mother’s day is an odd sort of day for me.

do I celebrate myself. . . ? . . .
or do I celebrate my own mom . . . ? . . .
maybe both ? ! ?
or maybe neither > > >
I love my mom, and our relationship is as strong now, as it has ever been > > >
we understand each other more each year. . .
which is a beautiful thing > > >

– but it hasn’t always been peachy –

for years, my grandmother and three of her four daughters, would all attend the mother’s day banquet at our southern baptist church. . .

my mom, was often absent.
in fact, she was ALWAYS absent.

but the mom I had back then, wasn’t the same person she is now.
she was a completely different person back then.

as a kid, I didn’t care what she had going on.
whether my grandparents were raising me, or she was. . .

somewhere, somehow, I knew what the perfect mom was.
& the mom I got > > > well.
it wasn’t her.

growing up I resented her, for everything she wasn’t.

fit.

wealthy.

educated.

but most importantly, PRESENT

while my other friends had moms who  took them to basketball practice afters chool and to travel ball on the weekends . . . mine was often working.
or drinking.
or doing whatever it was she wanted or needed to do. . . .

she’d always say it was “for me”

she was working “for me”
she was going back to school “for me”

she even told me she was moving me from my grandparents house in Pensacola, to Pace, to be with her & her new husband. . .
“for me”

& I wasn’t hearing it or having it.

Even back then, I was a pretty smart kid.

I knew drinking tequila and smoking cigarettes on the back porch wasn’t “for me”
I knew getting drunk with her coworkers occasionally or at friend’s houses on the weekends wasn’t “for me”

I’d run to my grandmother to tell her the awful things I was living through.
as my mom reads this, she’ll be thinking. . . “MY GOD. DID I DO ANYTHING RIGHT. PLEASE LET THIS MOTHER’S DAY POST GET BETTER FROM HERE”

just kidding.
she won’t.
she knows she did.
& honestly, she doesn’t care.

my mom didn’t have the grandmother, I had raise me. . .
raise her, as a mother.
read that again.

the grandmother, who raised me and cared for me.
was not the same person, whilst raising my mom.

but as a kid, you don’t know that.
you don’t care.
A parent, is just that.
A PARENT.

When I had Jackson, my mom was probably the largest she’d ever been. . .
Most people who’ve met her in the last 10 years have no idea, she used to be a totally different person.
On the inside, and the out.

They live on a busy road, and one day when Jackson was around 2 or 3 she took him for a walk. . .
& he, being the boy he was, took off into a full blown sprint. . .  straight towards Spencer Field. . .

my mom tried chasing him, and all she could think of was
“my God, he is going to die. & it’s going to be all your fault, because you can’t even catch a 2 year old running”

she changed her life.

she gave up alcohol completely.
she gave up cigarettes, completely.
she gave up meat, completely.
she lost more than 100 pounds.

she quit her job she’d been at for practically my entire life, and decided to become a yoga instructor.
and travel the world.

by this time, I had two kids, creeping up on three,
and though she’d become most of the things I’d hoped for as a bratty middle schooler, who was super worried about what everyone else had to say. . .

she was still gone.
a lot.

to Italy.
Then Costa Rica.
then somewhere else.
then somewhere else.

My therapist and I talked often about loving people for who they are, or not loving them at all.
It took years and years to finally forgive my mom, for not being who I THOUGHT she should be.
AS A MOTHER.

As a child, somehow, I’d envisioned my mother to be the clean cut, wealthy, educated, lawyer of a mom, who also finger painted and never had to actually work. . .
the one who baked regularly and always had my best interests first and foremost.
you know, PERFECT.

and I had no problem calling her out on her shortcomings anytime she gave me the chance.

when she talked to be about underage drinking, I told her she was a poor example of someone I should listen to.
when she told me to never do drugs or smoke I reminded her my real father was in prison. . .
when she told me not to worry about what other people thought about me, and just to find inner peace,
and be happy with myself I told her she was an idiot, and could never understand my life . . .

but then it happened.

I grew up.
Finally.

I was mom, of the year.
present, yet working hard.
educated (somewhat) and ranked.
fit and showing it.

each day, I’d motivate myself into being a better mom, by telling myself how NOT to be like her. . .
Don’t we all do that.
Pick the good parts we want to keep and bury the bad parts as deep down as we can.

I kept it up for a while.
But then some REAL life happened, and I nose dived.
I became depressed out of the blue and couldn’t kick it.

& she came over nearly every day.
she laid with me.
outside on the trampoline.

begged me to take medicine.
or see a doctor.
or take a supplement.

drove me around if I had jobs to do.
answered the phone, when I’d call, mid panic attack.

begged me to eat.
no one knew how sick I was.
not even Jason. . .

but she did.
she never once judged me.
she just loved me through it.
& showed up.

Our  bad years, are what I am certain, were like most everyone’s bad years.
but our good ones, are impossible to compete with.
& for that, I am thankful.

I learned to love HER for who she was.
not as my MOTHER. but as a person.
who happened to be the one that birthed me.

she had a rough childhood.
a terrible one.
and things didn’t improve for her, for a very long time.
that job she was working, that I hated. . .
it was a miracle.
and those habits she had. . .
helped get her through the chaos I now live everyday, without having had such trauma in my life like she did.  .  .

She never answers the phone, and she rarely shows up (actually, NEVER shows up) unexpectedly to take the kids, so I can have a break.
But when I called her at 2am because my pain meds weren’t working after my ACL surgery and Jason couldn’t deal with me. . . she drove over.

Just because she isn’ t here all the time, or as much as I think she should be, doesn’t mean she ISN’T HERE.
& it certainly doesn’t mean, she doesn’t care.

The truth is. . .she has been there, as BEST she could for me,  my entire life. . .
those mother’s day banquets that she missed,
it turns out they were harder for her, than they were for me.

I don’t know where you stand with your mom.
But I do know this.
Most of us moms, are just trying.
The good ones, are putting up a fight.

