Monday, August 27, 2012

last summer trip, and loosing all my pictures...

If you are here for getting your pictures back after deleting them from your memory card skip to the end. If you are here to see the pictures I recovered and hear about our last summer trip, carry on...

As if the summer wasn't filled with enough travel, we decided to accompany Gary on a business trip before school started. Gary had seen a brochure about a place near Tampa FL that had "live mermaid" shows. This was something we HAD to take in given Nev's abiding love for mermaids.

The morning we were to leave Gary left early for work and I stayed behind to take Nev to speech. The morning began with Zurich throwing up. This did not bode well, but plans had been made so I threw a few hand towels and large Tupperware in the van and we headed off. Long story short: it took us two hours to make it 30 mins or so from home. What could possibly take so long? That sick boy, having to puke, dump said puke, that boy having to use a restroom for various functions. And it never happened on the same trip to the restroom. Loading 4 kids in and out of the van every 5 minutes is exhausting, not to mention they resist very strongly after about the 3rd trip in 15 mins.
It's hot in Florida, by the way.

There was a bit too much excitement when we had stopped and no one wanted to get out and no one but the sick one had to use a restroom, only to get back to the van and decide they did....

However, after that we were able to make it along without too much more issue. Thankfully.

But that day's plans had to be thrown out because there wasn't enough time to do as we planned and go to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium that afternoon, because it was no longer afternoon. So we checked into the hotel and Gary got off work and we went to dinner at Frenchy's and then spent the evening on Clearwater beach.

The next day I pulled on my brave britches and took the four kids to WeekiWachee by myself. We went on a boat tour and wandered around the park in search of baby peacocks and their parents, took photo ops and forced the kids to eat something when they were too excited to eat and proclaimed that they weren't hungry. They may legitimately not have been since I kept handing them drinks to keep them hydrated. :)

We took in a reptile show and then the live mermaid show of the Little Mermaid. Nev was mesmerized, I wish I had my camera out when the curtains opened and her face was full of giddy excitement and disbelief. The way they handled it all was pretty dang cool. Totally worth seeing and excellent pricing for the whole park. Afterward they had a photo op with a mermaid and Zurich was too "shy" as he said to join in the picture.
After that we changed to go swimming. I really wondered as I struggled to keep the right things dry and get everyone changed why I was even bothering since I was sweating like crazy. But the kids enjoyed it, and that's reason enough.
Again that night we went to the Clearwater beach. I love the little wading area there is there, it makes it so much easier with four kids to all have a good time.

The next day we went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the Dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale.This was for Olea. It helps that Nev loves dolphins "dolphies" too. It was fun to see all the animals they had, touch sting rays and climb through the turtle extruder.  As well as see areas where the movie was filmed and such. Zurich got a little scratch on his hand from a sting ray and kept saying, "It bit me." They do have some rough areas on them so who knows. I'm awesome and had a band-aid for him. By then Gideon had been neglected for a diaper change after having to deal with the 3 year old having a #2 accident  and forgetting to change him after spending so long in the bathroom with her and getting out to the other kids antsy to go again, and now being clear on the extreme side of where the bathrooms were... He'd been drinking a lot, so by the time I got him changed he'd soaked through all his clothes and the only change left for him was in the van and there was no way I was going to drag all the kids back to the van just yet, so he got to run around in just a diaper for a while. He was SOOO thrilled about this.

