Colourful Costa Rica

Words &Photographs by Erica Brenci
 

When my husband and I visited Costa Rica for a Destination Wedding for a couple from Los Angeles, we also got to enjoy 10 days of the Pacific Coast. We stayed in Tamarindo and we choose a very nice and cozy Hotel, Villa Macondo a very typical tropical hotel with rooms and apartments inside a tropical garden with a swimming pool.

What you find in Costa Rica is a full immersion into nature, you will be among monkeys and other tropical animals, tropical trees and plants, wild beaches with a wide ocean view. We visited the beaches of Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, from Tamarindo. When we went to Playa Avellana the landscape was breathtaking: the long beach with surfers at sunset was like a painting! The pacific is famous among surfers and is very populated from the young and old surfers from all over the world.

We suggest to relax in tamarindo for a sunset with a cocktail at Nogui’s, a beach front restaurant a coffee bar, and enjoy a piapa fria (a fresh green coconut) at Playa Conchal. We enjoyed tasting so many tropical fruit juices and plates of rice and ceviche.

“Pura vida” are the two words that best represent the local life. Interpretation could be like “pure life”, “take it easy”, “enjoy life”, “all good”, “purity in life”, “hello”, “goodbye”, “this is life!” and many many more. I think it’s the best way to live – enjoying what you have and what you are!!



Camera | Contax 645 + 80mm Lens
Film | Kodak Portra 400
Lab | Carmencita Film Lab

 
Instagram: @lesamisphoto
Pinterest: @ericabrenci
 

About Erica
I’m a Destination wedding Photographer based in Italy and traveling all over the world. I love to shoot weddings  and lifestyle in general, I love to travel, to meet new people and new cultures. I love animals and nature in general but what better represent my soul are sunny locations, a good dog, my lovely husband, my family and staying with people – enjoying good times, good food and good wine. I smile always because heaven helps the happy. And if I can, I try to share this spirit when someone is in need of good vibes and a positive soul.

Family Travel in Pensacola, Florida

Photography & Words: Melissa Jeras Photography

We spent a week in Pensacola, Florida, my mother’s hometown, where we met up with over 20 family members for a little family reunion.

We stayed in a perfect little beach home on the side of the island facing the Sound.  We were visited by plenty of dolphins on a daily basis and the kids spent hours playing in the sand and on the dock right outside our doors.  A quick walk across the street took us to the Gulf side of the island where we spent many lazy mornings playing in the waves, soaking in the sun, and making sand castles from the white soft sand that Pensacola is known for.
 
One fascinating place to check out while in Pensacola, is Fort Pickens, a historic US military fort completed in 1834 which defended Pensacola Bay.  It is known for being only one of four forts in the South that was never occupied by Confederate Forces during the Civil War.  Taking a stroll around the fort, it is intriguing to see the old weapons and read about the defense strategies used, all while taking in the vast solid and beautiful architecture that surrounds you.  It is also important to note that if you visit Fort Pickens at the right time you can see The Blue Angels (the US Navy’s world famous flight demonstration squadron) practicing, which is truly a must see.
 
For food, we spent most nights cooking up our own seafood delicacies, but one evening we did check out a popular restaurant on the island called Peg Leg Pete’s.  It had an upbeat and casual atmosphere including live music.  The menu was true to what the cuisine in the South is known for.  Right outside the restaurant is a marina where we watched the fishing boats come in and slice up their catch.  The kids enjoyed the challenge of trying to catch crabs with the nets provided on the dock.
 
As tradition for our family, the trip was not complete without a boat trip.  This time we went out on a dolphin touring boat, where we successfully spotted many dolphins and even watched mom dolphins swimming along with their calves. On the way back to the airport we took a cruise through my mom’s childhood neighborhood and spent a few hours at my Aunt and Uncle’s house where the kids tested their driving skills on the homemade go-cart.  

This trip was full of unforgettable memories for our family and we hope to make the trip again sooner than later.  


Pesdacola Florida - Photography by Melissa Jeras Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0002 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0008 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0016 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0006 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0005 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0004 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0015 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0014 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0012 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0011 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0003 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0017 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0010 Pensacola Florida by Melissa Jeras_0009


Camera | Nikon F100 & Fuji Underwater Disposable Camera
Lab | The FIND Lab
Film |  Fuji 400h and Portra 160

 
About Melissa:
I’m a child and family photographer in Gilbert, Arizona.  When I’m not photographing other people’s children, I’m chasing around my own 5 and 3 year olds.
 
