Thanksgiving 2014 Road Trip: Niagara Falls

This Thanksgiving, Dan, Hattie and I packed up the Prius and drove over 2,500 miles from Portland Maine to Wisconsin and back. Along the way we stopped at Niagara Falls because Dan had never been!  I was really excited to take him there because Dan is obsessed with water. He has nearly killed me trying to get a better look at a waterfalls along the road from Maine to Hawaii to Puerto Rico. I thought what better waterfall to show him than the iconic Niagara Falls?? My great grandparents went to the falls for their honeymoon, and I went on a family road trip back in middle school.

If you have never been, you should probably stop by. Both of the bordering towns are a little rough around the edges however it’s nothing that you can’t handle. I get the sense that there was most definitely a heyday, and that time has passed. #sorryniagara

All that being said, it is amazing to see. We stayed on the Canadian side for the most part but we did venture over to the American side to do the Niagara Falls State Park and the Cave of the Winds. We also checked out the Observatory, where you can see both falls from the American Side. Impressive. While we were on the American side we took a photo for a couple who live in Florida, who are from India. They were asking about the best vantage point and I said to head over to the Canadian side. They told me that they couldn’t because of their green cards, and it struck me to realize that being able to see the falls from both countries was a privilege that I had not previously taken as that. It made me feel much more grateful when we headed back to Canada that day.

Near the end of the day, we hopped on the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which is my number one recommendation for something to do while in the area. It. Was. So. Fun! You can ride a boat all the way up to the Canadian Falls and you get drenched in the mist. I loved being able to experience the power of nature in a relatively safe way. It was definitely something not to miss.

The next day we headed out to Wisconsin, where we would spend Thanksgiving. That’s tomorrow’s blogpost!

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Life Lately List: January 5, 2015

YAY 2015!!!!

I absolutely LOVE New Years and the feel of the fresh crisp clean pure year ahead. I feel like I NEED that refresh every year. There’s just something special about it. It’s funny, Dan and I are SO goal oriented and we love making plans. Resolutions are something we do pretty much monthly so thats not really what I love about January first. I think it’s just feeling like there are so many possibilities and options.

This January First we took it REALLY easy and it was actually just what I needed. I stayed in my pajamas all day until we went on a date that night. We spent the morning with Dan’s brother’s family, including his wife Jamie and our THREE little Nephews and Niece. We snuggled the little ones and watched African Animals shows into the early afternoon. Next we went back to Dan’s mom’s house and took a nap, snuggled, read books, and just relaxed. We realized that the this past Holiday Season here in Raleigh has been the longest break we have actually taken since we opened our business in 2010. It has been much needed and quite rejuvenating. We have spent lots of quality time with people we love and rarely see, which is really important!

Dan is re-modeling the powder room here at his mom’s house and Im working away, catching up on all the things we have needed to do but couldn’t while we shot weddings and traveled all this fall. It feels REALLY good. After he finishes up the bathroom re-do we are headed to the Outer Banks of NC for some MORE home improvement and a little getaway.

I am missing New England a lot but thankful for this season too. Packing everything up in the storage unit was both sad and freeing. I like doing things that set me free from things that I know I don’t need in my life any longer. Our apartment we were living in was both a perfect spot for us then and also not the place we needed to be any longer. As much as it would have been easier to stay there, it was the right thing to leave and move forward to a better place. I am doing my best not to wish my days away for when we head back to Maine and move into our new place but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Maine intensely.¬†It feels so good to know that we have put our roots down in a place that I love so much. We will be back soon though…

A few fun things we’ve done while here in Raleigh:

We caught up with our good friends Rebekah and Michael and their 2 year old! It seems like yesterday we were photographing them PREGNANT!

We went to the NCMA and saw some of my favorite artworks that I have loved since I was a child. My mother took my sister and I to the art museum almost weekly when we were children and there are a few pieces there that feel almost as familiar as my own hands. They are a part of me. That reminds me that I need to get some prints and hang them up in my home. Being surrounded by art I love is the only option. Amiright?

We got our fix of Bojangles, CHick-fil-a, Cookout, and lots and lots of Sweet Tea. Thank you Raleigh for hooking us up with these vital nutrients.

