SCOTLAND + PRAHA

Quite possibly one of the most romantic things we’ve ever done together – go to Germany to visit friends, followed by jetting over to Scotland to photograph a beautiful and heart-filled wedding for some dear friends, then being whisked away to Prague where Jason used to live for an entire year. Having him show me around felt like he was showing me a part of his soul. And then he did it… sneaky little shit… he asked me if I wanted to get married in 3 days (??!!!) And so we did!! We headed back to Germany (our home-base for this Euro trip) and eloped. I laughed. I cried. I even puked in the royal garden bushes (celebrated a little too hard the night before). It was very romantic, and probably one of the best stories we will continue to tell with a sweet, sweet smile.

These photos were taken last summer, and I am FINALLY getting around to sharing them. And while it almost always seems like I’m just snapping photos of where I follow Jason (which is EXACTLY what I’m doing), it’s a peek inside the intimacy of one of the things we love to share with one another – the world.

……            minutes before he popped the question       …..

CHRISTMAS DREAMS // Dutchman Tree Farm, MI

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on our blog….over a year now! Whoops! We have taken a few wonderful trips since then, and I (Chantal) will be sharing those images soon. The general “busy-ness” of this past year has been made up of us settling into our new home here in the middle west – Grand Rapids, Michigan to be exact. Within that time we got our very own beautiful loft apartment in the city … a dream come true! (and I say “our very own” because we’ve almost always had housemates). We got engaged AND married on our trip to Europe!!! (those photos soon to come). I’ve traveled back to the west coast a handful of times to shoot weddings, and have been lucky enough to be a wing woman to one of my most favorite people out here – Abbey MooreShe’s a kick-ass photographer who has been such an inspiration and motivator in helping me to beef up my photo biz. And Jason is on the brink of resurrecting his wood-working/design business. Some really exciting stuff has been happening for us, and we are so grateful for this adventurous change we’ve made. We do miss our Cali family back home, and man do we miss the ocean and the desert, BUT we’ve also really enjoyed all the beauty Michigan has had to offer. It doesn’t seem like anyone from these parts loves the snow as much as I do. It’s still very new to me, and incredibly magical. When I wake up and the roads, houses and trees are covered in white, and the snow is falling slowly, quietly… I can’t help but think “CHRISTMAS IS HEEERRRRE!!” Growing up in Southern California I only had movies to reference when it came to real weather. I come from the “Home Alone” era where I’ve dreamed of being just like Kevin McAllister and cutting down my very own Christmas tree. Welp,… that dream was completely made possible by our dear friend Austen, and his family’s lovely and charming Christmas Tree Farmcomplete with some of the most beautiful varieties of pines, the most adorable farm animals and the nicest family running the place. It even snowed when we got there! The 5 year old in me came out, and my heart bursted into a million little Christmas Tree hearts! This day was hands down one of the most magical days of my life. Thank you to the Dutchman Family Tree Farm for helping to make my dreams come true, and thank you, Austen, for making sure I was in front of the camera for this moment in my life. EVERYONE…COME VISIT US IN MICHIGAN!!! We promise you’ll love it as much as we do!

 

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Chicago // IL

A new year is upon us and with that comes a time of reflection and a time to look ahead. While I don’t really believe in “new year’s resolutions” I do believe in motivating one’s self to do more of what you like. For me it’s exploring places, near and far. So here’s to the continued adventure of exploring and documenting where I go (where you go).

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Punta Cabras // Mexico

This one time we drove 4 hours south of San Diego to visit the parents’ of some dear friends. Of course there were stops along the way to either check out a vista or try some good food. Unspoiled coastline greeted us at our destination, and we witnessed a small taste of what it’s like to “live off the grid.” What we ended up carrying with us, from that weekend road trip, was inspiration to take risks and to keep exploring the world together. A month later we packed up our things and took a 6 week road trip out to Michigan – a new place to call “home.” We’ve only been here for about 3 months, but we are happy to have taken that chance. Everyone keeps telling us that “winter is coming”… well, maybe not Game of Thrones bad. Our days have been sunnier than usual around this time of year, but really, winter is coming. So for now we will relish these summer Baja California, Mexico photos and begin to make plans to explore more warmer places.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes

So the story goes a little something like this –

Long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. Mother bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear.

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Buth Dairy Farm

Michigan – a new place called “home” (at least for me). I’ve only technically been here for 2 weeks now. That doesn’t count the time after having arrived to Grand Rapids that I turned right back around to work in San Diego for 3 weeks. So starting from when I returned from that trip, I’ve only been here for a grand total of 13 days! As we are finding our groove here, we are making it a point to explore new things around us. Even with Jason being from Michigan, there’s still so much more to see. And if it is already familiar to him, he admits to seeing things with a new perspective when having someone to share it with.

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The Bourbon Trail // KY

Alas! The last stop on our road trip – beautiful and historic Kentucky. The “Bourbon Trail” to be exact. It’s where Jason wished to end up on his birthday, when planning out our trip, and I’m so happy that we could make that come true for him! We had a chance to unwind from the Subaru-living/camp life and stay in a beautiful 100 year old plantation home (air b&b). People were very friendly and extended some of that Southern Hospitality our way. The food was pretty delicious, and our surroundings were something to marvel over. Just long green lawns for days, spotted with beautiful horses. And the bourbon… oh the glorious bourbon.

We already miss road-tripping across the states. Our country is pretty awesome – so much to see and explore. This road trip just put an even bigger itch in us to go out and explore more of this world.

In the mean time, our hearts are full from everyone who followed us on all of our “adventuring”. But more so, we are humbled and grateful for all of the support for us taking a risk and making a huge move. We can only hope for new and exciting things to come, and will definitely be posting photos of our new home, and the adventures that come with exploring Michigan and the places beyond.

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