Instagram:  @melissajeras

The Islands of Thailand

Photography & Words: Fiona Caroline Photography

 
When I was offered the chance to visit the Islands of Thailand I jumped at it. I adore Asia anyway, and Thailand – a place I had yet to go – seemed to offer the perfect mix of culture, city, beach and nature.
I fell in love instantly.
It was a short trip where I briefly explored some of the better known Thai Islands. This short trip has resulted in a HUGE urge to return – to see more of this incredible country.  I want get lost in bustling, busy and loud Bangkok, and soak up the culture and nature in Chiang Mai. I absolutely want to visit the Golden Triangle and cross over the Laos border to journey down the Mekong. But that is all another trip – another time! Here, now, you can be introduced to some of the beaches and stunning hotels I was lucky enough to find myself.

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0001

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0017
Let me start with saying that my favourite thing about Thailand are the people. I mean, they do have a bit of a reputation for being the kindest people on the planet! I could sit for hours talking to someone about their life, their stories, my life, my stories.. And let’s be honest – travel is about getting lost in the world of others.

The food, however, is a close contender! I am obsessed with Tom Kha Gai soup and now a bit of a Massaman curry fan! Fresh coconuts to drink from and fruit to try – Thailand is tropical, beautiful and so full of colour and flavour. The Islands are a excellent choice for a beach escape. Whether you are there as a solo traveller, backpacker, for a honeymoon or family get away – you will find your spot in Thailand. (And you will probably find it for pretty cheap!)

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0008 Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0003

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0004

I travelled in low season (end of April) and was told that since I was visiting Islands on either side on the country I would get beautiful sunny days – but only on one side – and a lot of rain on the other! But hey- ho, It only rained once! I actually think low season is a brilliant time to travel. Less tourists, cheaper hotels and a high chance of great weather!

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0005 Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0006
Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0007   Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0009
As I said before, it was a brief trip and what I took from this trip are first impressions. Now lets talk about Koh Phangan. This Island. This Island won my heart. I did not spend enough time here and I absolutely need to return!  Known as the party Island – the home of the Full Moon Party – but please don’t let this put you off if you’re not into the party scene. It’s not all party! The is a vibe here is a totally chilled, welcoming and relaxed. You just slow down. This is the Island to lose yourself – or find yourself. Walk, swim, do yoga, explore the waterfalls, sleep, drink, eat clean and watch the stars with your feet in the ocean. It is absolutely idyllic.

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0010 Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0011
Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0012

Koh Samui, offers a fabulous mix of beach and urban. You can pick to slumber by the ocean, in the sun, during the day, and escape to busy towns to shop, party, watch shows once the night comes. Koh Samui is EASY to get to, if time is short, no ferries needed here. My recommendation for a luxury hotel here is the Sala Samui. Think beautiful hotel, stunning villas, excellent beach vibe and great food.

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0013 Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0014

Koh Racha is the place if you want to have resort but want to also feel isolated. A small island perfect for keen divers. Just a short boat ride from Phuket, this Island is stunning. White sand, clear water, colourful fish and a stunning landscape. I stayed at The Racha, a luxurious resort with a fabulous Spa. This is a relaxing getaway. Not for those after nightlife, parties – or even towns for that matter! There is not much to do except the TON of activities the hotel offers. A stay on Koh Racha is about unwinding, relaxing, diving, spa, swimming and fishing. It is, however, a busy day trip Island, so prepare for boat loads of island hoppers coming ashore to explore this beauty for themselves!

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0015 Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0016

Thailand, Fiona Caroline Photography_0002

A handy list of ‘Must do’s’ when you travel to the Islands of Thailand

Be polite, learn standard Hello/thank you/goodbye. And talk to people! Everyone is so friendly!

Go diving/snorkeling. Oh my, the sea is SO clear and the fish are so colourful. Observe – don’t interfere <3

Try the food, experiment with new food, take a cooking class. Food, food, food! Lets be honest, a huge part of different cultures (and of travel itself) is the food!

Sail out for a sunset. Watch as the ocean turn golden around you and the other boats become silhouetted against the gorgeous backdrop.

Get up early! Walk along the beach and watch the fisherman at work in the early morning.

Try your hand at yoga, there are so many well being resorts – it’s great to do a full moon yoga session or a sunrise yoga session (or just a yoga session) in Thailand. Relax. Let go.

Party! Okay, if partying is not your thing, you do not have to go wild, but it’s worth getting out there, at least once, and seeing what all the fuss is about!


Camera | Nikon F100
Lab | Carmencita Film Lab
Film Stock | Kodak Portra 160 (pushed once)

About Fiona
I am a film photographer, living in London, England. I photograph families and couples and I am the curator of Feather & Film. I adore to travel and photograph families and couples abroad – or those coming to London for their holidays! I love being in the darkroom and making prints. I like to press flowers and walk in the gorgeous parks in London. I am a girl from the country, but I love the city!

Website | www.fionacaroline.com
Facebook | www.facebook.com/fionacarolinephotography
Twitter | @fionacaroline_
Instagram | @Fionacaroline