We all have this vision of ourselves in our head, of how we should be, or shouldn’t be. .
and daily, we tally up how far away we are from her.
THE PERFECT MOM

Sometimes, we’re there.
We eat healthy.
We have money.
We look great.
We’re kind. and soft spoken. and always down to bake or craft in our perfectly clean homes.
But those days are few.

but my mom taught me the greatest lesson in motherhood, one could EVER LEARN.

if YOU ARE UNHAPPY.
YOU ARE GOOD FOR NO ONE.
NOT YOUR KIDS.
NOT YOUR HUSBAND.
no. one.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO  LOVE YOURSELF AND THE CHOICES YOU MAKE EVEN IF NO ONE ELSE CAN SOMETIMES. . .
so that you can LOVE YOUR CHILDREN FOR WHO THEY ARE, AND NOT WHO YOU WISH THEY WERE AS WELL. . .

I didn’t want to do photos today.
TRULY.

I am chubby.
I am tired.

I am four days late (AND ABSOLUTELY NOT PREGNANT) and have some weird hormonal cystic acne going down my right cheek bone and in between my eye brows.

Neither of my kids napped today, because my husband is on EIGHT STRAIGHT and I also had to help make 87 mother’s day bracelets so I just kept them alive with gummies and cat naps in the car to and from errands.

My hair hasn’t been touched by a stylist in 5 months (since New York actually) and I have no eye lashes because I missed my appointment, because I forgot to put my Invisalign back in after breakfast. . . and got stuck in traffic.

BUT BY GOD, I showed up.
for them.
I pulled up my spanx, threw on a dress and a hat and some fake lashes and promised my kids ice cream if they’d just BE COOL for like, twenty minutes.

BECAUSE THIS IS LIFE.
& it is everything.

It’s not perfectly groomed, well napped, well fed children.
& I am not a perfect mom.
But I am their mom.
& that, is enough.

this mother’s day,
I am thankful for my mom.

& her mom.

Both imperfect people, but people who in very different ways, made me who I am. . .

I am thankful to my mother in law, who raised the perfect (yet mouthy) husband. . .

I am thankful for my kids and all the love we have for each other.

& I want them to KNOW, life, isn’t a Disney movie.
It’s not vacations and happy endings and minimal fighting or obstacles.
IT IS LIFE.
& it is HARD sometimes.

But I am not simply MOM.
I am a person too, trying along with them, to navigate all of the hardships, with the good times and learn and grow, along the way.

This mother’s day, the key is
HAPPINESS.
GRACE.
FOR YOURSELF, AND FOR OTHERS.

& we have it.

BUT as the saying goes

“IF MOMMA AIN’T HAPPY.
AIN’T NOBODY HAPPY”

& they know that all too well > > >

hence, these amazing photos.

happy mother’s day moms.
so so thankful, for the life I’ve been dealt .
without my mom, and her mom and all the moms before,
I wouldn’t be the mom I am today>
here, is to us <3

MotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMotherMother

dearest Burch babes,
you are my entire world.
I hope you know that.
& feel that.
maybe not all of the time, but enough of the time.

you are everything.
i’ll love you forever.

thank you for having me. . .
oxox
momma

((photos by Trysha for Jordan Burch Photography)

 

Welcome to Pensacola beach!

Pensacola Beach Sunset by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Sunset by Jordan Burch



With so much to do, we wanted to create a guide full of all of some of our LOCAL favorites!
Having been born & raised here, I felt I was (rather) qualified to share a few things that I love about our town, with all of you who are only here short term!
I’m a wedding photographer, family photographer, business developer, farm owner, etc > > >
but the main part about me (in regards to this) is not only do I love pretty scenery, to enjoy and to photograph,
but I REALLY love GREAT FOOD****

& when it comes time to unwind & relax (which is atlas once or twice a week)
you’ll find me here  > > >
In paradise,
on Pensacola Beach > > >
((usually hunting shells at sunset, as pictured below))whattodo

Each time we’ve traveled somewhere, the local joints always end up being our favorite.
Not the we don’t enjoy exploring, or being tourists sometimes too,
but to make the most of our time, we always want to make sure our time (and money) are well spent!

So here is a list of 15 faves!
From my family, to yours!
In no particular order > > >



1.) GULF ISLANDS  NATIONAL SEASHORE.

jordan Burch photography pensacola beach

Family Photos at Fort Pickens Beach with Jordan Burch Photography


If you’re staying anywhere on pensacola beach, you’re only (one) turn away from fort pickens beach.
You will need to pay $10 gate fee to get in, or apply that to a pass if you’ll be in town a while!
What to do: there are several “locals only” beaches on this path. Known for being the best beaches for fishermen (lack of children running through the lines), you’ll find more than 4 parking lots on the left side of the road that have wayyy less people, which means wayyyy more seashells & wayyy more privacy! Head out at sunrise for your best chance at all the good shells, or head here at sunset, for an un-paralled view of the emerald coast
(with no condos/ houses in the background!)

2.) FORT PICKENS

Visit Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch

Fort Pickens Wedding Images by Jordan Burch

Visit Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch

Fort Pickens Wedding Images by Jordan Burch

Visit Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch

Fort Pickens Wedding Images by Jordan Burch

Visit Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch

Fort Pickens Wedding Images by Jordan Burch


Using the same pass above ^, follow this road all the way to the very end for a chance to visit fort pickens. A great spot for fishing, diving, or just spending the day walking and exploring.
What to do here: if you’re visiting with kids, you’ll want to make sure they’re in closed toed shoes to run free and wild. Fort pickens is beautiful, but is located in grassier areas with sandspurs and brush. Though there is plenty of room to roam, you won’t want to slip out of your shoes during a tour.  
Also, bring your camera, the views are spectacular! (Granted) I am a beach wedding photographer, I had to share my favorite images from shooting here. I love the grassy areas and undisturbed beach areas, all remote, feeling world’s away from the core of Pensacola Beach (Casino Beach)


3.) PENSACOLA BLUE ANGELS

Blue Angels by Jordan Burch Photography

Baby Blue Angel Pilot by Jordan Burch

Blue Angels by Jordan Burch Photography, Visit Pensacola beach

Pensacola Beach Wedding photography by Jordan Burch

Blue Angels by Jordan Burch Photography, Visit Pensacola beach

Engagement session at NAS Pensacola by Jordan Burch


Check the practice schedule for weekly flying times if you’re not staying on a “home show” weekend. They typically practice 1-2 times per week during the spring a summer.  Head out to ^ the gulf islands national seashore / fort pickens for an awesome view to the show! If you’d like to make the drive over and get away from the beach a while, they have a lovely museum (free) where kids can climb in and out of aircrafts, which makes it ideal for a rainy weather backup day (or a “recover from sunburn” day)
What to do: head down to any of the more private beaches along the seashore (on fort pickens road, past toll) or head all the way to the very end (fort pickens) for a chance to watch the blues practice.  Truly, one of the best parts about pensacola!



