Stephanie and I love the winter season - from the fun winter activities to the picturesque beauty we love to capture with our cameras. However, even in the deep love affair we have with the snowy season, it is still nice to escape every now and then with thoughts of warmer temperatures and blossoming flowers.
This past Sunday we turned our daydreams of sun and greenery into a day of reality at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. It is truly the perfect place to escape to if you are feeling a hint of the winter blues. With your first step through the door, you are able to feel the warm air kiss your skin and the scent of warmer seasons tickle your nose.
This time of year, there are not a whole lot of blossoms at the botanical gardens, but there is a lot of greenery to go around. Palm trees that almost touch the ceiling, make you feel like you are about to enter a tropical oasis. Then, just a few steps away from paradise, you enter a prickly desert-like land filled with cacti. Visitors of the Botanical Gardens get to travel from one greenhouse to the next experiencing different gardens from all over the world.
Although, outside was gray and bleak - it did not inhibit the greenhouse windows from letting in a warm light. It was quite a cool feeling to see the wet snow melt on the outside of the greenhouse windows while flower blossoms bloom on the inside. It’s kind of a strange reminder that no matter what the circumstances are on the outside, we all can still bloom into beautiful blossoms with a little tender loving care.
If the cold temperatures and snowy days have you wishing for spring and summer, Steph and I suggest that you take a trip to the city and get lost inside the Buffalo Botanical Gardens for a few hours. It’s the perfect cure for a gloomy, cold, wintery day!
Don’t let this blog post fool you though - Steph and I are not done with winter adventures! The gardens were a nice way to hit the reset button for a few hours before immersing ourselves into the second half of the winter season. Stay tuned for local winter adventures that range from winter wine festivals to snowy hikes at some of our local parks!
Until next time, we wish you love and great adventure,
Maxine & Stephanie
This past Thursday was my 31st Birthday. With my birthday being at the beginning of the year, I tend to do a bit more reflection at this time. My 30th year was by far the most challenging year of my adult life. I actually like to describe it as both my worst and best year. Now that I’ve turned the page to 31, I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect on the people, places and experiences that have helped me get to where I am today.
This time last year, I was engaged and planning my early June wedding. Two weeks after my 30th birthday, that all came crashing down. From February to June the emotional turmoil continued as my ex and I tried to work through the pieces of our broken relationship. Finally in the middle of June we buried our efforts and went our separate ways.
As one would imagine, the dissolution of our seven year relationship took a toll on me. It was not right away that I felt the benefits of this new chapter. I had found myself at rock bottom. I had gained a significant amount of weight and I was emotionally, mentally and physically depleted. I let myself go through the mourning process but knew that I could not spend too much time grieving something that was not meant to be.
Even though the first half of my 30th year was traumatic it is not the focus of this blog. The important part came after. The “light at the end of the tunnel”, if you will. With the help of my family and friends, I picked myself up and started to put the pieces back together again. I began to get to know myself again and find out who Maxine was. As cliche as it might sound, I really lost myself and my identity over the past seven years. I identified too much of myself as one half of a relationship and not enough of who I was as an individual.
My first goal on my new journey was to make myself a priority and take care of myself. That started with a gym membership and some hard core motivation. Shortly after I got back into my Monday through Saturday workout schedule, my body and my mind began to remember how much I enjoyed to sweat! Though my weight is a work in progress, I am happy to report I am 56lbs smaller and 100% happier.
It was also time to add some adventure to my life. I use to be an observer and not a participator. I sat back and watched other people live their lives to the fullest, and often found myself saying, “one day that will be you, Maxine”. However, it never seemed like that day would come...until now! I started to let go of my fears and insecurities and amazing things happened! That’s where my partner in crime and co-author of this blog come in!
Stephanie may or may not know it, but her friendship and positive influence has given my life new meaning. She is by far one of the best souls I have ever had the pleasure to know. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend or a better co-pilot for our adventures.
I no longer live my life from the sidelines. In the past six months I have done and experienced more, than I have in the last eight years. I’ve always had this sense of adventure and exploring deep within, but now it has blossomed into my way of life.
