A Day by the River

The rain was on the way over the “River City.” One to be seated on a stone wall overlooking downtown Jacksonville and the whole of the city along the St. John’s River has been a site I’ve come to love and enjoy. In fact, this particular location called Riverside Park has become my oasis. After four long ten-hour shifts at my warehouse job and hours on hours being around people, noise, and city life, I need the silence and natural beauty to fill me with peace.

In a previous post, I once talked about how my depression began years ago and one of the things that helped me deal with it was travel. By disappearing away from my everyday life and being somewhere where no one knows who I am or even cares help me to be able to sort out the mess in my head. Spending time in the scenic beauty is like a restart button. Riverside Park has become my new restart button. It is closer to home unlike my other getaway, the Fort George Inlet, and still delivers the same results.

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Downtown Jacksonville, Florida.

In the beginning, whenever I visited this park, I would walk the entire boardwalk. This boardwalk is popular because you get to visit all the fun stops along the way. For example, you have easy access to the YMCA building off to the left-hand side without having to drive all the way around. You can climb the large hill that takes you over the FEC Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge where you can watch the trains travel across a double track over the river.

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FEC Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge

From the bridge, it’s a straight shot to the Jacksonville Landing, one of the city’s gems.

With summer here, it’s far too hot most days to take that long stroll. Its perfect for all the joggers who like to jog back and forth. As for me, I simply sit underneath the pillars holding up the Fuller Warren Bridge and look out in both directions of the St. John’s River. On the weekends, the river is usually loaded with boats, yachts, and jet skis. If you catch it on a good day as I have, you simply enjoy the stillness and beauty of a river at low tide.

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Pillars holding up the Fuller Warren Bridge

If I have enough time in my day and don’t feel like going home, I often take myself a drive around the city I already know well enough and try and see whatever else I can see. On this day I was able to capture the Hart Bridge in all its glory and capture some rain clouds creeping over the city ready to rain down on us.

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Hart Bridge

Riverside Park is the place to be if you’re looking for a place to hold events or go for a stroll or jog, but it is my place to be when the world has become a little too much and I need to get away.

As always… find your adventure! ❤

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Instagram: @pinkchroma

Travel Art: Turn Your Travel Photos into Photoshop Art

The beauty of digital photography today is the endless possibilities of creation you can make with a photo taken with a digital camera. Ever since I was little, I always loved the way photos could be manipulated to be something other than what they originally are. Unlike photos on film or polaroids, digital photos can become anything the imagination wants it to be. Want your photo to be black and white? CLICK! One click on a filter and it is done. God bless the Digital Age, right?

I use Google Photos to back up my travel photos because of the unlimited storage and the ease to share, edit, and create photo projects all in one place while still being connected to my other Google Apps. Also, it’s convenient to be able to log into any device or computer and have access to my photos. Anyway, I was browsing through my albums of all the places I’ve been and thought I could change up a couple of these photos to make them a little more fun, while preserving the originals of course. Besides, I have an Associates Degree in Digital Media and photoshop has always been my addiction so why not!

Colorful Heights
COLORFUL HEIGHTS – Tybee Island Lighthouse | Tybee Island, GA, 2017
Golden Skies
GOLDEN SKIES – Dames Pointe Bridge | Jacksonville, FL, 2017
Ruins Against the Sky
RUINS AGAINST THE SKY – Cumberland Island | St. Marys, GA 2017
Through the Brush
THROUGH THE BRUSH – Alexander Springs Recreation Area | Altoona, FL 2018
Winged Messenger
WINGED MESSENGER – Riverside Memorial Park | Jacksonville, FL, 2018
Costal Grave
COSTAL GRAVE – Big Talbot Island State Park | Jacksonville, FL 2017

Because my Macbook Pro doesn’t have a CD drive, I haven’t been able to install my photoshop software onto my mac, but I do use the amazing PIXLR website, a free photo editing software. I’ve used it to design birthday cards, film posters, business cards, and other advertisements and projects. The mobile app is slightly better because it has more artistic filters you can use. For example, the photo below was done through the mobile app. Only the mobile app has the “painter’s” filter such as brushstrokes, watercolor, acrylic painting filters. (NOTE: Pixlr works best through Google Chrome, Safari causes it to crash and freeze up.)

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Pixlr mobile app, watercolor filter

If you’re looking to have a little fun to share on your social media pages, try out Pixlr. It’s easy to use and fun. On the website, you can use two different versions, the EXPRESS for easy filters, borders, text, and stickers. Or you can use EDITOR where you can design your photos by layer (usually for those who knows in depth about photoshop).

