Tag Archives: Vacation

Kobenhavn 2017

Here are photos from my recent trip to Copenhagen to visit my bestie!!!

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Annette’s apartment.  Always nice to have a free place to stay in a fun country 🙂
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Embrace the way locals do it!  Biking is the best way to see the city.
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NyhavnCopey2017-3Copey&Corse2017-14Copey&Corse2017-20Copey&Corse2017-26Escaped the rain for a bit at The Laundromat Cafe for some chai tea and french fries
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I didn’t visit Tivoli on my first trip to Copenhagen so this time we went and saw a ballet of Cinderalla with a couple of Annette’s friends.  Loved meeting Katie and Sherina! Tivoli is famous for being the 2nd oldest operating amusement park in the world.Copey2017-1

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Wulff & Konstali our first morning for an amazing brunch!  We’re talking salted caramel on waffles people.
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Enjoying the sunset after dinner at Paper Island.
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On a mission to get truffle fries with rosemary mayo in Torvehallerne
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My friend Mandy told me about this food truck, Hija de Sanchez, in Torvehallerne. The chef used to be the pastry Chef at Noma, a famous Danish restaurant located in Copenhagen.  Two out of the three were yum!Copey2017-7

And (surprisingly) loved the avacado ice pop with caramel and freeze dried raspberries!
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Bikes, bikes, bikes! Copey&Corse2017-95Copey&Corse2017-102Copey&Corse2017-104Copey&Corse2017-110

Annette and her friends, Tabita and Rose, made breakfast each morning which was such a treat!  The morning we returned from Corsica Tabita brought us breakfast – homemade rolls, cheese, pastries, fruit, eggs.  Here’s Annette the next morning making breakfast sandwiches.  I was spoiled!  Breakfasts with these girls was so hyggeligt!Copey2017-26I wanted to bring them all back to the states with me! 🙂Copey2017-28Copey2017-27Annette taking some photos of me doing my thing Copey2017-8Copey2017-12Admiring Amagertorv
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We biked around some more (of course) on my last day there.  I saw the International School where Annette teaches, right on the harbor.  We met up with some of her friends (some new to me, some old!) and got some ice cream.Copey2017-29
In the Metro on our way to Höst, a nice restaurant Annette had been waiting to visit!  We made reservations for our last night together.  Friends.  It was seriously the best meal we’d ever had.Copey2017-32Copey2017-33
We ordered the three course meal, but they sneak in 4 extra dishes so we had plenty of delicious bites to try.  This is me in my happy place, ha!
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Here was our menu.  Some of it sounds kind of different but it was all perfect.  We also had champagne then white, red and dessert wines.
-Baked Witch flounder with peas, shrimp and roasted chicken skin
-Grilled pork neck from Grambogaard with corn, cherries and pickled Wood ear”
-Rosehip ice cream with red and green strawberriesCopey2017-35

That’s 31 years of friendship right there!  Love this girl to pieces and I soaked up every minute of our time together since we don’t get as much face to face time these days as I’d like.  But we make the most of it when we do.  Cheers to our fun times in Copenhagen!

 

 

Corsica Road Trip!

Friends.  Spoiler alert, you don’t have to read ahead, I’ll just tell you.  If you EVER get a chance to travel to Corsica, DO IT.  I was lucky enough to travel around this French island recently with two fun friends, Janie and Annette!  We stayed for 6 nights and road tripped around the entire island during that time.  The food, people and scenery all made for an unforgettable vacation.  I really want to go back.  Like yesterday.

Our vacation basically goes like this…. beach, pizza & gelato, shop, eat, sleep, repeat.

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Day 1
Before heading to Corsica, Janie and I flew to Copenhagen to visit my best friend, Annette, who lives there.  (Photos of Copenhagen coming soon!) We arrived at the Bastia airport around 11:00am on Friday.  We picked up our rental car… automatic, please!  None of us drive stick and there was no way we were learning on those windy roads!  Our first meal in Corsica was the most delicious salad and pizza at a little shop not far from the airport.  We should have taken more time to learn a little French before our trip, because we quickly found out that English was not very widely spoken.  Nonetheless, the people were very friendly and patient with us as we struggled to order.  I kind of enjoy the challenge of it 🙂

We drove about 2 hours to our hotel and settled by the pool for the afternoon.  Janie and I went into full vacation mode: we sat at the bar and treated ourselves to a Nutella and banana crepe chased by a vacation beverage- a gin fizz for me and a mojito for her 🙂

For dinner we drove and found the restaurant 37.2 right on the beach, Plage de Cala Rossa to be exact.  We sat at a table right on the beach with the most beautiful oceanside view.  We ordered delicious seafood dishes- shrimp ceviche, crab and spring rolls– and wine of course!  Again, the people who worked there were so friendly and fun.  Our waiter, Roman, taught us a French phrase we’d use for the rest of the trip.  “Chin Chin!” (“Cheers!”)

Day 2
The next morning we drove into the town of Porto-Vecchio to have some breakfast.  We walked around and did a little shopping and made our first purchases.  The towns all over Corsica are so charming and beautiful.  We then started our short drive to Bonifacio. (And stopped at our first beach on the way, of course!)

