…..and I have nothing to show for it. Well, there was this one photo that somehow wound up on my camera:

Crazy Joe Davolasm

Yup, that’s what happens when you (a) let Joe McNally come on vacation with you, and (b) one night you leave your camera on the dining room table. I should have known better.

There were 15 of us (my entire family, my brother in law and his family, my brother Jeff, my friends Jim Workman, Jean Kenda, and their son Kevin, and Joe McNally and his wife Annie). We were all there simply on vacation, and during the trip we’d be celebrating my 50th birthday.

Despite the fact that I have absolutely nothing to show photographically from my entire trip, I had a ball from beginning to end. First, I didn’t work a lick the entire time. My photo assistant Brad Moore covered the blog for the days I missed, along with a great guest blog from John Wright and yesterday’s hilarious one from Aaron Johnson (I’ve been a long-time What The Duck fan, and I have a custom made “What the Duck” I received as a gift from my buddy Larry Becker—that’s it below, and it’s been hanging on my office wall ever since).

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Did you really not get any shots?
I really didn’t get any shots. The guys in the office thought I was kidding, until I showed my buddy Dave Moser the few that I didn’t delete immediately upon import, and he said (his exact words) “Oh…boss. I dunno know. You’ve got three. Maybe four shots shots there. Tops.” Believe it or not, he was being very kind—I wouldn’t even post any of them. They might make a good tutorial one day on how to fix totally uninspired, snapshot-looking travel photos.

OK, I did get one shot I like (below). That’s my daughter Kira taking a shot of my brother Jeff, at sunset in the charming town of Sitges (about 30 minutes outside Barcelona), which was our vacation home for the trip.

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So what happened?
I think it was that I was way more into family, friends, and relaxation than I was into photography on this trip, and I never really got in the zone on any level. By the last day, I realized that didn’t have a single decent shot, so in desperation my brother and I drove to a European Balloon Festival he read about in Delta’s Sky magazine on the trip over. It was 30 miles away in the other direction, but sadly, I didn’t get anything  there either, as seen below (these were taken at 8:20 pm, and unfortunately the balloons headed off directly into the sun, which was already pretty low, and had just tucked behind a hazy cloud, so once again, lameness abounds).

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Funny thing is; I’m totally OK with it. I had just finished two books—back to back—and what I really needed was some time to recharge, and I totally did that. Besides, football season is right around the corner. :)

Didn’t you go shooting with Joe?
Yup. One day Joe and Annie took me on a birthday photo trip to a little medieval town about 30 miles outside of Barcelona. There was this beautiful river lined with old buildings that looked like it would be cool to shoot. As luck would have it; the river was dry. You couldn’t paddle a canoe down it. It kinda killed the shot, so we spent most of the time just laughing and just walking around and checking things out.

On the way there, Annie had spotted a huge field of daises just off the highway, so we left early to try and catch a few shots (hoping to save the day), but when we pulled up alongside them, we could see from the highway, that they were kind of wilted, and turned away from the sun. But undeterred we took the next exit and went searching for more sunflowers. About 15 minutes down the road we found a field that looked better—-on private property—which apparently has never stopped Joe or Annie, so we “snuck” our Audi rental car into the field, kind of behind the tall daisies, but still somewhat in sight of the three farm houses surrounding it.

I really didn’t want to wind up in a Spanish jail, so I told Joe and Annie, let’s get in, shoot a few shots, kind of lay low, and we get out. So I’m out there shooting, Annie’s shooting, and I look over at Joe, who is wearing a bright red shirt mind you, and (I am not making this up) he is literally standing on top of the car shooting. We looked over and Annie and I burst into laughter. I have never had more fun getting lame shots of daisies (though Annie absolutely got a few great ones).

So the trip was a bust?
Not all at. Although I didn’t get a shot, I had one of the best vacations ever, despite the fact that I left my camera unattended long enough that Joe got ahold of it. I wish he had gone out and taken some shots with it—-at least I’d have something to show here.

So, I’m back. I’m tan, rested, and ready (OK, I’m not tan, but the rest is true), and I’m totally ready to get back to work and do whatever it is that I do (though a lot of people around here still don’t quite know what that is). ;-)  Thanks to Brad for covering for me, and thanks to you guys for being here again. It’s great to go on vacation, but it’s always great to be back home, too.