Snapshots of Our September (Arlington, VA)

[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air ... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.
— Wallace Stegner

With the exception of a Labor Day weekend camping trip at Prince William Forest Park, we didn’t spend much time together as a family in September. Once school starts (7th, 6th, and 4th grade - see the obligatory first day of school photos below) everyone disappears into their own bubble for awhile, which is fine, as summer is always amazing and exhausting combined.

The kids are now refusing to let me take photos of them on their phones, so I’ll need a new project to work on. So goes almost-fall . . .

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com

A Summer Evening Family Walk on the National Mall (Washington D.C.)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
— Helen Keller

I love this family, but I don’t see them very often. They work for the foreign service and live in the most amazing places (most recent post - Namibia) and every time they come back to DC I can’t wait to hear all their stories. For example, their oldest daughter is taking a gap year from college to work at an elephant reserve - how amazing is that?

My dream is to visit them in Afirica. Maybe one day?

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Dusk at the Lincoln Memorial with the H Family (Washington D.C.)

There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?
— Pam from the Office (series finale)

I photograph the H family every summer while they vacation in DC. And they always make me laugh. Their kids are so happy, curious, and fun loving. I love exploring different areas of DC with them and hearing their views on everything. Such a great way to spend an evening.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Summer Vacation 2018 - Our Road Trip to Nova Scotia

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s OK. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
— Anthony Bourdain
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I love travel. It’s almost an addiction at this point, as I continue to put together lists and ideas of new places to discover, new experiences to be collected.

Last summer we spent 3.5 weeks backpacking around Europe (Sardinia, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Slovenia) and it was too much. I overdid it. This year the kids begged for a slower pace. Hence, Cape Brenton Island - beautiful, remote, full of amazing hiking trails and not much else. But it was 1200 miles away. Luckily, I love a road trip . . .

Part 1 - Cape Cod and Boston, MA

I had a photshoot close to Cape Cod, MA (you can see the photos here) so we started our vacation out at a Hampton Inn in Fairhaven, MA. The weather was overcast/rainy, but we still managed to see the area (dinner at Mystic Pizza filled me with happiness). And then we headed to Boston for a few days - checking out the Isabelle Stewart Gardner museum, Freedom Trail tour, and biking around Cambridge.

Part II - Essex, MA

My sister-in-law rented a house in Essex, MA with her sister and we stopped to visit. The kids had a blast running around with their cousins and their cousins’ cousins.

Part III - Bay of Fundy, Canada

We camped for two nights in this GORGEOUS Canadian National Park. And it rained the whole time. At first, the weather made me pretty miserable, but then I realized my kids were forced to hang out with me in a small tented space and I was crazy happy. We read books, hiked in the rain, ate lobster, and used the word “damp” way too much.

Part IV - Cape Brenton Island, Nova Scotia (Dingwall)

Dan’s parents rented us all a gorgeous house for a week. It was off a dirt road, on beautiful bay and at night there were no other lights. It felt like the edge of the world. Well, a luxury version of the edge of the world. The house didn’t have a TV (though there was internet) - so we played cards, Life, and Monopoly. It felt great to do “nothing” a lot of the time. Though by the end of our week there - I really missed “real” groceries stores, movie theaters, and other signs of city life.

Part V - Coastal Trail & Franey - Cape Brenton Island National Park

We spent most of our time in Cape Brenton lounging and hiking (there wasn’t much else to do there). The scenery was AMAZING and T loved canoeing around the bay. Dan found a place that sold lobsters for $10 Canadian/pound so we ate A LOT of lobster and mussels, which was great at first but even luxuries become old after awhile (except Dan, who could eat lobster every night for the rest of his life).

Part VI - Fishing Cove & Skyline Trails - Cape Brenton Island National Park

Dan’s parents watched the kids for a night so Dan and I could backpack overnight into fishing cove, which was GORGEOUS. We sat on the beach drinking rum and cokes, watching the sunset. Best date night ever. Plus, waking up to quite and sunshine made me remember everything I love about backpacking.

