Vacations are good for the soul -

By Amy Boyle in personal vacation maine maryland cape cod ma pa pennsylvania biking rail trail gap acadia national parks me md

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

Here is a glimpse back at three vacations in one. This year we took our traditional (18th annual) trip East and shook it up a bit.

Why not start the vacation with a short (cough) 90 mile bike ride from PA to MD? I used to just ride a few miles at a time. Lately, I can't get enough of my bike - Once underway, I am in awe of the changing landscape, the movement, and of people powered transportation! Doing this ride with my family was so wonderful. I am impressed at the commitment my guys made to this ride and just how many wonderful memories we shared together!

The GAP Trail

The Great Allegheny Passage rail trail was beyond my expectations. We saw so many great vistas, enjoyed cooling off by the Youghiogheny River on a 97F day, ate copious amounts of blackberries/raspberries along the trail, and arrived each night to a comfortable Inn to rest for the next day.

Day 1 - Connellsville, PA  to  Confluence, PA

Day 2 - Confluence, PA to Meyersdale, PA

Day 3 - Meyersdale, PA to Cumberland, MD

After 3 days of biking we took a car break and made it to Tanglewood to see good friends and catch a James Taylor show - The moon was spectacular that night! Not to stand still for long, the next day we were in NH and ME. Another awesome break with good friends and family.

We now had the momentum for the next leg of the voyage, Acadia National Park!

I had never been to Acadia before. This park took my breath away. We were back on our bikes for gorgeous rides around Eagle Lake and Witch Hole Pond on the carriage trails. Stopping to take in the beauty, catch frogs (Well, the the boys did that!), and to eat the sweetest low bush blueberries I had ever tasted. Speaking of amazing food, I have to say the delicious meal complete with local Mussels and Craft beers at McKay's Public House sure was heavenly.  Three days in Acadia was enough to give a a taste for more... I would venture a guess that Acadia will be visited by us again soon!

So on to the third vacation - Cape Cod!

On our way down to the Cape we enjoyed a beautiful drive through much of Maine's beautiful coastline. Stopping one last time to shoot a portrait session. Someone has to work! ;0)  We were then on to the Sagamore Bridge and vacation tradition as we know it. I cannot believe that we have had the great fortune of coming to Chatham for 18 consecutive summers. This familiar and beautiful place is such a haven. After 2200 miles so far on the van, plus all the biking miles, we were all ready to park ourselves at the beach. 

The weather was beyond agreeable. Making it hard to find the desire to go anywhere but our beach in Stage Harbor. We sailed, kayaked, and the guys water skied and wake boarded. Jeff and I got out on the bikes again with a boy or two as the Cape Cod Rail Trails are also not to be missed.

So to sum it up - Wow, A 3200+ mile oddessy for 6: Complete with smiles, memories, and personal accomplishments.

Arriving back at home with an even more grateful heart and eyes open to seeing new things!

More Later!


Guys and Dolls

By Amy Boyle in personal amy boyle photography theater junior high musical

When you see a guy reach for stars in the sky
You can bet that he's doing it for some doll.
When you spot a John waiting out in the rain
Chances are he's insane as only a John can be for a Jane.
When you meet a gent paying all kinds of rent
For a flat that could flatten the Taj Mahal.
Call it sad, call it funny.
But it's better than even money
That the guy's only doing it for some doll.
When you see a Joe saving have of his dough
You can bet there'll be mink in it for some doll.
When a bum buys wine like a bum can't afford
It's a cinch that the bum is under the thumb of some little broad.
When you meet a mug lately out of the jug
And he's still lifting platinum folderol
Call it hell, call it heaven
But it's probable twelve to seven
That the guy's only doing it for some doll.

When you see a sport and his cash has run short
Make a bet that he's banking it with some doll.
When a guy wears tails with the front gleaming white
Who the hell do you think he's tickling pink on Saturday night?
When a lazy slob takes a goody steady job,
And he smells from vitalis and barbasol.
Call it dumb, call it clever
Ah, but you can get odds forever
That the guy's only doing it for some doll
Some doll, some doll
The guy's only doing it for some doll!


On being a mom of boys...

By Amy Boyle in personal pinewood derby boys amy boyle photography

Boys and their cars... they sure go hand in hand.

Being that I have four sons, there has never been a shortage of wheels, cars, trucks, and the copious accompanying sounds that go with each particular make and model in our household. Add the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and there is an excitement in the air that lasts more than just one day. It is a day that makes lifelong memories. I used to feel that this was just for the dads and sons, but I no longer feel that way.

Saturday, I watched my 7th Pinewood Derby hosted by Pack 3000 and I stepped back to take it all in. The excitement, the camaraderie, the family pride, the love, and the friendly competition.

What I loved most, wasn't what car was the fastest... For me as a mom observer, it was the community, sons, dads, moms, siblings, extended family and friends spending their Saturday morning and afternoon together.

There is a sort of magic that happens when you combine, sawdust, paint, axles, and graphite!

Additional photo credit: ©Colin Boyle 2012 (Bottom 3 photos and graphite shot)

Color and Blossoms

By Amy Boyle in spring amy boyle photography blossoms personal

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)” - William Shakespeare

No fooling, April and Spring in all its glory has arrived. As I walked back from taking my boys to school today, I just had to capture the gorgeous blossoms that have continued to pop up all over the neighborhood. The early heat wave gave such energy to these blooms and now the more seasonable temperatures are allowing them to stick around.

What a treat! 

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