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Onto the next city…

Bonifacio was our favorite spot!  Our hotel was in the perfect location near the harbor and very walkable to the city.  This part of Bonifacio is at sea level where large yachts, shops, and restaurants line the harbor.  Then as you can start walking up, up, up and rest of the city sits high on the rocky coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  It’s worth the steps!  Here’s Annette halfway…

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For dinner….a charcuterie board, mushroom pasta, pesto gnocchi and lasagna. And wine.  🙂  We wandered around, shopped, ate gelato, and looked at the crazy fancy yachts on the harbor.

Day 3
Since we loved this spot so much we decided to stay for awhile before making the drive to our next city.  We picked up breakfast and snacks for the day at the local grocery store and found some steps in the city to sit and eat and people watch.
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Off the coast of Bonifacio are the uninhabited Lavezzi Islands with good spots for swimming and snorkeling.  They offer boat tours from the harbor, so we grabbed our picnic lunch and snorkel gear that we got at the grocery store (we’re real serious about it!) and boarded.  The islands were beautiful and I snorkeled for the first time.  We found a beautiful little beach to swim, nap and enjoy lunch.  The color of the water is just stunning!  Of course the photos don’t do it justice.

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One thing we learned: we can pound an entire bag of potato chips in one beach sitting.  #vacationdiet

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An unexpected surprise on the return trip… being invited to come up to the cabin and steer the tour boat.  I will not argue with that. I think they had pity on us since we were the only English speaking people on the boat and had no clue what was going on 🙂

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After our Lavezzi Island adventure it was unfortunately time to bid farewell to Bonifacio.  (If -WHEN!- I go back to Corsica I’d spend more than one night here!) We hopped in the car and began our longest drive of the trip (about 2 1/2 hours) to the capital, Ajaccio.

We stayed at a Best Western and were pleasantly surprised when we arrived and received keys for an apartment instead of a normal room.  Upgrade!  Our hotel was right on the water which we walked along into town.  I hate to say it but this particular city didn’t impress us too much — good thing we spent the extra time at the last stop.  Maybe we just missed the fun, cute part!  We walked around for awhile trying to find a place that was actually open for dinner!  We landed at a place and got (surprise!) pizza and salad.  Deeee-lish.  We also tried the local beer, Pietra.  We’re fans. 🙂

Day 4
We had a nice breakfast at the hotel and then continued on our way because we were excited to get into the mountains.  We left Ajaccio and drove to Corte.  It was the first time we got away from the coast and it did not disappoint!  We all took motion sickness meds before getting in the car because we knew we’d hit some windy roads and we’re getting old, ha!

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We decided that during our 6 night stay we would splurge on one hotel and this one was it!  Guys.  It was beautiful!  The hotel has a river that runs directly behind it.  You can swim in the pool or the river.  There’s even a little tent so you can get a massage out by the river!  We would have stayed there for a week if we could.

Upon arriving, we relaxed by the river and ordered off the hotel’s restaurant menu.  We made our best guesses of what we wanted from the French menu and chose a couple of snacks.  Thankfully we guessed wisely and got a charcuterie board and a caprese salad plus eggplant.  Chin chin!
Let’s just say we demolished it.  This meal was one of my highlights.  Sharing food with good friends when you’re not rushed and can just enjoy it all = my happy place.
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Annette read online that people will drive along the river then park their cars on the side of the road, climb down the rocks to the river and swim.  This is the only point on our vacation that I almost had a nervous breakdown.  I got to a narrow spot where two cars were not able to safely pass and there was a rock wall on my right and a drop off to the left.  Drivers were having to back up and pull to the side and let others pass.  I did not like that one bit.  But… we drove a few kilometers and pulled over.  We laced up our sneakers to hike down along the rocks then camped out for awhile on the river.  The water was FREEZING.  But very refreshing and crystal clear and beautiful!

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After our river adventure (don’t worry, I made it back down the windy roads to the hotel OK) we got ready to venture into town.  The little town of Corte is beautiful.  It sits up high and is surrounded by incredible mountain views.

You can’t lose with this food!  We found a restaurant with good reviews and ordered lamb and two penne pasta dishes. One with prawns (this dish was no joke!) and another with chestnuts.  So yum!  Our waitress, Isadora, was so helpful and sweet.  I literally got stung in the neck (?!) by a bee during the meal and she brought me vinegar to put on it, ha!
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Day 5
You may have noticed me talking a lot about food, but this vacation seemed to lend itself to trying new Mediterranean dishes.  Well, and pizza 🙂 We enjoyed our last meal in Corte, breakfast at the hotel, on our favorite patio by the river before heading to our last city- Calvi.  I ate my first soft boiled egg.  As we cracked into them Annette said, “These are raw.”  Yep!  They sure were. The waitress was mortified and tried again!

