Chi-town + Canadia: travel {dallas, tx engagement & wedding photographer}

Friday, April 29, 2011


This will be long.
Because I couldn't sort down the pictures to just a few, and because I had a lovely trip and I want to tell you all about it.  And besides being where I post all my latest work, this is also kind of like my online journal + scrapbook, so bear with me :)

I left two Wednesday's ago for Chicago to visit friends and to see one of the only cities I've ever been to that I absolutely adore.  As most of you know I'm a country girl through and through and I'd take open fields and big sky almost any day over big noisy dirty city.  BUT there are a few cities that hold special places in my heart, and Chi-town is one of them.  I love all the lights, and pretty store-fronts.  I love all the people out and about, businessmen/women, hippies, artists, and everyone in-between.
I love Navy Pier, and The Bean, and all the other tourist-y things you can see there.

I was staying about 30 minutes outside of Chicago with a friend but I was determined to make it downtown while I was there.  So even though the weather didn't co-operate at alllll, I got up super early one morning and rode the train (my favorite mode of transportation!) to meet two friends who decided to brave the freezing cold with me for a day ;)



It really was the nastiest weather all day.  Pouring rain and a high of about 42 degrees = kind of miserable.  But it was an adventure none-the-less :)

No matter how many times I go, I will always take a bean picture despite how cliche it may be.  I'm a tourist at heart - so sue me ;)
This is one of my favorite ones that I've ever taken I have to admit.  The rain+fog+mist all over everything gave it a cool feeling :)


My two darling friends, Julia + Amy.  I met them both in Chicago last year when I was shooting Jason & Elizabeths and Josh & Kates weddings, and we've kept up ever since!


Love love LOVE this city.

I got yelled at for taking this picture while we were exploring through the library...but I loved these vintage postcards, pictures, and ads.

Glad the memory's documented...even if the guy who took out picture wasn't quite able to get our faces in focus ;)  It's the thought that counts.
I got to go out to dinner at Cheesecake factory with a bunch of my old co-workers and housemates from when I lived and worked in Chicago a few years back, I love these girls so much!

'manda jean, my lovely hostess and bff ;)
She's a favorite for sure.


And THEN.
After my quickie two day trip to chicago, it was time to go to Canada!
I realize that it's probably lame how excited I was.  But that's alright.  I'm ok with a little bit of lame-ness.  Because I really really was excited.  I was going to get to use my passport for heavens sake.  And while Canada isn't a very "foreign" foreign country, it was still a different country, and I was planning on enjoying every minute of the first of my international travels ;)

Airplane cloud pictures are also kind of lame, everyone has them, and they all look the same.  But I never get tired of taking them.  Because really, how awesome are they!?  They look so much cooler from above than they do below ;)


Rain was pretty much the theme of my trip, it poured rain every single day I was in Chicago and Canada, so when the sun came peeking out for just a few minutes Saturday afternoon I couldn't help but snap this picture to remember the moment.

Ok, so The Falls are cool in pictures.
But they're absolutely breathe-taking in person.
You should go see for yourself ;)

Proof: I was here! ;)

As I walked along the edge of the Falls, stunned with the majesty and power of it all, my thoughts just kept running along the lines of:
"Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder //
Consider all, the works Thy hands have made..."

My housemates and exploring buddies for the weekend...you can just baaarely make out the falls behind us through all the mist.


So, the whole time I was there I was on the look-out for "foreign-ness" as a reminder that I was in another country.  And besides the fact that everyone said "ay"and speed-limit signs were in kilometers, not miles, (SO confusing when you're driving) there weren't a whole lot of differences.

Except for the bagged milk.  I'm not even kidding, this one totally threw me for a loop.  They buy their milk, IN BAGS.  Can someone please explain why???

I had to try out some of the local fare of course, but what's not pictures is the poutine I had.
Poutine, for those of you who don't know what that is, is french fries and cheese curds, drowned in brown gravy.  I'm sorry Canada, it was gross.  I don't even know how such a thing ever came into being. 

Ahhhh, the whole reason I got to go on the trip!  My adorable petite curly-haired Jessica "twin" got married - and I got to take pictures :)  And despite the fact that it poured rain all day, it was a beautiful wonderful wedding.

I got to go hiking down in the gorge my last day there before I had to head to the airport, it was so gorgeous down there!




I inspired my new friend Mark to buy knock-off ray-bans :)  So we had to take a picture of course.


