Havana, Cuba!

I went to Cuba, you guys! Actually, I was there just over one week ago and the impression was so deep that I wanted to post about it right away. I realize that there are several trips that I haven’t posted or edited yet, but this one meant something deeper to me and I didn’t want to wait!

You see, Cuba has been shrouded in mystery for me and for most Americans. I honestly didn’t know much about it, but when my friend mentioned she and her friends were booking a trip, I knew I couldn’t miss it. After attaining the necessary paperwork and visas, we booked our flights and found ourselves there in no time. It was a short 43 minute flight from Miami, so it was the perfect way to spend a February weekend away from chilly Chicago.

To say that this was the most enlightening trip of my adult life would be an understatement and I am still processing it all. The main thing I learned was that Cuba is a welcoming, vibrant and resilient country which has me hoping that seeing these photos will inspire you to visit and go explore. Plus, I have the best guide that will help you along with it all. Just send me a note and I am happy to share! I cannot wait to go back.

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The food, the music, the stories and the spirit will stick with me and I was just too excited not to share.

Hasta luego, Cuba! I cannot wait to go back.

A personal post: Porto, the Douro Valley and Caiscais

You have all seen my post on Lisbon, but now it is time for Porto to really shine. I loved this part of Portugal, you guys. The textures, the water, the food. You really can't go wrong. Go!

Here is my trusty partner in life and travel. 

Here is my trusty partner in life and travel. 

Most nights were spent on this little patio at our Airbnb, drinking vinho verde and watching the sunset. We loved the Portuguese way of life.

After exploring the hilly streets of Porto, we headed to the Douro Valley with Marco from Douro Exclusive. We learned all about port and tasted so many types, I began to loose track. The day trip was exceptional and I highly recommend taking it during your visit to that region! The daystarted with a tour and wine tasting at Quinta de Tourais. It was our favorite stop.

From Porto, we headed south along the coast. We visited beaches, small medieval villages and eventually ended the road trip in Caiscais, Portugal.

A quick stop in Óbidos had us wishing we didn't have to keep driving. Once we got off the main drag, we loved every little bit of this amazing little fortified city.  

Dave even snapped this one of me on this picturesque stoop.

Dave even snapped this one of me on this picturesque stoop.

Then we were off to Caiscais for a little rest and relaxation before heading to Copenhagen.  I know, random.

Stay tuned for more travel goodness coming soon.

A personal post: Lisbon, Portugal

It probably isn't a surprise, but when I travel, I get really excited to photograph all of the things. I love documenting people, their culture and the essence of a place. Also, food! Travel allows me to push myself photographically and beyond my comfort level. And, those of you that know me know that I love a good adventure. Staying at home is not my strong suit. 

Here are some of my favorites from our time in beautiful Portugal last summer. 

Then we were off to Sintra. The land of castles and more castles.

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The next stop was Porto with a side stop in the Alentejo region. On to the next adventure! 

A personal post: The Women's March

You guys, my heart is full after today's march in Chicago. They say 250,000 showed up in complete solidarity and in support of women. To be honest, I walked around with the biggest grin on my face the whole time and I couldn't be more proud that it was a peaceful and loving gathering in my home city. 

This is all to say that we couldn't have done it without the organizers and the Chicago Police Department. Thank you for all that you do!

I loved being part of this march and here are some of my favorites of democracy in action. #womensmarch 

Thanks to my husband, Dave, for taking this one of me. It was my favorite quote from HRC's concession speech last year. And! Thank you to the talented Jessica Gunderson for making this!

Even the El conductor was rooting us on.

Even the El conductor was rooting us on.

The best part? My march ended with a dance party. Proud.