Category: Travel

The kickoff to the most adventurous year of our lives (so far)

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

Last year at this time, we had handed the keys to our home off to our renters in Baltimore and made our way to Central PA with a moving truck full of our most meaningful personal possessions! We were nervous, excited, scared, hopeful, grateful, uneasy, confident, and eager all at the same time. We unloaded the moving truck into my childhood bedroom and waited incredibly impatiently for the RV to arrive for pickup in NY! Of course, the “perfect plan” was not a reality and after days and days of crazy stress… we finally accepted the fact that the RV would not be ready for pick up until after we returned from Africa. We turned our focus to Thanksgiving with our families and trying to convince them that despite what the press was telling them, we were not in danger of contracting Ebola! (Yes, although we were going to be thousands of miles from the Ebola cases in Africa… this was actually a really REALLY hard thing for our families and friends to understand!)

Growing up, neither one of us traveled much. Our families took road trips for vacations. We camped more than we stayed in hotels. However, somewhere along the way of growing up and becoming individuals, both Ryan and I developed a craving to see the world! We are curious about the world around us and want to experience the unique cultures that make this world so AMAZING!

Over two years ago, our friend Laura sent an email to her family and friends asking us if we would want to be a part of something near and dear to her heart! She was a Trek Coordinator for BuildOn, an organization that builds schools in developing countries and she wanted to lead a Trek with her family and friends! At the time, going to Africa was something we were excited about, but it was something we thought we would do after we explored other parts of the world… like Europe! Africa was on our dream travel list… but it was definitely not “next” on the list! ;) However, when one of your best friends shares her passion about something super dear to her heart and provides an opportunity to serve a community in a developing country together… it is a no brainer! We were in from the very beginning!

So, for over a year, a group of 10-15 people gathered together through monthly Google Hangout Meetings! Individually fundraising, together we raised over $30,000… enough to build a school in Malawi! December 1, 2014… we were on our way to Africa!

Ryan and I started our trip with a few days in Cape Town, South Africa before meeting up with the rest of the group! We had absolutely NO IDEA what to expect! And honestly, we were so busy getting our home ready to rent, packing our belongings, having a garage sale, buying an RV, moving our belongings, fundraising, planning for the Amazing Marriage Adventure (our year of living in an RV), filing our 501c3 paperwork for Amazing Life Together, and running our Liz and Ryan photography business that we didn’t really have a moment to think! We had absolutely NO IDEA how special and how beautiful Africa really is!

Over the next few days, we are going to share more from our trip to Africa. As we wrap up the most Adventurous year of our lives so far, it only seems appropriate to take some time to truly reflect on the experience that started the adventure! Reliving these photos brings back every single one of the emotions I listed above… and even more! We are grateful, humbled, joy-filled, passionate, open-eyed, and awe-inspired! This world is truly a beautiful place!

First stop… Cape Town, South Africa

After exploring a little in the afternoon, we decided to take a nap. When we woke up, it was about 9:30 p.m. and the only food option open was McDonalds! :( Our first meal in Africa was McDonalds. :(

The fresh Breakfasts in Africa is something we miss BIG TIME! Especially because this was our view each morning!

We accidentally found ourselves on a Toll Road. We paid about $3.00 to drive this most gorgeous drive we have ever seen! Chapman’s Peak Drive! Best road to get lost on ever!Pure HAPPINESS!Sunrise in Kalk Bay, Cape Town.

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town is the most colorful magical place in the world! These are just little surfer shacks, but the colors have a way of making a dreamy beautiful beach even more AMAZING!Boulder Beach, South Africa.

Wine Tasting in Cape Town.We dream of owning a space like this where people can gather and hang out on comfy blankets and pillows in the grass with AMAZING food and drink! So incredible!
We drove out to the Wine region… Stellenbosch for an evening! First stop- the laundromat! ;)

