Debra Bernard Photography: Blog https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog en-us (C) Debra Bernard Photography [email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) Sat, 11 Jun 2022 04:03:00 GMT Sat, 11 Jun 2022 04:03:00 GMT https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u291490956-o819989699-50.jpg Debra Bernard Photography: Blog https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog 96 120 St. Augustine, Florida https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2022/6/saint-augustine-florida Last month we spent a week in St. Augustine, FL which is not unfamiliar to me at all.  I've spent many vacations there when my kids were little, but this time I really wanted to explore a little more off the beaten path and really take in all of the gardens, gates and courtyards of the most charming and oldest city in America!!! First up is probably the photographed 'Garden Door" in St. Augustine.  I think this dates back to the 1800's and I was determined to find this one. It did not disappoint!

 

 

Above right is the connecting house.  It was simply stunning to see in person!!

My obsession with doors and windows has been ongoing throughout my travels and I honestly just love to photograph them...no matter where I am.  

I'm going to show you some of my favorite ones that you can also experience on your own walking tour.

 Just look at those windows and that cute palm tree.  I am crazy about the exterior color as well. This is my absolute favorite!!

Here's a super fun surprise...gave me a New Orleans vibe :)

I didn't get down there as early as I had wanted, but early enough to see the docents getting ready for work! Did you know that St. Augustine was founded in 1565!!! 

Here are just a few others photos I took that morning.  There are so many hidden treasures around here and pretty cool to see all of this beauty around you.

Another picturesque area is Magnolia street.  All the surrounding houses are so beautiful! Also, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth park is here. I have not been there in many years, but I remember how beautiful it was and the pretty peacock's roaming the grounds.  And I was able to drink from the fountain of youth :):)

Had a really good cuban coffee across the street at The Fountain of Juice!!

 

Thanks for reading and hopefully you'll be able to visit St. Augustine if you haven't already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) courtyards doors florida gardens oldgates saintaugustine st.augustine travel windows https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2022/6/saint-augustine-florida Sat, 11 Jun 2022 03:37:00 GMT
Rainy Lake Houseboat Adventures https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2020/8/rainy-lake-houseboat-adventures Thinking about renting a Houseboat on Rainy Lake?  We did and absolutely loved it!!!

We rented 2 Houseboats for 3 families and 1 dog.  One boat we rented from Rainy Lake Houseboats www.rainylakehouseboats.com and the other from Northernaire Houseboats www.northernairehouseboats.com.  We came to the decision that one boat would be the "kids" boat (actually they were mostly young adults) and the other one was the "parent" boat.  It worked out great and there was plenty of room for everyone!  We also had 2 fishing boats and kayaks and paddle boards. The Houseboats do not go very fast and so it took us a few hours to get to where we wanted to be and we found the perfect stretch of beach at Idle Hour Bay.

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If you're wondering about the accomodations... each boat had a kitchen, bathroom with a shower and separate bedrooms.  Of course, you have to be pretty comfortable with who you are traveling with :) Each family brought food to share, but the highlight was cooking and eating the fresh Walleye the boys caught daily! We tried four different flavors (original, beer, cajun and buffalo) of batter from Shorelunch mixes and Cajun was my favorite! The fish was cooked right over the fire on cast iron skillets and I have to say that might have been the best entertainment the whole trip!! 

It was quite the show watching this fish fry!!!!!

 

 

So YUMMY!!!!!!!!

Austin loved taking this little fishing boat out every day!  

We did book a fishing guide in advance for 2 mornings, which was great for the guys to find some awesome spots to fish in when they went back in the evening.  

Bloody's in the morning was a great way to start the day :) 

 

I was hoping for clear nights so I could see the Milky Way and capture some night photos, but the visibility just wasn't so great.  This was the best I could do.  Oh well, good excuse for me to to go back next year.

Here are just a few more photos of the Houseboats.

The "Kids" jumping off their boat.

 

 

Oakley, our friends dog, had the best time hiking and swimming everyday.  She was awesome to have on the trip! 

 

The day before we left, we took one of the Houseboats over to Anderson Bay and hiked the Cruiser Lake Trail. Let's just say, I burned some calories on this hike! We had read that hiking this trail was your best chance to spot Moose, hear Gray Wolves and see Beavers.  Needless to say, we didn't see or hear any of that, but did witness lots of stunning scenery! Here's a photo of some of us on the trail.

 

The last night we moved the boats to Saginaw Bay.  It was a little stormy, but once it cleared up the skies were so magical!! A gorgeous double rainbow and sunsets that literally were purple and then orange.  Honestly, it was a sight to see!

