Archive | May, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Roznoski: A Nazareth Hall Dream Wedding! {Toledo Photographer}

Mark and Robyn’s wedding day was perfect!  Sunny, blue skies – trees and flowers finally all bloomed – and Grand Rapid’s exquisite Nazareth Hall.  After getting ready in the bridal suite, Robyn made her way down the spiral stairs to the front of the Cadet West windows, where her husband-to-be was waiting with anticipation for their “First Look”.  It was amazing!  They hugged, they kissed, they laughed, and I’m pretty sure I saw some tears.

They recited their vows in front of family and friends in the Grotto, the outside chapel, before being whisked away to a fun night of dancing and celebration in Cadet West.  The setting sun poured through the western facing windows, creating a romantic glow for the newly-married couple.  I can’t wait to publish their private online gallery!

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Nazareth Hall is Toledo’s favorite wedding venue, and one of my top favorite places to photograph couples and families.  The wedding photography here can be photographed like non other!   And the amazing staff and chef know how to pamper couples as they relax in the serene atmosphere and prepare for their happily ever after!  www.nazarethhall.com Music and entertainment was provided by Bob Norris of www.classactbybobnorris.com

Roma!!!

How bittersweet!  To be in Rome, but it’s our last and final destination.  🙁  As they say, all roads lead to Rome!

We arrived in “Roma” early Monday afternoon and took a walking tour throughout the streets.  We visited the Trevi Fountain, built in the 1700s, which was constructed at the intersection of 3 roads and an ancient aqueduct system (which served Rome for over 400 years since 19 BC).

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Of course, we tossed a coin over our left shoulder into the pool to ensure our return to Rome!  After a stop here, we walked towards the Pantheon (my favorite Roman site!) and enjoyed some of the city’s best frozen coffee at a nearby cafe.  The pantheon was built in 126 AD under the rule of Augustus Caesar, and even after nearly 2000 years, it is still the world’s largest reinforced stone dome!  The large open hole at the top is the only window for natural light (small drain holes are in the floor for when it rains).  It was originally a temple for all the Roman Gods, but was converted as a Catholic Church in the 7th century.  The artist Rafael and two kings are buried here, amongst others.Toledo Travel Photographer Rome002

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Tuesday we visited the Vatican.  I was feeling sick this day, so much of it was a blur, but I’m still glad I went!  I had been 3 years earlier, but I had forgotten so much and it was Jeremy’s first time, so very much worth visiting again.  Although we are not Catholic, it’s still a unique part of history to see in person.  St. Peter’s Basilica was built in the 1600s and is the largest cathedral in the world to this day.

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The famous paintings of Michelangelo can be seen in the Sistine Chapel, as well as other paintings, tapestries, and sculptures in their museum, the Musei Vaticani.  The Gallery of Maps was my favorite part of the museum.

Our last day in Rome we walked (and walked and walked!) all over the city!  For being such a large city, Rome actually only has 2 subway lines.  Luckily, our hotel was close to one of the metro lines, and we took it straight to the Colosseum.  We started out here, and walked all along the ruins of Ancient Rome.

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One of the cafes we stopped at for lunch was actually built right inside the ruins!  Next we headed towards the Spanish Steps and enjoyed some Gelati here (actually, we had to hide under scaffolding to avoid the short rainfall).  One of my favorite parts of our last day was seeing the statue of Moses in the San Pietro in Vincoli Church.

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The church is in a small community built on a hill overlooking the Colosseum.  It’s quite a hidden treasure and I’m so glad we discovered it!  Michelangelo’s Moses is featured here above the tomb of a pope.  This incredible piece of art is just as detailed as his David that we saw in Florence.   The expression on his face and body language has been studied for centuries: The horned head, the flowing beard, the gaze toward the chapel’s doors, and the protectiveness of the 10 Commandment Tablets.  Jonathan Jones of the English newspaper, The Guardian, describes it perfectly: “Moses’s right hand protects the stone tablets bearing the Commandments; his left hand, veins throbbing, muscles tense, appears to be holding back from violent action. When he came down from Mount Sinai, Moses found his people worshiping the Golden Calf – the false idol they had made. His anger defies the prison of stone, the limits of the sculptor’s art. Few can resist the impression of a real mind, real emotions, in the figure that glares from his marble seat.”  In fact, the statue is so lifelike that legend says that when Michelangelo completed it, he lifted up his mallet and stuck Moses’ knee and cried, “Speak, Moses!”  The discernible crack in Moses’s knee is visible.

We ate dinner at a small cafe by the San Pietro, enjoying some Italian pasta for the last time, before heading back.  We waited out the sunset, and captured some amazing images of the Colosseum.  I love how the ancient ruins stands so majestically with untold stories of gladiators and Christian martyrs, with the motion of modern-day life speeding by it’s foundation. The blur of vehicle lights can be seen along the road.

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