Roadtrippin' in California | Chicagoland Newborn Photographer

Roadtrippin In California | Chicago Newborn Photographer

Sometimes in life, you have to bite the bullet and take that crazy road trip. This first week of January was that crazy road trip for my husband Ben, my 7 month old puppy Kodak and me. We left December 31 in our heavy duty ford expedition with new tires and hopes high. Perhaps we should have lowered them from the get go. When we left for Spokane, Washington, it was 30's in Chicago, IL. (Pretty nice weather for this time of year) It took 30 hours of straight driving until we collapsed into Ben's brothers apartment. Our puppy was going nuts. As if his entire life was spent his crate (We had to take him out almost hourly as he was not fond of the crate). Already exhausted from the beginning of this trip, we bravely made plans for the backpacking/hiking part of our trip, the main reason we drove to Washington in the first place. Everyone agreed it would be insane to stay north with such frigid temperatures. I was ecstatic as I have never tried snow hiking or backpacking/camping in snow and I was not prepared for 3 degree weather. We decided our trip would be much nicer if we drove down to California. I remember the first mention of California and I was sold. I had never been and I thought it would be such an enjoyable experience if we were able to see some of the beautiful sites in Cali. Tack on another 20 hours and another 50 degrees and we made it to Santa Barbara. The state is beautiful, you guys. I immediately fell in love, as most do while visiting this state. Its gorgeous trees and diverse terrain had me dreaming of photographing families, babies, and newborns in this state. Not to mention its year round warmer temperatures, made me realize it would be a great place to be able to photograph outside all year long...but one can dream, right?

Once we arrived in Santa Barbara we started our backpacking trip. This next part in itself is an entirely different story. As we started to hike the mountains of Santa Barbara, we realized a couple of miles in that there would be less chances of water along the trails as we anticipated. The past couple of years in California, there has been a long drought. The drought has affected the dry and barren rivers we walked through as we trekked on, clutching our half empty nalgenes. We arrived to our first campsite Mono, which is very close to what was once Santa Ynez River. We dropped our packs and headed for the river in search of water, but what we found was a small pond near a 20 foot dam called Mono debris dam. The dam is there to stop highly productive rainbow trout from swimming upstream , but there is no longer a problem since the river dried up. Since the dam is there, it has helped create a well known spot for hikers to collect pond water to drink and move on to their next campsite. Once we left this campsite the next morning, we hiked another 5 miles to our next location. We rationed our water that tasted a lot like pond water, but it was the only water we had so we dealt with it. That night, after we all secretly prayed to God for downpoured...on and off...for the 1.5 days. Wow, what a miracle from God! What ended up being wonderful for the state of California, was an actual hindrance for us. Since it rained hard, our walk up the sides of 2 mountains made it almost impossible. Our boots had inches of muddy clay stuck to them, making it more difficult to walk. Our packs seemed to make it more and more harder as mine was close to 40 lbs and everyone elses were closer to 50/60 lbs. What felt like the worst thing in the world, made it so much sweeter when we got to the car. We had to work hard to get back up those two mountain sides. We hiked 9 miles in the rain. We slipped, we fell tired. The biggest problem was that there was no coffee that entire day.

If I can make this story even more dramatic, I felt like I couldn't go on ;) ...there, that might do the trick.

Anyways, it was about 4pm when we got back to the car, we were all tired, cold, hungry, coffee get the picture. but we made it!

This trip was supposed to be 7 days long, ended up being 3. ugh. The rain that ruined our trip, ended up being so good for the state. Its all bittersweet.

With a couple extra days on our hands, we decided to take our time getting back to Spokane. We toured through California. I saw San Fransisco, Simi Valley, Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and then headed up to Portland, Oregon as we are big Portlandia fans ;). PS. what a fun city!

20 hours later of driving, we made it back to Spokane. We dropped of the brothers Mark and Joe, but first had to hit up the donut shop, Donut Parade before heading back home. Ugh another 30 hours of driving. If you have been keeping count thats a total of 100 painful hours. with a puppy no less. (alsdhfaouewghaosugh)

The last bit of our trip heading home we went through South Dakota, and stopped at Mt. Rushmore. Then of course made another stop at Wall Drug...because if you are going to stop at Mt. Rushmore, you might as well stop an hour later at Wall Drug. I have now been to both of these places 3 times.

We made it home, and I was never so excited to be back in Lisle, IL.

I'd like my life to go back to normal now please.


Abigail Joyce

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ABIGAIL JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY | Roadtrippin' in California

Abigail Joyce is a newborn photographer that travels to clients homes in the Chicagoland area and beyond. Abigail brings her props, backdrops, hats, headbands, crates, baskets, blankets and more to your session. Abigail customizes the session to your unique specifications and provides the care and safety that each newborn needs during this beautiful first week of life. Abigail takes her time posing the newborns with gentle hands and patience. Make sure you contact Abigail at least a month before your due date to ensure a newborn session with Abigail Joyce Photography!

Chicagoland Newborn & Baby Photographer | Newborn Photography | Chicago Maternity Photographer | Chicagoland Maternity Photographer | Chicago Family Photographer | Chicagoland Family Photographer

Chicago Children Photographer | Chicagoland Children Photographer

Abigail Joyce specializes in newborn, baby and family photographs. Abigail Joyce is based in the Chicagoland area and the Midwest.

Hinsdale, Western Springs, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Countryside, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Addison, Lagrange, Lagrange Park, Wheaton, Indian Head Park, Darien, Lisle, Woodridge, Naperville, Westchester, Brookfield, Hodgkins, Chicago, Oak Brook, and more.

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Lisle Newborn Photographer

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Abigail Joyce & Team

Abigail Joyce is a family and motherhood photographer that provides maternity portraits, newborn sessions, family photography, and child sessions in Chicago and the surrounding cities. 

Her studios are in Oak Park and Hinsdale, IL. She provides light and airy, heirloom sessions to clients in their homes in downtown Chicago, and the western suburbs. Her team also provides these specialized sessions at her studios at affordable rates, and throughout the Chicagoland areas.

 Sessions take place at beautiful outdoor locations that are curated by the photography team, and proven to provide amazing results.