I’m so flattered to be on this Weddingbells list again of “The 25 Most Inspiring [Canadian] Wedding Photographers Of 2012!” Thank you very much for the nod Weddingbells! : )
My sister, Lila, and I went on such an awesome sister trip to Costa Rica in December. I love my sister to pieces and it was so great having her all to myself for a week! We are so compatible for traveling which is a huge plus. : ) I hadn’t been to Costa Rica since photographing a wedding there a couple years ago and I had been itching to get back there ever since.
We stayed at Flamingo Beach Resort in Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We loved the smaller size of the resort and the fact that it was right in the town of Playa Flamingo and across from Flamingo Beach, the public beach, so we didn’t feel like we were in a total resort bubble. We also chose not to do the all-inclusive food plan (except for breakfast) so we could go out and experience the ambiance and cuisine of the restaurants in the area. Many of the restaurants even offer a free pick-up/drop-off service in the area which is such an awesome plus! Some of our favourites were Carlos & Carlos (Amazing Italian with thee best service. Try the Exotica Anana C cocktail!), Papaya Restaurant (awesome tree-house ambiance, complete with a hammock area. Best spring rolls I’ve ever tasted), and Nibbana Beach Bar & Restaurant in Tamarindo (great ambiance right on the beach with yummy, fresh food).
We spent our days exploring the nearby towns and beaches as well as relaxing on our own beach of Playa Flamingo. My favourite outing was when we did a Sunset Snorkel tour through Manta Ray Sailing. We got picked up from our hotel and taken to a beach where we hopped in a small boat that took us to the Manta Ray Catamaran. Lila also did a day trip on her own to the Monteverde Cloud Forest where they also stopped at a coffee plantation and hummingbird sanctuary that she loved.
I felt so at home in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I loved the Pura Vida (Pure Life) lifestyle that everyone lives by of not focusing on consumerism and owning things. It’s all about being positive, enjoying the little things in life and time with your friends and family, as opposed to a materialistic lifestyle. It really inspired me and I just felt like, “These are my people!” haha. I may even go back to Costa Rica for a few months next winter in my off-season, I loved it so much! I’m looking forward to photographing more weddings here as well.
Below: Flamingo Beach Resort in Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, where we stayed.Doesn’t the below, right cliff look like a turtle?Sunset view from the Manta Ray Sailing snorkel tour we did. I highly recommend it!Playa Conchal beach! I did a Trash the Dress shoot here a couple years ago when I photographed a wedding in Guanacaste and it was great to come back. Instead of sand, part of it is made up of tiny little seashells. Gorgeous!The final stretch of road to the beach is… a beach. Haha. We walked the 2 shorts kms but lots of SUVs and horses passed us as well.Fishing with the Pelicans.Tamarindo, is an awesome surfer town in Guanacaste with lots of character.Time for a bunch of beautiful sunsets! There was a stunning sunset over Playa Flamingo beach literally every night we were there!
After my week in the province of Pescara, Italy, I headed to the Amalfi Coast, located just below Naples. It was an area of Italy I hadn’t visited before and I had heard so many times how gorgeous it is. I took the bus from Pescara to Naples and, from there, caught another bus to the town of Agerola where I stayed at the awesome little hotel Nido Verde.
Taking the bus between towns on the Amalfi coast is quite the experience. You constantly feel like you are about to careen off a cliff and they pack the buses as tightly as rice in a roll of sushi. haha. I saw one woman clutching the curtains of the bus windows at one point, and heard another couple worriedly called out, “Is this a one way street!?” as a car came towards us on the narrow road (it wasn’t a one way street- just your average skinny-as-a-noodle Italian road). I have so many funny bus stories from the Amalfi coast. On another bus ride I took, the bus suddenly stopped and I didn’t know why until I saw goats wedging themselves between the bus and the cliff face beside the road, their faces practically smooshed against the glass like in a slapstick comedy. The whole bus gave the driver a round of applause at our destination for his expert driving and he bashfully waved it off with a pleased look on his face. hehe. I wouldn’t recommend taking the bus in Amalfi who are prone to car sickness, fyi. haha. The ferry in between towns is a much nicer way to travel whenever possible, take my word for it (unless you also get sea sick)!
I caught the ferry from Positano to Amalfi and it was such a pretty ride. Not to mention refreshing on a hot day. You don’t have to go far to find beauty in Amalfi. The church with the tall steps going up to its doors is super stunning and there was lots of pools of shade provided by the tall buildings, once inside the cozy streets.
I caught a bus from Amalfi to reach this gorgeous little hilltop town. Despite being filled with tourists, it had a quiet, intimate feel to it. It’s also a huge destination wedding spot in Italy. Perhaps the most popular destination wedding spot on the Amalfi coast.
My home base on the Amalfi coast. I’m so happy I chose to stay here. It was much less packed with tourists and you were left to soak in the ambiance of the colourful locals pretty surroundings. I did a lot of enjoyable people-watching in the town square a few blocks from my hotel. People playing cards outside a cafe, a grandpa buying his grand-daughter ice cream and a man riding his horse down the middle of the street, to name a few.
Below is a photo of the charming breakfast area at my hotel Nido Verde (and the yummy plums and delicious breakfast pie they make for guests). They really went above and beyond at this hotel. One of the owners, Roberto, even drove me to my bus in the morning to get back to Rome for my flight home.Exploring the streets of Agerola while on my way to a panoramic view of the coast that Roberto recommended. I picked up some 4-footed companions on the way.
The look-out point for the amazing panorama where I took many lunches and dinners to enjoy the view.A small section of the incredible view. This is also a view of part of the Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei) trail that I hiked while there. Click here for my post on that.Another view from the Agerola lookout point. You can see the island of Capri in the distance. I visited Capri in 2004 when I au-paired in Italy and it is such a gorgeous island! If you skirt around the edges, you feel like you are in a pirate’s paradise.There was a bike race or trip of some sort passing through here and these guys saw me with my camera and immediately waved their hands for me to come take a photo of them. hahaha. Sure, why not.
The streets sing with colour in Positano. I skipped all the tourist shops (there are SO many) and found a cute little antique store where I bought a huge old key the size of my forearm. I really should have taken a photo of it in its element…
After exploring Positano, I dipped my feet in the sea while waiting for the ferry to Amalfi to arrive. Someone had passed out in the heat near the loading zone and they had to rope off the area and wait for a helicopter to come lift the person out. All ships were stopped until the helicopter had come and gone. Hope the person was okay! There was even a bride and groom in full dress waiting with us. I wonder if they had their wedding in Positiano or if they were catching a ferry to get married in another town. I should have grabbed them for some photos but I had just finished the Path of the Gods trail and was filthy and too tired to switch into photographer mode. haha.