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Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Parade Love

After days of rain, Saturday finally offered me the chance to use my new camera. I think I'll mention now that I am absolutely enamored with my Nikon D700. Simply hooked. It's night and day different than my Sony a200, but that's to be expected when it's 5 times more expensive. As my dad says, you get what you pay for. But seriously, I feel so lucky every time I hold that camera. I hope that feeling never wears off.

In Crosslake, a town about 30 miles from where we live, they hosted a St. Patrick's Day parade. While the town is a pretty little town, the parade was surprisingly huge! The climate was very different that what it's like at the 4th of July parade, but regardless, we had great weather for March in Minnesota.

45 degrees, slight wind, and no rain! It was beautiful.

Before the parade, we went to a restaurant called Zorbaz for pizza. Zorbaz is a big hot spot in the summer with all of the tourists, and it's a fun place to go. The only thing that annoys me [although it is an effective and brilliantly annoying marketing technique] is that for everything that has an S in it on their menu or on signs in their store, they use Z's. Soup becomes Zoup, Women's Bathroom becomes Women'z. Clever at first, it become annoying afterwards. But hey, same with the Progressive commercials; I hate them but they sure make me remember them.

Here is Erica, my sister. Isn't she cute?

My cousin Breanna and her boyfriend Nick were the brains behind us going to the parade. Great idea!

My husband Matt. Needless to say, since we don't have any kids or any pets, he's often the subject of my photography. Sometimes that must get annoying?

My mom came out to join us. Hi Mom!

Anxiously awaiting the start of the parade. I wore my winter jacket but it was still comfortably decent for a mid-March day.

I love the vets. They make me smile and want to cry at the same time. I have a feeling that will never change.

At the beginning of the parade, the timing of the floats wasn't consistent. In one of the gaps, this little peanut decided to run free on the open road. Nothing like a cute little one to get everyone chuckling!

This beautiful Golden Retriever just made me fall in love with him. This photo of him staring at the little girl kind of tugs on my heart strings.

A group of young hockey boys occupied this float. Do you see the red-haired Shawn White carrying his snowboard? How about Apolo Ohno speed skating by? [Apolo had a HUGE gold medal around his neck.]

Did I mention that I think old men are so cute? I want to know this guy.

This dog is the last in a group of like 8 pups wearing festive outfits. Someone must have dropped the dog biscuit for this guy. He wasn't interested.

So what happened? My Golden buddy came and helped himself before the next float passed by. Hilarious!

Then these guys came by. I can't remember what they were from; I was kind of mesmerized by how creepy they were. The one looking in my general direction must have known my aunt/uncle because she came over to show some love.

Monkey lovin'.


This float came by, shooting fire up in the air. I started to take photos of it as it was approaching me and it took me about 6 tries to get the exposure right so the fire showed up. I found it fitting that the fire truck followed behind it. That fire kicked off so much heat, I felt like I was suntanning as it went by.

Just For Kix dancers, of course. I was one of them for 9th grade and a Kixter from 10th-12th.

They dyed this poor pup green! Ok, it's actually really funny! And I really like the gray dog too. What kind of dog is that?

Nice float, eh? I found it fitting to include a snow plow in a Minnesota winter/spring parade.

This boat was spitting out green water from the back. The sound of the engine and the smell of the exhaust made me insanely excited for spring/summer!! We are called The Land of 10,000 Lakes for a reason!

Very talented guys on stilts. It's trippy to watch them walk!

Look at this ball of sunshine! :)

These two guys [red and green] would be Mario and Luigi of Super Mario Bros! How clever right?

This map drawing just made me happy. The colors, the lakes. It pretty much sums up the area that I live in and love: The Brainerd Lakes Area.

A talented guy on a crazy skateboard-type thing. With a wicked awesome wig!

One awesome float!

Two of the girls I know from church were part of this martial arts float. The ones in the stocking hats.

Doing their routine. They stopped in front of me: lucky me!

This is the float for Liberty Tax Service. Clever huh? Get Intaxicated.

These horses were the final act in the parade. They kept nuzzling each other as they walked by. I tried to capture the steam coming out of their noses, but not much luck.

Now, that was fun!

A great day with family, lovely weather, fun times, and a huge hint of spring.

It was a great day.

Now, if you'll excuse me - it is 60 [YES - SIXTY] degrees outside so Matt and I are going for a walk. I'm in shock that I have my patio door wide open right now and I'm not one bit cold.

Life! Is! Good!

Enjoy the ride,



  1. I'm pretty sure the dog you're asking about is a Weimaraner. They are beautiful! Kind of a bluish gray color. Your pictures are amazing! Are you loving the FX format? What's your favorite thing about your D700 so far?

  2. Mott - I was kind of thinking it might be a Weimaraner. I've seen some pictures of that kind before and really like it! Too bad my husband is totally allergic. I'm praying for allergy shots someday :). Well THANK YOU for the compliment on the photos. I am absolutely IN LOVE with the camera so far. I only have this one lens for it - the 50 mm f/1.4D so I particularly love the FX format because of it makes the 50mm more like the human eye. I have a 50mm for my Sony dx camera and I was always annoyed before for me, it felt like it was at an awkward length. I know that the 50mm on FX is a little wide [some people day] for portraits, so we'll see once I start doing more portrait work. I think it's a fantastic lens though. I just love this camera's sharpness too, although I know a lot of it is the lens. Oh, I know -my FAVORITE part so far is the ISO capability, which was the deciding factor in my buying this one. With my sony, I was limited to ISO 400 and they turned out pretty noisy at times. I was using ISO 640 and couldn't tell one little bit. I know I could use up to ISO 1000 and not hardly tell at all with this camera. I'm just thrilled because since I live in MN, in the course of the year, just as many photos will be taken indoors than out, if not more. Now, I can take indoor photos brilliantly!

    So - long story short - I Love This Camera. I feel like I'm living a dream. Oh wait - I am. :)

  3. Laura (& Mott) - It is a Weimaraner :) That's what Jetta is Laura, except she is a Blue Weim so she is more of a steel blue color as opposed to the brownish/gray color of the one in your picture. They're hypoallergenic dogs too. However...they have LOTS of energy and need equal amount of exercise. She is one of the best dogs I've every had though! Hopefully once we get all moved into our new house you can come meet her. Miss you!


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