Adventures in Michigan and Chicago

Have you ever been out to Michigan during the summer? It's beautiful! I was out there this last weekend for a friend's wedding and it was the furthest East I've been thus far and I didn't want to leave. I also had a layover in Chicago so I have some awesome shots from that exploration as well. I just wanted to share some of these photos with you, because I think they turned out beautifully. In the words of Jim Richardson, "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more beautiful things." That's how I felt about my photos from this trip. I left on Thursday morning, had a small layover in Chicago which wasn't long enough to go explore the city, and then, after our plane had a brake mechanical issue, I finally made it to Traverse City, MI at 12:45am. It was in a smaller town to the north that we had a rental home for the family of the groom and his groomsmen  (of which I was one). It was there that I spent a few days enjoying their company, sipping coffee on the dock in the early morning, and canoeing around the lake. Below are some of the photos I loved most from this area.

The steep hill in Sleeping Bear Dunes, that you can see people climbing up, my friend and I decided to time ourselves and push for a record. After nearly killing ourselves due to a heart attack, dehydration, passing-out, etc., we made the top in 16 minutes and 16 seconds. So difficult, but so rewarding and memorable. It only took about 3 minutes to run down it though at full speed and for me, I choose not to stop and just ran straight into the cold waters of Lake Michigan.

Then on Saturday, we had the wedding, which went splendidly, and although I wasn't the main wedding photographer, I was able to grab a few shots before and after and at the reception.

Then I had most of Sunday to relax as well before I left in the evening. My flight got into Chicago at 8:30pm and my flight to Los Angeles wasn't till 7:15am the next morning. So I took advantage of that spare time and I rode the "L" into downtown Chicago so that I could go visit Millennium Park and see "Sky Gate", or better known as "The Bean."

After almost getting lost trying to get back to the train station, I finally got back to the airport at 11:30pm to find that the security check-in closes at 10:30pm. So instead of spending the night on the carpeted floor of my boarding gate, I spent the night on some chairs by baggage claim. Aside from a crying baby nearby, I slept great! Fun fact, I can sleep most anywhere, and in this case I did. The chairs had armrests that didn't move, so in order to lie down and had to slide in underneath them and then couldn't move once in position. I had an armrest above my head, my stomach, and my legs; regardless of these 'annoyances' I slept great only waking up once at 3:00am because the baby again. I wish I had a picture of my on the chairs, but I don't... lame!

I woke up at 6:20-ish and went through check-in and got to my gate with an hour to spare. Then I slept some more, boarding the plane, then slept almost the whole way home. Once I was back in LA at 10:00am, I grabbed my car and headed straight to work. Needless to say, returning to my apartment, a shower, and my sweet loving bed at the end of the day all felt so great. My adventures in Michigan and Chicago however will remain fond memories and I have the pictures to prove it.

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