Amsterdam, Paris, and Celebratory Wine

Nick looked at me as we sat next to each other on the plane waiting for take off and said, "How many couples do you know that can say their boyfriend brought them to Paris on their first anniversary? And now we get to do it again." I've always known that I'm one of the luckiest people in the world for getting to be with Nick in the first place, but in situations like this my chest feels full with the weight of just how lucky I am. For our first year anniversary when Nick was still in high school and I was in my first semester of school ever, we took a weekend long trip to Paris and Madrid, and this last week we managed to make the trek again for our fourth anniversary and Nick's college graduation (how smart is he, graduating early?)

I'd never seen Eat, Pray, Love, but thanks to Netflix's new feature for downloading I was able to save a few movies to watch on the 9 hour flight home this weekend. It's always nice to watch Julia Roberts and her amazing cheekbones, and despite the quiet sexism and overall cheesiness of the movie, I really enjoyed watching it. The whole movie is about enjoying where you are wholeheartedly, and forgetting the worries that trouble you in your everyday life and stop you from that joy. So, it is with pride that I admit I didn't take a single picture while I was in Europe. I took plenty of phone pictures when Nick and I wandered the Paris streets at 1am and tried to find our way home, but I didn't take out my heavy Canon the entire time I was abroad and I don't even feel bad saying that.

I completely invested myself in the beauty of Amsterdam's museums, local doggies, Parisian espresso, and haven't felt bad about the lack of pictures at all. This trip was about my relationship with Nick, exploring new places in the world, and creating memories for myself. So on this cloudy Chicago morning I'll give you a little self love and care reminder: take pictures of what you want for you and don't take them just because you feel like you have to. Enjoy where you are, give yourself space and time to breathe in the beauty around you, and I hope you like the phone pictures from my week long trip in Amsterdam and Paris. ;)

Apparently Europeans don't use dryers as much as we do, so after we used the washer at our place we had to find a laundromat so that we wouldn't freeze into snowmen. :)

We visited the historic Jewish sites in Amsterdam like the gorgeous Portuguese Synagogue and the museums, which were some intense places to be considering all that's going on at home.

And of course we found some European kitties. ;)

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Katharine Hannah

Katharine’s work has graced the walls of institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harold Washington Library of Chicago, and local galleries such as Dreambox Gallery, Siragus Gallery and Blick Art Materials. She has also been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, Phlearn, Fstoppers, Tigress Magazine for Girls, Bitchtopia, and Golden Boy Press.

In addition to photography, Katharine has been a mentor and educator in the arts since 2013. She has worked with students in various organizations and projects over the last two years, including Hive Chicago’s PROjectUS initiative and Digital Youth Network’s Digital Diva’s and Chicago City of Learning programs.