At breakfast we happened to sit next to a sweet French couple who gave us some pointers.  (They said after eavesdropping on us they thought we were all from New York.) He was from Calvi and recommended a beach to visit on our way.  We took his suggestion and went to Le Pain de Sucre, literally “Sugar Bread” beach.  It was fun to see how each beach we visited was unique.  This one had rocks to one side, giving us some nice shade.  We got ourselves some Corsican beer and camped out here for awhile.  And ate another bag of potato chips 🙂

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Our drive that day was about an hour and a half total.  As we were driving we’d turn a corner and just say “WOW.”  The view of the coast and the mountains from the windy road was breathtaking.  Again, photos don’t do it justice.  You may have to go and see for yourself!

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We had booked a VRBO and met the owner at the apartment.  Thank goodness for the Google Translate App, otherwise I would not have been able to communicate with him! We found the cutest little restaurant, U Fornu, in town a couple of streets over from the busy area and sat out on the terrace.  The food was just okay but it won us over in the ambiance department.  And we loved the pitcher of rose.  Calvi is a busy little tourist town with a really fun vibe!

Day 6
The great thing about our VRBO was that it was a 5 minute walk to the beach!  We went over late morning and may or may not have stayed for 7 hours that day 🙂  We stood in the clear water in the Bay of Calvi and could see the city of Calvi to our left and the mountains to the right.

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This raft is the best 5 euros Annette ever spent.

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After our really stressful beach day 😉 we enjoyed some local Corsican Columba beer on our back patio then got ready for our last dinner!  We ended up at the outdoor patio of Via Marine Le Resto right on the water.  Our waiter, Lucio, was from Argentina so we practiced our Spanish which isn’t great but it’s better than our French!  We ordered pizza and salad to share (our go-to) and somehow unknowingly ordered a green salad with ice cream on it.  Parmesan ice cream.  Not sure how that happened, but it did. Salud!

Day 7
Boooooo!  It’s our last day in paradise, say it isn’t so!  It was time to make our way (slowly) to the airport so we took the advice from a gentleman we met on the very first day back in Bastia and visited the town of St Florent on our way out.  One more beach and one more lunch before returning to Bastia airport.

Had such a fabulous time with these two.  We vacationed hard and laughed a lot.  Until we meet again, Corsica!

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Byrnes Family (and friends!)

This session is so special to me!  I met Kaylis 12 years ago at a Young Life camp in Georgia.  We worked there for 3 weeks during the summer of 2004.  She’s from Mississippi, I’m from New York.  We clicked and kept in touch for a little while after camp, then just a bit through Facebook.  A few weeks ago I got a message from her asking if I’d take photos of her family and friends at Folly Beach… Um, YES!  It was so great seeing her again and catching up, not skipping a beat after 12 years.

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Meder Family

I met with the Meder family twice this summer.  Right before and right after BOY NUMBER FOUR came along!  The first half of these photos were taken on family vacation on Isle of Palms three weeks before Mattison was born.  I can say with certainty, Dennis and Shannon have their hands full.  But those boys sure are cute, aren’t they??

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And Mattison’s big debut!….medermattisonnb-86medermattisonnb-101
Ok.  I KNOW the bow tie is too big.  But we couldn’t resist 🙂
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Thank you for visiting!  Email me at info@melissagriffinphotography.com if you’d like to book a session.

Curtis Family

Miss Lucy had a blast running around on the beach!  (And I got a workout chasing her around)  It’s that time of year… get your family shoot on the calendar for Christmas cards and gifts!  Just email me at info@melissagriffinphotography.com to book a session.  I hope to hear from you soon; my fall is filling up quickly!curtis-1curtis-2curtis-3curtis-4curtis-6curtis-7curtis-9
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Clark Family

This summer I’ve really enjoyed taking photos of families who have met together in Charleston for vacation!  The Clark family was great to work with and it’s so apparent through the images how much they care for each other.  Feelin’ the love!Clark_SM-1Clark_SM-2Clark_SM-3Clark_SM-4Clark_SM-5Clark_SM-6Clark_SM-7Clark_SM-8Clark_SM-9Clark_SM-10Clark_SM-11Clark_SM-12

Shoot Locations

Charleston is not lacking in the beautiful scenery department.  If you’re trying to decide on a location for your session take a look at some options below where I’ve done shoots!  If you have a good lighting situation going on at your home we can do our session there.  The only shoots I do indoors are newborn sessions (and I’ve done those outdoors as well).  We are, of course, not limited to these locations but I hope they will help guide you in the right direction.

Just click on the title for a map or the photo to see the original blog.  Hope this helps!  Contact me at info@melissagriffinphotography.com if I can answer any questions for you.

DOWNTOWN

Hampton Park
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Waterfront Park (& surrounding areas)
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East Bay St (Rainbow Row) and N Adgers Wharf [Works well for small groups]
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White Point Gardens (“The Battery”)
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Stoll’s Alley & Church Street [Works well for small groups]
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Washington Square
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MT PLEASANT

Shem Creek 
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Old Village
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Pitt Street Bridge
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DANIEL ISLAND

River Landing Drive
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NORTH CHARLESTON

Old Navy Base & Riverfront Park
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ISLE OF PALMS
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FOLLY BEACH
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JAMES ISLAND

Sunrise Park (Melton Peter Demetre Park)
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Thanks for visiting!  I hope to work with you and your family soon 🙂