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Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

So here's the thing.

I am a HUGE sucker for weddings. LOVE. Totally obsessed.  The royal wedding though...?


I thought it was cool - good for her, I thought, eight long years you go girl! My plans for the big day? Watch it on TV with the 4 bagillion other people, even though I live 5 miles away from the wedding venue.

And then, in a last minute "I-love-weddings-must-freak-out-and-obsess-over-them" moment...I decided to go see the wedding - with the bagillion other people doing the same thing.

camping out in front of Buckingham Palace

We went to a pub that was kiddy-corner from Westminster.  Even though we were so close, I felt so far away.  My plan? Watch the wedding on the TV in the pub and cheer as the vehicles carrying the royal wedding party drove down the road behind me. Thats close enough, right?

I *might* have found the flag on the street and proceeded to carry it around with me all day...whatevs

ummmm....for reals?

we caught Wills and Kate snogging at the pub before the ceremony

And then...I felt a little flutter in my stomach (it may or may not have been because of the champagne...)

first champers of the day...possibly at 10am...
A little, nervous energy started to creep in...suddenly I HAD to be outside, RIGHT NOW.  I forced persuaded Brian to let me sit on his shoulders while the processional drove by.

Pippa and the little ones on the way to the chapel
True to the original plan, we watched the ceremony in the pub.

And then.

Oooohhhhh and then.

It was time.

I dragged Brian out of the pub, away from his beer, and scrambled up his back like a little monkey....

That is the closest I will EVER get to royalty in my life.

Not too bad if you ask me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Enough is enough

*warning - this is a VERY photo heavy post...hope you don't mind ;) *

That's it - I've had it.

I just CANNOT WAIT ANY LONGER to tell you about my favorite part of our trip to Vietnam. I tried to be a good girl and post things in order so you could get some idea of the flow of our trip - but I just can't do it anymore!

Whew, now that that's out of my system...shall we?

My FAVORITE part of our trip to Vietnam, hands down, was a sunrise photography tour that I took on our third day in Hoi An.  That would be the day after our motorcycle trip (more on that later) and two days after our walking tour of Hoi An (also coming later).

I was a little queasy about the fact that I was getting picked up from my hotel at 4:45 it again (especially if you know me, like at all) - 4:45 AM.  Just thinking about it brings that sick feeling in my stomach again. Glad thats over!

But seriously, getting up early was totally and completely worth it.  After picking up the other members of the tour we set out for a small fishing village outside of Hoi An. We started off on a small ferry boat that took us to the town. It was a cool, hazy morning. At first I was a little upset that we weren't going to get to see a great sunrise - the light was really flat and the haze was just sitting on top of us like a cloud.   As I started shooting though, I realized that the light made everything look a little more mysterious, a little more muted than it might normally be. Some of the palest photos on this post are completely unedited, and show a true reflection of the light that day.

Our morning went as follows - first we went to observe the fisherman bring in their morning catch and sell it on shore, after which the fish are taken to the market to be sold again. Then we would walk through the small town, visit with the locals, take a (much needed) coffee break, and then visit two local businesses before making our way back to the small ferry.

We arrived at our first stop just in time to see the fishermen pull up in their boats, ready with the catch of the day. The fishermen fill up their small basket boats with the fish and take it to shore where a slew of feisty women were waiting to grab whatever they could as fast as they could, buy it on the spot, and immediately take it out to the markets to be resold. (side note - the basket boats were originally invented when the local government, back in the day, started taxing the fisherman on their boats. The fishermen crafted super large "baskets" to take to shore from their large fishing boats. When the government tried to tax them on it, they replied back that it wasn't actually a boat - it was a basket. Taxation avoided)

This was absolute mayhem.

The women moved and talked and yelled so fast, for the first few minutes I just stood there stunned not knowing what to do.  Finally, I jumped in to action and was able to get some great shots.

After the craziness down by the water calmed down a bit, we made our way in to town.  Most of the young people leave the village in the early morning to go work in Hoi An or Da Nang, the bigger towns and cities close by. That means that during the day, most of the people left in town are children and older people. This makes for great photography!

After our stroll around town we made our way to a family run fish sauce making business, and then we went to the home of a woman who makes traditional cakes and sells them to shops in Hoi An. Clearly you know who my favorite was in this round of photos.

And then before I knew it, it was time to head back to the small ferry. As we wandered back along the water I tried to take it all in, quietly observing the activities of a life so different from my own. I wanted to absorb every site, every smell, every thing that was going on around me.

For more information about the Sunrise Photo tour that I took, check out their website here and their facebook page here. You can check out some more of my photos on my facebook album as well!