2019 in Review (a little late)

2019 was a tragic and heart shattering year.  It began with a trip to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.  I was gone for 18 days with people I didn’t know, on an adventure tour through Intrepid Travel.  After a short introduction to Santiago, Chile…

We took a bus across the Andes

And spent a couple of days at a ranch in Argentina.  I took this time to recuperate from the worst intestinal bug I’d ever experienced.  I had a doctor come to my hotel room because I was so ill and dehydrated.  When you go through the loss of a loved one, it manifests itself physically in addition to emotionally.

We then moved onto Mendoza, Argentina (wine country), which was gorgeous.

Buenos Aires was next on the agenda.  Very vibrant and busy!

Next, we visited the amazing Iguazu Falls, from both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides.

Finally, we arrived in Rio de Janerio, Brazil…

It was an interesting trip, but I didn’t feel like myself.  A week after arriving home, I flew to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for the annual Urban Adventures conference, and was ill there also.

In May, I moved to my lovely condo with a beautiful view of the skyline of Cincinnati from the Clubhouse/pool.

I began online dating and was beginning to feel more settled, when my only child, my beautiful boy, Justin passed in July.  If you’re a parent, it’s your worst nightmare.  This is the last photo of he and I taken 3 weeks before his passing.

Unless you’ve lost a child, you can’t fathom the suffering, pain, and grief you go through. He was my universe, my heart. Eleven days later I went on a solo 1,000-mile road trip to Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Toronto.  I was trying to distract myself from the horrific grief.

Detroit, Michigan
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Toronto, Canada

I continued with the travels…next was Three Oaks, Michigan with my girlfriend for a long weekend, where we explored Indiana Dunes State Park.

I climbed Mt. Leconte (3,000 ft. elevation change – 11 miles roundtrip) with a friend

And on the way home, met another friend at Red River Gorge, where I spread my son’s ashes at Whittleton Arch Trail.  He used to love going hiking/camping there.

I led a group on a hike nearby my condo.  I found some solace in the woods.

My next trip was to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, and Death Valley Nat’l Park, California with a friend.

Palm Springs, CA
Joshua Tree Nat’l Park, CA
Death Valley Nat’l Park, CA
Death Valley Nat’l Park, CA

I finished the year with a trip to Cape Coral/Ft. Myers, Florida

I discovered the travel was a temporary shallow distraction, but I continued searching for beauty.

In between the travel, I was working hard continuing to build my company, Cincinnati Urban Adventures. We were having a great year – 2,500 passengers and I now had 7 freelance Tour Guides.

I grieved for my son and sometimes I would feel guilty that I wasn’t grieving for my husband as much. It’s odd that there’s a name for someone who has lost their spouse “widow” and lost their parents “orphan”, but the grief is so heavy and heart-wrenching, there is no word for a parent who has lost their child (only child for me – with no hopes of being a biological Grandmother).

2017 in Review (a little late)

2017 began with me on assignment at the Casino in Cincinnati for Cincinnati Refined.  A very colorful and loud party to photograph.

I continued finding much joy taking photos in my free time…like the sunrise captured in this church window a couple of minutes from our place in the country.

and Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati at night…

The Licking Riverside Historic District in Covington, Kentucky with a beautiful view of Cincinnati’s skyline.

Get-togethers with friends…

Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio

Family time…

My brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and niece.

I was busy growing my new business, Cincinnati Urban Adventures.  Friends accompanied me on trial runs for some of the tours.

The Carew Tower, Cincinnati, Ohio

My husband, son, and a girlfriend were models on my Over-the-Rhine Sights and Bites tour for my website.

I hired a few models for my Beyond the River tour in Covington, Kentucky.

Here are some of the photos shoots I did for Cincinnati Refined…

Cumberland Falls, Kentucky
Eighteen at the Radisson – a revolving restaurant on top of the Radisson Hotel
Cabana on the River, Cincinnati, Ohio
Diner en Blanc (everyone wears white and brings everything for the party including chairs/tables, decorations, food, drinks)
Taste of Cincinnati, an annual event
The Renaissance Festival
The Circus School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Danger Wheel
The Thanksgiving Day Race – I got up very early to be downtown in time and it was cold!
The La Boheme Opera at the Aronoff Center in Downtown, Cincinnati

I began managing an Airbnb located in Covington, Kentucky…

I had a few photo shoots for my own company, Sherry Lachelle Photography. A senior photo shoot…

A family photo shoot…

I was the Tour Guide and Photographer for a wedding with 40 people.  It was 5 hours long, but everything went smoothly.