Gary met up with us there when he was done with work and he took the kids around some more while I took Giddy back to the van for a snack and change of clothes and then we all rode the trolly to the sister location in town. We picked up the kids' souvenirs there. Nev insisted on carrying her bag as we wandered around. As we were leaving I picked up Nev's bag to put on the stroller for easy loading on the trolly and noticed it was quite heavy... she'd done a little more shopping shoplifting. A figurine of a dolphin in Christmas lights and a ceramic dolphin. I took her directly back in to return the items. She was shy and sad about returning them. I'm just glad I discovered them before we had completely left. Nev kept sticking her head out the trolly window. Like a puppy and I couldn't get her to stop. Silly girl.
That night we were too tuckered out to go home and so we booked another night in a hotel and our hotel room was hot when we arrived. We turned on the AC and went to the pool out our patio and the beach there. ( no pictures) The beach was neat, Gary and I saw a dolphin about ten feet away. Olea and a lady on the beach were finding (mesoglea) clear gellyfish. After a while Zurich started whining about the clear little jellyfish in the water, that they were making him itch. We didn't believe him, (he tends to be a bit of a whiner) till we started feeling it so we showered off and went back in the hotel pool. Giddy was such a brave little sucker wanting to jump in again and again with no floaters on. He made me nervous though about wanting to do so in the deep end because I am not confident in catching him there. When we got back in our hotel room the AC was not working. Gary called the front desk. They called the mechanic and by 1:30 in the morning we were moved to a new room with working AC. What a pain. My poor sweaty babies!

Leaving this hotel I had major DeJavu as we were leaving this hotel, sitting on a bench in the entry facing a faux door, that as we were leaving I realized had a hotel key slot and we had already turned in our keys... Oh my gosh, I am so curious!

The first picture I took on the marine aquarium day was preceded by an error on my camera that flashed too fast for me to see what it said before it showed the picture preview. Since I saw a good picture and the kids were antsy to go it wasn't till 40 pictures later that I realized that the first picture had deleted all the pictures from not only the last two days but also the last 3 or so weeks. Awesome. I hadn't bothered to empty the memory card before our trip. Dumb mistake. There are few things, (okay there are probably a lot) that irritate me like loosing data, especially pictures. When I realized the damage I removed the memory card and put a new one in... like I should have done before the trip. I hoped I'd be able to some how recover the pictures I'd lost. Pictures are really important to me and later that night I was able to verbalize why to Gary. When I am doing something with all the kids, it's hard, it's fun, but it's hard. Looking back on pictures helps me see how much my kids enjoyed it, helps me correct my memory and replace it with the happy faces that sometimes I am too hot or stressed to see clearly at the time. It helps me keep doing cool things with my kids, it helps me be brave. :)

So how are there pictures on this post? Oh add a computer and a whole lot of diligent searching and a free program and my corrupted memory card and viola! My pictures are back. I didn't have as much luck with my videos, but I am cutting my losses and moving on with my life. Wanna know?

ZAR zero Assumption recovery was the option I found that did a deep enough scan for the corrupted pictures, and regularly deleted ones. Use the top free option "General-purpose data recovery". It is easy to run and recover them. The only downside is that it couldn't recover my .mov files correctly, (white image and broken sound). The other ones you have to pay for don't have a preview option for videos so there is no way to know if they could recover the videos without paying and I decided I would cut my losses. I got my pictures back!

There are plenty of free options out there. A few I tried: 
Wondershare photo recovery: (shallow scan) and costs to recover, will work for pictures regularly deleted, but you can download the program and preview what it will recover for free.
Pandora Recovery: free, a shallow scan, will work for pictures regularly deleted
Recova: free, shallow scan, will work for pictures regularly deleted
Pc Inspector Smart Recovery: free, shallow scan, will work for pictures regularly deleted

I think they all can recover regularly deleted videos too, but not totally sure, since I wasn't going for that since mine were harder to retrieve.

Some look free but once they show you the pictures they want you to pay before you can recover them anywhere from $25- $100 is what I saw (like Wondershare). Nice thing is they do let you preview what can be recovered so you can see if it is worth it or not. Some of them are just as good as the free ones but make you pay. And some do a deeper scan and can recover harder to reach files like the "corrupted" ones I had from the error message. But I was determined not to pay $60 so I kept looking and was glad I did. When my sister's hard drive crashed she was also able to recover some of her photos using ZAR.

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