Nick + Molly’s Trash the Dress

“Do you guys think I should just go for it?” Molly asked her girlfriends, who came to watch and cheer the recent couple’s after-wedding photo shoot.

These were the girls from her running group, the ones whom she’d meet every week downtown to pound miles on Chicago’s asphalt. Of course they said yes.  They were the women who’d encourage her to go for any challenge; who were plotting their next race, even as one was still recovering from a recent injury and was explicitly told NOT to run yet.

“Yes!” They all agreed. “Just don’t jump from the rocks though. Why don’t you wade in?”

And just like that, Molly was in the water…Lake Michigan water. At the very beginning of June. Did she complain about the frigid temperatures? Not once.

Nick followed suite.  After rolling up his pants high-water style, he went after his bride…A sign of years to come? If so I think they’re in for a lot of adventures!

The Outtakes

Pieces of Panama, part 2.

On a Saturday morning a few months ago, I woke to find a missed alert on my phone from a friend and fellow photographer Laurie.

I dialed my voice mail expecting to hear a message continuing some portion of the conversation we’d had at dinner the night before.  To my surprise, the call was regarding something altogether different.

“Hey Maggie, it’s Laurie.  I talked to Johnny tonight and he said you could come to Panama with us.  We’re thinking about going in the next month or so and we’d really like you to join us!”

I thought about it for about 30 seconds before calling her back to tell her  I was on board.

Johnny, Laurie’s husband, was the point person for our travels. We laid down a few specified a few spots of interest (the canal,  countryside, and Caribbean) and he did the rest. A week before our departure he even showed me the excel spreadsheet coordinating our days’ activities in clear color-coated blocks of time. His enthusiasm for Panama was contagious, especially with the constant promise of hammock time on the beach.

I could only spare 5 days for the trip with my schedule, but I feel like I got a real taste of the country.  The people were warm and laughed easy.  Johnny’s family was wonderful.  His mom made a number of tasty meals for us, delighting my palette with tamales, a sweet yogurt drink, fresh fruit, and other treats I snarfed down.  To our delight, Marco, Johnny’s cousin spent three days with us. Marco knows a lot about Panama and was really patient with my constant queries about “that over there,” or “the history of this spot.”

The photos below chronicle a lot of our adventures, from our morning hike at the Smithsonian owned island, Barro Colorado, to our day at the Caribbean.

With Laurie, Johnny, and his family as my guide, I was able to see SO much of Panama… I had such a great time, and am already looking forward to the next visit.

Passenger’s reflection on the boat ride to Barro Colorado Island.      

The canal

A shared laugh.

The Jungle

Bus Station.


Our boat driver to the island.

El Cristo Negro

The little Chinese owned Panamanian spot. Delicious.

Before the birds flew south.

It was the last weekend to get away before the weather turned.  Scott and I drove down to the beach in New Buffalo, Michigan.  We planned to catch one more sunset without the inevitable weather paned window we’d be watching through during winter.  We were away from the city and the ceaseless white noise.  I relished the silence of the surrounding nature–the smells and the light, unhindered by tall buildings.

The relaxing therapy of this place is magic, unfortunately, it hadn’t completely taken effect for me yet.  I was still distracted. Instead of walking shoes, I grabbed my boats–mind you, not hiking boots.  I’m talking black, leather, boots more appropriate for a Saturday night.  It was too late to turn back though.  Undeterred, I took to the sandy beach.  My heels carved deep gouges in the shifting surface, but we pressed on. We reached the break wall, climbing up the rocky surface, carefully choosing each step.  The fishermen watched me out of the corner of their eyes, certainly sizing me up, taking in my ridiculous footwear.  “Watch yourself, you’ll wind up with a twisted ankle with those on.” I smiled, nodded, and continued on.  Finally to the cusps of the breaker, I gave in, stripping down to my socks to summit the watch tour.

A small feat, but worth discarded boots.  The last few boats of the season made their way back to shore while we took in the unbroken line of trees along the lake.  I love cities, but I find such release in the open expanse of nature.  It was a beautiful fall day, thinking about it makes me pine for spring.