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The Houses Go West

In June, I had the most amazing opportunity to travel to Sandy, Oregon for a destination wedding! (See it on the blog here!) We decided that since we would be on the West Coast, and school would be out for summer, that we would turn this into a week long family trip by traveling down the coast, until we ended in San Francisco, where our best friend lives. I am so thankful to have had this amazing experience and travel with my family. It was truly once in a lifetime. We hope that our boys will remember this trip, and hope to also do it again, as we could have spent forever staring at the giant Redwoods, hiking along rivers and waterfalls, throwing rocks at the beach, and making each day a new adventure. Although I have two jobs and photography is my side hustle, this is why I do it:  to give my family experiences and memories. So when you hire me for your wedding, senior sessions, and destination wedding, you are investing in my family. Weddings are the beginning of creating your new family and bringing two families together, so sharing the love of my family and belief in marriage is important for my clients to see. This isn’t another staged ploy to have you think my life is perfect behind the scenes with a perfectly put together family, it is the real and raw truth. I often bring these three along with me to weddings because I want to them to value what I am doing while away from them, while also having fun. Even if it is a destination wedding in Northern Michigan, they often drop me off, go have fun, and pick me up half asleep for the car ride home.

Because of that, I am sharing pictures from our trip with a few snippets of information about each stop. These are all 35mm or 120mm film images that are sometimes out of focus, underexposed, or too grainy, but they are real. Real joy, real happiness, and real memories. Cheers to love, family, and memories!


The first day we landed in Portland and drove to Sandy, Oregon, where we rented an amazing Airbnb with these views off of our porch.

The next day, we found a nice, easy hike for us to do up to Little Zigzag falls. When this area was first discovered (think Oregon Trail!) to get down the mountain, an Oregon pioneer used the phrase “Zigzag” to describe the route taken down the Mt. Hood’s Zigzag Canyon. If you are ever out this way, be sure to stop at the Zigzag Inn for the best pizza! (We ate there twice it was so good!)

Kaleb has always wanted a minivan so when we needed to rent a car, we decided that a minivan would be perfect for the 700 mile trek down the coast. So of course we had to take a picture of our minivan dad!

After the wedding Saturday, we packed up and hit the road. Kaleb spent his Father’s day driving us down the coast, and I don’t think he would have had it any other way. We sure are lucky to have him! We stopped in Bandon, Oregon for lunch and some rock throwing. (You will see the common theme here that my kids like to throw lots and lots of rocks). The boys were so excited to experience the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

After we left Bandon, our goal was to make it to Crescent City, California to the information center. It closed at 5 and we arrived at 5:02. So needless to say, we were not too happy because we had no idea where to go for the Redwoods. Luckily, Kaleb’s uncle has a client out that way and has visited this part of the country quite a few times and emailed us some suggestions. It truly saved the trip because after spending 8 hours in the car we were all a little on edge. We took the Drury Scenic Parkway and wanted to get to Fern Canyon, but were stopped due to water over the road. (I was not going to ford a creek in the minivan!) I don’t think I can describe how amazingly beautiful these majestic giants really are! You have to experience them and their beauty for yourself!

This is where we tried to get to Fern Canyon but couldn’t. Instead we chose to watch the sunset from the beach before we headed out to our hotel.

We did some more sightseeing of the Redwoods the next day as we made our way to our final destination. We couldn’t go through the Redwoods without finding the Drive Thru tree! I didn’t think our minivan would fit, but our minivan dad did it!

Our next stop along the way was in Glass Beach. We stopped here for a late lunch (and some homemade ice cream!) Glass Beach go its name because it was near a garbage dump and some of the trash has turned to glass. It was actually quite beautiful. Carter also spotted some seals laying on the rocks which was amazing! And of course, more rock throwing.

We finally made it to San Francisco where we did some sight seeing, met up with my cousin who lives out there, had some gorgeous family photos taken, and of course went to Santa Cruz for Kaleb to ride bikes. I didn’t take as many big camera pictures as I would have liked, but I was too busy enjoying that I kept forgetting! Sure I love these pictures, but sometimes quick selfies on the phone are even better!

If you made through all of that, then bless your hearts! I am so thankful you are here and followed some of our journey. If you have other specific questions about our travels I would love to answer them so please don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you are planning a destination wedding and want to bring us along, please see the contact page on my website. And stay tuned for my destination wedding giveaway!



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