» Galax, Hillsville, Independence, Blacksburg, New River Valley, Christiansburg, Virginia Child, Family, Portrait, Wedding Photographer

For over a year I’ve been dreaming about taking the boys on a Disney cruise. The beginning of December when the Christmas spirit kicks in I decided to myself (not consulting Nick) that we are going to take the boys after Christmas. After looking several times over the past year at the Disney Cruise line website I finally start digging deep and looking to see when the least expensive time to go is. After figuring that out I was ready to pitch it to the hubs. “Nick I think I can get us there for X amount of $. We should just booked it. I’ll credit card it and pay it off this summer. yay? right? Sounds good? Please? PLEASE!!!?”

His response….”We’ll we really don’t need to spend that money now. It’s Christmas and we’ll be spending a lot anyway.” That was it. He walked off without a reaction at all.

Disney crushed in 2 seconds.

I keep surfing the web, and crunching numbers. How much lower could I possibly get this? My wheels were turning and Nick knew it. “Corey, promise me you won’t book anything until we talk more after Christmas.”

“um I’m not promising but of course we’ll talk about it more.”

“Corey, Promise me. Really promise. I know how you are, you’ll probably go ahead and book it anyway. Promise you won’t.”

playfully responding I reply, “Not promising. ”:)I wouldn’t have really booked it without fully agreeing but it’s always fun teasing him.

his response, “OKAY FINE, You want to know what I got you and the boys for Christmas? A Disney Cruise. Now you know and you don’t get a surprise on Christmas, Hope you’re happy.”

“WHAT!!!?? Yes I’m happy!! I don’t need a surprise on Christmas! AHHHH!” Best gift ever!


Thanks to Matt Hawks with Rasta Matt’s Travel / https://www.facebook.com/rastamattstravel  we had the vacation of a life time. Forgive the quality of the images. Even though I love having the control my professional camera gives me, traveling with it is like having a 3rd child. I’m worried about it 24/7! So although the backup Nikon made the trip with us, it stayed packed the entire time and I only took photos with my iphone.


Because I know you are probably not reading all this and already to the slideshow I’m just gonna list a few of the highlights.

We felt like we were first class the entire time. Luggage was taken at the airport in Raleigh and we didn’t see it again till we got in our room on the ship. Because we were traveling as a family we got to board Southwest before the other passengers. And since Southwest doesn’t do assigned seats anymore we had our pick. Once on board, our room stayed spotless. It was cleaned every morning while we were out and every evening when we went to dinner.

The staff was amazing! All smiles all the time. All kid friendly.

Everything was rated PG. I wasn’t worried once about the kids hearing a cuss word, seeing something they shouldn’t have, or explaining things that shouldn’t have to be to a 2 and 5 year old. Families were everywhere and anytime I thought we were having a melt down I would glance around and see someone just a little louder of a cryer than we had.;)

I downloaded the app for the ship. Talk about handy. The first day I hearted all the activities I thought we might like to do. Then the entire trip my phone would vibrate 10 minutes before the favorite and we could either decide to go or pass.

Although we only watched one movie (The Incredibles) while onboard. The room had tons of Disney movies to watch on demand. The kids had bunk beds, chocolate and a towel animal laid out for them every night.

The shows and food were amazing! For breakfast we choose Micky waffles every morning along with eggs, fruit, bacon, sausage and any other breakfast food you could think of. After dinner every night the servers would bring the boys an ice cream Micky and us some sort of tasty desert.

Meeting the characters was magical. To Abe and Lane they were so real.

Getting off at Nassau, we went to Atlantis. The aquariums were beautiful, the beach white and the water crystal clear.

At Disney’s private island we rode bikes, played on the beach, in the water and had barbecue lunch.

On the ship the pools were the perfect height for the boys. The water slide was just enough to scare Abe but make him love it. The squirt zone was one of the favorites too. They seemed to have plenty of child watching services but we stuck together.

We didn’t feel like dorks dressed up for pirate night. Everywhere we turned we saw pirates!

Between the fireworks, the warm weather and the amazing food I felt like it was the 4th of July in January.

The only bad part of the whole trip was realizing when we got home Lane expected me to cook him up some Mickey waffles.

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I was so busy this summer, fall and early winter that I stopped blogging. Time to get back at it and caught up a little. While everything now is brown, the colors in these photos remind me why I love fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

THIS COUPLE!! My favorite uproar of the year! They were pronounced husband and wife and every single one of their friends and family were on their feet whooping like their favorite team had just scored a touch down in the Super Bowl! Keri and Cody not only sweet to each other but also to everyone they meet. Good’ole Grayson County couple that has the dedication and love for a lifetime of happiness with each other. 

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I laughed out loud while editing Brandon and Alicia’s wedding. It brought back so many fun memories of their wedding day for me so I only hope when they look at all their images they smile, laugh, and makes their knees week. These two are the type of people I immediately like. Out going, funny, and not afraid to be themselves. Check out more of their wedding photos on Winterberry’s facebook page at the link below.



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