That evening we went to dinner in town. In the middle of dinner, the waiter came over to tell us that the power was expected to go out at 8:00 p.m. They were having a blackout to conserve power in the area! They told us not to worry, they would bring us candles! ;) It was the most delightful and eye-opening candlelit dinner we have ever experienced! So tasty too! ;)On our last day back in Cape Town, we went to Neighbour Goods Market! It was such an incredible Food & Craft Market with the largest international food selection! It was a blast and is definitely a must do if you find yourself in Cape Town!That evening, we went on a full-moonlit hike at Lion’s Head! AMAZING! We read a few reviews online and many said it was an easy hike! After about 10 feet straight up, we realized we are quite out of shape! ;) We actually were late arriving because the GPS went to the wrong location! Once we actually found the correct place, we joined hundreds of other people who hiked it up as quickly as possible to make sure we made it for the sun setting and the moon rising! It was absolutely incredible and unlike anything else we have ever seen/done before! So incredible!South Africa blew away every expectation we had for Africa! We honestly had no idea what to expect… in fact, we expected everything to be like the Shanty Town in the bottom left picture! (There are a few Shanty Towns in the area, but throughout our few days in Cape Town, we only saw 1 or 2!) We had absolutely no idea how incredibly beautiful South Africa really is! It is gorgeous and we would definitely go back again! Next stop… Malawi!


Liz and Ryan 2013 Travel Map

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

Five years ago when we started our business while hanging out at Spoons on New Years Day, one of our dreams was to travel more. We figured if we started a business, we might earn a few extra dollars that we could use to travel the world.

Here we are, five years later, and we can confidently look back and see that starting our business has definitely given us the opportunity to travel more! ;) Not necessarily because we have been able to earn a few extra dollars (when we went full time, those dollars became the necessary funds to live off of! ;) ), but because our business has taken us on crazy adventures! If someone were to tell us five years ago that we would soon be photographing couples in Paris, Barcelona, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Jamaica, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, California, Arizona, and all over the mid-Atlantic region, we probably would have said in disbelief, “ha, that would be AMAZING!” And if someone were to tell us when we started our business that in five years we would find ourselves on a tour bus traveling the country with incredible friends on a life changing journey, we probably would have fallen off our chairs! (In fact, last year when we received Justin and Mary’s email asking us to come along, that is pretty much what happened! ;) ) haha.

Over the past 5 years, we have learned so so so much. Seriously, it is incredible to think about. But one of the biggest lessons that we have learned is if you say your dreams out loud and work really hard to make them happen, they will likely happen in ways beyond those wildest dreams!

This year has been so incredibly adventurous! It started with the What’s Next Tour… three weeks and 10 stops on a bus across the country with friends. That in itself would be reason to call 2013 one of adventure! ;) It definitely set the tone for the crazy year ahead with travels to Puerto Rico, California, Maine, Oregon, Michigan, New York City & the Finger Lakes of NY, New Jersey, Nantucket, the MD Eastern Shore x 20 (haha!, probably more and we loved every single one of those trips!) Virginia, South Carolina, and so many places in between!

I wanted to create a map so that we would never forget these crazy adventures, but I quickly became overwhelmed because I couldn’t find a program that would allow me to color code it and add in flights like I was hoping! ;) So I did my best to include the road trips and then I added in some of the other locations we explored this year! What an adventure!
Liz and Ryan 2013 Travel Map

We are excited to be looking ahead to 2014 knowing that the adventures are continuing! We currently have plans to travel to Utah, California, Arizona, North Carolina, Maine, AND Africa! And who knows what other adventures will come up (if you have any fun adventures in the works and are looking for friends to document it along the way- let us know! We are always up for a fun adventure!)! We are certainly excited to think about the possibilities and we never stop believing in Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Wishing you all an AMAZING last day of 2013! Here’s to new beginnings and a happy and healthy New Year!

(Side Note: We are working on some super AMAZING things over at for a great year end review and dream planning for 2014! Definitely check it out and be sure to sign up for the newsletter! Our first one is coming out January 1 (that is tomorrow!!!!) and we don’t want you to miss it!)

Liz and Ryan's Nantucket Wedding Photographer Adventures (6)

Liz and Ryan’s Nantucket Adventure

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

Happy Friday Everyone!  We officially kick off our 2013 wedding season this weekend with Kait and Adam’s weekend celebration in Rehoboth Beach, DE. WAHOOO! We are so excited to get our season started with such an AMAZING group of people… Kait and Adam’s friends and family are truly incredible! (We have officially made them our adopted family! ;) ).

After a few days of rest, relaxation, and exploration in Nantucket, we are officially well rested and ready to kick our busy season into high gear! Before doing so, we had to share a few photos from our Nantucket Adventure!