 

Lexy paddle boarding to Canada! Ha

 

 

Keegan paddle boarding under the Rainbow!!

 

AJ and I chasing the rainbow 

 

 

The next morning we were up at 5:00am, so we could get the boats returned by 9:00am.  

Just a little more information on the trip, the Houseboat companies do supply large coolers and there is a refrigerator on the boat and one of the boats had a microwave.  You can buy ice, firewood and bait once you get there and they will load up your boat with it for you.  Also, if you need anything you can radio it into them.  There was no wifi out there either, so you can really just escape from everything!!!

We plan to come back next summer and add a few days onto our trip.  It did take us around 5 hours to drive up (from Minneapolis suburbs) to International Falls and on top of that it took us another 3 hours on water to Idle Hour Bay, so keep in mind that takes nearly your whole day. There were plenty of other things we could have done, but just ran out of time.  

Until next year!!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read :-)

Debra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) fishfry houseboat internationalfalls lake minnesota paddleboard rainbow rainylake rainylakehouseboats voyageurnationalpark walleye https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2020/8/rainy-lake-houseboat-adventures Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:04:05 GMT
Camping with the dog through the Black Hills & Badlands https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2020/8/camping-with-the-dog-through-the-black-hills-badlands Since so many family vacations have been for hold or cancelled this summer, I decided to write this post from our road trip last August through the Black Hills and Badlands. If you're at all curious about three of us and our dog camping throughout South Dakota and Wyoming, please read on!! I've included all of the campsites we stayed at, including an original 1880 Homestead cabin in the Badlands National Park, a Glamping Tipi in Custer and a traditional Sioux-style tipi in Devils Tower. We booked it all through Airbnb and we absolutely loved every place we stayed and everything we saw! We cooked breakfast and dinner over campfires every day and usually just grabbed something out for lunch, especially since we had the dog and could not eat in restaurants. This trip has been on my bucket list since moving to Minnesota 8 years ago and I am so glad we decided to do it!!!

The first day we arrived at Circle View Guest Ranch and checked in for our one night stay at an original 1880 Homestead Cabin.  I have to tell you that there is no electricity, running water or bathrooms (there is an outhouse) so we were totally roughing it for the night and it was an absolute blast and the views we had were breathtaking.  We could even hear the coyotes at night.  The Ranch does have other lodging options if you're not wanting this type of overnight experience.  www.circleviewranch.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning we packed up drove through Badlands National Park.  We weren't able to walk any of the trails with the dog which we knew this before going, so we drove around and took in all of the scenery this gorgeous park had to offer! We were able to pull over and easily get out to take photos.

We then started our drive to Custer and made a few stops in between to see Mount Rushmore, Slyvan Lake and Needles Hwy.

 

Mount Rushmore

 

Sylvan Lake

 

Once we got to Custer, we checked into a different kind of lodging...a Glamping Tipi!!! This was pretty awesome as it did have electricity in the tipi, so we had lighting and were able to charge up phones and camera batteries!! We stayed at the Buffalo Ridge Camp Resort www.custerhospitality.com

 

Super comfy bed inside the tipi.  Ours had a queen & twin size bed with a table and chairs.

 

 

Custer State Park had so much wildlife and you could really just make a trip in and around this park.  It was actually pretty cool to be stuck in a traffic jam of Bison and honestly, I was sure one of those humongous animals was going to ram right into our truck!! Indy stayed calm the whole time, which we weren't sure how he was going to react to them.  Most of the time we drove around with our windows rolled down and go out for walks and had picnic lunches.  Dogs were welcome in all of the designated areas.

 

Prairie dogs are EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

After being in Custer for 2 days, we headed to Wyoming to see Devils Tower.  We weren't quite sure if there was going to be too much to do there, but our experience was one of the best and I am so glad we decided to go for a night.  We made a detour through the wild west town of Deadwood which was pretty cool. They had reenactments of the legend of Wild Bill and the town was very cute to walk through. Its worth a stop! 

 

The historic Fairmont Hotel and Casino.  A formal brothel that's known to be haunted!!! Rumor has it that Wild Bill was killed at the Saloon right next door.

His chair is pictured below.

 

 

After our little detour through Deadwood we made it to Devils Tower and walked around the massive geologic monument.  We couldn't walk the dog around the tower, but there were areas that we could walk him, so it worked out just fine. After exploring Devils Tower we drove on to our next campsite.  At first we weren't sure if we were in the right place, so I gave the owner, Juliana a call and she came right away to meet with us and get everything set up.  We were staying in a traditional Sioux-Style Tipi and it was awesome!! Let me be clear and tell you that this is in no way similar to the glamping tipi experience we had at Custer, but it was a super cool adventure and we're so happy we booked it!!! They can be found at www.devilstowertipicamping.com

We fell asleep looking at the Milky Way and we woke up to a beautiful sight of Devils Tower wrapped in massive fog. I'm telling you, there is nothing like this.  It was breathtaking!!  

