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)

Cuba, Part I

Havana, Cuba. April 2017 | Part I (part II here)

Lauren and I made a trip to Cuba last week.

We spent three days exploring Havana and one day we made it out to the countryside and wandered Viñales. It’s quite clear we didn’t have nearly enough time and we need to go back, sometime I hope very soon.

Cuba is an amazing and fascinating place. So much history, culture, art and music. Some of my favorite moments were the late night jazz we caught at a few small rooms and then walking back through the lively streets.

But most all of all, I loved connecting with the people we met. So warm and kind. We were invited into people homes and hearing their stories.  Living a hard life for sure, each in their own way.

Part II here.

All photographs were taken with a Leica camera and Kodak Portra 400 film, developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in California.

London, England

England, February 2017 | Part I

Our oldest daughter is a senior in high school. She is heading off to college in the fall and I’m getting quite sentimental with each passing moment. I mean, I am immensely happy for her but I am sad for me.

So I planned a trip for the two of us. A week in England. We spent most of the trip in London. But we also made a few days trips outside the city. One day we went to Oxford and then later in the week we drove to Brighton and explored a bit of the south coast.

England is a wonderful country. So much history, tradition and beauty.

I am so grateful we were able to make the trip together.

Part II here.

(All photos above taken with a Hasselblad 503cw and a Leica M3 with Kodak Portra film)

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia | December 2016

After Bangkok, we spent 4 days in Cambodia. It is an easy flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

It is hard to fully describe our experience. The country has gone through so much tragedy and loss. And yet the kindness we encountered everywhere was striking.

I need to go back.

* * *

 

All images taken on Kodak Portra 400 film. Developed and scanned by the kind folks at Richard Photo Lab in California.

Newfoundland, Canada

Part I

Earlier this month Lauren and I visited Newfoundland. Just the two of us. We spent a few days on the east coast, followed by a few days hiking around the west coast. The fjords, icebergs, lighthouses are all so beautiful.

The people of Newfoundland are also so warm and welcoming. We were surprised how pervasive the Irish culture and heritage persists throughout this country — from the warm people, the stories, pride of history, language, music and food.

We had such a great time. I am so glad we made the trip.

(Part II here)

Nicaragua

Part I

Earlier this month we visited Nicaragua for the very first time.

It was different than any other family trip we have made to date.

While the landscape is beautiful, you can see and feel the economic hardship of the country. The country is extremely poor. In fact it is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 80% of the population living on just $2/day. Buildings were old and often in ruin. There is no train system. They had to sell the metal and trains for money years ago. The roads are narrow and bumpy. Most people walk, take the bus, or ride bicycles because cars and gas are too expensive. And yet the people were incredibly kind, giving and warm from the coasts to the rural communities to the cities. We were greeted with a friendly spirit everywhere.

The people in particular made a striking impression on all of us. Lauren researched the country before our arrival and discovered a program called Empowerment International. We visited the founder during our trip and met many of the students in the program. They are doing really incredible work and we made a donation and brought school supplies from the United States. If you want to make a donation you can do so here. I am still thinking about those kids.

On the plane heading home, Lauren kept saying how she wants to go back and see more of Nicaragua. I feel the same way.

(Part II here)