4.) DOLPHIN CRUISE
Currently, we don’t support any “one” cruise, but be sure to hop on a boat while you’re here and take a tour! The boats stay on the sound side (typically very calm waters) and hunt for dolphins. Fun fact: there are more dolphins in the waters surrounding pensacola and gulf breeze, than there are people living in those towns! Take all the photos you want, but please don’t pet, feed or attempt to disturb the dolphins in any way.  Who needs a park with dolphins in captivity, when you can have them right outside of your boat, in their natural habitat?!
What to do: research local dolphin cruise boats
Pack a snack, sunscreen and make sure your phone is charged, remember, sometime the search for dolphins can take a while, and sometimes they’re spotted before you even leave the dock.
Some boats offer beverages on board, so check ahead.

4. B) DOLPHINS

Pensacola Beach Family Photography by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Photography by Jordan Burch


Don’t want to cruise? Typically you can see dolphins swimming in the gulf waters, right off the sandbars (sometimes closer!) just sit in your beach chair, and keep your fingers crossed!


5.) WALK THE PIER

Pensacola Beach Pier (via Visit Pensacola)

Pensacola Beach Pier (via Visit Pensacola)


(info via visit pensacola beach)
For spectacular views and great fishing visit the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier.
A wide platform at the end of the pier allows anglers of all ages

to try their hand at “deep sea” fishing in the 20 ft. deep waters below.

If you don’t have your own gear, you can rent from the on-site bait and tackle shop.
They’ll happily tell you what’s biting and outfit you to get in on the catch.

If fishing isn’t on your agenda, a stroll to the end of the pier provides
amazing views of the beach and the marine life below.

It’s also a great spot to snap a photo and watch the sunset.

There are separate charges for fishermen and observers.
What to do:  Check the pier’s website above for details and hours of operation or walk on out and see for yourself
(pier is right behind the giant beach ball)

6.) HUNT FOR SANDCRABS

spring break pensacola by Jordan Burch

spring break pensacola by Jordan Burch


(info via gulfshores.com)
Crabbing on the beach at night is a fun activity for all ages.
Grab a couple of flashlights** (must have), sand shovels, dip nets and buckets
and head out towards the beach just after dark.
Sand crabs are pretty fast, so you’ll have to move quickly.
After a wave breaks, shine your light and you’ll see them scurry across the sand, burying themselves.
Break out the shovel and start digging.
Once your crab-hunting adventure is over, be sure to release them back to the water.

7.) GO FISHING!

Daddy + Daughter fishing on Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch

Daddy + Daughter fishing on Pensacola beach by Jordan Burch


As with dolphin cruises, we currently don’t advertise for any one fishing charter, though visit pensacola has several listed on their site.
Check with your captains, as many local restaurants will
cook your fresh catch for you, right off the dock. You can also rent equipment from the Pier (above) or visit Gulf Breeze Bait & Tackle, for the full hook up!



8.) VISIT CASINO BEACH or QUIET WATER BEACH ((AKA MOM’S BEACH))

Quiet Water Beach in Pensacola by Jordan burch

Quiet Water Beach in Pensacola by Jordan burch


What locals refer to as mom beach, many refer to as Quiet Water.
Located on the northern side of the beach, the sound side is typically less wavy, thus, easier for moms to keep watch of beginner swimmers.  Parking can be hard to find, so arrive early if you don’t want to have to walk. Spend the day on this beach, and order lunch from the boardwalk, shop various boutiques and stores, and enjoy some delicious drinks from various bars, all within a few steps of casino beach.  Bring your chairs, floats and coolers and see why many local moms, prefer this beach, (over the gulf side) for smaller babes. Casino Beach is technically right across the road (on the Gulf Side) is is easily found by the giant beach ball!

 

9.) BANDS ON THE BEACH

Image courtesy of Cat Country 98.7

Image courtesy of Cat Country 98.7


During the summer, every tuesday enjoy live bands at “bands on the beach” at the gulf side pavillion
(also located behind the giant beach ball)
Check their website for dates/times and acts.  
Bring your own beverages ( no glass) and enjoy a night of music close to sunset.  Stop for some of the most delicious wings in the world, at sidelines before heading out, or grab some after  the music ends! (located right next door!)

  10.) DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA

Duh in Pensacola

Duh in Pensacola, FL

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar

Just a short 20 minute drive from the beach is the thriving vibes of downtown pensacola.
Featuring some of the best restaurants, shops, and sites, one could easily spend all day walking the various parks, museums, shops and more. A must while you are there? Joe patti’s seafood!  If cooking is in the plans, grab some fresh shrimp, crabs and fish, straight off the docks! They’ll even steam them for you!
Fave shops and sites: duh home and garden (beautifully curated home decor and lunch spot)
Jeweler’s trade for all things sparkly
Ever’man co-op and grocery store
Intracoastal outfitters + lee tracy
Old hickory whiskey bar
Fosko coffee
Artel art museum
Pensacola children’s museum
Palafox market (saturday am only)

 11.) BLUE WAHOOS

Wahoo Stadium from City Of Pensacola

Wahoo Stadium from City Of Pensacola


We may be biased, but the blue wahoos stadium has to be one of the prettiest stadiums (at sunset) in the world
For games, times and tickets visit here
Keep in mind, they often have fireworks, and kids can hang out in “the outfield” in the grass if they want to move their legs. There is also an awesome park and plenty of room to roam, if you just want to visit during the day (and not attend a game)

