This year, Liv and I spent 6 weeks in the USA. It was pretty sweet.
To a certain degree, when you’ve seen one city you’ve seen them all. But NYC has a long reputation for being something special, so we had to start off by seeing if the hype was real. We stayed in Brooklyn (Manhattan prices are crazy yo) which was a great neighborhood in itself. We had 11 nights here, and that was just enough to scratch the surface – anything less than a week would be missing out. We both live to eat and NYC had no shortage of options to keep us happy – Smorgasburg alone is enough to make the trip worthwhile. Australia seriously needs to catch up on mozzarella-stick-availability. We won front-row tickets to Book of Mormon. A couple of my previous brides + grooms are now NYC residents, so it was awesome to catch up and see their favourite spots as well. I walked more here than in any other 11 day period in my life, but I loved it all.
I had basically zero idea what to expect from the windy city, but it was a crowd-pleaser as well. On our first day we stumbled across a place giving away free pints of ice-cream and then there was a free orchestral concert in the park. Hard to top that.
Nashville > New Orleans
After flying to Nashville we picked up some wheels and spent a week road-tripping it down south to New Orleans. I listened to more country music here than in any other time of my life. NOLA was stupidly hot through the day, so we basically hung out in bars, ate food and listened to the blues for 4 days. 10/10 would recommend.
We linked up with Liv’s sister here. The weather changes about 5 times a day. We hit up a ball game, Alcatraz, Muir Woods and took a day trip down to Big Sur. Plenty of stuff to keep us busy, even though we stayed in the worst neighborhood in town (SF prices also crazy). I had the chance to shoot a portrait session here which was good fun. Had a killer meal at the Stinking Rose, a restaurant where garlic is in every dish on the menu.
This was the top location I was keen to visit the states for in the first place, and it didn’t disappoint. The scale and grandeur cannot be explained. I could easily do a couple more weeks here, it’s a photographer’s paradise. On our last night we spotted a bear with 2 cubs which was incredible. It’s around this point at which we no longer cared to point out squirrel sightings.
We were wondering what the most Vegas thing we could do is, so we renewed our vows with a ceremony by Elvis. I thought it would be stupid and fun, but it was way more stupid and fun than that. The heat was pretty unbearable – I have no idea why anyone chooses to live there. Took a day to see the Grand Canyon – I’d love flying in a helicopter even if it was over a parking lot, but this was significantly more impressive. The photographer part of my brain was pretty devo we weren’t there at sunset, but you’ve gotta cut corners somewhere when you’re on holiday.
Everyone we spoke to before this trip said that LA was shit, and although I can see how you could feel that way, we still had a good time. Venice Beach + Santa Monica were perfect for people watching. We spent our final day at Six Flags riding as many rollercoasters as possible without spewing.
All in all, pretty solid trip. No stolen bags or missed flights (ala Europe) at least.
(shot on a mix of Fuji X-T2 ~ 23/1.4, D750 ~ Sigma 24 + 50 Art, Nikon 105/1.4)