have an incredible work ethic.  They impress the world every year with their technology, yet they loyally maintain structures that have been in existence for over 1300 years.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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Miami: A Ten-Year Celebration

Aaron and I have been traveling together for years.  We kept it local while funds were tight, but as we grew our savings, we were able to venture farther afield.  Ten years into our relationship, we wanted to celebrate with something special, so we flew the farthest we had been to-date: to tropical Miami, Florida.  (We hadn’t yet gone international; that wouldn’t come until our trip to Japan four years later.  And fun fact: Miami is actually 200 miles farther from Portland than Hawaii, where we honeymooned.)  It was one of our earliest major trips, and it only helped solidify our love of travel.  We tend to vacation hard, and this was no exception.

© Brianna Shade 2011

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Portland: Historical Architecture

As a native of Portland, I have seen the city change quite a bit during my time here. Today there are more cranes than ever as the city is rapidly growing. It is almost difficult to walk the sidewalks with so much construction everywhere. Since I am a person who is fascinated with architecture, I set out to capture some older buildings. These buildings are beautiful in their own way and have a story.

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Empty Streets Downtown Portland

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Road Trip: Discovering Crater Lake – Day 8

© Brianna Shade 2012

We made our way south and saw some amazing things along the way.  We appreciated beautiful beaches.  We survived the drenching jet boats.  The redwoods made us feel rather small.  We escaped from Alcatraz and biked the bridge.  We enjoyed a lovely 4th of July holiday on the bay, and we indulged in all of the traditional Cisco touristy activities.

But all good things must come to an end, and we had reached the end of our trip.  It was finally time to go home.

But we had one last stop before we did: Crater Lake.

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