Friday, July 17, 2009

We Are Going on Vacation!

I'm thrilled to share that we have been selected as the official Blog 4 RV contest winners at Classic Adventures RV! We are busy looking at maps, calendars, consulting with my doctors, checking out travel programs and exploring RV model features. Stay tuned to see where, when and how we will be going on vacation!!! :) (If you are a new reader, see why this is such an exciting experience by visiting my first post on why we haven't had a family vacation).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

RVing, the affordable vacation option

According to the Reno Gazette Journal, RV rentals are a great choice for tough economic times. Interesting interview with local RV dealerships. Erik Schultz, general manager at Classic Adventures RV, "is seeing brisk business."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blog 4 RV Contest

The Blog 4 RV contest winner was to have been announced yesterday, but due to some unavoidable issues, there will be a delay in announcing their selection. So as I wait to see if this blog will get to document our family vacation or not, I will continue writing!

What topics would you like to see me cover? Give me ideas about your travel questions, vacationing tips, RV-specific information, destination ideas and more. I'm here to serve, so please tell me what informaation you would like to read on this blog! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where would you go?

If you had a week in an RV and could go anywhere within 500 driving miles of home, where would you go? I would love to hear your ideas!

Our starting point is near Lake Tahoe. I'm currently thinking the Monterey Bay Aquarium sounds like a wonderful destination, about 340 miles from home. Or maybe even Disneyland, 480 miles away. With a drive of only 240 miles, we've also talked of taking in the sights of San Francisco with the Exploratorium as one of our goals.

Please shae with me, what advetures would you take in an RV?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Taking Great Vacation Photos

Let’s start with the basics. And yes, I do mean basics, those things so simple that they are easily forgotten or overlooked until it’s too late. I know because I’m guilty of missing them myself. So even though you are probably much more organized than I am, thank you for indulging me with this basics checklist:

- Do you have fresh batteries in your camera along with a couple of sets of back-ups and/or a charger?

- If your camera is new, have you read the owner’s manual or practiced taking several pictures around home so you won’t miss those picture-perfect moments on your trip as you try to figure out the technology?

- Do you have a large enough memory card (or cards!) to capture all those treasured memories? Consider when you will be able to download your pictures to a computer, while still on the road or not until you are back at home?

Only once the basics are covered is it time to start considering your actual photos themselves. You will want to remember both where you went and with whom you experienced your trip, so be sure to seek out a nice mix scenery and society (your family, friends, or even local who made your vacation a richer experience) with your lens.

Candid shots are more likely to capture the true spirit of your trip than a “vacation line up”. Remember, the reason you are taking pictures is to capture real-life memories. You don’t want those memories to simply be, “Mom was always making us pose for pictures and we missed out on all the fun!” Especially when photographing kids, document them “doing” something (running, building a sand castle, flying a kite, throwing a ball…) and you will avoid many of those cheesy posed camera grins.

How many times have you come home from vacation with a camera full of pictures that were just too dark? If you want bright memories, give lighting some consideration. According to eHow photography expert Richard Burke, bright midday sun “is ideal for taking pictures of textured objects like rocks.” If your camera ha an F-Stop feature, Mr. Burke suggest setting it “to F-16 or smaller to increase the depth of field which allows you to get sharp focus across and through the textured object.” Be aware of shadows as details will be hidden in these areas of your photo, but when captured with care a strong shadow can actually add much drama to your image. To document scenery you may also find exciting low-light photographic opportunities at dusk and dawn; think sunrise, sunset and great silhouettes.

It’s actually OK to have the main subject of your photo placed a little off center. When processing visual input, the human brain looks for the brightest areas of a photo first, then scans top, bottom and sides before looking to the center of a picture. Placing the person or object you are photographing in one of these areas that draws the eye may evoke more powerful emotional response than a picture in perfectly centered balance.

None of these tips matter a bit though if you forget the most important basic of all, having fun! While the craft of photography can be exciting as you find unique angles and subject to photograph, don’t worry so much about posing your picture for perfection that you loose sight of building wonderful memories. The great thing about today’s digital photos is that you can snap a lot and save only the best, not worrying about the cost of film and developing. Out of 100 pictures you may find just five you love, and that’s OK. On the other hand you may capture dozens of treasures and the hard part will come in deciding what handful you love the most.

When your trip is over, don’t let your memories languish on your photo cards or hard drive forever. Relive the moments by uploading your favorite images to sites like Flickr, the site recommended by my photographer husband, or any of the multitude of similar services that you can find on a basic web search. Many of these sites will allow you to edit your photos, share with friends via email, order prints for home delivery, and some even provide tools to help you put together a memory scrap book online or for purchase as a coffee table book for ongoing enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How to Find the Least Expensive Gas

When filling up the tank on your RV, you want to make your money stretch as far as possible! Did you know that MapQuest offers a Gas Price Map? Type in your address and/or the address or your destination or points along the way, and find out where to get the most bang for your buck at the pump!