The Sweet Season

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Michigan, Part 1

08 May 2012

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I know I told you we crammed a lot of activities into our short 5 1/2 day trip to Michigan but I don't think you realize just how much we managed to accomplish.  Honestly, I didn't really sleep the entire time we were there and I am not sure how I made it, but I did and I have a gaggle-- yep, GAGGLE of photos to prove it.  I know I told you all that I got my newest lens and was just dying to try it out.  I talked my parents into posing for me as these are the first shots I took with the new gear.  The lens is amazing but takes some getting  use to-- I found that focusing for me was a little tricky and I am still figuring out how to get the image to be just what I am picturing in my head.  After this mini photo session, of course the next item on the agenda was food!  My parents had never tried P.F. Changs so we had a delicious lunch and then came back and headed to church. Later that evening I got to play around even more with my camera in the field across the street and get some pretty dusk shots.  Our first day was more than full of activity but it was so nice to be able to visit and catch up with my family.  Now, I will quit talking and leave your with some of my favorites.  (Obviously I took hundreds of pictures so the "some" are actual quite a lot!)





aren't my parents great little models?!




husband, looking all fresh to death from the plane ride. HA

My husband and I have had P.F. Changs before in Colorado Springs and this was our second time eating here.  Last time I remember really loving it, so I was exited to try out this new location in Grand Rapids near Knapp Corner.  We went for lunch, and were seated right away.  We decided to start the meal with spring rolls and they were delicious as I figured they would be.  They weren't greasy at all, just light, flaky, crunchy and yum.  


 I decided to try the almond & cashew chicken.  I wanted to try something that you could get at a food court, or other "chinese" restaurant to see the difference.  It didn't even compare and far surpassed similar food in freshness and flavor.  The sauce wasn't too heavy and the veggies were fresh and crisp.  I loved the brown rice because it was perfectly cooked--which sometimes is hard to find at restaurants. Husband tried the sweet & sour chicken and loved his dish as well.  The only gripe I had was on presentation, it looked like they had sloshed the dishes all around on the way out of the kitchen and it looked really sloppy.  My dad had to wait an extra 10 minutes or so on his dish, and it would have been nice to have all the food delivered at the same time.



ooh!  I am alert!  I am alert!  :) 


Overall, P.F. Changs is a really phenomenal alternative if you are craving that really-bad-for-you food court chinese.  Even my husband's sweet & sour was breaded really lightly so you get the fried food but with significantly less calories.  There was also a slew of gluten free options for those with special diet needs which is really nice.  My mom commented that the egg drop soup was slightly "greasy" to her-- you could see the fat beading all over which was a little off-putting.  Be prepared to spend slightly more at this restaurant-- but you are getting quality and much healthier ingredients so I think its worth it.  The service was okay-- again, would have been nice to receive our meals at the same time but our waitress was really friendly which is great. Overall we gave P.F. Changs a 7/10.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

and then we headed to church... and I got some shots of my dad really getting into his sermon


haha love this-- my dad with a man named john gooch. he rides motorcycles and wears leather :)





 and then my favorite--sunset shots!



















 and we aren't ALL serious over here-- and I am totally using these for blackmail against my dad.
he is a goofball!



a few more-- are you tired of pictures yet?!




this would be bella falling asleep sitting up :) 



It was for sure a FULL first day of fun!  I can't wait to share a few pictures with you from a baby photo session I got to do while we were there too!  Those might be up later today!  (double post?! WHAT?!)

Over & Out,
A

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36 comments:

  1. Ahh I LOVE PF Changs!! I haven't been there in agesssssss.

    hahahah those last couple of pictures of your dad are hilarious! What a character!

    Beautiful pictures, as always!

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  2. what great pictures!! your family is beautiful (my mother HATES pictures so i could never do a photo shoot like that!).

    ...you are making me so excited t go "home" for a visit at the end of June!

