My summer travel photos recreated with stuff from my apartment. And my cat. (Naturally.)

October 26, 2014


A few weeks ago, my computer crashed.

This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I was the type of girl who regularly backed stuff up on her computer.

But, sadly, I am not that type of girl.

I’m more like the type of girl who tells herself she should really back things up, but then spends eight hours watching Kim of Queens instead.

In fact, when my computer crashed, I hadn’t backed up anything for four months. I also hadn’t bothered to update my online photo albums in, errm, forever.

So, basically, I lost every single photo I took this summer.

This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I wasn’t the type of girl who took eleventy kajillion photos every time I go somewhere.

But I totally am that type of girl. Seriously, you guys, I’ve been known to take fifty photos of my breakfast, so you can imagine how many photos I take when I’m faced with something that’s actually photo-worthy.

And, while I didn’t go on any big trips this summer, I did go on lots of weekend and day trips around Michigan. Which means I saw a lot of photo-worthy stuff and did a lot of photo-worthy things and ate a lot of photo-worthy food. And I took pictures of ALL of it. Every single bit of it.

And now all the photos are gone.

Needless to say, I’ve been pretty bummed about this.

But in an effort to make some lemonade out of lemons, I’ve decided to recreate the photos from my various summer trips and events. But because I’m lazy and poor and didn’t really want to have to do anything that would require me to change out of my yoga pants, I decided that instead of traveling around Michigan to recreate the photos, I’d just recreate the photos at home using items I could find around my apartment.

And my cat.

Of course.

Which means my recreated photos probably ended up being better than my original photos.

I mean, what’s better than photos of of fun summer stuff?

Photos of fun summer stuff WITH A CAT!

You’re welcome.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

As you may recall, one of my first trips this summer was to northern lower Michigan, where I hiked Sleeping Bear Dunes.

I almost died trekking up and down those dunes, but that didn’t stop me from taking ninety billion photos. Because, apparently, this is how I cope with my pending death — I take photos. Primarily of sand.

While, I have to admit it was a bit tricky recreating this geological wonder in an apartment that’s roughly the size of a postage stamp, I think I did a pretty decent job.

Behold, Sleeping Bear Dunes as recreated on my bed :


Can’t you just feel the sun beating down on me as I trudge through endless hills of sand?

Can’t you just see that teensy bit of blue that is Lake Michigan taunting me?

Can’t you just sense my despair and desperation as I realize that I have no more water left in my water bottle and I’m going to DIE OUT HERE.


How about this:


Does that help?

Not to worry. I didn’t die.

And in the apartment-recreated version of this trip, my cat  arrived to show those sand dunes who’s boss.


She also managed to capture and demolish the ever illusive Sleeping Bear Dunes jiggly-cat-toy.


All the Summer Festivals and Fairs

I went to at least a half dozen different summer fairs and festivals this summer.

In fact, I can’t even remember all the different festivals and fairs I went to because I have a crappy memory. I usually just use my photos to remind me of what I’ve done.

So, basically, by erasing all my photos from the past four months, I’ve erased all the memories from my head from the past four months. It’s like I have amnesia, but a really rare form of amnesia called WHY DIDN’T I BACK UP MY COMPUTER??? amnesia. I expect the medical journals will start investigating me for science.

So, given my lack of distinctive memories for each fair and festival I went to,  I’ve decided to lump all the festivals and fairs together.

See, here I am, standing in a big huge crowd of festival-goers. Don’t we look like we’re having fun?


Nevermind, the fact that my head is a bajillion times bigger than everyone else’s head. It’s just because I was holding my camera weird and the perspective is all wrong. Well, that and the fact that they’ve all been cut out of magazines.

I do have to say that recreating the festivals and fairs was probably more enjoyable for me than actually going to the festivals and fairs. First of all, I got to use a glue stick which is always my favorite. And I didn’t get filled up with crowd-rage and want to kill anyone, which is usually what happens to me when I go to a festival or fair.

My cat also really enjoyed it.Or, at least, she enjoyed chewing on my fellow festival-goers. Because, apparently, magazine people are DELICIOUS.


Solo Camping Trips

I took two solo camping trips this summer, which means I took eleventy billion photos of myself sitting, drink in hand, in front of a campfire

I think I’m saddest of all to lose these photos. Because, you guys, I MADE THAT FIRE WITH MY TWO BARE HANDS.

Luckily, Google images has me covered.


All the Beach-Feet Selfies

As a newly minted Michigander, I felt it my duty to take a least a couple trips to the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

Mind you, I never actually went into the water because that would require buying a swimsuit and getting sand into places I’d rather not talk about, but I did stand on the beach and take a couple billion beach-feet selfies.

And, while, again, I have to say it was a bit difficult trying to recreate the wonder that is a Great Lake in my teeny-tiny little apartment, my cat really helped out with this one.


In fact, I think she finally started to understand the scope of this whole project.


Can you see how she just got right in there and became Lake Michigan?


Of course, I don’t remember Lake Michigan having a tail.

The Lighthouses

And, of course, what trip to Lake Michigan wouldn’t be complete without some lighthouses?


You have to admit, the likeness is uncanny, right?

I mean, compare the photo above to the photo below, which I took of the lighthouse at South Haven last weekend:


I bet you can’t even tell the two apart, right?

The only big difference is that the lighthouse at South Haven didn’t have a cat sitting next to it ready to tear it apart and eat it.


But, if only it had!

Now that would have been awesome. And terrifying.

But, mostly, awesome.

Have you ever lost a large amount of photos? How did you cope?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On October 26, 2014 at 10:36 am Dyanne@TravelnLass said:

    Haven’t kept up here since your move back to the States from Asia (and I moved from Asia to Ecuador), but I must say…

    You never fail me, my dear.

