Photography

To see all of my travel posts, click here. All images made with the Sony NEX-6.

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We recently made the trip out to Edison, NJ to attend the 2017 NY/NJ Mineral, Fossil, and Gem Show. We have been a few times in previous years, and I love going so much. There are many great deals to be had, there are mineral and fossil displays to enjoy, and the people-watching is great too!

The whole convention center is full!

You can purchase gemstones in all manner of preparation – cabochons, uncut specimens, minerals still in the matrix, and fully faceted stones.

Opened geodes and a rose quartz point.

Skulls!

A very large chunk of what appeared to be an interior piece of an enormous geode.

The fossil displays were a bit weirdly placed during this show. I don’t understand why they don’t separate the fossil displays from the gem and mineral dealers.

These quartz anatomical models were in multiple places. Some believe that they can help to manifest masculine energy.

I am upset with myself for not having purchased one of these cathedral geodes. Next year!

Salt lamps! If you are into salt lamps though, they are available on Amazon.

I purchased a smoky quartz point and a clear quartz point.

Over the past few years, I have assembled a collection of gemstone skulls.

I got a great piece of amethyst, similar to these.

It turns out that you can also buy amethyst specimens on Amazon. Why am I surprised by this?

If you attend a gem and mineral show in the future, I highly recommend touring around to many vendors before making purchases. The differences in prices for very similar items was quite significant.

One of my favorite parts of attending the show is getting to see stones I’ve never heard of before.

A celestite geode, next to a skeleton bear foot.

I highly recommend you take a look at the next gemstone, mineral, and/or fossil show that comes to your area, if you are so lucky. They are really interesting and fun.

Happy trails!

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Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 30, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the iPhone 7 Plus. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

We traveled through a bit of South Florida on a recent road trip. I have many more spots to share, but will start with the most unexpected stop that we took. We were driving north after an overnight stay in Juno Beach, and while in the Ft. Pierce area, I saw a tiny road sign with grapes that said “winery,” and I immediately turned the car around. We were on an adventure, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

We ended up at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery.

Open!

This is about as Floridian as you can get.

The exterior was lovely.

These wreaths are perfect.

We got inside and found ourselves in a tasting room/store.

Local products, and you can see ribbons for a few of the wines they produce.

There was a larger number of wines available than I would have expected.

Here is the tasting menu. What was the most surprising was that they make actual grape juice! It was intensely delicious.

The wines were good, but the muscadine grapes do seem to run sweet, and so a lot of the wines skewed that way. The ones we enjoyed the most were Webejammin’ and Not Starboard, the second of which is their version of Port. We purchased a bottle of each, along with some for friends.

It was a delicious and unexpected stop on our day. We love visiting wineries in New Jersey, and I will admit to not even realizing that wine is made in Florida.

If you’re ever traveling in or around the Fort Pierce, Florida area, I definitely recommend a stop at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery. If you aren’t a drinker, the grape juice alone is worth a visit!

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Napoleon House New Orleans | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 22, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

I’m not a big drinker. Like many others, I had a few moments I regret in college (and maybe a few after), but for the most part, I will go weeks at a time without a drink. My favorite alcoholic mixed drink is a Pimm’s Cup, and whenever they are on the menu, I’m definitely ordering one.

During our trip to New Orleans, we didn’t plan very well, and so on the night we tried to go to K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, there was a long wait. We were directed to go down the street to Napoleon House. Little did we know that we were walking into our new favorite bar.

Come on. It’s so perfect that you have to go in.

Everything looks as old as it is.

I’m including both images for a full look at the tile details in the entryway.

It is very dark in the Napoleon House, so the next few images are a bit questionable. Don’t let that stop you!

Here’s the look when you walk in the front door. Even with the blur, you can almost taste the air in this bar. It’s incredibly atmospheric.

From the Napoleon House website:

For almost two centuries, the beloved landmark, The Napoleon House, on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets in the historical French Quarter of New Orleans, exudes a European charm that is a mecca for civilized drinking and eating. Its vibrant history prevails-the optimistic plot to provide refuge for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte by the original owner, Nicholas Girod, Mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815, did not come to pass for the emperor. The building has been known as the Napoleon House ever since, either as an Italian grocery store to a restaurant with countless servings of the signature Pimm’s Cup and long list of classic Creole favorites.

Multiple Pimm’s Cups! I went for the original, multiple times. (Perhaps before I took this photo.)

We had to leave Napoleon House before we wanted to, as we got the call that our table was ready down the street. However, we definitely went back the following night before we had dinner reservations at Sylvain.

Old and new(ish) combine well.

A bar with lamps! Does it get better?

Will is having a Pimm’s Cup here as well. Normally he goes for the Sazerac, a New Orleans classic.

In what is one of my new happy places in the world, with my favorite beverage.

I cannot wait to go back to New Orleans. I know that all of our trips there will mean multiple stops at the Napoleon House.

Happy trails!

Hilton Hotels

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Palm Latitudes in Dunedin, Florida | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on January 30, 2017

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

A few months back, I had breakfast with some of my family in Dunedin, Florida. After breakfast, I took a side trip to Palm Latitudes, a longstanding store that is exceptionally Floridian. Sadly, they have no online presence for me to link to. However, I took a lot of photos, so let’s take a look.

Subtlety is nowhere to be found.

If you ever need to decorate a vacation rental and want to stick to a theme, look no further.

They sell clothing, decor, all manner of items.

Hats!

I love a mermaid anything, so I was excited about the mermaid merch.

I am really entertained by the shell bra on the plush one.

I got 2 new mermaid ornaments for my Christmas tree.

Do people still buy travel-themed gifts like this? I would totally have that octopus painting though.

I was not kidding about decorating your beach condo.

You can visit Palm Latitudes on your next trip to Dunedin, Florida.

Happy trails!

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Noritake Behind the Scenes, Colorwave Photoshoot

by Jamie Sanford on January 24, 2017

To see all of my photography posts, click here.

We recently held a photoshoot for the very popular Colorwave collection, as we have recently added a new color. Here’s a look at our shoot day. Images taken with the Sony NEX-6. (The previous link is an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.)

The real images were created by James Ransom.

In the final images, you cannot see how in “photo fantasyland” that the shelves are not actually real shelves.

Another look at the reality of things.

Piles and piles of dinnerware.

Creating the Colorwave rainbow to perfection was NOT easy! I commend our stylist, Alexis Anthony, for her seemingly never-ending patience and attention to detail.

You can just catch a glimpse of the wax used to mount the dinner plates. This is one of two versions of the Colorwave rainbow that was created.

Not exactly the final, but it gives you the idea. The final images are stunning. You can get a peek at some of them at NoritakeChina.com.

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