At the end of the week, Dan’s aunt and uncle came to stay with us and we ended our trip with a hike on Skyline Trail - one of Cape Brenton’s most scenic (and most crowded) hikes.

Honestly, I was a little worried how I’d feel about staying in the same place for a week, but we all ended up having a fantastic and relaxing time.

Part VII - Cape Brenton to Acadia National Park (Maine).

11 hours of driving in two days. That’s about all there is to say. We had heard Acadia becomes crowded in the summer, but it still felt discombobulating to sit in crazy traffic after leaving the middle of nowhere (but Bar Harbor is a fantastic town).

Part VIII - Acadia National Park

For a vacation grand finale (and, really, doesn’t every vacation need a grand finale?) - we woke up at 2 am and hiked 5 miles up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise. Hiking in the dark felt surreal, especially above treeline, like were on the moon. It was probably one of our best times together ever as a family.

But then . . .

The fog rolled in and there was no sunrise. We knew this was a possibility, but since we only stayed in Acadia for two nights we risked it and lost. There was a lot of disappointment and sadness for awhile, but eventually the fog cleared and the hike down was pretty amazing (10 miles round trip). We then went out for breakfast at 2Cats and vegged the rest of the day away (so much tiredness).

Part IX - The end

We spent a final morning in Acadia hiking and then began the long drive back to Arlington, VA. We spent one night in Portsmouth, NH, which was such a cute small town - the perfect place to celebrate the end of our northern east coast road trip.

And then, of course, we arrived home and I immediately started to plan next summer’s adventures.

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* Looking for a vacation photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers several types of out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the city or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

The L Family (and Friends) on Vacation at the Cape (Marion, MA)

So much present, inside my present
Inside my present so, so much past
— Feist

This photo shoot was pretty amazing. When our good friends, the L family, realized both our families would be in Massachusetts this July, they asked if we could stop in Marion, MA for a family photo session.

Katie, the mom of the L family, grew up in Marion and wanted photos of her own children in her hometown. So we spent an afternoon “crabbing” on the local beach. Afterwards, we went back to Katie’s childhood home (not pictured here) and took some photos with her own mom. And then we drove over to the house of Katie’s good friend for a mini high-school reunion.

Isn’t the beach house gorgeous? It even has call buttons and a servants’ wing from years long past. Sadly, Katie’s friend was in the process of reading the house for sale, so this was their last time there. But I was happy to capture some final moments of everyone together before the house belongs to new owners. Plus, my kids LOVED playing croquet on the lawn.

* Looking for a travel photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography loves to vacation - so please let us know where you want to be and we’ll meet you there! Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Elizabeth & Tim's Beautiful Fort Belvoir Wedding (Fairfax County, VA)

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
— Dean Martin

This wedding had a lot of moving parts (getting ready in Alexandria, VA; ceremony in Arlington, VA; portraits at Huntley Meadows (Alexandria, VA); and reception at Fort Belvoir (Fairfax County, VA) and I worried somewhat about everything coming together. But the day ended up being absolutely magical. Tears, laughter, kids and grandparents blowing up the dance floor. Everywhere I looked everyone was smiling.

Elizabeth and Tim met at church and I love how they integrated their faith into the day in the happiest of ways. Every moment was a joy to photograph.

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Reception Venue - Fort Belvoir (Fairfax County, VA)

Ceremony Venue - Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church (Arlington, VA)

Officiant - Father Tom HIckey

Getting Ready Location - Embassy Suites (Alexandria, VA)

Caterer - Fort Belvoir

Florist - Royalty Flowers

DJ - B & B Sound

Hair & Makeup - Updos for I Do’s

Wedding Cake - Delicate Creations

Second Shooter - Allan Cordon

* Looking for a wedding photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography wants to capture all the details of your special day - from the bridesmaids laughing together through late nights on the dance floor. So whether you prefer black tie occasions or a casual ceremony outdoors, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Three Amazing Kids in Old Town Alexandria (Alexandria, VA)

To love is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
— Emily Dickiinson

These kids made me laugh. We only spent a little bit of time together, but they made sure every second counted (and it was hot that day).