And I photographed my first gay wedding – 2 beautiful ladies.

I attended an annual weeklong Urban Adventures meeting in Portugal and arranged a trip to follow for a few friends.  They met me in Lisbon, Portugal, where we saw the sights for a few days before moving on to Seville and Granada, Spain.

The La Alhambra, Granada, Spain
The Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Cheers – Salud!

My husband and I were able to get away to Florida for a week in December.

As you can see, my year was very busy, filled mostly with photography and growing my business, with a little travel sprinkled in.

Little Nashville Newport, Kentucky

I recently had a photo shoot assignment for iSPYCincy (now known as “Cincinnati Refined”) at Little Nashville Newport in Kentucky.  The establishment is fairly new and the Band that night was Aly’ Ann.  I didn’t take my tripod, but still managed to capture a few good shots of the lead singers.  I’ve been to the “real” Nashville and this was the next best thing!

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Why you should visit Cave Run Lake in Kentucky

Cave Run Lake in Kentucky is absolutely gorgeous!  My husband and I met friends there on Thursday for a few days of camping and boating.  We’ve been there before, but I didn’t remember it being so picturesque.  We used to camp a lot before we moved to the house we’re in now, but with five acres of land and trees surrounding us, we feel like we’re camping without the tent.  Camping is a wonderful way for families to enjoy the great outdoors and each other.  My son loved it growing up!  We’ve camped at many of the area lakes located within a three to four hour drive from Cincinnati…Lake Cumberland and Laurel Lake in Kentucky and Norris Lake in Tennessee, not to mention those within an hour drive…East Fork Lake and Caesar’s Creek near Cincinnati, and Brookville Lake in Indiana.  Cave Run is a little over two hours from our home, which makes it a great option.

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Collecting Barns

I love barns and whenever I come across an interesting one, I take a photograph…so I guess you could say I’m collecting barns!  I’d like to share them with you!

This one was taken in Hillsboro, Ohio…

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Camp Springs Winery in Kentucky is home to this one…

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My Old Kentucky Home

Had a great weekend!  Went 4-wheeling/gun shootin/fishin and of course photographing in Kentucky at my husband’s cousin’s cabin.  My son and his girlfriend joined us and we brought our dog “Jake” for the first time on a car trip longer than 30 minutes.  It was a 3 hour trip and he panted the entire way there.  Next time I think we need some doggie downers!  He had such a good time exploring the property and tracking all of the smells…the ride was worth it!

Here’s some of the land surrounding the cabin…

After unpacking the vehicles…I made sandwiches for them and had a huge salad for myself.  They snacked on organic cheeries/grapes/strawberries/blackberries and celery/carrots/apple with hummus.  I tried a trick with the apple that I found on Pinterest…cut the apple and put a rubber band around it so it won’t brown.

Then…it was time for the 4-wheelin fun!  We used to own 4-wheelers but sold them about 10 years ago…so it was a treat to get to ride again.  Here’s my son and his girlfriend looking like “The Terminator”…

After taking a quick ride, my husband and I went for a hike.  We walked in the glorious sunshine and stopped occasionally for me to take some photos…

We came up through the woods to find our way back to the cabin…

Then it was time for more photo fun…

I like it when people aren’t afraid of looking silly!

The porch had a lovely view of the fishing pond and was a great place to kick back!

This was calling my name….”take my picture—please”!

We did lots of target shooting!

A different perspective.

I brought along the ingredients for Se-mores…but I was good and only had a chocolate bar!  The next morning the lighting was different so I took this photo of the cabin…

We went fishing and I caught one.  This photo is of my son taken from the cabin with my zoom lens…

Jake wanted to ride in my lap for a few minutes on the drive home…

It was a wonderful weekend and we’re blessed to have our family and such a wonderful place to visit!  I hope you had  a great one too!

Lexington…by day and night

To finish the walking tour of Lexington, Kentucky from yesterday’s post…this is the First Baptist Church.  I just LOVE the colors of this church…the pink and red just POP!

Resting and soaking up some Kentucky sunshine!!

We walked through the local farmer’s market which was located in the “Cheapside Park” area.  This had been the site of slave auctions and abolitionists’ passionate speeches!

We ate at Cheapside Bar & Grille.  Here’s a photo of my hamburger with caramelized onions and bleu cheese!