12.) PENSACOLA LIGHTHOUSE AND MUESEM
(via tripadvisor)
The Best View in Town! Climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast.
Built in 1859, the lighthouse is located on board NAS Pensacola.
The tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Bay, the Pensacola skyline, and the historic Navy Yard. The fully restored Keepers’ Quarters, built in 1869, is home to a museum and a gift shop. Visit this historic spot in America’s First Settlement, established in 1559. Make a day of it and visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and Fort Barrancas while you’re here. Our nature walk takes you to the white sands of beautiful quiet-water beach–a perfect beach for kids. Bring the family and a picnic lunch and stay a while. The Pensacola Lighthouse and museum is open 7 days/week. Special tours include Blue Angel practices, Light of the Moon and Ghost Hunts. Private tour and function times available as well. *To access NAS Pensacola, civilian guests must use the West Gate on Blue Angel Parkway*

13.)NAVAL LIVE OAKS

Naval Live Oak, Gulf Breeze

Naval Live Oak, Gulf Breeze


A perfect place to go exploring!
Visitors can view wildlife and fabulous flora and fauna from one  of the many nature trails in this 1,000 acres of woods located on the water.  Bring your swimsuits, towels, a board for sliding down the sand mountain, closed toed shoes and snacks!

14.) Get active!
((I swearrr we just paddle boarded and kayaked last weekend with my sister, but we didn’t get any photos!))
Oh well! If you do this and take some good shots, send them my way!

Rent paddle boards to tour little sabine or bikes to ride trails through fort pickens.
To see the best trails visit here

15.) Kid / Family Zone

Premier adventure park by Jordan Burch

Premier Adventure Park

remier adventure park by Jordan Burch

Premier adventure

W007BURCHCOLLECTIVEThere is a new addition to Pensacola Beach called Premier Adventure Park
Parasailing, Jet Skids, Go Karts, Ropes course and more!
I am thrilled this finally exists. For when you’re over the beach for a while, and just want to try something else, the kids are sure to have a great time!
I hear they are adding a splash pad and a restaurant, but for now, it was enough to keep us busy for half the day!
For now, be sure to bring drinks and snacks, as there isn’t anywhere to purchase on site!


ALSO > > > > BOOK A BEACH PHOTOSHOOT < < < <

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Engagement Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch

Pensacola Beach Family Portraits by Jordan Burch


SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I DIDN’T EVEN GIVE IT A NUMBER, BUT IT’S A MUST FOR ME!

TRULY, WITH PENSACOLA BEING LISTED AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES,
BE SURE TO DOCUMENT YOUR TRIP WITH A 40 MINUTE PHOTO SESSION APPROX 1 HOUR BEFORE SUNSET
(RIGHT BEFORE DINNER!)


I’D ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO IT BEFORE THE SUNBURNS SET IN,
BUT ALSO ONCE EVERYONE (ESPECIALLY LITTLE ONES) GROW ACCUSTOMED TO THE SAND!

FOR INFO ON HOW TO BOOK A FAMILY SESSION, EXTENDED FAMILY SESSION, COUPLE’S SESSION AND MORE, CLICK HERE

YUMMMY!

RESTARAUNTS

Local eats
-ON THE BEACH-
(in no particular order)

The Grand Marlin

marlin
Perfect for date night!
Elegant waterfront destination with a raw bar serves refined, area-sourced seafood dishes.
Atmosphere is lovely (inside and out) and drinks + food are top notch!

My personal faves: lobster fingers , loved and rubbed salmon, praline bowl! The cat 5 hurricane is my go-to drink!

Praline-basket

Flounder’s on the beach
Perfect for families or date nights, offering lunch and dinner.
Often they also have live music!
Perfect for families because they have a playground outside (with booths for dining surrounding it!)
and access to the water (sound side)
Truly, a perfect spot for lunch or dinner

My personal faves: Flounder’s Shrimp & Spinach Dip, ribeye (i know! Not seafood but yummy!) they’re also known for their diesel fuels!

flunders2fuel


PARADISE BAR AND GRILL

paradise
WHERE THE LOCALS HANGOUT AND CHILL
PERFECT FOR LARGE FAMILIES / DATE NIGHT

LIVE MUSIC, DIRECTLY ON THE SOUND, AMAZING STAFF!
VERY LAID BACK AND RELAXING
FOOD IS GOOD, MUSIC IS OUTSTANDING!

MY PERSONAL FAVES: THE CUBAN WITH A RIP TIDE AMBER (BREWED LOCALLY IN PENSACOLA, FL)


PEG LEG PETES

pegs
Also perfect for families!

Bustling, pirate-themed seafood restaurant featuring a children’s play area & raw bar.
Callllll ahead! For sure! Parking is scarce and this one stays packed during the summer!

My personal faves: smoked yellowfin dip, sauteed blue crab claws, ½ lb steamed shrimp


NATIVE CAFE
Perfect for breakfast! A LOCAL TREASURE
nativecafebreakfastpensacolabeach
MY PERSONAL FAVES: STUFFED FRENCH TOAST/ THE HUNGRY NATIVE! I’VE NEVER HAD BAD FOOD FROM THIS PLACE! EVER!
GO EARLY THOUGH! ITS SMALL AND BUSTLING DURING BUSY SEASON!


SIDELINES
Perfect for the non-seafood eaters
I already told you guys about this one (above)
but i am a chicken wing girl (right after being a seafood girl) and the wings here are soo good!
Great place to catch any sports games (it’s certainly more of a sports bar than beach restaurant) but it’s one of my kid’s faves too
(there is goofy golfing right behind it!)

My personal faves: fried pickles, twenty wings (honey hot), large order of fries (extra crispy!)

H20 SUNDAY BRUNCH
IF YOU’RE HERE ON A SUNDAY MORNING, (THEN BE HERE!) FOR BREAKFAST!

ABSOLUTELY the best brunch on the beach
WITH all your favorites, plus live music,
bottomless mimosas and A Bloody Mary Bar.