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Snapshots of Our August (Arlington, VA and beyond)

We don’t need no jet plane feel like we can fly
We don’t need no cold chain just to watch it shine
Twenty four carat lies we don’t got the time
We’ll be kings and queens in our own mind.
— Matt Kearney

August was somewhat of a whirlwind.

We stopped at Acadia National Park on our way home from Nova Scotia (I still haven’t edited any of those photos). And then I flew to Boca Raton, FL for a girls’ trip to celebrate one of my best friend’s 40th birthdays. Plus, the County Fair came to town (always a thrill for the kids, not so much for me). We finished up the month with a weekend trip to NYC (just Freya, her good friend, her good friend’s mom, and me) and a quick weekday trip to Williamsburg, VA where we spent one night at Great Wolf Lodge (I love a discount) and visited Busch Gardens the next morning, where i learned that all roller coasters now make me nauseous, especially during a heat wave.

So basically - lots of fun, but somewhat exhausting fun.

(Usually I don’t “describe” my photos, but there are some randoms in here - so here goes (1) Parker with her hands up at the County Fair; (2) ribbons from the Color Factory in NYC (temporary pop up); (3) Chinatown NYC; (4) Trout at the fair; (5) girls’ weekend (Boca Raton, FL); (6) In front of the Met (NYC); (7) Busch Gardens (Williamsburg); (8) on the street, NYC; (9) cellphones on the couch; (10) gift shop (NYC); (11) mural (NYC); (12) Broadway (NYC); (13) Chinatown (NYC); (14) the piano from Big (Macy’s NYC): (14) Great Wolf Lodge (Williamsburg); (15) a lazy day on the ocean at the Boca Beach Club (Boca Raton); (16) Nats game (they lost); (17) Heavenly Bodies at the Met; (18) Trout at Busch Gardens (Williamsburg); (19) moms and murals (NYC); (20) Target school supply shopping late in the season when everything has sold out; (21) I begged the kids to take one “good” photo together at Busch Gardens, this is what they gave me)

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* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

A Summer Morning on the National Mall with the H Family (Washington D.C.)

Don’t worry. Be happy.
— Bobby McFerrin

As I've said before, I'm not much of a morning person. And in June sunrise is EARLY. But it was worth the before-sunrise alarm, in order to spend some time with the H family. I love when kids turn one and become so curious about everything. Plus, there's nothing in the world as cute as a baby who has just learned how to walk.

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.

Our Crazy Crowded Memorial Week Beach House (Nags Head, NC)

Life’s a journey, to find the people weird like you.
— Atticus

Part of me can't believe summer vacation is finally editing and part of me feels like "what took you so long?"

We've had some amazing vacations - road tripping to Nova Scotia, a quick weekend in NYC, a girls' weekend in Boca Raton, FL, a quick trip to Great Wolf Lodge and Busch Gardens - hopefully I'll have photos to share soon. But, in the meantime, I'm ready for fall.

There's no better way to celebrate the end of something than to look back to the beginning. For the past 5 years, for the week of Memorial Day, we've rented a beach house with a group of friends. It's crowded and crazy and so much fun.

Photos of the last two years (nostalgia) are linked below:

2017 - Here and here.

2016 - Here

And more highlights from this year (the pool photos give me anxiety) . . .

* Looking for a family photographer in the DC Metro region? Darcy Troutman Photography offers both at-home and out-and-about sessions, so whether you prefer pictures in the backyard or photos at a nature preserve, I have a package just right for you. Please contact me at darcytroutman@hotmail.com.