McCoy Holiday Video

I’ve made a short video of my family’s holiday gathering. It was so nice being in Houston with them on Christmas day–that hasn’t happened once since Joseph and I got married!

Going through my Vimeo account I remember how much I love making videos of special occasions. This is the first time I’ve done so with my new DSLR, which is extra exciting. I’m going to try to make a point to take more videos; they capture something special photos can’t.

The video starts out with clips of my parents’ new kitten, Little Bit. No one is going to complain about unnecessary footage of an adorable kitten, are they? Little Bit was nice and relaxed for most of my visit, but she hid away during the main Christmas festivities, which was upsetting to my nephew Lennon.

McCoy Christmas 2013 from Alyssa Young on Vimeo.

Emma, Princess of Cats

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful long-haired Emma. I was warned not to pet her as she is a bit of a grump, but I guess my magical cat whisperer powers took over, and she was purring within minutes!

Doesn’t Emma look like kitty royalty in this big leather chair? I regularly call my own Leonardo the Prince of Cats and think Emma makes a good Princess of Cats. That’s not to say they would ever get along–Leonardo and Emma do not like attention being paid to other cats in their presence.

Unfortunately for Emma, she doesn’t quite rule the roost. Her two cat roommates were hiding, but I did get a couple photos of the family’s two sweet dogs!

Washington DC: Day 2

I figured it’s time for another post about our recent trip to DC. Yesterday Joseph asked, “Did we fly somewhere recently? I feel like we did, but I can’t remember.” He’s already forgetting the trip we took just a couple months ago–further proving my point that I need to take lots of photos of our travels!

Photographing our trips is what began me on the path to becoming serious about photography. I bought a DSLR years ago so I could try to document our time living in Europe. And I’m so glad I did, even if the photos weren’t so great the first few years–I still look through those photos often.

We started the day one of the best ways possible, in my opinion–breakfast of a bagel with lox!

After breakfast we visited Ford’s Theatre and the home across the street where Lincoln died, the Peterson House. The rooms remain as they were when at the time of Lincoln’s death and are very eerie. On the upper levels of the house are a few really well-done exhibits. A large spiral staircase is flanked around this gigantic stack of books written about Lincoln.

As we were walking towards the Mall we were stopped by security. All the locals were annoyed, but we waited around about 10 minutes to see the presidential motorcade driving down Pennsylvania Avenue!

The motorcade interrupted our schedule a bit, so we had to rush through the National Air and Space Museum. It was really exciting, though! I about died when I saw one of Amelia Earhart’s planes and Sally Ride’s uniform.

During school I wrote at least three research essays about Amelia Earhart. We got to choose our topic, and I remember writing two about her in middle school and at least one more in high school. It wasn’t at all laziness on my part–I was just fascinated!

Next up: a tour of the Capitol. We scheduled this tour ahead of time, so we didn’t have to wait in the long lines.

Gorgeous, yeah? After the Capitol tour we went to the Library of Congress, where for the second or third time that day I felt I was going to die of excitement. Special collections heaven!!! I already made a blog post dedicated to it!

Since this post is a bit light, I thought I’d include photos of our hotel. Finding a place to stay wasn’t easy. We were insistent on staying in the city, but prices are so high! We ended up at the Morrison Clark Inn in Chinatown. It was lovely and a quick walk to the subway station. Seriously, after a day there we started thinking how nice it would be to live in the area. Then we looked at real estate prices and changed our minds!

The Morrison Clark Inn is a Victorian mansion built in 1864 and is the only inn in DC listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was charming and reminded me of the equally quaint hotel we stayed in in Paris.

Leonardo’s Eccentricities

My cat is my soulmate. No offense to other cats (I love all cats!), but Leonardo is the greatest. He’s cuddly, communicative, and I swear he looks straight into my souls sometimes. He’s also very, very weird and a constant source of amusement.

Leonardo doesn’t much like cameras, but he’s been my primary photographic subject for years. Between the thousands of photos I’ve taken of him, I’ve captured a lot of weird faces and weird situations.

There are the inevitable “pirate” pictures.

I’ve caught him mid-meow (as I said earlier, he’s very talkative). I like to imagine this captioned, “Let me sing you the song of my people.”

Yawning and cleaning himself at the same time–illustrating how much he really does not want to sit for my camera.

And sometimes he looks like a demon when he yawns.

Sometimes he hangs out in the tub begging for water.

And then there’s this…

What to say about this? Leonardo was spending a lot of time napping on the refrigerator (and thus waking us up in the middle of the night too frequently), so we put this empty box in the way to discourage his napping.

After a couple weeks he sat in the box. Then he started really settling in, or at least trying to. He rearranges himself often in his little box attempting to get comfortable.

This was purely accidental on our part and remains really, really funny. He gets so squished up and tangled stuffed into the little box!

(Note: the last four photos were taken with my cell phone. He only climbs into his box at night–usually while we’re cooking dinner–when it’s too dark to use my real camera.)

Washington DC: Day 1

Our first morning in DC we headed to the National Mall at 9am and had some time to walk around before the museums were open. It was nice and quiet at that time in the morning!

We could have stayed in DC for a month and still have places to visit. I planned our three days there a week in advance, with everything scheduled to the hour.

The first museum our list was the National Gallery of Art, and we broke the itinerary. We stayed for thee hours and still felt rushed. The museum is absolutely incredible! The collection is amazing, and the way everything is assembled is incredible. This is the first time I’ve gone through a museum and felt like I got a thorough walk through history and artistic development. And the architecture of the building, designs of the rooms, and layout of the art… just… wow. Every time I turned around the view of the next room took my breath away. So, so beautiful.

Next up: The National Museum of Natural History, followed by the Museum of American History (though I didn’t take any photos there)

We spent the rest of the day at the memorials around the Mall before heading to our hotel and changing for dinner. It was a lot of walking. We should have rented bikes!

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