$30 per adult (excludes alcohol)
$15 per child under 12
& TOTES WORTH IT!
ASK TO SIT BY THE POOL AND STAY AWHILE AND ENJOY THE MORNING OUTSIDE!
((BRING TOWELS AND SWIMWEAR!))

MY PERSONAL FAVES: UHM BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS AND THE OMELETTE STATION

OTHER INCREDIBLE EATS
(THAT ARE 100% WORTH THE DRIVE)

THE FISH HOUSE & ATLAS (DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA)

great southern

The Fish House is local,dockside dining overlooking beautiful Pensacola Bay and Seville Harbor. Just steps away from Historic Seville Square,WITH  world-famous Grits a Ya Ya: A delectable Southern specialty of our smoked Gouda cheese grits smothered with a sauce of fresh cream, sauteed Gulf shrimp, spinach, portobello mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon, garlic, and shallots. Full bar. Late night menu.

JUST DO IT! ATLAS OR FISHHOUSE. THEY’RE SIDE BY SIDE AND YOU CAN’T GO WRONG!

My personal faves: fish head red ale (best beer ever impo)
Claws in garlic, grits a yaya, pecan crusted gulf shrimp with greens & peas



MCGUIRE’S (downtown pensacola)

In 1982 McGuire’s moves to its current location; Pensacola’s original 1927 Old Firehouse. Inside the pub you’ll find a turn-of-the-century, New York Irish Saloon themed 615-seat restaurant. We are celebrated for our atmosphere boasting more than One Million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceilings and walls of the Pub.

Call ahead or download the app! Wait times can be crazy for this hotspot (especially during dinner!)

My personal faves: irish wake! Spinach and artichoke dip, nachos, 16 oz ribeye, jameson pork chop
(seriously, one of my favorite things to eat, in this world!)

BAGELHEADS (downtown pensacola)

Local spot for coffee and bagels.
No drive thru though you can call ahead!

My personal faves: loaded bacon cheddar bagel (toasted) with scrambled egg, cheddar cheese and bacon
(my mouth is watering, just typing that! Worth the drive to town especially if you’re spending the day over there!)





THAT’S A WRAP!

Quiet Water beach by Jordan Burch Photography

Jordan Burch Photography


THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS, AND I TRULY HOPE IT WILL ENHANCE YOUR TRIP!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO REACH OUT WITH QUESTIONS AND WE WILL REPLY BACK AS BEST WE CAN!

KEEP IN MIND, PENSACOLA BEACH IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.



SO IF ALL YOU WANT IS TO KICK BACK IN A CHAIR,
WITH THE WAVES AT YOUR FEET.

Juliana floating at mom beach

Juliana floating at mom beach


DO IT!
YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

THANKS FOR VISITING.
HOPE YOU’LL COME BACK AGAIN, REAL SOON!

Pensacola beach kid photographer Jordan Burch

Pensacola beach kid photographer Jordan Burch

((sharing is caring, please link to the original post))


Jordan Burch is a wife, mom of four, entrepreneur and award winning portrait photographer
located in Northwest Florida

girls trip to NYC

OUR TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY!

I have been wanting to write this blog for over a week now, but life has been pretty hectic since we got back home!
For Christmas last year, my mom and I decided that instead of gifts, we would treat Juliana to a girl’s trip.
We’d both always wanted to visit NYC and Juliana is the perfect age (7) to have her first flight!
Cue, December of 2018, we started planning.

We booked our flights using google flights and found our hotel using expedia reviews.
We settled on a date in late January and started making our itinerary!

We would be there SATURDAY – TUESDAY.

Below is our itinerary :

HOTEL: THE CROWNE PLAZA TIMES SQUARE 

SATURDAY
(flight lands around lunchtime)

LUNCH : Juniors in Times Square

ACTIVITES:
explore Times Square
American Girl Doll Store NYC
Ice Skating at Rockefeller
Top of the Rock

DINNER: Room Service

SUNDAY

BREAKFAST: Fresh breakfast sandwiches from Mrs Fields (under Magnolia Bakery, get banana pudding from bakery for am snack), grab coffee from Stabucks

ACTIVITIES:
Catch the subway to Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty

LUNCH: quick snack in Times Square (we got Sbarro pizza)
head back to hotel, change for early dinner and broadway show

DINNER: CARMINES

ACTIVITIES:
THE LION KING ON BROADWAY

late night snack: Juniors again!

MONDAY

catch uber or lyft from times square to

BREAKFAST/ BRUNCHEATALY NYC FLAT IRON

shop around Madison area

AM SNACK: VENCHI 

ACTIVITIES: 
Tiffanys on 5th Avenue
Louis Vuitton on 5th Avenue
Central Park / Carriage Ride

Late Lunch: Black Tap 

Rest at hotel
Shop Times Square/ walk

DINNER: Ippudo NYC

Late night Ice Skating at Bryant Park

EXTRAS

TO DO:

– visit DUMBO for photos
– Aire Ancient Bath for Spa day
– Frozen on Broadway
– Wooden Escalator Macy’s
– Blow out at a local blow dry bar
– Hair Brading + Manicures for Juliana and her doll at American Girl Doll

JUNK STORES to shop

Le Grand Strip
Awoke Vintage
Thirft Wares
Olly Olly Oxen
Worship
Cure Thirft

EATS if we have time

Levain Bakery for Huge Cookies
Serendipity for frozen hot cocoa
Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn for best pizza
Toloache
Butcher’s Daughter
El Centro

I wanted to just leave the basic itinerary there!
Incase anyone wanted to copy / paste it into their notes!
Below, I will further explain our trip, what we learned and what I wished we would have done differently (hint, its not much!)

OUR TRIP (in great detail!)

Christmas morning Juliana opened lots of NYC type gifts.
A key chain.
A taxi picture frame.
A new suitcase.

Finally, she was gifted a notebook that said “JULIANA’S BIG ADVENTURE TO NYC”
Inside, was the flight info and hotel info, along with all type of things we could do.
Truthfully, I wanted to skip a lot of the big TOURIST type things.