Next…we went to the Barrelhouse Distillery and had samples of their Pure Blue Vodka, Devil John Moonshine and Rum.  Woowee!!  We also received a quick run-down of how you make alcohol.

After arriving back at the VRBO, we took our time snacking, drinking and primping!  We had fun with our photo shoot…

That night we went to Bogarts at the Crown Plaza Hotel.  We got there too early and it was mostly people in their 70’s!  Then we went to a new nightclub called “Trust”.  It was too hoigty toity…so we went to the Skybar.  It was fun, but we never found the bar that quite fit us!

“Fall” in Love with Lexington

On the second day of our girls’ weekend, we went for a two mile…self-guided walking tour of downtown Lexington, Kentucky.  As you can see it was a glorious “fall” day!

Some of the sites we passed were the First Baptist Church, Mary Todd Lincoln‘s house, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, and many more…

This is “Gratz Park”…with lots of beautiful historic homes lining the streets surrounding this Park!

This is the old Courthouse…

 

Transylvania University is the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains and the campus is beautiful!

Tomorrow, I’ll finish our walking tour…see you then!!

Big Bone Lick State Park and Elk Creek Winery

I’ve always wanted to check out Big Bone Lick State Park!  My girlfriend – Gina – wanted us to go to Elk Creek Winery in Owenton, Kentucky (less than an hour’s drive from Cincinnati), so we stopped by Big Bone on the way.  There are some hiking trails and a campground there.

 

We didn’t stay long and were on our way to Elk Creek.  This is Gina…

The winery was gorgeous!  They have a bed and breakfast, a restaurant (with good food…I had the veggie sandwich), live entertainment, and a large bar.

There was a wedding going on at the winery…

 

This is where we were sitting…

 

You get 5 wine tastings for either $5 or from the better wines…$8.  These are some photos from the winery…

 

It was a beautiful day and a great way to spend it!

 

What girls do on a girls’ weekend

 

This weekend I went on my annual girls’ weekend with my friends Sherry, Gina and Dee.  This was Dee’s first trip with us.  The tradition started almost 20 years ago with a trip to Put-n-Bay and the destinations have included Myrtle Beach, Red River Gorge, Ky, Indianapolis, Shawnee Nat’l Forest,  and Nashville, to name a few.  Typically, we would find a cabin with a hot tub and the weekend consisted of eating, drinking, talking and hiking.  But more recently we’ve been heading to cities for sight-seeing and listening to bands.  I’m usually in charge of finding the accommodations and booked a 3 bedroom condo in the Highlands section of Louisville for the weekend that I found through VRBO online.  It was in a great location, within walking distance to restaurants, boutiques and a large park with walking trails.

The Highlands reminds me of Yellowsprings, Ohio.  It was an eclectic blend of boutiques selling handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, books and wares from around the world; cozy coffee shops, a yoga studio, art galleries, and many restaurants that varied from Indian to Asian.

 

This painting caught my eye in one of the shops!

 

 

An interesting sign…

 

 

While walking down the street we were stopped by a local T.V. reporter wondering if we’d be interested in giving our opinion on pornography pop-ups on the internet.  So…being it was a new experience…I volunteered.  I don’t remember most of the questions, but I’ll be able to view it on their website.

 

We had fun trying hats on in one of the shops…a little pricey for me at $190 per hat!

 

 

 

It was a beautiful fall weekend for our escape…so we went hiking in Cherokee Park.

 

 

We went to a bar that caters to the over 40 crowd called Jim Porter’s Good Times Emporium.  Boasting three live bands (Pop, Rock and Blues) we had a great time dancing most of the evening!  Our husbands don’t particularly enjoy dancing…so we indulged ourselves!

 


The following evening we dressed for Halloween and our first stop was 4th Street Live in downtown Louisville.

 

 

We stopped a man on the street to take our photo before we left the condo…he was a bit shaky I believe!  As you can see, Gina was a girl scout!  But what was remarkable about it, was that it was her uniform from when she was 9 years old!

 

 

After having a very tasty dinner at the Red Star Tavern, our plan was to party downtown…but it seemed a little dead…so we took a taxi back to Jim Porter’s.

 

 

 

 

Being “Supergirl” I had to pick someone up, so I chose this girl…but the photo turned out too blurry to post!

 

 

This girl “the naked girl costume” won third place in the contest at Jim Porter’s.  I didn’t think it appropriate to take a picture of the front, although it wasn’t real!

 

 

 

 

My husband thought I should call this post “Cougar’s Weekend”!  Hope you had a Happy Halloween!