January 27th, 2015:
For the last two nights of my time in Portugal, I settled into the riverside city of Porto. Porto is Portugal’s second largest population center, the place where the country gets half it’s name from and all of it’s port wine. My days were spent wandering the street looking for the right light and drinking coffee beside the river – my nights were quiet ones spent reading and indulging in a bit of the local food/port/cheese. It was a relatively mellow couple of days, but it was the perfect setting to end my time in the quaint country.
January 23rd, 2015:
Evora is one of those little towns that you come across when traveling that you don’t really know what it is, but you just don’t feel like leaving. There really wasn’t much to see – a church, some roman ruins and plenty of yellow and cream color buildings – but as soon as I checked in to the Hostel Namaste (very highly recommended by me) I felt at home and instantly decided to tack on at least an extra night.
The first night I was there was December 31st and Maria (the hostel owner), invited us along with her to a local party consisting of mostly young families and the middle aged demographic – other than me and couple other travelers in our group, the room consisted of about 100 Portuguese people, wine/whiskey that just kept flowing and live music. Over the course of night the other travelers and I got to talking about the little hillside town of Monsaraz, which was supposedly beautiful but inaccessible without a car, We were kind of bummed we’d miss out seeing it when another lady at out table leans over and says “You need a car? I have a car. Cars are for getting places and I don’t need it tomorrow.”
The next day found us heading towards the Spanish border in a 15 year old car that rattled a bit with the advice of “If it makes noise, don’t worry about it, it’s old!” It was a great day behind the wheel, even if the recommendation was to drive gently and don’t go over 100km/h. I am always amazed at the generosity of people.
I ended up staying 3 nights here and spent long afternoons doing nothing but reading my book, drinking coffee and chatting about philosophy with Maria (who has a a PhD in the subject and taught it for 30 year). It was just the right way for me to start off 2015.
January 19th, 2015:
A quick 40 minute train ride from Lisbon and you arrive in Sintra, complete with Moorish castle ruin, the multi-hued Pena Palace and a cute little town that is over run with tourists. The guide books all recommend taking a day trip on Monday from Lisbon because the sights in Lisbon are closed on Monday and everything is open in Sintra. I foolishly followed the Lonely Planets advice – as did every other tourist in Lisbon.
I really wish I had swapped days and came to Sintra on Tuesday and hit up some of the sights in Lisbon on Monday. The Lisbon sights were so crowded that I didn’t end up going inside anyplace anyways, and if I had seen them on Monday the outsides wouldn’t have been as crushed with tourists. Oh well, live and learn – always doubt the reasoning of guidebooks.
Sintra was still quite pleasant and since I chose to hike the 1 mile uphill to the Castle and Palace, I saw very few people (who mostly took the shuttle) on the trail and had a good hour wandering the hillsides alone before once again joining the crush of people to gawk at old piles of rock.
January 16th, 2015:
Happy New Year Everyone!
So, I know the last month has been super quiet on this blog and in the Robert Paetz social media world (other than sharing stuff over on Instagram), but I’ve been off on adventures – visiting my wife in London, visiting friends in Antwerp and wandering about Portugal just seeing what there is to see. I’ve been back in California for about a week, and I finally settled into the computer to work on a few images from my trip. I’ll start with this series from Lisbon (the Portuguese capital) and I’ll have a few more posts from my travels in the next week or so.
December 15th, 2014:
For my last wedding of the year, Kenny and I had the privilege to photograph Dino + Alisa’s celebration at the Glendale Hilton. You might remember these two from their super cool penguin shoot at the aquarium (with LIVE penguins involved!), and they didn’t let the craziness stop for their wedding. They were both all smiles all day long and the bridal party was one of the chillest groups of people I’ve came across. All in all it made for the perfect wedding to end the year on!
Congrats again to you both and have an amazing time in Thailand!
Now it’s time to head out for the holidays and take a break myself, too. For 3 weeks during Christmas and New Year I’ll be headed to Europe to visit London, Belgium and Portugal. I won’t be traveling with a laptop, so I probably won’t be posting here during that time, but I promise a few posts of travel image when I get back in mid January. If you are interested in my day to day wanderings, I’ll be posting on my Instagram account, so be sure to catch up with me there.
See you all soon!
November 24th, 2014:
Paige used to work with me WAAAAYYYY back in the day when I was a bartender and in the intervening decade she has met Matt, got married and now they have the adorable family you see here. I spent a great afternoon catching up with her and getting to know the whole family during their session. I have to give the biggest shout out to Gavin (the 6 year old son), who easily ranks as the most cooperative little man in the history of family photography. The little dude just worked it for the camera and has a modeling future if he want it.
November 20th, 2014:
Jandiz and I have know each other for about 15 years – we first met way back in 1999 in Bill Myer’s technical theater class where we had the privilege of learning about everything technical about the theater world. Somewhere between learning the difference between a carriage bolt, a loft block and a keystone we became friends and even though she spent the last decade in New York, we somehow manage to keep in touch. It was in New York where she met Nick and when I learned they were moving to California and getting married, I couldn’t wait to meet up with them, get to know Nick and gain a couple more L.A. friends!
I am throughly happy for these two and thrilled to see my friend find such an amazing husband. Congrats to you both and I’ll see you guys soon!
November 18th, 2014:
Alison and Stephen celebrated their wedding outside under the oak trees of Anaheim’s Oak Canyon Nature Center and you couldn’t have asked for better, more relaxed, fall afternoon to get married. Alison was walked down the aisle by her 88 year old grandfather and Stephen was all smiles for her throughout the day.
Thanks again to Kenny for shooting with me, and congrats again to you both! Have a fantastic marriage!
November 14th, 2014:
Rain on your wedding day is good luck, right?
Well, it’s even better if you are Lance and Veronica and get the good luck early in the morning, but then the skies clear but leave behind epic clouds and a sweet view of the ocean from San Pedro. I had a fantastic time with these two, shooting their catholic ceremony in Wilmington before heading to San Pedro for photos and their reception at the American Dalmatian Club. Lance even brought his A-game when he surprised Veronica with a special performance with him and his band at the reception!
Thanks to Kenny for helping me shoot their celebration and congrats again to Lance and Veronica – Enjoy being married!
November 7th, 2014:
So since it’s right around that time that Sierra and Max are on there way home from their Thailand honeymoon, I figured it was also time to post a blog about their Glendale wedding day from two weeks ago. Kenny and I had a great time photographing these two and their party bus full of exuberant bridesmaids and groomsmen! The day took us from their hotel suites in Glendale to Pasadena City Hall, back to Glendale to the Holy Family Catholic Church for the ceremony, before finally heading to the Palladio reception hall for an epic reception party!
Sierra and Max were wonderful to photograph, and I was thrilled to be part of their day. Congrats again and I hope you both had a fantastic time in Thailand!