Travel

Minnesota Lake Life

This week in a special Citinerary, "Weekend Explorer" piece, I shared some photos from our family vacation to the Brainerd Lakes area and I attempted to describe (to the journal's international readers) just what makes cabin country/up north/lake life so special. 

Check out the journal article here and see some of the photos from it below.

[Re]treat

A yoga retreat on an island in Wisconsin? Yes, please. Hone my photo skills by taking some shots for Align by Adrienne? Ok.

I didn't even realize how much I needed this time to recharge and actually exercise for the first time in years until I got there. The setting (at Stout's Island Lodge) was idyllic, the workouts grueling, and the company wonderful. 

Here are some of my favorite images: 

You Had Me at Vodka

When the organic, "grain to bottle" distillery, KOVAL, asked me to take over their Instagram feed for a day, I accepted for two reasons: free vodka of course, and I also had the perfect opportunity with an upcoming family vacation to depict their hashtag, #ReimagineTradition. 

I was a few weeks away from taking a trip that I have taken just about every week for my entire life and as such is very meaningful to me. As I captioned one photo:

"In 1966, my grandparents began a tradition that my (entire extended) family still cherishes today: a week-long vacation on the North Shore of Lake Superior. And even though my grandparents are no longer with us, every July 4th, three generations of their offspring gather at a tiny family-owned resort (which is a also still a working, one-man, commercial fishing camp) for a week of yard games, card playing, hiking, tons of food, and classic cocktails. Of course the latter two have evolved since the days of my grandparents’ Sloppy Joe dinners and Bloody Marys made with nothing but vodka and tomato juice, but the spirit of the trip - spending time with family and enjoying the great outdoors - remains the same."
Marian and Leo, 1972.

Marian and Leo, 1972.

Here are the images I shot for it, which can also be viewed (with captions) on KOVAL's blog

Wanderlust

"Wanderlust" is a word that's bandied about often, particularly in the fog-chasing, open-road-travelling, coffee-drinking world of Instagram photographers. To the extent that I poke fun of it all, I do so only out of jealousy, really. Because, man, do you ever just get hit by a travel bug in that nebulous, visceral way? It's a yearning so strong that it makes you almost ache with the desire to just. go. 

This past week, Passion Passport held an Instagram contest in commemoration of Pay Pal's 15th anniversary. They asked users to share their favorite travel memories from the past 15 years for a chance to win some sweet prizes. And since I have no means or time right now to satiate my sense of wanderlust, I settled for a good ol' walk down memory lane and the chance to live vicariously through my former self. I delved into hundreds of slides I shot from a trip 10 years ago and here's the contest entry I came up with: 

    [Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile | February, 2004] // After college graduation, I moved back in with my parents, worked two jobs, and saved up money to travel. Less than a year later, my now-husband and I set off for two months in South America. We traveled through Peru, Argentina, and Chile (where I had spent a semester living two years prior). Ten years and two kids later, we fondly remember this epic adventure where we backpacked, camped, took 19-hour bus rides, met people from all over the globe, and saw some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. One of these unforgettable sights was the three granite Torres del Paine in the southernmost part of Chile. We hiked all morning to reach this spot and arrived to find the iconic rock spires completely engulfed in fog. I vividly remember fighting back tears, I was so disappointed. Other dismayed hikers turned around to begin the long trek back. Andrew convinced me that we should stay and at least eat the lunch we had brought. We had the place to ourselves as we sat on a huge boulder at the base of the turquoise pool of glacial water and ate. And, as if rewarding us for staying, the fog parted for a mere two minutes and we got our own private viewing party of these stunning formations. // Thank you,   @passionpassport ,  for prompting me to get out the slides I shot during the trip and relive some amazing memories. #PPtravelmemories // #fromritasarchives // 📷 Minolta X-7A 35mm camera, Fujifilm Velvia

 

[Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile | February, 2004] // After college graduation, I moved back in with my parents, worked two jobs, and saved up money to travel. Less than a year later, my now-husband and I set off for two months in South America. We traveled through Peru, Argentina, and Chile (where I had spent a semester living two years prior). Ten years and two kids later, we fondly remember this epic adventure where we backpacked, camped, took 19-hour bus rides, met people from all over the globe, and saw some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. One of these unforgettable sights was the three granite Torres del Paine in the southernmost part of Chile. We hiked all morning to reach this spot and arrived to find the iconic rock spires completely engulfed in fog. I vividly remember fighting back tears, I was so disappointed. Other dismayed hikers turned around to begin the long trek back. Andrew convinced me that we should stay and at least eat the lunch we had brought. We had the place to ourselves as we sat on a huge boulder at the base of the turquoise pool of glacial water and ate. And, as if rewarding us for staying, the fog parted for a mere two minutes and we got our own private viewing party of these stunning formations. // Thank you, @passionpassport, for prompting me to get out the slides I shot during the trip and relive some amazing memories. #PPtravelmemories // #fromritasarchives // 📷 Minolta X-7A 35mm camera, Fujifilm Velvia

I didn't win the contest, but I found the whole experience to be highly rewarding. Receiving an honorable mention wasn't too shabby either.

Home is Where the Lake and Rivers Are

It's no secret that I love Minneapolis. And Minnesota. And the Midwest in general. I was honored when Modern Midwest - a website devoted to celebrating "modern living, Midwest-style" - asked me to compile a set of photos showing off my home state. I selected the theme "Land of Sky-Blue Water," (crossed my fingers that Hamm's Beer hadn't trademarked that phrase), and then chose nine photos highlighting Minnesota's beautiful lakes and rivers. Check out the H2O-centric feature here:

My Modern Midwest: Minnesota, The Land of Sky-Blue Water