Dancing Girls See, Dancing Girls Do!

A few weeks ago, I took three days off work and enjoyed a tiny vacation with my oldest sister. We took a ride on a paddle-wheel riverboat, enjoyed a dinosaur art installation in Harrisburg, and visited Atlantic City on a day that was quite windy, with beautiful clouds.

It is my custom to make several photo books each year, but I hadn't made one since January. I often buy my photo book vouchers through Groupon and LivingSocial. MyPublisher is a favorite photo book vendor, and they have a deal available through Groupon now, but I've already purchased my allotted number of those. ("Sorry, purchase not possible. You've already reached the maximum allowed for this deal.")

But somehow several vouchers came my way at just the right time. And so it was that the week after my sister's and my adventure, I created not just ONE but TWO photo books. The one on the right is book #26, made through York Photo Labs. The one on the left is book #27, made through MyPublisher.

I am also currently working on book #28, a little book of trees, which I began in March but back-burnered for a time when my photo library crashed on March 24th. I have been meaning to make a tree book for a very long time, and hope I can finish it up before the voucher expires at end of day on this coming Thursday.

Now, as you can see, somebody else has gotten into the game. Isn't a vacation what EVERY girl wants? Every girl of every size (and maybe even all the boys too), even the Dancing Girls! And so it was that on this day, I found the Dancing Girls emulating my adventures with my sister.

The two Dancing Girls on the left are riding on a dinosaur. Shh, please don't tell them we didn't actually RIDE them, just looked at them. (More info about the dinosaur art installation can be found here.) And the Dancing Girls on the right are sitting on colorful beach chairs under a big red beach umbrella. (For the record, a couple of Dancing Girls actually traveled along with us on our beach trip, and I took a photo of two of them in these tiny chairs AT the actual for-real beach!)

I sent my sister a copy of the first book and she loved it. She doesn't know yet that I made the second book, but I've ordered her copy and will hope to give it to her when I see her next. Perhaps she'll see it here first! Surprise, dear sister! And so it is that our adventures are chronicled in print, forever proof of the fun we had this summer. . . .

The song is the wonderful happy 80s tune by the Go-Go's, Vacation. I'm including both a live version from 1982 as well as the original video for MTV (music begins around :35).

P.S. Since I used both York Photo Labs and MyPublisher, I feel as though I should provide some remarks about both here.

First, a how-to: How to Make a Photo Book Online

Second, the prior two dozen photo books. The only one missing is Autumn Gold, which I made in January.

York Photo Labs: I had a decent experience with York Photo, but one of the things that bugs me about their system is that when you share a book you've made, for others to view it, they have to create a York Photo account and save it there before they can even LOOK at it. This puts an additional step in the process and makes it less likely anyone will view the project. Also, some things in their system weren't intuitive: for instance, choices about backgrounds and layouts can be found under the tab "stock art" in the system. 

MyPublisher: There was an update on the software for MyPublisher. Through their system, you create the book on your desktop and upload the (quite large) file at the end of the process. I updated the software and began my project, but I am sorry to report that I found the updated software twitchy, glitchy, unreliable, and prone to crashes. For instance, I would change the background color on all pages to black, and then save my project and leave the system. When I came back, some of the backgrounds would be white again, and I'd change them back. It crashed frequently. I chose the book jacket option and it wouldn't even let me change the interiors of the book jacket to black. (The option was there, but it would flash black then go back to white.) This sort of thing can be maddening, especially if you are short on time! However, MyPublisher's SuperGloss option ($10 extra per book) provides amazing shine and makes the color saturation even brighter. So the dinos in the book ended up gorgeous anyway, though I bear a few scars from the experience!

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