We went to see WILD and I cried at least 4 times. I think Cheryl Strayed and I would probably make fast friends of one another if we ever crossed paths. Read the book first and then go see the movie. It’s important.

‚ÄúFear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid.‚ÄĚ – Cheryl Strayed

Take time for you today. Do something you want to do and take care of yourself.

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Amanda and Ian’s Sugarbush Vermont Wedding

I loved every single thing about this wedding. It was SO pretty!!! Two people who are both so kind and welcoming had a classy and classic destination wedding in the mountains of Vermont. Hailing from NYC, they brought their favorite people with them to this gorgeous setting. We were so glad to be there too!

The ladies took a very un-rushed and casual approach to the day, getting ready, dancing, laughing, and cheer-sing the morning away. I can’t speak for the guys but I know it felt like a sleepover/slumber party in the ladies getting ready area. When we were ready to go we headed to the church and Amanda walked straight down the aisle in a matter of moments. Ian was waiting right there with his cute smile on his face. There was a collective gasp when she walked in… I mean… LOOK at her, and that DRESS!!! They even had a Bishop there to help in the ceremony, her great uncle¬†Monse√Īor Juan Antonio Flores (who sadly passed away mere days after the wedding).

After the ceremony, we headed into the Vermont wilds to take family photos, bridal party photos, and photos of just the two of them. It was calm and quiet and just the way we like to do it. No distractions, just us, them, and a gorgeous backdrop, (I know that makes every photographer jealous, myself included). Once we had the images that we loved, we all headed back to Sugarbush for a party of dancing dancing dancing!!

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Venue: Sugarbush Resort  |  Ceremony: Our Lady of the Snows Church  |  Gown: Tara Keeley by Lazarro

Florist: A Schoolhouse Garden¬† | ¬† ¬†Cake: Sweet Simone’s

Hair: Kristi Bright  |  Makeup: Top 5 Management

DJ: Willam Cutting


More from Amanda and Ian: Meet Our Couples

Amanda and Ian’s Rehearsal Dinner at Sugarbush

Amanda and Ian invited all their guests to a “Welcome Party” at the CastleRock Pub at Sugarbush. Since every single guest was out of town it was simply a pre-wedding event where they could all gear up for the following day. There were delicious treats to eat, fun decorations, tasty drinks, and lots of love. We even found a few minutes to take the two of them away for some night shots right outside. Oddly enough we had never met either of them until this day so we were impressed at how easy and open they were in just 10 minutes of photographing them. We are so glad we DID meet them too because they are dolls. Just you WAIT for the wedding.

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Life Lately List: December 22, 2014

Happy Christmas Week! Dan and I are in NC with our family, snuggling in for the holiday. We hope you guys are just as lucky. December has been an INSANE month for us which is part of the reason we have waited ALL month to get a Life Lately List up! Lets dig in ok?

We spent Thanksgiving in the mid-west, visiting my BFF Annie and her family. We actually drove from Maine to Niagara Falls, then through Canada to Michigan and on to Wisconsin, and all the way back. It was a SUPER long drive and so fun! Hattie was along for the ride adding more amazing sights to her doggie collection.

When we got back to Portland, we had one day to recover and prepare, then we left for our trip for Alaska! We were there for a week visiting Dan’s BFF James and his family. It was so incredible and way surpassed my already high expectations of it. Add it to your bucket list right now.

Those two trips will be up on the blog soon because they were both completely share-worthy. 

BIG NEWS: Once we got back we had a few days to recover and then made the decision to pack up our apartment and head to the Outer Banks of NC for a couple months of the winter. In three days we packed up our whole place, and put everything in storage and then drove all the way here. It was a punishing 3 days but it feels so amazing to be a traveler again for a coupe months and have a couple months to recoup in one of our favorites places on the planet.

We will be back to Maine before the spring and ready to go for wedding season and have lots of shoots left to blog and tell you about between now and then!

Hurrah for 2015!

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(this photo was taken by Annie of “With Sprinkles on Top” of Dan and I. I think it PERFECTLY depicts how this month has felt… a whirlwind holiday of craziness that has been a blur. Nice eh?”

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