Amanda ~ Behind the Zoom

Adventures & Images from Amanda, the one "Behind the Zoom"

Friday, October 20, 2017

Put Curacao on your list! Our quick Island getaway ~

Planning a beach trip and Curacao came up as one of the choices.  Neither of us have been and everything I read about the island sounded like we would enjoy our time there.  We wanted to use Craigs Hilton points.  Hilton Curacao offered beachfront as well as reasonable amount of points per night so that made the decision easy and we booked.
I can say that if you haven't had the opportunity to visit Curacao definitely put it on your list!!
Through the visit Curacao website you can fill out your passport info and breeze right through the airport upon arrival with their Egates system.  We did it and no line for us, will say I was saddened that my passport didn't get stamped but moving right through was really nice!
Outside we had a group taxi that dropped us right at the hotel lobby and this was our view ~
Already I felt comfortable and relaxed!  
The hotel staff were so pleasant and friendly within minutes we were up in our ocean view room.
It didn't take us long to start exploring around the hotel ~



 2 restaurants 2 bar areas, beautiful pool area, beach, dive shop, car rental, coffeeshop, casino, health spa/workout area, ruins really great hotel amenities.

The first full day we decided we would take the hotel shuttle to Willemstad and wander the city area.  What a treat!  Walked across the Queen Emma Bridge pontoon bridge.  This bridge swings open instead of up!
We did a little shopping along the way to the floating market.  
Boats come in from Venezuela with fresh produce and goods.  A little bit of everything here!
Great day spent wandering the city, friendly people, affordable, good food and drinks, you can walk as much or as little as you want and have a great experience!

We found that almost everyone we spoke with was multi-lingual, speaking English, Dutch, Spanish and the local PapiamentuI came home thinking I really needed to work on a second language!  We always felt comfortable even though I am sure we looked the tourist part.  The local currency Antillean Guilder is accepted everywhere but honestly we didn't exchange that much and used US $ or credit cards easily.  It was easy to move around the city and talk with locals as well as other travelers.

The next day we opted for a rental car.  I love city buses but touring the island with city bus seemed limiting and we wanted to head completely up one side and down the other stopping along the way so rental it was.  As we traveled out it did seem there were less and less bus stops so glad we had the car.
We went along noticing that the north side was cliffs and rough waters after rounding the tip of the island the water was calm and the beaches were abundant, each had a little different feel.

Our first stop was Playa Forti where there is cliff diving.  No one diving this day weekends usually busier we were told but still a beautiful beach and ocean view.  We were ready to snorkel but not cliff dive so off to the next beach~

World famous Grote Knip this is a stunning beautiful beach with crystal clear waters for snorkeling.
We spent the most time here totally enjoying the afternoon!  
There is little snack bar/food and restrooms.

We did stop few more beaches taking time to snorkel and check out the area.  Each was just as beautiful and welcoming!

Our last day we hung around the pool and beach at the hotel getting some sun and snorkeling there.  


 
I have a lot of places I want to see so unless I have family or know someone at a place I often don't re-visit it as there is always somewhere new.  Curacao is an exception. I would book a trip back.  I still feel there is more to experience and enjoy.   Also would take our daughter who is a diver as there are numerous dive shops and areas that I believe would be spectacular!!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sedona Arizona Day trip

I had only visited Sedona Arizona 1 time before many years ago.
Put it on your list it is majestic and truly beautiful!
We decided we would do it as a day trip.  
3.5 hrs for us that is doable!

Even the rest stops along the way have gorgeous views!

As soon as you get off the freeway at the Sedona exit you start to see the well know rock formations 
~ Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock ~
The colors change with the light and each direction holds a new view.






We each had a must see/do...Cierra wanted to walk across 
Devils Bridge and I wanted to see Cathedral Rock at Sunset.  
1st up was Devils Bridge.  It is a pretty solid hike, flat ground, washes then up through the rocks.  Take water and don't rush it.  




When this is your path you know you are off the beaten path!

Once you reach the top the hike is all worth it!  The views are incredible and the bridge well as a mom I told her seeing it was enough, 
but if you get here you have to go across...well she did I didn't!


 She says its wider then it looks, I took her word for it.

Next up was Cathedral Rock.
Driving around you can see Cathedral Rock but we ended up on a small side road and found a perfect sunset view.
This was so beautiful, quite, just mesmerizing.  The colors changed as the sunset happened and we just stood there taking it all in.
One quick selfie before we lost the light...Yes we might have used a jacket on the roof of the car as a tripod but it worked!

What a great day! 
 I can't say enough about the views,  enjoyable hike (made you work but definitely doable) 
and it is always a good time hanging out with Cierra! 

The town itself looked like it would be fun to explore, galleries, shops and there are so many more hikes around~ 
need another day trip!!



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Friday, September 1, 2017

Southern Arizona and Real Estate images ~

Need an image for social media?  Writing a post and want something eye catching to put with it? 
I have an image gallery geared toward Southern Arizona and Real Estate professionals that are active on social media and are looking for images to use.  Once downloaded use the image as you want, crop it, put text on, yours to edit.  
No watermark after download. No photographer credit required.
  
Liven up your feed with images specific to your area.
Have a request let me know I may be able to put it on my shoot list and be sure to check back in the gallery as I will be constantly uploading new images!

Keep your social media active!!

"More business is lost every year through neglect than through any other cause".  Rose Kennedy

"Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words."  Tess Flanders


Behind the Zoom downloadable Social Media imagesl

also feel free to check out my dreamstime stock site 
commercial stock photography

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Friday, April 28, 2017

What is everyone reading in 2017?

~UPDATED AS I READ THEM CHECK BACK FOR NEWEST ADDITIONS ~

I love a good book and am always picking up one here and there.  This year I am going to list and somewhat rate what I have read for others like me always looking for a new book ~
Using a simple rating system - Read is lowest, If You Come Across it Read it next level and Buy it Read it and Share it highest level.
If you have come across one that you think is a Buy it Read it and Share it please share with us in the comments!


Buy it Read it and Share it


   recommeded by  Nomadic Matt book club                                  recommended by Cierra


                        A Man Called Ove















If You Come Across it Read it






Read 

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