We just stayed for one night before heading back via the scenic route (make sure you have a full tank of gas) through Montana to get to our last park destination which was Theodore Roosevelt State Park, ND

 

 

We made it to Theodore Roosevelt Park by late afternoon and drove around the park for a while before checking into our hotel and taking nice long hot showers.  This was the only time we actually stayed in a hotel.  We got up nice and early the next morning and went back through the park and then headed home to MN.

 

Thanks for following along on our adventure! We are heading out to Voyagers National Park on a House Boat next....so stay tuned!!!

Cheers!

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) badlands bison blackhills camping custer custerstatepark deadwood devilstower northdakota prairiedogs southdakota teepee tipi wildbill Wyoming https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2020/8/camping-with-the-dog-through-the-black-hills-badlands Wed, 05 Aug 2020 03:13:59 GMT
Keegan Nickel - Wayzata Baseball 2018 https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/keegan-nickel So fun to capture these images in a studio setting.

I offer these sessions for all ages of athletes and also as an add on to my senior portrait session. 

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/keegan-nickel Tue, 27 Mar 2018 22:32:11 GMT
Vienna & Bratislava https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/vienna-bratislava Part Two  

Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia

 

 

 

St. Stephen's Cathedral

Schonbrunn Palace

Spending an afternoon here was blissful!! In between tiny rain storms, we walked all over the gardens of this magnificent Palace!! 

We spent a day in Bratislava, but would have loved to have spent a few more.  

Picturesque storefronts are all over 

yummy ice cream from Arthur's

Again...it's a good choice to try the local beer :)

Everywhere you go there are beautiful streets and window boxes

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/vienna-bratislava Mon, 12 Mar 2018 19:36:23 GMT
Budapest, Hungary https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/budapest-hungary Last summer we decided to take a trip to Eastern Europe

We started off in Budapest, Hungary and then took the train to Vienna, Austria and from there to our final destination of Prague, Czech Republic

My first blog post is on Budapest

I feel in love with this country and could have spent an extended period of time there!! 

 

 

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We spent the first day just walking around without an agenda...which is fun to do because you never know what you can discover

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Always recommend checking out the local beer scene!

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The Dohany Synagogue

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Interior of the Dohany Synagogue 

 

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These views were so worth the massive hike up to the Citadella

 

 

 

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Stopped in for a cappuccino at the New York Cafe, which is considered "the most beautiful cafe in the world"

 

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Views from Castle Hill

 

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These three images are from the shoe memorial on the Danube bank

This is a remembrance of those who were shot during WWII

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The stunning Hungarian Parliament 

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We loved our hotel!!! Great views from our balcony!!!

I crossed the street to get this shot of Lexy and Austin hanging out on our balcony 

 

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These were all shot at sunrise at Fisherman's Bastion

This is a must do when visiting Budapest.  The daytime is so crowded with thousands of tourist in this area.  We basically had the place to ourselves.  Easy taxi ride from our hotel. 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/3/budapest-hungary Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:31:21 GMT
Senior friend shoot https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/2/senior-friend-shoot This was a super fun Senior friend shoot in the studio

These two girls were super sweet and up for anything...which made my job all the more easier

I am now offering studio sessions with your BFF (up to 4 people) as an extra option on top of my regular Senior Sessions

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) bff's friends seniors https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2018/2/senior-friend-shoot Tue, 27 Feb 2018 22:55:52 GMT
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2017/5/minnesota-landscape-arboretum I started off this week with a trip to the spectacular Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  I have to say this is one of my favorite places to visit here in Minnesota! Everything has turned green and started to bloom.  The tulips were so vibrant and colorful that it was hard not to photograph every single one (although I came pretty close) !  I edited most of my tulip photos with Lightroom pretty presets in Color Luxe.  All of my editing is done in LR, but I finally put my purchased presets to use and love how they turned out :)  If you love nature, flowers and truly gorgeous gardens, this is a must visit destination! Happy to say that spring has finally arrived in the North!!! 

 

 

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[email protected] (Debra Bernard Photography) Arboretum Landscape Minnesota tulips https://www.dbdigitalphoto.com/blog/2017/5/minnesota-landscape-arboretum Fri, 12 May 2017 14:08:03 GMT