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Let the creation begin!

 

FourSquare: Fun Way to Become a Neighborhood Expert

When FourSquare first came out, I don’t believe anyone took it too serious. Facebook was the hot commodity and nothing else mattered. FourSquare popped up in the middle of the social media craze when everyone was designing some kind of social community for users to do different things. No matter what website you go to nowadays, they want you to make a profile or an account. Even companies like Fresh Step kitty liter and Colgate toothpaste wants you to make an account (mostly for emails but still) just so you can be apart of the hype of their brand and products.

My brother signed up for it and played along. I didn’t care for it so I ignored it for a few years. Last year, when I began building my travels and blogging, I thought about websites or apps I could use for city guides and ways to write reviews of my travels. And wouldn’t you know it, FourSquare was first to pop up in my iPhone’s App Store. I had to laugh, it was like it was just waiting for the perfect moment to get me on board. I finally made an account (like the social media sucker I am) and began logging in my travel, reviews, and photos. The best part about the app is that it runs idle in the background so it is keeping up with everywhere you go. It saves your locations in the history section so you can go back later and write your reviews.

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My profile. =D

Usually all you have to do is just type in a place or something specific you’re interested in like food, nightlife, shopping, ect. Next, type in the city or state, or place you want to go and BOOM! You have options. The page opens up with side-by-side view with a map and listings. In the listings you can see a photo, read descriptions, reviews (aka tips) and see a rating from previous visitors. The world is your oyster. Literally.

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Food in Jacksonville, FL.

Other awesome perks included:

  • Creating lists to build your own city guide for when you travel.
  • Plan a trip with friends based on trip tips you and your friends create.
  • Up and Down vote other user’s review tips.
  • Under the “tastes” tab, you can personally add what you like (everything from food to movies) to help FourSquare better understand what you might be interested in.

As I mentioned earlier, through FourSquare’s app, it runs in the background (per your request) to track your location GPS. It records your locations in HISTORY so that you can go back later and rate/review the places you’ve been for others to see and vote upon.

 

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History only available on app.

My final awesome feature also available on the app is the record of your expertise. As you visit places and review them, you earn expertise points. Since I love visiting national and state parks, it’s understandable why I have the most expertise in that particular area.  I haven’t been using it very long so I’m still in the process of building up all my ratings.

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Now, if you’re a die-hard review critic of places far and wide and want to put your skills to the test with friends, try out FourSquare new app, FourSquare Swarm. It’s the perfect check-in app where you can document your locations which helps the app to build the perfect suggestions for you to try out on your own. You can share your experiences with friends and so much more!

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I’d recommend FourSquare for the use of an easy city guide and quick review. As a small time traveller (for now) it works perfect for my budgeted trips. Anyone can become a neighborhood expert with FourSquare. Go try it out!

Booking.com: An App that Makes Sleeping Much Easier

I remember seeing the hilarious Booking.com commercial and thinking, “I should check this out.” It wasn’t until my mother and I needed a last minute hotel booking is when it really came in handy.
What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is a site where you can find, review, and book hotels anywhere in the world. You simply type in a location and you can view all the available rooms within a radius of your designation.
Why this app compared to others?
I don’t know about anyone else, but simple is always the best way to go, especially when traveling. The last thing anyone wants is to stress over where you’ll be laying your head down at night. That was always the issue with my mother and me when we traveled, especially finding something at last minute. Too tired to research hotels, we usually settle for whatever is open. BAD IDEA! We’ve ended up with rooms with roaches or fleas. With booking.com we can read reviews in an instant, and check out the star ratings so we can know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into. The downloadable app is super easy to use and book in minutes. When we get to the hotel we just pull up our confirmation and boom, sleep easy.
What is your fave feature in the app?
My all time favorite feature is the part where you get to be the reviewer. I can take my own photos of the building and the room, upload them and show them to others who are planning to use the room. I think this feature is the best because it shows the truth rather than looking at a modeled room with professional photography. Another fave feature is the live feed of the rooms, the hotel posts bounce and dance right before your eyes so you can see if a customer just reserved a room in real time. This gives you a chance to see update feeds on the vacancy of rooms instead of seeing ten rooms available one minute and two minutes later they’re all gone.
How to use it?
Download the awesome app, make a profile, fill in your information and begin your search to anywhere in the world.
App or Online?
I’d say either way you prefer is great. The app is just as simple as the website. The interface is bold and inspirational as if to invite you into the world of travel with comfort, easy, and less stress.