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We can officially cross off “Go Sailing” from our summer bucket list! :)

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A trip to New England would not be complete without a Lobster Roll!

Liz and Ryan's Nantucket Wedding Photographer Adventures (4)

Ryan decided to go fly a kite! :)

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Liz and Ryan's Nantucket Wedding Photographer Adventures (1)

HUGE thanks and so much love to these AMAZING friends that we adventured along with to celebrate Mary’s birthday celebration!! We ate so many incredibly delicious meals, we drank some of the tastiest drinks ever, we laughed, cried, and everything in between! It was such a great getaway and we could not be more grateful for these friends! HAPPY 1-day after your birthday Mary! Can’t wait to see what this “why not” year has in store for you!

Have an AMAZING (extra long) weekend everyone! ;)



Soaking in this beautiful life – VA Winery Adventure

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

We have been talking about the gorgeousness of Veritas Winery since our first visit there with Amanda and Bobby! I call it my “happy place” because as soon as we pull into the driveway, I can feel the excitement coming from my smile. Yes, the wine is good… well, great, actually! But, the gorgeous surroundings and the super fun décor bring about an AMAZING sense of comfort and excitement for me! I could not wait to come back to this happy place and when we did, I knew it would be even more magical than we had remembered it!

A few weeks ago (actually, I am pretty sure we started talking about it before we even got off the bus in January), we dreamed of this fun adventure to soak in this beautiful life with Justin, Mary, Jeremy and Ashley. After living with them on a bus for 3+ weeks, we find it hard to be apart! Lol. Let’s just say, we will be planning many adventures to reunite and soak in this beautiful life with them! ;)

Our first What’s Next Crew reunion took place in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday! In the mix of this adventure we are on, filming the videos for the AMAZING Life Together Webinar, this little escape to soak in this beautiful life was EVERYTHING that we needed! Reuniting with these friends is always a special treat. Honestly, we could probably all meet up at a random hotel in the middle of nowhere and be overjoyed… but meeting up in the gorgeous Charlottesville was like a dream come true. Actually… it was a dream come true complete with the magicalness that we hoped for! We spent the day frolicking (lol… not really kidding! ;) ) around the gorgeousness of Pippin Hill Farm and Veritas Winery. Both places are literally breathtaking! As we sat on the beautiful patio overlooking the AMAZING mountains… we enjoyed some tasty wine and incredible food while soaking in this beautiful life.

We could not be more grateful for these AMAZING friends who always remind us of what is most important in life!… Spending time with those we love and soaking in this beautiful life are definitely two of those things! ;) Check and Check! ;) Wednesday was definitely an AMAZING day!

BTW… both Pippin Hill and Veritas are gorgeous wedding venues! ;) GORGEOUS! As you may be able to tell, we made our way to the bridal suites at each location to scope everything out and dream of the AMAZINGNESS of shooting a wedding there! All of us were crazy excited about the possibilities! I am just saying… if you are interested in having your wedding at either of these locations, we know a few photographers and cinematographers who would be happy to take care of your needs! ;)


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Less than 24 Hours in Portland, Oregon | Seize the Day

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

With less than 24 hours in Portland, Oregon, a city that has been on a our must see list for quite a few years, we were so determined to seize the day! We could not wait to take it all in!

Knowing we only had a limited amount of time in the city this trip, we wanted to make sure we hit up the best of the best. We are firm believers when traveling that the only way to make sure you hit up the best spots is to ask the experts (the locals and/or anyone else who has spent some time in the city before!) Both Ryan and I put a message out on Facebook seeking recommendations for the best of the best… and within just a few hours, we had enough suggestions that we could have spent 5 days in Portland and would never have been bored… or gone hungry! ;) I think that says something about the city! ;) It is definitely a MUST SEE!

