Archive for the 'Florida' Category

by mkeefe on Jul 5th, 2015

A different kind of vacation

As some of you know I just returned from a vacation to Florida with my family. However this vacation was a little different. Rather than spend a few weeks at Disney and other attractions, we rented a car and decided to drive to local beaches, Miami and Key West. Overall we enjoyed Miami, good food, nice cars, okay beaches (more on this later) and nice atmosphere.

From Miami we drove to Key West and while it was great seeing the southern most point (the Buoy), Key West really didn’t live up to our expectations. We did enjoy it, just not as much as I had hoped. The highlight of this portion of the trip was visiting the Key West Pie Company (from CNBCs The Profit), which as you’d imagine has amazing key lime pie.

Rather than staying in Key West we drove back to Orlando in about 7 hours and started the second half of our vacation. When the time came to visit Disney and other parks I decided to leave the camera, GoPro and iPhone photography at home. Reason being, I wanted to experience the vacation as it happened. The result? A much more enjoyable and connected vacation with my family. While looking at photos of Space Mountain and Mickey spotting is fun, i’ve found social media and FOMO results in our actually missing the true point of an vacation/event. We do of course have some photos from key moments and I know my wife took some candid photos.

Now, the other goal of this vacation was to visit various beaches throughout Florida and I can say we accomplished that. We swam/sunned at beaches in Venice, Miami, Key West and Sarasota. For Venice, our favorite beach was Caspersen, an out-of-the-way beach just beside an airport. This beach had lovely water, a seafood restaurant and great sand (though very hot in July!). Miami beaches were okay, though crowded and dirty overall. For Key West, our first beach was closed because of Red Tide but we did find a nice family beach, Fort Zachary Taylor which had food, picnic tables and massive amounts of beachfront.

The best beach out of all of those was actually one in Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach. This had Caribbean white sand, a large beach front for visitors, food onsite, facilities and a playground for kids. We ended up spending about 5 hours at this beach and cannot wait to go back on our next vacation.

Overall this vacation was a blast, a little deviation (both the photos and inner-state travel) but one i’m glad we did. I look forward to taking similar vacations in other places around this country. The goal of a vacation is to have fun, not just visit the main attractions everyone does. All told in 10 days we drove over 2500 miles and visited 7 towns/cities throughout Florida.

by mkeefe on Jan 3rd, 2011

A look back on 2010

Just as soon as it began 2010 is now in the history books. Let me take a moment to reflect on some notable things that took place in 2010, both professional and personal.

It technically began in 2009 but on New Years eve I went to a Dane Cook show with my now girlfriend and what a show it was.

Fast forward to February which included a vacation to the Caribbean with family and friends where I was unaware at the time I would be doing the majority of my photography for the year. Overall the cruise was a great start to the New Year! I highly recommend you go on one at least once in your life.

The majority of Spring I spent working on various freelance projects and with awesome teams around the world. One notable project I got the opportunity to work on in the Spring was an interactive training module for an oil company, though I can’t speak any specifics on that project I can say it was fun!

Towards the start of summer I was invited to a Red Sox game where i’m almost certain no one remembers the score, but thats how you know it was a great time. As summer marched on I took a small break to Florida to see family and friends for a few days but ended up working on a bunch of projects while there.. kind of typical in the life of a freelancer.

When I returned home in late July I started officially working as a Flash developer with Litl in Boston where I had the opportunity to work on awesome Flash projects for their Litl webbook and other upcoming hardware. This was also the first time I had responded to a cold call from a talent agent, but something about Aquent (their parent) struck me right. I am still enrolled with Aquent and highly recommend them to professionals looking for new work or a new career.

In the Fall I flew out to Vegas for the annual PhotoshopWorld and got to meet a bunch of great people, including some I had spoke with via email/chat for the last few years. Rather than flying back home from Vegas I decided to make a stop in Colorado and spent some time with friends roughing it in the woods and shooting guns, two hobbies of mine.

When I finally returned home from my Vegas/Colorado travels I only had a few short weeks before I was on a plane to attend Adobe MAX for the first time in my life. Looking back I can’t believe I waited so long but I certainly picked the right MAX to attend with all the goodies given away by Google, Motorola, Adobe and even Blackberry. While in LA I also got the opportunity to speak at a mini conference on the subject of Flash mobile, which was a great time and can’t wait to speak again.

After returning home from MAX I decided to work on a few personal goals and in doing so I got my motorcycle permit, took a class and ended up receiving my motorcycle license. I also obtained (after much hoop jumping) my LTC gun permit. Don’t be concerned though, I am not running off to join a motorcycle club/gang.. I just love guns and bikes.

On a strictly personal topic I also celebrated 6 months with my girlfriend, got to spend the holidays together and even celebrated the arrival of 2011 on the Boston waterfront with friends this past weekend.

