Canada Trip, 2016: The Ovens and Lunenberg

In the middle of our long drive from Halifax to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, we stopped at The Ovens, a beautiful coastal national park featuring a hiking trail along a series of sea caves. We then had a nice early dinner at a little German restaurant on the side of the road before heading into the cute seaside town of Lunenburg for a walk. Lunenburg is another of those towns that made me fall in love with the Canadian Maritimes and fantasize about moving there.

Fans of Locke and Key may recognize both The Ovens and Lunenberg as filming locations for the series, though our visit was long before the show aired. I seem to have a habit of visiting places before a TV show begins filming there–years ago I visited both Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia before Game of Thrones had begun filming in those cities.

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Canada Trip, 2016: Franey Mountain

The centerpiece of our stay in Cape Breton was our hike of Franey Mountain, an 1,100-foot ascent that took us between 3 and 4 total hours up and down. It could have been done more quickly but we took our time, soaking in and photographing the beautiful scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands along the way (as well as a pretty bird that I believe was a ruffed grouse).

There are two trails that lead to the top. The one we chose for the climb turned out to be the better one in terms of the views–we chose the other trail for the hike back down, which was much less challenging but also much less interesting from a scenery perspective. I don’t remember which was which, but if you’re looking at a map, the straighter looking trail is probably the less interesting one. Either way, you are likely to take both: one on the way up and the other on the way down.

Overall, it’s a beautiful hike. Climbers who reach the peak are rewarded with spectacular views of lush green mountains along a picturesque coast, as well as the opportunity to sign the hiker’s guest book attached to an Adirondack chair at the top. If you find yourself in Cape Breton, Franey Mountain is definitely worth a visit.

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Canada Trip, 2016: Cape Forchu

On our final full day in Nova Scotia we spent a foggy morning at Cape Forchu. The following photos were shot at the Cape Forchu lighthouse and a nearby beach.

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California Trip, 2014: A Drive Along the Coast

This is another set of photos from my ride along the California coast, courtesy of my cousin Tim, who picked me up in San Francisco to show me some of the beauty of southern California. This batch includes visits to a foggy beach, a lighthouse, and the city of Monterey. There’s also a rare photo of me (posing with my cousin in front of a restaurant that bears our family name—no relation, though).

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Canada Trip, 2016: The Cabot Trail

This is a collection of photos taken over three days during my drive along the majestic Cabot Trail in Cape Breton—considered one of the most scenic drives in the world—and for good reason. The northern portion in particular reminded me of the Scottish Highlands, which makes sense given that geological evidence suggests at least part of the island was joined with Scotland millions of years ago. This is one road trip you definitely want to add to your bucket list.

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Canada Trip, 2016: Cape Breton Cabin and Beach

During the Nova Scotia leg of our Canada road trip, we spent three nights at a cute little cabin in northern Cape Breton. The cabin was owned by people from Holland, and at their Dancing Moose Cafe they make this delicious Dutch dish called pannekoeken, which is basically like a thin pancake or crepe made however you want it. The first two mornings I got mine with bacon (in my pre-vegetarian days) and onions baked in, and a fried egg on top. The third morning I got one with apple and cinnamon. If you find yourself in northern Cape Breton, look up the Dancing Moose Cafe–you won’t regret it.

The cabin is a nice place to stay as well, right on the beach, where we saw dozens of seals floating off the shore, one of which is featured in the photos below.

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California Trip, 2014: 17-Mile Drive

A few years ago I went on a business trip to San Francisco, where I decided to take a few extra days to myself to do some exploring. On my first day in San Francisco I met up with my cousin who lives nearby. He took me on a driving tour of the Pacific coast. These photos are from 17-Mile Drive, a scenic route along the Monterey peninsula, featuring rocky coastlines, large crashing waves; and islands of sea lions and birds.

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Photo of the Day: Jen and Ollie Watch the Sunset

I don’t often feature people in my photos, but I couldn’t resist sharing this shot of my wife and dog on the beach watching the sunset at Cape May Point.

Date: 6/7/2017
Camera: NIKON D5100
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You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.

Photo of the Day: Villas Sunset

This was taken during our stay at a bayside cottage in The Villas, New Jersey. Although the house itself was terrible, we did enjoy some nice sunsets on the back patio.

Date: 7/4/2010
Camera: Panasonic DMC-FX8
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You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.

Photo of the Day: Cape Breton Beach (long exposure)

I don’t often get to take long exposure shots while on vacation because it involves lugging around a tripod, but this beach was located just outside my cabin on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, so it was a perfect opportunity to set up the tripod and try out the neutral density filter I bought last year. These types of filters enable you to take long exposures during the day without blowing the highlights. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I like the effect here of smoothing the ocean and blurring the clouds while keeping the rocks in focus, almost like a painting.

Date: 9/3/2016
Camera: Nikon D5100
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You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.