August 5, 2017 by cathyfitz Weddings 0

Lindsay + Ron | Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course Wedding

The sun sparkled on Lake Michigan as a soft breeze carried the sounds of the bag pipes across the lawn during Lindsay & Ron’s Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course Wedding. It was the ideal location for this sweet couple who fell in love enjoying time together on the golf course. Their small, intimate wedding was perfect with panoramic views and family by their side. Congratulations Lindsay & Ron. I wish you all the best as you begin life’s journey together – golfing, traveling, and enjoying many years of happiness! SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave

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June 29, 2017 by cathyfitz Weddings 1

Anna and Jeremy’s Love Story | Traverse City Michigan Wedding

Anna + Jeremy’s Love Story This is the love story of Anna, a beautiful girl from Missouri who travels to Las Vegas on a girls trip. While hanging at the pool she meets Jeremy, a handsome boy from Michigan who just happens to be in Vegas for a friends bachelor party. This is Anna + Jeremy’s love story. You don’t expect to meet your soul mate in Las Vegas, but that’s exactly what happened for Anna and Jeremy. Over the next two years they not only fell in love but became best friends, realizing they truly are soul mates who met in a unique and special way. Anna & Jeremy’s destination wedding to Traverse City was perfect. In Anna’s words: “It’s hard to even find words to describe how loved we felt during the whole weekend. We had our closest friends and family in our favorite place on earth for four whole days, perfect weather, the most fun bridal party and groomsmen we could have ever asked for. The wedding itself was like a dream. The way I felt walking down the aisle toward Jeremy was like stepping into a fairy tale. The look on his face when he saw […]

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Road Trippin’ Great Ocean Road Australia

The Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most iconic scenic drives, stretches along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Road Trippin’ Great Ocean Road Australia should be on everyone’s bucket list.  Similar to the coastal drive along Oregon and California, it’s the ultimate Aussie road trip! A 90 minute drive from the city of Melbourne, you reach the beginning of the Great Ocean Road.  At the end of this short drive, we spent a few nights in Fairhaven, about 40 minutes past the beginning of the scenic route. Travel Tip: Use Airbnb. Most of our stays are booked this way and here are just a few reason why: Location – whether an apartment in the center of the city or a remote location with a view – you get to see more of the “real location”. Often an entire home or apartment can be rented cheaper than a hotel room. Meals – Save money (and your waistline) by cooking meals versus eating out. A place to do laundry More space to spread Some cool experiences in unique homes and locations Use this code to get $40 off your first night stay at Airbnb. This house in […]

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June 4, 2017 by cathyfitz Weddings 0

Javar + Tanish | She Said Yes!

How does Javar end a winery tour at Chateau Chantel? With a proposal to his girl Tanish of course! It was a blast being “in on” the secret with Javar, following them during the wine cellar tour. And the best part – She said yes! Tanish did not seem suspicious at all as I explained I was doing some promotional photos for the winery. Luckily she agreed I explained I would love to include them in a few shots along the “tour”. By the time we finished “touring” the wine cellar, I felt such a connection to these two beautiful spirits, I could hardly wait for the big moment. Javar was so calm – you’d never know his plan for the day. It took a few moments for everything to sink in when Tanish first saw the table set up with a special bottle of wine and flowers. I cried right along with friends and family as Javar announced his intentions before getting down on one knee. Even though I just met this sweet couple, I got a wonderful glimpse into their fun loving personalities as Javar first presented Tanish with a gag ring. Of course, Javar really did come through with a beautiful engagement […]

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May 31, 2017 by cathyfitz Australia, South Pacific 0

Sea Lions, Koalas, Kangaroos – Oh My!

.Kangaroo Island Australia lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide. It is a sanctuary to freely roaming native Australian animals and over 260 types of birds. We spent a magical 24 hours on this lovely little island. The birds and peaceful surroundings were incredible; not to mention the sea lions, koalas, kangaroos – oh my! Stepping foot on Kangaroo Island you feel like you are a million miles away from the city and civilization. We arrived after a 20 minute prop plane ride from Adelaide, Australia. The remoteness of the island was like a breath of fresh air compared to the hustle and bustle of the city. Just like the name, there are a lot of kangaroos on kangaroo island. Unfortunately, like our deer, they are prone to jumping out in the road. There are lots of warnings for driving, especially at dusk or at night. Many of the vehicles in Australia are even equipped with “roo bars” (a metal bar or framework of metal bars on the front of a vehicle to protect it during collisions with kangaroos). We spotted our first roo as the driver slammed on his brakes shortly after leaving the airport. We arrived at Kangaroo Island Lodge in time […]

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May 27, 2017 by cathyfitz Inspiration, My Story 4

Memorial Day | Why and How Do We Celebrate?