I also took a 13 day vacation to where else? Florida! I imagine one day I will move there, I guess we’ll see.

In all 2010 was a great year, I progressed my business towards bigger and better projects, checked off personal achievements and got to travel around the country. This of course only means 2011 will be even bigger and I am not wasting any time either. In early 2011 I am launching a bunch of website applications, mobile apps/updates and opening a new company with my good friend Phil whose graphics work you have seen in much of my client work for many years now.

So there you have it, how was your 2010? Lets hear it.. and on to 2011 and all it has in store for us all.

by mkeefe on Jun 26th, 2009

Photographers Block

After just returning from a 10 day vacation in Florida I noticed I took a dismal 150 photos. That averages to 15 photos a day, which is basically pathetic. I used to take more photos with my iPhone while running errands. Okay, so I looked back on the trip and tried to figure out how I ended up with so few photos. Well to start I was sick a few of the days, but that only accounts for a small percentage of the trip. The first two days of the trip was spent visiting with a friend which meant I didn’t bring my camera because i’d have to lock it up in lockers while running around Universal.

With these days accounted for I still am left with half of my vacation allowing me time to take numerous photos, but that simply didn’t happen. In fact, the last two days of my vacation was when I took some photos while at the beach and in the city. The only really good photo moment was when I visited Punta Gorda beach with a family member and we set up a impromptu photo shoot in the park and on the playground.

So, basically I am wondering if I could have planned more days for photography or should really reconsider lugging all of this camera gear anytime I leave. Especially since TSA is really starting to get annoyed with all the wires and accessories packed in my bag.

What do you guys think, do you tend to carry the camera more than you use it? Also, have you thought of getting a smaller kick around camera that you could throw in your luggage and not be so worried about losing?

by mkeefe on Dec 22nd, 2008

A true vacation

Just returning from a real vacation in almost 6 months I figured I would write about it. Beware, there is only a bit of tech geekery within this posting! This trip had two parts, and in fact it all started at the Apple store.. go figure.

Before I took off last Thursday (Dec. 11th) I headed to the Apple store to pick up a new MacBook Pro, and so far I am very pleased with it.. more on that in another post.

I jetted (via JetBlue) to Orlando on Friday Dec. 12th to spend a few days with my mom. Seeing as this was Disney country we needed to see at least one park, which this trip was Hollywood studios. Overall I liked the park, the Lights, Motors, Action show and Aerosmith ride were cool for sure. However, for the holiday season, the Osborne holiday light spectacular was the highlight here.

Once the weekend was over I headed to Port Charlotte ( a real hopping town 😉 ) where the focus of the week was photography. My cousin had requested I set up a photo shoot for her as an early 20th birthday present, so thats what we did. After realizing how much Muslin (fabric) cost locally we opted for a remote photo shoot in Sarasota and Venice, which I will post in a few days, probably after the holidays.

We did end up shooting a few other places for fun as well (since we seem to both share a hobby of photography). However, one of the most interesting mini-trips was to Anna Maria Island. Ever see those movies of small towns where everyone knows each other and loves the community aspect of it all? No? Well go to Anna Maria Island, its happening still.

Once we arrived on the island via an hour car ride, Teisha, my cousin took me on a memories trip to her old houses and other various places. We grabbed lunch at this cafe on the beach where I had one of the best white fish sandwiches I have ever encountered. We ended the day trip at a little local ice cream shop where my cousin used to go, so it was interesting to go back. I actually met a gentleman who knew my childhood friend Andrew and even attended his memorial bike run, which was very cool to me (small world).

On the last weekend I went to dinner with the family at a Japanese restaurant and had a great bunch of sushi and hibachi goodness. So much so that we had to take it back home, but it was sooo good (almost as good as the real thing).

On Saturday (the last full day) I got the chance once again to attend church with my cousin, where I actually went to school when I was much younger.. and people still know me. After church there was this beach gathering with food, friends and water.. and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

On Sunday (travel day) I got stuck at Ft. Myers airport due to Boston weather conditions, but ended up arriving at about 2:30. It is great to be back home for the holidays and I am sure I will be going back to Florida soon enough, its where the other half of my family is!

by mkeefe on Nov 29th, 2008

Florida in December – Twice

That’s right, I am going to Florida this fall (next week) for some family related stuff and then again a week later for a vacation. You would think I dislike the weather up here in Boston or something. :)

I am basically blogging about it in case you intend to conduct business or ask me a question in the next few weeks. At this point based on my schedule and the holidays I am guessing I will be unavailable until the first of the year, or very late December at the earliest.

Have a Happy Holiday with your friends and family!

Oh, and do you have a techy (geek) on your Christmas list? Why not pick up a copy of the Flash and PHP Bible, written by yours truly :) Link to the right of this post.