During this time, I also decided that I wanted to document my life, not only through writing, but through photography as well. I never felt a need to take pictures before, in fact I would usually dodge the camera whenever possible. However, it is amazing how drastically that changes, when you are happy with your life. I want to document every amazing moment (and there are so many now) of my life, so that not only I can look back on those memories, but I can also share them with you here.
The birth of this blog has been another wonderful addition to my new adventures. I am inspired by so many and hope to inspire others as well. With sharing our adventures and life on this blog, I hope it in turn inspires your inner adventurer to explore more.
Life is an amazing journey and I’ve never been more excited to see where it will take me. With Steph by my side and camera in hand, I hope to bring you wonderful stories of adventure and photographs that take you along for the ride.
With love and great adventure,
“It’s time to say good-bye, but I think good-byes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to new adventure.”
The start of a new year can mean so many things. There is an obvious fresh start that a new year promises. However, we believe that the blank page of a new year is actually colored and collaged with the memories and adventures we've had in the past. A new year is a new opportunity to add to those adventures and not to replace.
Stephanie and I are not partial to new years resolutions. We believe that every year, every month, every day, and every minute should be lived to the fullest. We also believe that what once was, also follows us into the present. Even if people, places and things are no longer in our daily lives, they still deserve a place in our future - whether it be in the form of life lessons, memories or great adventure.
We are both grateful for the gifts and experiences 2016 has given to us. We've packed our hearts full of great memories and filled our cameras with even greater pictures. We now look forward to adding many more pages to our story in 2017. We hope that you enjoy the upcoming journies that we so very much look forward to sharing with you!
We wish you love and great adventure (not only in 2017 but every year to come),
Maxine & Stephanie
As the end of autumn approaches and the early December air brings the crisp bite of winter, there are many favorite things that come to mind during this yearly transition. From cups of hot cocoa to holiday gatherings with friends and family, from the first snow fall to the rush of the holiday shopping and decorating, these are a few of the favorite things. While most are busy with the hustle and bustle this time of year brings, we are in search of an escape. My partner in crime, Stephanie, and I crave the great outdoors and the wonder nature has to offer this time of year.
This past weekend we ventured out to Letchworth State Park located in Castile, NY. This was my first time at Letchworth State Park and one of many times that Stephanie has captured it’s beauty with her camera. Letchworth State Park takes up more than 14,000 acres and spans across two counties in central New York, Wyoming County and Livingston County. With about 17 miles of park to cover, it is safe to say that one would need about a whole week to see all the beautiful waterfalls, gorges and trails this gem has to offer.
Although we had hoped to see some waterfall attractions, due to some maintenance the road was closed off to vehicular traffic. However, that did not stop us from making the most of what was available to us. We passed a snow covered bridge that led to one of Letchworth’s many trails and decided to see where this magical looking over pass would take us. Camera’s in hand we are always ready to capture the beauty nature has to offer and the moment’s we want to remember forever. This would be a good time to put in an editor’s note that Stephanie is the real photographer, I just like to pretend I know what I am doing while I follow her lead. Hey - fake it until you make it!
The weather was perfect for getting so many beautiful shots of this natural winter wonderland. During our entire hike there was a steady, light and fluffy snow fall that gave every limb a coating of magic. The creeks and little waterfalls also looked like they had been kissed with frosty sparkles. Ice was forming but there was still a steady flow of clear cold water. Being out in the cold and white coated woodlands of Letchworth brings about a very peaceful and grateful sense of existence. Hearing nature’s song as we hike through the woods is exactly what our souls yearn for. What a wonderful thing it is to realize that we are such a small part of this amazing planet we have been so blessed to be apart of. When we are getting lost in nature’s playground, that is when we feel most connected to the world and our beings. Capturing not only the landscapes we come across, but also photographing each other as we hike through old and new places, tells a story that we wish to share with the world.
We hope you enjoy our collection of captured moments from Letchworth State Park. We want to be able to take you along on our journeys, local and international. Please feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think of our first adventure and to also tell us what you would like to see in upcoming posts.
We wish you love and great adventure,
Maxine & Stephanie