Dubai

Less than 72 hours. That’s all the time we had in Dubai. Not nearly enough time for our first visit to the Middle East. We were headed to Maldives for the December holiday but we wanted to break up the long flight so we took an extra day and night in the beginning and end of our vacation to rest and do a little bit of exploring in Dubai.

Dubai is a fascinating place with massive construction and build out during the last 20 years, with much if it taking place over the last 10 years or so. The enormous airport, the largest mall, the tallest building, all the hotels and offices. All new. The scale is hard to grok for a first time visitor.

Since our time was limited we could explore a few things. So we chose the spice market in the city and a trip to the desert about an hour or so outside the city. Both are bit on the touristy side of things but it still felt a million miles away from home.

The spice market was a packed with vendors with various foods and spices from the region. We brought back some saffron,pistachio nuts and local candies.

We really enjoyed the desert exploration. We rented buggies and went off roading. We road camels to dinner. The desert was so beautiful especially as golden hour approached. The colors so soft and warm.

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Eleuthera, Bahamas, Part I

Earlier this month we spent four days in Eleuthera. The island is quite long, over 110 miles long. While I’m told the northern part is developed, we headed south. The southern portion of the the island is thoroughly remote. The nearest market or restaurant is about a 40 minute drive or so. We didn’t see any a single souvenir shops. Our rental car was provided by a resident, a gentleman named Robert. We paid in cash. Folks that grew up and live here will tell you that at one time this was a bustling island. But that has changed. All of that tourism has since moved to Nassau. Life on Eleuthera is quiet and remote.

But the thing that struck me the most was the kindness from everyone we met. Lauren compared it to going to our first trip to Ireland and talking with the locals. All the stories, life challenges, rich history and island beauty. Although we got a lot more hugs in Eleuthera than pints in Ireland 🙂

We were quite taken with this place. And have already made plans to visit again.

(All photographs made with a Hasselblad 503cw and Kodak film. Developed and scanned at Richard Photo Lab).

Peru, Part I

We made our second trip to South America last month with a visit to Peru.

We began with a visit to Lima which is a the capital of the country. Lima is a big city, with a population of 10 million people. It is a beautiful old city and sits on the Pacific ocean. We spent a few days checking out the historic sites, exploring the Magdalena Market, and wandering the streets. We had an amazing lunch at Malabar. If you go to Lima, you must eat at this place and if possible meet Chef Pedro Miguel who is an inspiring chef and a lover of food and Peru. I also recommend exploring the art museums in the Barranco district. The MAC museum is quite small but very interesting with thought provoking work. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn’t make it to the MATE.

We left Lima (sea level) and flew to Cusco which is about 11k feet above sea level. We could feel the heightened altitude immediately after stepping off the plane. We all had altitude medication, and our fair share of coca tea which helped.

We spent the rest of the trip in the Sacred Valley, the city of Cusco and exploring Machu Picchu. Some of my favorite memories: visiting the students at the Sol & Luna school, mountain biking through the little villages outside of Cusco, hiking to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain (2 hours up and 1 hour down), & wandering the San Blas streets in Cusco.  We were very fortunate that the weather was so kind. Our trip took place during the rainy season but we only an half of day of rain.

Peru is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The culture, landscape and people are beyond incredible. I hope we can make another trip to Peru in the future.

Additional photographs here.

(all of the photographs were shot on 35mm and medium format Kodak Portra 400 film, developed and scanned at Indie Film Lab).

Italy, Part I

Earlier this month, after the kids finished up school, we kicked off summer with a family vacation to Europe.

We started the trip with a few days in Florence. Florence is an incredible city filled with incredible art and so much history. You can just walk and walk and walk and never get tired by taking in all the sights.

We picked up a rental car and drove to Southern Tuscany. The drive in Tuscany was absolutely amazing. We kept saying, “is this place for real” as we made our way from one village to the next.

I have a such a soft spot for Italy. My wife is half Italian and I am quite convinced that I was Italian in another life. I love the people, the food, the joy of life and the espresso. Oh, that espresso.

Part II here.

(Cameras: Leica M3 & Hasselblad 503cw, Film: Kodak Portra 400, Developed & Scanned: Richard Photo Lab)