    The (oh so cleverly) contrived pics of your summer are pure genius.

    Then again – the way your brain seems to work is decidedly disturbing… 😉
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Foto Flip Friday – October Theme: “Blue” (Week 5)

  2. On October 26, 2014 at 11:06 am Pamm said: Affordable

    • On October 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm Sally said:

      Thanks for the tip! My computer is still down for the count (despite my spending an awkward afternoon staring at the Apple “genius” while he “fixed” it). But hopefully once/if it’s back up and running, I’ll explore my backup options. Obviously leaving the back up to myself isn’t the best choice.

  3. On October 26, 2014 at 11:40 am S said:

    Ha, and this is exactly why my camera and my phone still have photos from my trip to Ireland in MARCH on them, because I haven’t gotten around to backing up my computer yet, so I’m keeping them on the original devices as back-up until I can do so like I should! (And since I don’t really have much of anything else on my computer that I’d lose, aside from a handful of recipes and some audiobooks I ripped from the library, I can get away with the laziness…)

    • On October 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm Sally said:

      I don’t think all my photos would FIT on my original device. My camera is already almost completely full and that’s just from the past 2 weeks, and I really haven’t done anything very photo-worthy. Like, I said, I have something of a problem when it comes to taking WAY too many photos.

  4. On October 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm zoe said:

    Even if you hadn’t lost the original photos (which, boooooo 🙁 ) the internet is a definitely better place for having these re-creations 😀 Love the camp fire + cat!
    zoe recently posted..Salone del Gusto: so much food, so little time

    • On October 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm Sally said:

      I love that one too! I didn’t even have to direct George to sit behind the computer. She just did that herself. She really threw herself into this project. 🙂

  5. On October 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm Edward Kimble said:

    I have the reverse problem, I have maybe 10 zillion pictures your grandmother took of Europe and U̶b̶e̶r̶a̶m̶e̶r̶g̶o̶o̶ Oberammergau. Now I didn’t sabotage your computer but had I thought of it…. and just in case you need some photos, just sayin, got some. 🙂 What’s that shipping address again.

  6. On October 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm marybindc said:

    This is pure genius. Unlike you, I rarely take pictures because I’m pretty bad at it, and figure that I can buy a postcard that looks better. But a good recreation might be better!

    Unfortunately, I’m not as creative as you so I’m not sure I could pull it off. But I think it’s my new goal.

    • On October 29, 2014 at 9:18 pm Sally said:

      Uh, I’m not so sure I would call what I did “creative.” More like “I-need-to-make-more-friends-ive and get-out-more-ive.” Those are adjectives, right?

  7. On October 27, 2014 at 9:00 am Daina said:

    The recreations are brilliant, but — ohhhh so sorry to hear you lost all of those gorgeous MI photos!!
    Daina recently posted..What I’ve Been Reading: Links for You

  8. On October 27, 2014 at 9:22 am Melissa said:

    This is hilarious. Do this more often.
    Melissa recently posted..Melissa Has Created A Life Event

  9. On October 27, 2014 at 10:52 am Dani Blanchette said:

    I’ve totally lost photos (like all my photos and videos of a pig being butchered in Colombia…which everyone is probably pretty happy I lost so I couldnt post about it but im sad because it was like bloody but awesome science.)

    I also had a whole external harddrive stolen when my storage unit got looted.

    So I know how much losing photos sucks.

    But this post has made me laugh hysterically because I never thought of doing something awesome like recreate photos! (I think I just curled up in a ball and cried for a week).

    I love this. And the cat. You should just start bringing your cat on all your trips. It would totally work. I hear cats love harness and being walked around in public.

    I may also be a liar and just want to hear about that adventure.

    Cats in Harnesses and Why I Lost My Arm. – I see a new blognpost in your future…
    Dani Blanchette recently posted..I Have A New Photograhy Website!

    • On October 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm Sally said:

      Oh trust me, I’m one cat harness away from taking my cat EVERYWHERE. She will absolutely hate it as she hates leaving the apartment, but I’m going to love it. Until she attempts to kill me.

  10. On October 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm janice said:

    Hahaha, so creative. These photos look EXACTLY like the real thing. 😀
    janice recently posted..How I Exercise

  11. On October 30, 2014 at 1:48 am Madhu Bhardwaj said:

    Suddenly I thought of you today and how I had not heard from you in such a long time. I had also forgotten your blog name and searched for scared cat as I thought that was the blog. Anyway I then just as suddenly remembered umbrage and Google did the rest.
    Sorry to hear that you lost all those photos. A question: since I saw those pictures in my email. Won’t they be somewhere on the Web, for you to retrieve?
    That recreation is just sad I mean sorry to say so but… Yeah.
    A big hug to make you feel better.

    • On November 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm Sally said:

      Yes, admittedly, when I first thought of doing the recreation, the visions in my head were quite grand. But then when I looked at the pictures after doing the recreation, I have to admit I was rather disappointed. They didn’t turn out nearly as life-like as I was hoping! But, alas, I did have fun making them!

  12. On October 30, 2014 at 2:02 am Madhu Bhardwaj said:

    Hi Sally
    I just sent a few of your emails back to you. They have your original photos of sand dunes, fairs and bears etc . tell me if you need some more even older ones. I think I have them too.

  13. On November 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm Ceri said:

    This is actually brilliant and I wish I’d thought of that when I lost all my photos earlier this year. Those sand dunes look scary, Sally. How did you manage to climb your way out?
    Ceri recently posted..6 Things I Learned From My First Korean Class


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