In another valiant attempt to catch up on posting some of the adorable sessions that never made the blog, here’s a look back at little miss Fiona’s six month session at Morris Arboretum. I last photographed Fiona in the studio when she was only seven days old so it was so fun to see her at this age… smiling, sitting up on her own, and making the cutest expressions I’ve ever seen! You’ll see below. She’s pretty cute. The funniest thing about Fiona’s session is that she fell asleep DURING the session. This was a first. I mean… I encourage sleeping during newborn sessions, but I’ve never had a baby fall asleep in the middle of a six month session. It was hilarious. All of this modeling is hard work…

You can see her newborn session here: http://www.aprilziegler.com/skippack-newborn-photographer-fiona-7-days-old

morris arboretum family photographer

And… it’s mid-session nap time! 🙂

family photos at morris arboretummorris arboretum photo session

April Ziegler is a Morris Arboretum family photographer, who specializes in family photography and child photography in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. To book your Morris Arboretum photo session, click HERE or contact: april@aprilziegler.com

Last month we went on a dream vacation. I first saw Beaches Turks & Caicos many years ago. It looked wonderful… all-inclusive resort, stunning beach, and very family-friendly. But I wanted to wait until Charlotte was old enough to appreciate it and be able to do many of the activities. And until our day wouldn’t be dictated by nap times. This year seemed perfect, as just last month we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We got married on the beach, so we should celebrate our 10 years on the beach, right? Right.

There’s so much that I could say about the resort and the island, but I’ll include a few things that come to mind. Feel free to email me at april@aprilziegler.com if you have any questions. We flew from Newark, NJ. Since there were no direct flights from Philadelphia, it made more sense to us to drive a little bit further to fly out of Newark and avoid a layover. We booked with Danialle from Beach Bum Vacation and she was so wonderful to work with and a huge help whenever we had any questions or issues. I love having an actual person that I can call if I have any questions or anything comes up. Which it did when Charlotte got sick just days before we left. She was so helpful in giving me all of our options and helping me decide what to do. I definitely recommend her (email: danialle@beachbumvacation.com)!

We booked a room in the Caribbean section and were pleasantly surprised when we arrived to find out that we were upgraded to the Key West Village (Veranda House) in a Grande Luxe Concierge Room. The room was perfect for the 3 of us… it had a king size bed and a daybed. We arrived to champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and balloons in our room for our anniversary which was very sweet! The Key West Village is the newest and quietest and we really loved the more relaxed feel.

The resort is pretty large, but definitely walkable. I’d guess that it would take 15 minutes to walk from the Key West Village to the Caribbean village. We did visit each of the pools, but we didn’t spend too much time in the Caribbean or French Villages. We spent most afternoons at the pool in the Italian Village, my daughter’s favorite of the pools, which was a short walk from our room. The Italian Village pool is the largest and probably the loudest. It’s a fun place to be. We also loved the small, quiet pools in the Key West Village, especially the infinity pool right next to the Bayside. We never had a problem finding pool chairs or umbrellas/shaded areas so that we could leave the exact same shade of translucent as we arrived. And although there is a swim-up bar in the waterpark that is specifically for kids, the swim-up bars in each of the pools were always willing to make kid-friendly drinks. Charlotte recommends the chocolate monkey. And all of the restaurants offer take-out, so you can get your lunch to go and bring it back to the pool so you don’t waste valuable swimming time. Dino’s pizza is really close to the Italian pool, so that was a popular choice for us.

The food was good (not amazing, but good) and the restaurants were very accommodating to picky 5-year old eaters. All the restaurants other than Soy, the sushi place, do take out so if we wanted to go somewhere that didn’t have something that my girl liked, we’d grab something fast from Bobby Dees and bring it with us. We also loved the option of taking dessert back to the room with us after being too full to eat anything else at dinner. We loved breakfast at Sky… you can’t beat that rooftop ocean view and it was never crowded. Schooner’s breakfast was also really good! We also loved stopping in to the Cafe de Paris in the French section for little pastries and a Beaches Caramel coffee.

We did the aqua bikes, which was fun and included. There were other activities available that we didn’t do since it was nearly impossible to drag Charlotte out of the pool… Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. We also the Kitty Katt Catamaran cruise. I had heard rave reviews of the cruise so it was something that I was really excited about. It was fun but the water was way too rough for Charlotte to swim when we stopped to snorkel or do the water slide. So it’s not something that I’d recommend for little kids.

Our favorite excursion was going to the Potcake Place K9 Rescue. Potcakes are a breed of dogs that are native to the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. The rescue does great work by finding homes for these dogs. We took a taxi ride 5 minutes downtown to the rescue. We were able to take an adoptable potcake pup out for a walk and play on the beach with her. Our potcake’s name is Katie and she was energetic and so very sweet. Everyone on the beach wanted to come up and pet her (understandably) and she was soaking up all the belly rubs. Charlotte claims that her favorite part about vacation is a tie between swimming in the pool and playing with the dog. We all loved it! And I officially want a potcake now.

The beach is AMAZING! The water is unbelievable… it’s such an incredible color! I expected it to be warmer than it was, but we were there in February. It wasn’t too cold to get in, but there weren’t too many people swimming. There were always beach chairs open… I could sit and read all day with a view of that gorgeous water!

Below is a mix of a whole lotta iPhone + DSLR photos.

You know it’s going to be a great vacation when this is your view from the plane as you’re landing…

Pools and pools and pools and pools…

The photos below were taken on the Kitty Katt Catamaran cruise that I mentioned above…

Our visit to the Potcake Place…

 

Suzanne + Matt were gifted a pet photography session to capture their doberman pinscher, Sophie. It could not have been a more perfect gift for them. They adored their girl. Sophie was a fighter. She survived lymphoma and surgery that repaired a herniated disk in her neck. And despite being around 10 years old when we did her session, she was still quite the active girl… she loved walks, chasing cats, and a good game of tug-of-war (which you can see evidence of below). She was protective of her family, but never mean. Her favorite day was Sunday, when she’d get to go to her grandparents house for Sunday dinner and play with her best doggie friend, Libby. Suzanne + Matt lost Sophie last fall. I wanted to share some favorites from our session with their sweet girl…

philly pet photographer

April Ziegler is a Philly pet photographer, who specializes in Philadelphia pet photos and dog photography sessions. She services the Philadelphia, Main Line, and Philadelphia suburbs areas. To book your Philadelphia pet photo session, click HERE or contact: april@aprilziegler.com

 

 

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