Sure, I wanted to see the Statue Of Liberty, but we didn’t need to actually go touch it.
I didn’t want to Hop On/ Hop off around town.
I didn’t want to carriage ride around Central Park (we ended up doing this anyway)

I wanted to really walk the town, and hit all of the best spots that maybe didn’t make GOOGLE’s TOP LIST of things to do.

It was one of the greatest trips of my life, and truly the best gift we could have ever given her.
Below, is all of my suggestions, based on our first (but for certain not our last) trip to NYC!

SATURDAY
(flight lands around lunchtime)
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YOUR FLIGHT!

Juliana had never flown and has SUPER sensitive ears.
I didn’t think ahead, but WISH I had bought these ear plugs on our ARRIVING FLIGHTS.
I scooped them up for our flights home and she had ZERO issues!

50771840_10212914734118777_1992742642114363392_nJuliana was surprised with a luxury ride from the airport to our hotel. I loved this because he knew exactly where we were headed, and even had the super large panoramic sunroof that he opened when we got into the city. OMG it felt so good to arrive in STYLE 🙂 ! I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay for this (mom did) so I can’t tell you whether the price was worth it or not, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it was. I paid for our LYFT back to the airport at the end of our trip in an xl SUV and it was $75. So I can only imagine the cost of this!) But to see him holding a little sign that said WELCOME JULIANA, she will never forget it! & neither will we!

LUNCH : Juniors in Times Square

50638545_10212915408775643_5953739156692664320_ngirls trip to NYCJuniors was OUR FAVORITE place to snack!
Their burgers are OUT OF THE WORLD and their ranch is super yummy too.
But let’s be honest, the CHEESECAKE IS EVERYTHINGGGG!
Juliana opted for the Chocolate Brownie and I did the original. We would eat this cheesecake THREE MORE TIMES before we left!
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ACTIVITES:
explore Times Square
American Girl Doll Store NYC
Ice Skating at Rockefeller
Top of the Rock

Times Square is so busy but it is AMAZING.
there is so much to see, and tons of little shops and things along the way. The M&M factory was right outside the hotel, and a short walk down the road were all of the ads, broadway and more.
Mom got chosen for a street show and it was one of the highlights of our trip. For sure hang around and see these guys perform. Heads up, they do ask and hope for money at the end, so plan to leave between $5-$20 for them as a thank you for the entertainment.
ALSO A HEADS UP. DO NOT STOP TO POSE WITH ANY CHARACTERS unless you have money.
THEY WORK FOR TIPS and will bombard you if you pause. I know it’s tempting to take a photo with Minnie Mouse, but if you so much as HESITATE in their direction, CHARACTERS START APPEARING FROM ALL OVER, RUNNING TOWARDS YOU and immidately say TIPS TIPS TIPS TIPS TIPS.
(Juliana was terrified after this happened, and then avoided the characters at all costs)

We headed to American Girl that evening and you needed an appointment (prior to the day of) if you wanted hair braids, manicures, ear piercing and more.
The store is MASSIVE and crazy. They were sold out of most matching PJS when we went, so we opted to just get the doll and backpack and buy cuter clothes when we got home.
Be prepared to drop some $$$ for a doll + backpack if you go.
This was Juliana’s birthday present (a new doll)

TOP OF THE ROCK was probably my favorite part of day 1. It really sealed the day.
Keep in mind you can buy tickets ahead of time, but we didn’t wait at all, and walked right up to the kiosk to check out with our card (You don’t have to stand in line and pay at the desk)
We bought the passes that were good for AM/PM and I was so glad. You take a super fun elevator to the top of the building, and then head up some stairs for INCREDIBLE VIEWS.
Don’t NOT go up the stairs and to THE ABSOLUTE VERY TOP of the building.
I tried to tell the girls the view coming off the elevator was plenty, and I am so glad mom made me go up the stairs to the actual TOP OF THE ROCK.
Juliana was in heaven with all of the lights at night, as was I.
(iphone shot below!)

ICE SKATING AT ROCKEFELLER.

My girl loves to skate.
Rockefeller is not the “ideal” place to skate, is on the smaller side & expensive, but I knew she had to do it.
It’s close to Tiffany’s (but not the BIG ONE) lego store, the FAO Schwartz Toy Store,  and more, so there is a ton to do close by.

We CRASHEDDD hard at our hotel that night. We didn’t taxi, uber or lyft all day. We walked everywhere and passed (while walking) many of the other places on our list.
Truly, NYC is all pretty centralized and you’re only a few streets from broadway, or a block or two from great food, I wished we had more daylight to just explore.
But things did get a little OUT THERE after about 10PM in Times Square.
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DINNER: Room Service

SUNDAY

BREAKFAST: Fresh breakfast sandwiches from Mrs Fields (under Magnolia Bakery, get banana pudding from bakery for am snack), grab coffee from Starbucks

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ACTIVITIES:
Catch the subway to Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty

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YOU GUYS. DOWNLOAD CITYMAPPER if you are going to NYC.
THE APP MAKES SUBWAY TRAVEL SOOO EASY!
It helps you see where you want to go, where to get on, how many stops until you get off and so forth!

It was a game changer for navigating!

I CAN’T SAY THIS ENOUGH.

The STATEN ISLAND FERRY IS FREE.
But as soon as you get off the subway and head up towards the ferry you are BOMBARDED by men in jackets, assuring you THEY WORK FOR THE FERRY (THEY DONT!) and that they are just there to help you.
The ferry is free.
Free on, free off.
They tried to tell us “The ferry ride is free, but it’s 2 hours long. OR YOU CAN TAKE “THISSS FERRRY” and go STRAIGHT TO THE STATUE and its only ONE HOUR!) note, this ferry DOES COST.

the Staten Island Ferry only took 15 minuted to pick us up.
15 minute ride to the Island, then 15 minutes back.
A total of 45 minutes, and IT WAS FREE.

If you want to go TO THE STATUE, like and touch it, don’t do the free one.
But if you want to see it, from the boat, and take photos, I promise it’s still amazing.
Save the $$$ and spend it on something else!

Juliana had ZERO interest in doing anything OTHER than seeing it.
So we jumped back on the subway and got geared up for our BIG NIGHT!