We embraced the AMAZING suggestions of the “experts,” and decided to seize the very limited time we had in the city! Our 24 hours went a little like this: Take Time for Adventures, Explore New Places, Live and AMAZING Life Together (12)

Arriving into Portland around 9:30 p.m., we picked up our rental car and made our way directly to a brewery! We found ourselves surrounded by other traveling friends and locals at Rogue enjoying a flight of beer around 10:00 p.m. on Monday! (As soon as we sat down at the “cell phone free” bar, we heard someone behind us say, “Go Orioles!” We met a few new friends who were also visiting from the Baltimore and Central PA areas!! Small world, for sure!) After some beer and a few tasty snacks, we decided to embrace the late night with non other than VooDoo Doughnuts… by far the most highly recommended location to visit! ;) At 12:00 a.m…. who doesn’t want a doughnut to go along with the beer? This place was CRAZY… seriously, I never could have imagined a doughnut with so many different toppings! They all looked AMAZING… but we decided to go with one that had oreos and peanut butter on top and another with chocolate and rice crispys! Yes… they absolutely met the hype! ;) So so so tasty and the perfect way to end our first evening in Portland!… and start off the next morning too!

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As mentioned in our post on Monday, we have decided to make “happiness is a journey, not a destination,” our theme for the month! (or, well, every day of our lives!!) As we started our stroll through Portland, we took some time to just soak in the beauty! The luscious green grass and the beautiful old trees within the city! Seriously, who knew that green grass and old trees could leave such a lasting impression on our hearts?!! They definitely did in Portland!

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Next stop… Stumptown Coffee and the Ace Hotel! Ohh my goodness! Yes, the coffee is AMAZING! However, hanging out in the lobby of the Ace Hotel was pretty darn awesome too! ;) As we got the work done that we needed for the day, we were surrounded by locals who were having business meetings or just decided to make the Ace Hotel lobby their place to work for the day! The hotel had so much character and charm that made us feel right at home!

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Ok, Portland DOES Food Trucks! ;) (Or Food Carts as they call them!) Literally, 2 city blocks dedicated to these carts that represent any type of ethnic food you could possibly imagine! As the lines started to back up, we knew that this was definitely our stop for lunch! The many options were a little overwhelming…. ;)… but that just means we have another reason to go back and visit another time!! ;)

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We wandered through the streets of Portland and made our way down to the waterfront area! So gorgeous! And again… that green grass!!

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Just before checking out the new home of Stillmotion and meeting up with our friend Amina for a SUPER fun meeting that set our hearts on fire (I am sure we will share more on this fun in another post!!), we found ourselves with just enough time to try out another brewery! ;) Why not!?! ;) The first one we came across… Cascade, which just so happens to specialize in sour beer. I don’t know much about beer, let alone sour beer, so that was every reason to check it out and learn more!! Definitely not something I could drink a full glass of because of their crazy bold flavors, but the sour beers we tried in the sampler glasses were pretty tasty!

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We had our super fun meeting with Amina and then made our way up to the Nob Hill area of Portland. This was a neighborhood that everyone was recommending we had to check out for the cute shops and the AMAZING food! (people know us pretty well, huh!?) As soon as we turned the corner onto NW 23rd Ave, we knew this was going to be our favorite! ;) The little shops are adorable and the food was seriously some of the best we have ever had!!!!

We went to Papa Haydns’s for some desserts to bring to our friends Karen and Isaac and then made our way to Salt and Straw for THE BEST ice cream and ice cream experience we have ever had! We definitely like our ice cream and have found ourselves at quite a few creameries along our travels, however there was nothing quite like this experience! I am not sure I can even describe it! But, if you are in the Portland area… this is our definitely do not go home without visiting place!!! After sampling about 6 different ice creams with our friend Ada, who had so much excitement for introducing the favorites to us, she recommended we try the Ice Cream flight so that we could have a more substantial tasting of a few others! YES, please!!! The flavors in these ice creams were inspired and sourced locally (LOVE THAT) and were seriously put together like a piece of art! So so so good! Definitely go check it out!

Salt and Straw was like the icing on the cake… Papa Haydn’s AMAZING cake! ;) It was the perfect way to finish up our less than 24 hours in Portland!

We definitely will find ourselves back here sooner rather than later! Honestly, even just for the Salt and Straw experience! ;) Everyone that we ran into throughout the day was so excited to welcome us to their city and learn why we came all the way from Baltimore to visit! ;)

This trip was such the perfect reminder to Seize the Day and embrace the happiness that comes along with it! I have a feeling we will be planning ore trips like this… last minute and leaving it up to the “experts” in our lives to guide us to the best of the best! They definitely did not lead us astray this time!! Thanks so much to everyone who offered their suggestions and gave us the perfect tour of Portland, OR! We can’t wait to come back soon!