So despite the fact that I had to go without a phone for 4 & 1/2 days (one of the hardest things everrr!) and the fact that they didn't even stamp my passport when I went across the border (I thought about asking for at least a smiley face sticker or something!) AND despite the fact Canada doesn't serve Dr. Pepper (boo) my first international trip was a success.

Now I need to book a wedding in Europe somewhere.... ;)

Much Love.
Jessica Shae

Pin It

18 comments:

  1. Long picture-filled posts are good. Some of my absolute faaaavorites. :) I love the misty photos -- mysterious and maybe even a bit eerie; in a good way. (if eerie can be good -- ha!) But I love the colors; gorgeous. The falls look SO pretty. And waiting for that lovely wedding! The preview was beautiful. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello! I just recently came across your blog and added you to my follow-list. It has been so enjoyable to look through your photos and posts. I adore the lighting of your photos and the way that you edit them. Your heart really shines through in the pictures!
    The LORD be near you!
    Erika

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looovee this post! ;)
    Yeah, Chicago is alright. Being one of only *2* big cities I have been to, I kinda like Indy better. Smaller, newer, cleaner, etc...
    =)
    Can't wait to see more wedding pics!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love these, Jessica - Looks like you had a TOTAL blast!!! I want to go to Canada, too!! =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks like a fun trip. I love Chicago, too--it's beautiful!

    I love Amy and Julia Z. too! Too funny that you know them also!

    love the pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loooove posts like this! Looks like you had a lot of fun...I was praying for no rain, but O well! Milk in...bags. I have NEVER even heard of that before! haha. And the french fry thing does sound really gross. Eww. Can't wait to see the wedding pictures! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LOVE Chicago too!!! I live only about 45 minutes away. So it is {by far} my favorite and most frequented city :) I just love the thrill of walking around and soaking in all the sights! Great/interesting pics ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never been to Chicago, but it's definitely on my list to go to...and I haven't been to Canada either, but I've been to Europe several times, so I know the giddy passport feeling! ;)

    Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Being a Canadian girl through and through, just thought I'd let you know that not all of Canada sells their milk in bags! I'm out in Alberta and our milk comes in jugs ;) I grew up out east though and seriously, milk in bags was normal for us. We had no idea they sold it in anything OTHER than bags lol

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh! and it's "eh".. not "ay" ;) haha

    ReplyDelete
  11. hahaha! I'm also a true Canadian, and like Jess said, the whole country doesn't sell their milk in bags. In Toronto, where my friend lives, they buy it in bags all the time. In Vancouver, where I'm from (BEST CITY IN THE UNIVERSE!!!) -ahem... they sell it in jugs. :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, and I don't blame you about the poutine. I don't like it either! It's mostly the French Canadians (or at least, in that part of the country) where its raved about. And you got Tim Hortons! Yay you! I have to say, I love Starbucks drinks much better than Timmy's, but NOTHING beats TH's doughnuts! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lokks like a fun city I have ever been there. Too funny about the bag of milk how weird.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What fun, Jessica!! Sounds like you loooved your trip! =) Excited to see more pictures of the beautiful wedding, too. Love the self portrait of you on your hike and...milk in bags??? That's definitely different... =)

    Blessings, Jessica1
    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  15. looks like a fantastic trip! on the milk bag thing, it has recently made its way here to england...some kind of environmentally friendly option i think - you get a reuasable jug for the bags to go in! my friends and i call them milk babies and carry them round as such in supermarkets...but that's just us :-p
    love your beautiful new blog, and if i ever get married maybe you can book that european wedding! caroline :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such great pics. I really learn allot from looking through your stuff...If I was a teenage girl I would totally be in the front of the line for an internship spot ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Haha we had Tim's and poutine when we went to Canada too! The poutine was just weird but Tim's was delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, haha! You are so funny. Both my parents are from Canada, and I as well as my two older sisters was born there. The most foreign place in Canada (besides the north, of course) is Quebec, which is all French.

    That would be ''eh''(not ''ay'') by the way. ;)

    Yes...bagged milk- amazing , isn't it! It always was a part of visiting my Grandma.
    I never tasted that other horrid food you mentioned.

    I am glad you were as inspired by Niagara Falls as I was when we visited a few years ago for the first time! Oh- and I ALSO was very disappointed that they didn't stamp my passport when we visited Canada in 2009! (the first time in a dozen years)I mean, I have a birth certificate from Canada, but that doesn't mean I can't have my passport stamped!

    Anyways...I LOVE your blog/photography!!! Have a great 2012!!! :)

    ReplyDelete

Oh hey!
Thanks for taking the time to say hello, it makes my day everytime! :)

Jessica Shae