LUNCH: quick snack in Times Square (we got Sbarro pizza)
head back to hotel, change for early dinner and broadway show

DINNER: CARMINES

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MAKE RESERVATIONS. EAT AT CARMINES.
I will not visit NYC again and NOT eat there.
But I love pasta, and bread.
& this place was the BEST I EVER HAD!
It’s expensive. Like $30+ a plate EXPENSIVE BUT the portions are MASSIVE and enough for a family to share.
We shared the garlic bread, the fried zucchini and the vegetarian pasta.
(though I wished I had someone to share the Chicken Parmesan with! My mom is vegetarian)

IT WAS SO YUMMY.
we didn’t have reservations so I waited for three bar seats and we scarfed down our dinner while people hovered over us, waiting for seats.
I am telling you, I am SO GLAD WE ATE HERE. I CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK!
They also have “the TUG BOAT” ice cream dish, which is NOT listed on their menu, but is a smaller portion of their TITANIC dessert.
Juliana enjoyed and early birthday seranade before we headed to Lion King.

LESSON 1.
I WISHED OUR ROOM HAD A FRIDGE / MICROWAVE
I WISHED WE ALLOCATED TIME BETWEEN DINNER AND OUR SHOW TO TAKE OUR LEFTOVERS BACK HOME.

we had THREE BOXES of leftovers.

THREE.

BOXES. of the best noodles I ever ate, and we had to trash all of them at the doors of The Lion King, because they allow NO FOOD inside.
YALL DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE!

ACTIVITIES:
THE LION KING ON BROADWAY

girls trip to NYCbest $300+ we spent was on this show.
We actually ordered our tickets from a third party site called TODAY TIX.
They were a bit cheaper than several other sites, though you couldn’t pick exact seats and you had to meet them (out front) for tickets*
I did have a slight moment of panic when I was unable to locate our “dealer” but I had simply overlooked her near the street.
You can BUY SEATS there, though I wouldn’t.
This show was HANDS DOWN one of the GREATEST THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN.
I don’t even want to ruin it.
But I would pay $300 and go see it again, with every single kid if they wanted to go.

All of the seats are good. Truly.
Juliana got some punch and candy, and mom and I sipped on water.
We all cried.
I’d only wished we saw it another day, because we immediately wanted to see another show (on Monday) but Broadway “goes dark” on Monday, and there aren’t any showings.
I would see Lion King early on, and plan to see another show like FROZEN or WICKED another night if possible.
But I am a crazy person, and now can’t sleep until I have seen ALL THE SHOWS because it was honestly incredible.
(Though Juliana almost fell asleep from all the pasta before it started!)

late night snack: Juniors again!

 

girls trip to NYC

WE LOVED JUNIORS. we opted to not eat $40 room service ever again, and just go get fries and ranch and cheesecake instead!

MONDAY

catch uber or lyft from times square to (we never took a taxi, only lYFT) but it was still fun pretending to HAIL one

W001W002

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BREAKFAST/ BRUNCH : EATALY NYC FLAT IRON

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girls trip to NYC

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Sunday was so much good fun. My mom has been to ITALY and it’s one of her favorite places in the world. She SWORE that “Eataly” in NYC was EXACTLY like the streets of Italy. & that it felt like she was back there.
We did take a lYFT to Eataly as it was around a 30+ min walk vs a 10 minute ride. I LOVE LYFT and this kind of set the tone for less walking, more exploring for the remainder of our trip.
Eataly is actually a SEVEN restaurant type of grocery store. It has coffee shops and chocolate shops and crepe stations and more.  It was far less touristy than everywhere else we had been, and instead was bustling with people who clearly lived in the area (think less photos, more actual grocery shopping and such) BUT UPSTAiRS in their ROOFTOP restaurant, was the MOST DARLING place to eat. At lunch on Sunday, there were less than 12 people total eating lunch up there. ( it was my mom’s favorite meal)

It’s fancy but wonderful, and made us feel more like locals than tourists.
We ate the KALE salad, the chicken thighs and pasta and cheese.
We had cheese ball apps, and some fresh bread. My breakfast drink pictured above was DELISHHH ^^^^^

shop around Madison area

AM SNACKVENCHI

Mom and me in NYC

VENCHIIII! If you check in on INSTAGRAM you’ll find all kinds of fun things to eat and drink.  I won’t lie. It’s small, but was worth it to go see a place with chocolate waterfall walls!
VENCHI is actually the same chocolate they sell at EATALY and Juliana pulled out the small treats they’d bought from the store while mom and I sipped our coffees from here!

ACTIVITIES:
Junk shop around Madison
Tiffanys on 5th Avenue
Louis Vuitton on 5th Avenue
Central Park / Carriage Ride
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These pictures didn’t load in the right order but you get the gist. We junked at a few local places (though the junker in me couldn’t spend $20 on a used tee shirt) but it was still fun to go! Mom found a cute fur hat and bought Juliana a vintage ring so she’d have it to remember our trip.
The carriage ride was super informative (hint they really like to be paid in cash, not card) and the short ride was $40.
They offered to take tons of photos though, with perfect backdrops, and for that I was super grateful.
Most of 5th avenue is stuffy. The ring I wanted was $3,600,000 and the shoes Juliana liked were $700. I don’t know anyone who actually shops here (maybe they do) but the workers were nice, but acted as if we were almost an inconvenience.
It was fun for the “experience” but I wished we hadn’t wasted so much time just walking in and out of places that we had zero intentions of actually purchasing anything from.

THOUGH THERE IS A ZARA! I wished I could have shopped, but with our coats (from zara) we were already pushing packing, so I knew I couldn’t buy much. Still I wished we had gone to stores like ZARA, H&M and the likes, where we could buy / find most of what we can only find online back home!

Late LunchBlack Tap 

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warning. After Carmines, good food became crap, comparatively speaking.  Black Tap was no exception.
The chips were, ehh. the cheese dip was ehh. the burgers were ehh (Juliana liked Juniors Burger way better BUT THE MILKSHAKES WERE OMG TO DIE FOR (which is why we went in the first place!)
If I could go back, we’d have actually ATE somewhere more delicious, and then treated ourselves to milkshakes at Black Tap.  still WORTH IT for sure! But with so many good food places, I didn’t want to waste a single meal somewhere that wasn’t absolutely EXCEPTIONAL.