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  3. Ashley you are an amazing photographer and your parents are so cute! Mmm I love PF Changs.. have you ever tried Pei Wei? It's a casual dining restaurant owned by the same people so they have a lot of the same menu items for less money! It's really good too! Looks like you had an amazing trip!

    Ps. I'm having an awesome Anthro giveaway on my blog today.. check it out :) http://samisshenanigans.blogspot.com/2012/05/100-follower-giveaway.html

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  4. Your parents are studs. I love it! What great models. Bella falling asleep sitting is priceless.

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  5. I've only had dessert from P.F Changs... and it's amazing!!!! I love all those pictures!! You're so pretty!

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  6. LOVE all the dusk pictures, gorgeous and you have such a natural talent for photography. I can't wait to see how it grows and develops.

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  7. hahah your dad seems awesome. Your whole family does! I especially love the picture of Bella falling asleep standing up haha.

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  8. These pictures of your parents are priceless, you will definitely cherish them for many, many years! I wish I could do the same with my parents, but my Dad would never agree to be in front of the camera, ha!

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  9. How sweet are your parents?! Love these! Especially Bella falling sleep standing up. My pup, pacino, always falls asleep with toys in his mouth in the middle of playing. Like a little kid he doesn't want to stop playing.

    So you take her on flights? How do you do such a long flight with her?

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  10. AMAZING shots! I may have to get a new lense myself! Loving it! And your parents are so cute and very photogenic;)

    Aesthetic Lounge

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  11. ashley, i love all the photographs but the sunset ones are my favorite of all! what amazing light. what new lens did you get!? xo.

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  12. Girl, you got SKILL! I hope to get to that point someday!! Your dad's goofy faces are hilarious!! You seriously have the most beautiful parents.

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  13. Your parents were great models. Great pictures!!!

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  14. Your parents are precious! Love the pictures.
    We've only eaten at PF Changs once but my hubs was not impressed! I can't talk him into taking me again :(

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  15. Love your pictures! Especially the sunset ones. I pretty much just use my 50mm as well. I love it!

    And Ive never been to PF Changs either...

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  16. LOOOOOOVE :) Your parents are absolutely TOO cute! Your dad is hilarious!

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  17. That picture of your mom in the foreground and dad in the background is stunning.
    Glad you had such a great trip back home!

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  18. I live in Grand Rapids :) where is your dad a pastor at?

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  19. I love PF Changs! I can't wait to read more of the recap. Your parents are presh and you are gorgeous. THe sunset pics are my fave!

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  20. Your parents look so young!! Great photos!!

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  21. I love P.F. Changs!

    And let's talk about your parents: they look like they're about 25! :) Beautiful pictures, as always!

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  22. Beautiful pictures Ashley :)

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  23. I've only had PF Changs once, but it was delicious!! Your dad is so awesome for being such a good sport with all the pictures! So cute!

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  24. Your parents are adorable!!!

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  25. Glad you had a great trip. Your family is gorgeous!!!

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  26. These pictures are awesome! My 55mm f/1.4 just came in the mail the other day, can't wait to play! And I totally think you should get someone in the church to sneak these pictures on a projector while your dad is preaching next Sunday. Just saying...

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  27. Your parents seem amazing. :) What a fun trip you had! These pictures area amazing. You are a fantastic photographer, Ashley!

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  28. Ok, your parents are SO adorable! These photos are just gorgeous!

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  29. Ashley your parents are PRECIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

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  30. You are going to always treasure those pictures of your parents! Props to them for being good sports about it: ]

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  31. Your pictures are amazing! You look gorgeous! And your parents, especially your mom, look so young!!! Great job, girl!! :)

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  32. Your parents are so stinking cute, you got some great shots!

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  33. Your parents are so stinking cute, you got some great shots!

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  34. LOVE all the pictures! The sunset ones are my favorite. I'm glad you had a good lunch at PF Changs, I've never been there.

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I will now be replying to comments right here on this thread! wahoo! And even if I don't get to your comment, please know I read every single one! I also always answer emails! ashley@adventuresofnewlyweds.com