Each July for the past six years our family has been traveling to Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC for our annual mid-summer getaway. It's an enormous Hilton property on the northern end of Myrtle Beach. Our hotel of choice on the property is a beachfront Embassy Suites. We look forward to it each year. Kingston Plantation offers a gorgeous beach, multiple pools, a fun water-park and lots of other amenities to entertain children and adults. This past July marked the first year we were traveling with our eleven month old and third child, Catherine. Around May of this year my wife and I began pondering whether we were going on vacation or a relocation. Using my DSLR camera, my Go Pro (which broke after about an hour of shooting with it), my mother's I-phone 6, and a borrowed Fuji Film water-proof camera from my sister-in-law here are my favorite images from our experience. My goal was to document a sort of "behind the scenes" look at our vacation/relocation. I hope you enjoy my photoblog. Feedback and comments are always appreciated.
I am an early riser and cherish my personal beach time each morning before my family wakes. I head out early looking forward three things; photographing the sunrise, beach yoga and a refreshing swim in the ocean. I call it my beach triathlon. Photographing a sunrise over the ocean allows me to get a bit more creative with my camera. I enjoy playing with different shutter speeds trying to capture interesting water or cloud movements. Here are my favorite sunrise and sunset photos I captured over the week.
I woke up one morning and headed to the beach like I normally do. I arrived and simply did not feel like taking out my camera. I really don't know why but I just could not find the energy. It was a beautiful sunrise that I just simply watched. Later that day I wondered why I did not take out my camera to at least take one photo. I brushed that thought aside and decided that I would keep the image in my head and attempt to paint from my memory. Here is my attempt.
I am just as passionate about yoga as I am about photography.... maybe more. Yoga allows me to transcend my body to a new, different and hopefully better space. Beach yoga is a pinnacle to me. I don't use a mat. I like the feel of the sand on my body. I believe it is cleansing and incredibly therapeutic on infinite levels. I was fortunate to practice each morning with my beautiful yogini mother. She is amazing and inspirational. Here are a few photos from our yoga sessions.
After yoga it's time for my swim. The temperature of the Atlantic is perfect and refreshing to me in July. Usually, I am the only person in the water and it's a neat feeling. I stay close to the shore because I dread becoming shark food. I love to body surf and caught a few waves throughout the week. When I am done with my swim I like to lie right on the surfs edge and for shavasana. The combination of my breath, the warm sun on my skin, the ocean breeze, the crashing waves and the sand and shells on my back is powerful. I am ready to energetically take on the day. As I head toward the hotel to wake up my family a new odor always hits my nose. It's the odor of the free breakfast buffet that Embassy Suites is known for. Usually it's the scent of bacon that stands out. Doing my best not to be judgmental, which is a constant struggle for me, I always wonder why most people choose to start their day by waiting in a long buffet line to load their breakfast plates and then bellies with much to many non-nutritional calories. I'll be sticking with my sunrise beach triathlon for the foreseeable future.
I have to particularly psyche myself up to apply sunscreen to five people including myself. It's not an easy process. We have a sunscreen program in our family. We strategically use different products for different parts of our bodies. William (6) and Rosie (3) have taken an interest in wanting to apply their own sunscreen this summer. Normally I welcome my children to take on new responsibilities, just not applying their own sunscreen. They beg and plead. Eventually I always remind myself that I am on my vacation/relocation. What the heck? Let them make a mess. After the sunscreening is complete I am usually ready for a cup of coffee. I will also say that applying sunscreen to my beautiful wife is always a highlight of my day.
Usually when we go to the beach I will kid myself into thinking that I will be able to read a book and/or magazine. This year I proudly brought no reading materials. I spent the time playing with my family. I did enjoy daily naps with my little Rosie. We often play a game when I ask her to show me her different funny faces. Here are some of my favorite photos.
She always wakes up in a much better and playful mood...
Throwing the frisbee has always been a cornerstone of the relationship I have with my wife. We were able to sneak away for a few sessions and had an absolute blast. After 16 years together and three children we still "got it".
The arcade in the basement of our hotel was the last place I wanted to spend time. I flashed back to how much I enjoyed video games and arcades when I was a kid and gave in to the multiple requests. Our budget was $5. These two had a blast. In particular, pin ball was their favorite.
We were lucky enough to get a room with a beautiful sunset view.
My plan was to use my Go Pro, Hero 3 for the majority of the images I was hoping to shoot. It broke on the first day but I was able to capture these photos in its wide angle, fish eye mode.
Our son William is six. He's also our first born. I have been carrying him and playing with him in the ocean since he was eight months old. We love to jump in the waves. We play games and act silly while enjoying the surf. I would not trade the close experiences I have had with him for anything on the planet. I came to the realization that these would most likely be the last experiences I would share with him while holding him in the water. He's getting too big for me to carry and in the coming years he won't even want me to carry him. I was able to scoop him up for one last swim anticipating it would most likely be our last attached at the hip. It was a bittersweet moment and tears were shed.
After going through our images and writing this blog I came to the conclusion that it was a definite vacation and not a relocation. We genuinely enjoyed each others company and we got away from our normal routine in Asheville for a few days. That's a vacation enough for me and we look forward to next year! Thanks for checking out my photo blog It's greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoyed!!!