Looking back though, Juliana recalls this OVER THE TOP COTTON CANDY MILKSHAKE as one of the best parts of her trip (it ranks up there with the Lion King, if that gives you any insight!)

From here, we took a LYFT back to the hotel. It was chilly and windy and we were POOOOPED.

Rest at hotel
Shop Times Square/ walk

DINNERIppudo NYC

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Someone had commented that the RAMEN and PORK BUNS from Ippudo in NYC were some of the GREATEST things they ate while in town, and that was enough for us to grab a lyft from our hotel over there. It’s a smaller joint and there was a 30 MIN WAIT on a Monday night. We almost left. WE WERE SO GLAD WE DIDN’T! Just like Carmines, MAKE A RESERVATION and go! The pork buns MELTED IN YOUR MOUTH and I loveddd them! The ramen was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious! I have probably missed it more than any other meal (besides Juniors Cheesecake) since we have been home! If you know a good local place for Ramen in Pensacola, hit a sister up!

go! & try it! So fun!
(also, less toursity and more hometown feel)

Late night Ice Skating at Bryant Park

girls trip to NYC

Bryant Park was far nicer than Rockefeller but I don’t know that Juliana even noticed. Although it’s much bigger, it’s also far more busy, with far more folks who actually know how to ice skate (think of folks zooming past you while you try and figure it out!)
The views were still great though, and we took a LYFT from our hotel over to it simply because it was so cold! (though it was close enough, we did walk back to the hotel when we were done!)
Juliana wanted to ice skate every single day, and I like that these folks had a skate school and assistance for those who needed help.  We didn’t have time for either, but if we went back, I’d dedicate one entire afternoon to skate school and just hanging out around Bryant Park exploring, eating and chilling.

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You guessed it, Juniors cheesecake again!
(They sold out of brownie though, so she settled for chocolate swirl_

OUR TRIP WAS FAR TOO SHORT but it was all we could afford with our eating habits! (ha!)
Next time, I’d do a 3/4 day again and probably do the EXACT same things! (with the exceptions of those listed above!)

In short here are my suggestions.
TAKE PLENTY OF MONEY FOR FOOD AND EAT ALL OF THE THINGS.

JUST PACK ONE SUPER CUTE COAT. YOU’LL WEAR IT OVER AND OVER.
(then you’ll have room to bring cute tees home and stuff!)

DOWNLOAD LYFT, CITY MAPPER AND TODAY TIX before you go!
I also used my MAPS app on my iPhone to navigate all over the city.

WEAR COMFY BUT CUTE SHOES.
I was more tired in Disney world, than I was in NYC.

MAKE RESERVATIONS for things like:

American girl cafe/ salon
Carmines
Ippudo

PLAN TO SEE AT LEAST ONE SHOW.
It’s worth every penny.

Let your kid be on a sugar high, and use that energy to walk all over town!

We went in January and only truly got COLD on Monday evening.
Most tourists were way overdressed and everyone shed all of their clothes inside the restaurants and shops because you got so hot so quick!

TAKE MY iPHONE CLASS before you go 🙂
There is so much to see, but you don’t wanna lug a BIG camera around. I promise.

DON’T PAY FOR THE FREE FERRY.

DON’T PAUSE FOR THE CHARACTERS.

Get a room with a fridge for leftovers (cheesecake and pasta!)

SO there you have it! A list of all we did!

Still on my list is below!

IF you want, shoot me a message and tell me if there is anything else I should add!
The Aire Ancient Baths is for sure top of my list 🙂

TO DO:
(THAT WE HAVEN’T)

– visit DUMBO for photos
– Aire Ancient Bath for Spa day
– Frozen on Broadway
– Wooden Escalator Macy’s
– Blow out at a local blow dry bar
– Hair Braiding + Manicures for Juliana and her doll at American Girl Doll

JUNK STORES to shop

Le Grand Strip
Awoke Vintage
Thirft Wares
Olly Olly Oxen
Worship
Cure Thirft

EATS if we have time

Levain Bakery for Huge Cookies
Serendipity for frozen hot cocoa
Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn for best pizza
Toloache
Butcher’s Daughter
El Centro

Until NEXT TIME NYC
!

– The Burch girls & Lollie

w009

Alaska.
Was amazing.

But that isn’t what this post is about (though the photos, may say differntly)

Jason didn’t get me an anniversary present, per say.
Year seven.

7th Wedding Anniversary.

For the seventh anniversary, traditional materials are copper and wool, plus the modern gifts ideas are brass and desk sets.

With copper and brass, ideas might include jewelry and home decor such as sculptures, furniture, or appliances.

{nahhhh}

Instead, he willingly participated in the thing he hates, more than anything.

Another photoshoot.
And, in a fitted suit. . .

We’d just had family photos done, earlier this year, so we weren’t really “due” although, since we never had a wedding, and we’d never been to Alaska, I figured what better time, to take some “just us” shots?!

I had a hard time finding a photographer in Alaska, so I was thankful when my good friend Jessi recommended  Catie Bartlett to me!
Catie was so easy to work with!!!

We met close to a place called Hatcher’s Pass, and then spent the next few hours walking around, seeing some of the most amazing sites. . .
the views, were to die for.

Jason lovingly refers to this, as the “never ending photoshoot” since the sun didn’t set until near midnight, we spent a good while, in front of her lens.
& I am so glad, that we did.

Looking back at these, means more to me than most any gift I could have been given.
It was an unforgettable trip, and I am so thankful to Catie, for capturing some shots, of just the two of us, while we were there.

My only requests to her were as follows>

– a good nightstand shot of just #dearjason
– one BIG shot, that showed some of the amazing landscapes

check.
check.

I’m pretty sure though, she went above and beyond <3
If you love her work as much as I did, please be sure, and
Go give her page some love!

 

you guys, the water was freezing. the ground, was so wet and mushy. and I was in birks.

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M o r e   i n f o