A Tale of Several Cities

A Tale of Several Cities

Day 30 – Emily’s Entry - May 12 – 9:08am – Sarah Morgan’s Home - Madison, Wisconsin

Madison has been a place of much needed rest. We are staying with Corey’s cousin, Sarah Morgan, and her family. This has been the first time in a long two weeks we have seen anyone we know since visiting Corey’s cousin Viki and her husband Ron in Bainbridge Island, Washington. A friendly face and home-cooked meal was very welcome on our long journey.

Day 30 - Corey’s Entry – May 12 – 8:45pm – Labriola Café – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, what can I say? It’s full of good food, cold weather, and very busy people.

As for Madison, Wisconsin the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many family members. My cousin Sarah and her husband Miles showed us Madison, which is a very lively town with a lot to offer. We shared a pitcher of beer at the University of Wisconsin Union, where a lot of students and locals kick back near the river. My cousin Virginia helped teach us an old, German card game called Euchre, a trick-taking game with a trump. It's a fun and very confusing. Last night, my Aunt Viki and Uncle Mike joined us for dinner. We all stayed up, drank wine, and shared stories. Those are my favorite kind of nights. 

Day 33 - Emily’s Entry - May 15 – 2:23pm - Somewhere off the road in Indiana

We had the best time in Chicago. It’s a solid city, clean and prompt. Corey and I strolled along Michigan Avenue people-watching and enjoying the energy of the city. We had drinks after sunset at the John Hancock Tower Signature Room on the 96th floor where we could see the city lights for miles. It felt like a powerful position on top of the world. Chicago, we’ll be back.

Day 33 - Corey’s Entry - May 15 - 3:15pm – In Car driving through Indiana

I have always wanted to stand in the Chicago Institute of Art and stare at the George Seurat painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” as they do in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I finally went, and although I had no epiphanies, it was surreal seeing the original, famed painting. We were busy all day yesterday seeing the Art Institute of Chicago Museum, The Field Museum, the parks, and the Bean. The clean city also has beautiful flowerbeds spread throughout the city sidewalks that uplift the soul. 

Day 37 – Emily’s Entry – May 19 – 12:20pm – Logan Critser’s Home – Louisville, Kentucky

It’s hard to believe we’re on Week 6, and we’ve traveled so far. Corey and I are excited about every experience, but we are tired in our bones from keeping up with our work and ourselves. Sometimes, I sit and think of all the incredible places we’ve been and how crazy this trip is.

Our 2-night stay with Corey’s sister Logan in Louisville turned into 4 nights, because huge storms were going to cover our scheduled campsite. It felt so safe and homey staying with Logan. Even the act of washing dishes in an actual sink was comforting.

While in Kentucky, we saw an aunt, an uncle, 3 cousins, and 3 2nd cousins from both Corey and I ‘s families. I guess the old saying is true: all my kin lives in Kentucky!

Meeting up with my cousin Stephanie and her family in Versailles, KY (pronounced Ver-Sails) was such a blessing. I haven’t seen her in about 7 years. We watched Stephanie’s daughter rides horses at a beautiful Kentucky ranch.

Driving through the rolling green hills, endless two-way roads, past rich, blue skies, ancient fences, and thoroughbred horses reminds me of my childhood visiting my grandparents and uncles near Lexington. Kentucky was also one of the first places I was inspired to shoot well-composed photos. Kentucky will always hold a dear, dear place in my heart.

Day 37 - Corey’s Entry – May 19 – 12:35pm – Logan Critser’s Home – Louisville, Kentucky

When we arrived in Louisville, KY, we felt the beautiful, southern atmosphere. My sister Logan greeted us with open arms and good food. She is an professional chef after all. I really enjoyed the town of Louisville. We toured the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery and learned a good deal of history about the 1920’s prohibition. Louisville has a great vibe going and the locals are so proud to live here. How can you not love that bluegrass?

Day 41 – Emily’s Entry - May 23 – 9:23am - Glover Park Cemetery – Washington D.C.

I’m with my best friend Kakky Dye, who I haven’t seen since our wedding in October 2013, where she was one of my bridesmaids. She’s a grad student at American University studying photojournalism.

As we walked past views of The White House, monuments, and memorials, we chatted and joked like college girlfriends do, with great volume and enthusiasm. Though as we walked among the Korean War memorial, we all drew silent. Statues of men moving forward through the brush with wide eyes and cautious stances gazed past us. It felt uneasy and reminded me of all the men who have suffered during all wartime for this great country.

Kakky said the word to describe D.C. was ‘busy.’ I also thought of the word ‘powerful.’ So many people here look like they hold or desire power and prestige.

On another note, here's a story: an elderly, wrinkled woman crouched with long, black clothes tried to clothesline me while we were walking opposite ways on the street last night. ‘Clotheslining’ refers to the act of holding your arm out to smack someone walking by, as if running into a hanging clothesline. When I saw the sullen matriarch’s oncoming assault, my panther-like reflexes helped me elude my assailant. Kakky and I were perplexed by this little woman’s motives. Only God will know.

Washington D.C. Busy, humbling, and powerful, but watch out for the aggressive retirees.