Visiting the Library of Congress

Joseph and I took a wonderful vacation to Washington DC last week. Before I finish sorting through the hundreds of photos I took, I just have to share my favorite stop on the trip, the Library of Congress.

I was really excited for the visit due to my background in working with special collections. But once I walked into the building I was completely blown away by something different entirely–it is breathtakingly beautiful!

Below, two photos of of the reading room itself. I can’t imagine doing research in such an incredible space!

A Childhood in Abu Dhabi

In 1992, my parents got the opportunity to work in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. So they packed up us four kids–ranging from 14 years to six weeks old–and took us to Abu Dhabi for two years. I grew from four years old to six during the time we were there.

They were a great years. We have a ton of photos which are made even better by what a great photographer my father is! Seriously, aren’t these photos wonderful? I’m excited to share more photos my dad took when I was a kid.

First up, adventures with camels on the side of the road. Brian is 10, I’m 14, and Tori is three months old.

I love this photo because my mom looks great, and the way it’s framed is so similar to my photography style!

We became life-long friends with a family of Canadian expats. The adults were great friends, as were we with their two children, Conlan and Lena-Joy. We visited each other a few times after moving back to the US and Canada, and I got to meet up with Lena-Joy a few years ago when she traveled through Venice!

In this photo, my dad was egging on a camel–they were hissing and spitting at each other.

I’m leaving you with a photo that would probably embarrass most people. But my dad is not one to be embarrassed easily.

This photo is so quintessentially 90’s, and he kind of reminds me of Homer Simpson in the episode where he gets a job working from home and starts wearing a muumuu. My dad never worked from home, but he did wear this almost every day for 20 years.

A Deck With a View (& a Video)

My very last post about our Disney Cruise. You can see them all here.

Disney has an amazing marketing team. Last week we received a paper-framed magnetic photo of our ship. It is the lone item on the front of our refrigerator. And it came at the perfect time–just when we’re really getting tired of our day-to-days again. And Disney Cruise Line commercials have just started playing on Hulu.

I can’t tell you how much time we spent on Deck 4 looking over the water. Look at all those beautiful colors!

I took periodic videos with my little FlipHD camera and edited them together when I got home. Joseph bought me the little camera after I kept wishing I could make videos while we were in Egypt. This is the first time I really got to use it for traveling!

I did not intend for this to so closely resemble a romantic movie’s montage. And I definitely didn’t intend it to make people cry. Sorry about that.

Disney Cruise 2012 from Alyssa Young on Vimeo.

Salsa & Salsa Cozumel

This was our very last excursion and our very favorite!

Salsa & Salsa operates in a few cities–Cozumel, Mazatlan, and Los Cabos–and is rated the #1 activity for good reason. The class is a few hours long and is hosted by “Dancing chefs” who teach you first how to make seven varieties of salsa and then how to salsa dance. There were also unlimited and very strong margaritas, which we weren’t entirely expecting, but it made the gathering really fun and easygoing. This isn’t the kind of event we would normally do (I was frankly amazed I got Joseph to agree to salsa dancing), but it was an absolute blast.

I don’t have any photos of us salsa dancing, but I do have food photos! We were too busy dancing to pull out a camera!

Remember the unlimited margaritas I mentioned? I think they could be blamed for Joseph’s struggles with taking a photo with me in focus.

Salsa & Salsa Cozumel was at a beautiful private resort, and after the lesson we were able to take advantage of the amenities and swim for over an hour. The water in Cozumel is absolutely beautiful, so I was beyond excited to get to swim!

Click here to view all the blog posts from this trip!

Costa Maya, Mexico

This was our second stop and marked the middle of our trip. In Costa Maya we took a tour of the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins and then had lunch with a Mayan family. I kind of went out on a limb with this excursion–I booked with a company outside of Disney called The Native Choice. We had a very short port time (about four hours), but I emailed the company in advance and had all my worries soothed. I’m so glad I went with them!

Chacchoben Ruins

Lunch with a Mayan family

Beautiful vegetables grown on the property!

Of course I had to take a picture of the family’s cat.

Click here to view all the blog posts from this trip!

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