Its still hard for me to believe that this trip happened.
Most likely I will never be surrounded by such awe inspiring beauty ever again. At any given moment your jaw would drop – from the mountain ranges, to the insane water colors, the wild life, the clouds and light, there was nothing ugly about this place. Again and again we would say, “photos can not do it justice, there’s just no way”. It’s honestly because the beauty was so all encompassing that a single frame could not capture what it was like to feel immersed in that landscape. Over the course of just a few days we saw glaciers (lots of glaciers!), desert like landscape, dense pacific north west type forests, raging rapids, an avalanche (don’t worry, it was off in the distance – we were safe), llamas, flamingos, wild horses, and more. I had no idea a place like this existed, and I will never ever forget it.
I made the last minute decision to leave my film camera at home – I was worried about the size of the camera (back packs were already crazy full and heavy), and the film, as the weather in Patagonia can change at the drop of a hat. Case in point: our first hike we experienced insane sun and heat, crazy winds (that could have blown a child off the mountain), rain, snow, and sleet. I was worried that having the film with me, even tucked safely in a waterproof bag, would be something I wouldn’t stop worrying about on our hikes, and honestly – all I wanted to do was take it all in. SO I did some research and purchased the Fuji x100T – a tiny little mirrorless camera that will now be my travel buddy. It was small enough to fit in the pocket of my wind breaker, and hardly added any weight. Perfect!
A lot of people have asked about our itinerary for this trip, and I can take no credit in creating it. All of the credit goes to our friend Katie and she killed it!
Day 1 – Leave Chicago
Day 2 – Arrive in Buenos Aires (via Miami)
Day 3 – Fly to El Calafate, Argentina
Day 4 – Drive to Torres Del Paine National Park ( Chile ), check in to camp site, hike to Mirador los Torres
Day 5 – Day hike with view of Lago Nordenskjold
Day 6 – Drive to southern area of the park, to Rio Serrano – pit stop to hike to Grey Glacier look out
Day 7 – Drive back to Argentina, to El Chalten – Glacier National Park
Day 8 – Hike to Laguna Torre
Day 9 – Rainy day spent in EcoDomes and wandering through El Chalten
Day 10 – Hike to Laguna de los Tres, drive back to El Calafate
Day 11 – Fly back to Buenos Aires, leave Buenos Aires
There were tears, there was laughter – often at the same time.
This day was filled with the kind of magic that changes everyone in attendance. The genuine love between Andy and Stacey is something that gives others hope and reminds you what weddings are really about. Beyond the gorgeous floral arrangements, dresses and tuxedos – there was a feeling in the air that is only possible when two wonderful humans decide to dedicate their lives to one another, in front of the people who have shaped them and led them along the path that made this day possible.
I could have shared a million and a half snapshots of this celebration, but some of the most memorable moments were:
- The bridesmaids’ reactions to seeing Stacey in her gown for the first time
- The father-daughter first look
- The bride-groom first look
- Portraits in Lincoln Park with the most to-die-for light you can get in Chicago
- Stacey and Andy seeing their ceremony set up for the first time
- The signing of the Ketubah
- The gorgeous ceremony performed by a Rabi and a Priest, full of inclusivity and a message of love and hope that resonated with everyone in attendance
- The speeches by family and friends – heartfelt and at points, hilarious
- The first dance – never have I ever cried during a first dance… until this day
- The dancing that I’m sure lated in to the night
A million “Thank You”s could never fully express to Stacey and Andy how grateful I am to have been a part of their day. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for these two!
Hair – Brittany Holop, Makeup – Regina Smith, Wedding Dress – Alvina Valenta, Bridal Shoes – Vince Camuto, Bridesmaids Dresses – Jenny Yoo, Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Men’s Warehouse, Florals – Vale of Enna, DJ – Toast & Jam, Cake – Amy Beck Cake Design, Catering – Rentals – Ceremony and Reception Venue – Cafe Brauer, Photography – Britta Marie Photography, Photography Assistance – Audrey Simper, Videography – Shutter and Sound