Often Memorial Day brings to mind the end of the school year, beginning of summer, and opening of swimming pools. We often celebrate with picnics and other fun outdoor events with family and friends. All great things to do, just so we don’t forget the true meaning of the holiday. So what is the meaning of Memorial Day? According to Wikipedia: “Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May that honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.” As a young girl, I remember visiting cemeteries every Memorial Day to leave flowers to “decorate” graves of family members. It was a family tradition on this solemn day of remembrance to pay honor and respect even though the family members had not been service members. Annual Decoration Days are more common in the American South where people travel and gather with relatives to put flowers on graves often including a religious service and picnic or potluck type meal. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” […]

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May 21, 2017 by cathyfitz Australia, South Pacific 0

Seven Days in Sydney Australia

After a three and a half hour flight from Auckland New Zealand, we were excited to spend seven days in Sydney Australia. Our home for the week was an apartment in the inner city suburb of Wooloomooloo (you have to say it really fast). We booked through Airbnb.  The apartment had panoramic views of the city skyline, and was the perfect location for exploring all Sydney has to offer. Our first night in the city we went for an easy walk from Wooloomooloo to the wharf for dinner. The recently refurbished wharf is a great spot to go for a walk and has restaurants and bars along its length. I read someplace that some of Sydney’s biggest names (such as Russell Crowe -) live upstairs! Didn’t see him. It was however, a place to people watch – especially on a Saturday night. The fashion felt a little like Miami – think short skirts, low cut tops and high heels. The look was quite a contrast from what we experienced in New Zealand! From there we continued through the beautiful and relaxing Royal Botanic Garden to the harbor just in time to watch darkness fall over the Sydney Opera House. It was a thrilling and a little surreal seeing this iconic landmark […]

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Auckland New Zealand

I’m not a city girl, but if I were going to live in a city, Auckland New Zealand might just be the one. This area of the North Island is stunningly beautiful and the city is placed perfectly to showcase the beach and harbor. It’s a cosmopolitan city with endless dining choices and things to do. Getting around the city is easy whether you choose to walk, take the public transportation, or grab an Uber. It’s no wonder it has grown to be so popular as a place to live or visit. We stayed in the Ponsonby area in a lovely garden studio we found through Airbnb.  Ponsonby is an inner-city suburb of Auckland known for dining, shopping, art galleries, and nightclubs. Ponsonby has an eclectic mix of buildings from art deco to contemporary buildings. The homes are beautifully restored and maintained, the residents are fit, and on a Saturday morning it seemed everyone was out and about walking there dog or enjoying coffee at the local cafe. We loved the vibe in this hip, quiet neighborhood which was just a short walk or bus ride to downtown Auckland. The Sky Tower, an observation and telecommunications tower, has stood tall at 328 meters as an icon of […]

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Kia Ora | Northland New Zealand

Kia ora (Key or-rah) is a Māori (indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) language greeting which is now often used in New Zealand English. It means, literally, be well/healthy and is used as an informal hi. It is also used as a farewell and expression of thanks. We found it to be used even more in the Northland of New Zealand, an area rich with history of the Māori culture. So next time I see you, if I smile and say Kia ora – it’s a good thing! The area North of Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand is considered Northland. Once again, the scenery in this diverse country completely changes. It becomes very remote farmland as you drive north before turning into beautiful beaches up at the tip of the island. The drive is long and remote, so we stopped in Whangarai, The City by the Sea, for an overnight stay along the way. (side note – In New Zealand when you see a “wh” it is pronounced like an f sound, something carried over from the Māori culture.) Whangarai is a lovely subtropical climate with great food cafes and boutique shops. We enjoyed a delicious sunset dinner at The Quay along the picturesque waterfront in the Town Basin […]

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The Coromandel Peninsula | Good for your Soul

The Coromandel Peninsula is on the north-eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The stunning white sand beaches and rugged forest are so peaceful and serene it’s no wonder they say The Coromandel Peninsula is good for your soul. We spent three relaxing nights in the Sunrise Suite at Paradise B&B in the coastal village of Hahei. It’s a small quiet community of 300 residents, but a popular tourist destination. Our hosts Kevin and Cherie made the visit extra special with their laughter, stories, delicious home cooked breakfasts on the outdoor deck, and overall awesome “Kiwi” hospitality. This was another unique and wonderful stay we booked through Airbnb – an awesome source for travel accommodations worldwide. Click here to get a code for $25 off your first stay with Airbnb.   People from New Zealand are referred to as Kiwis derived from the kiwi, a flightless bird, which is native to New Zealand. The people you meet really are one of the best parts of traveling and we absolutely loved the Kiwis! They are laid back, kind, funny and love to laugh. They are fully engaged in the moment with an almost childlike joy. Visitors are always welcomed and they go above and beyond to make your […]

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