This Is Us!

We are Cyndi and Al and have been married almost 25 years.  We met in 1992 working as IT geeks doing government contract work.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  We have 2 amazing daughters and a very cool Golden Retriever, named Marly.

As for me, I am a photographer who loves to travel.  I have always liked photography since I was a kid with my little Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera.  I was born in Ohio and had never left the tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana until I was an adult!  I flew on my first plane at age 21 (to Hawaii), and on my second flight, I jumped out.  What a Thrill!  Oh, did I mention that I like adventure too?

We got our first real camera in 2005 – a Canon SLR.  My husband just brought it home one day.  We were leaving for China in about 2 weeks to adopt a baby girl.  We didn’t have time to learn how to use it so we set it to auto and starting clicking.  We were thrilled with our results – until a few years later when we learned how to shoot, but we are so thankful for all the memories our mediocre photos have created for us.

I live in Sarasota FL and I’m thrilled about it.  It’s a wonderful lifestyle if you love beautiful sunny days, the ocean, dolphins, manatees, boating, blooming flowers year round…..there’s so much to love.

We love to travel and have been to many states and a number of countries. I feel very fortunate to live this wonderful life.  We have quite a list of places we still want to visit.

Be sure to check out my website and FaceBook:

Other blog sites:



And Now……On to Our Fabulous Mexican Vacation

We traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last October for our anniversary – no kids included.  We had a terrific time – not necessarily because they weren’t with us.  It was just a great trip.

We spent some of our time away from the resort doing fun exciting excursions, and some days hanging with new friends we met at the airport.  We stayed at Hard Rock Vallarta an all-inclusive resort just outside of downtown.  It’s a very nice, luxury included, resort.




Our suggestions include……don’t overpack.  We always do.  Bring a few nice things for dinners, but focus on casual wear for activities, swimsuits/coverups, flip flops, workout wear, sunscreen, aloe, bug spray, umbrella, sunglasses, hat, beach bag, power strip, zip lock bags, bag for dirty laundry, camera, card, battery, charger, phone/charger, laptop, chapstick, meds.

Research tours and excursions before you travel and book early to avoid sellouts.  Make sure you read some reviews.  There is always such a mix, it’s hard to choose but generally the good ones have a lot more positive than negative.  I go to TripAdvisor.  That is actually the first place I go when we’ve decided on a destination.  I want to see what’s popular in the area.

Leave for your trip with a positive attitude – know you are going to have a great time and do it.  See and do lots of new and exciting things.  Don’t worry or stress about things you cannot control – like weather or how you look in a swimsuit.  Pack accordingly and have backup plans if you need them, and a nice coverup.

I like to leave early.  I believe in getting the most out of your time on this earth, so nothing wasted is a nice motto I like to live by.  Sleeping is for after vacation.


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This is AM!  After an hour drive to the airport.

When there is a time change, I try to get on the new time as soon as possible and try not to think about ‘home’ time.

So where are we headed so early in the morning?


Vallarta Map2


We flew from Tampa to Dallas to PVR.  We arrived by early afternoon.

Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas aka Banderas Bay.  This is a beautiful very picturesque area with views of the Sierra Madre mountains.


mexico mapPV


Vallarta Map FUN


Lots of locals speak English, but if you know Spanish, even better.  My husband and I along with our older daughter have all taken multiple years of Spanish in school, but sadly none of us can have a conversation.


During the rainy season, the river that separates the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, runs into the Bay making it somewhat muddy.  My older daughter and I went horseback riding along this river in 2006 and it looked like a milky chocolate river.  There were lots of flies biting us all along the way.  Crocs were at the edge of the water, which was interesting to see.  I would not do that tour again – maybe ever – definitely not in the summer.  So many better things to do and nicer things to see.






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