In March, I had the opportunity to go to Chicago and Spain for a bit of fun travel. The trip to Chicago was to celebrate my wife’s 30th birthday. She always mentions how every time we travel it’s seemingly either because of some music concert or because of baseball. So I wanted to plan a trip that was just for things she liked to do. We ate at some amazing restaurants, toured the incredible Chicago Theatre, visited the largest Tiffany dome in the world inside the Chicago Cultural Center, toured the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, and attended a fantastic performance of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We also took the train from Minneapolis, which was a new experience for both us. While I enjoyed how quiet the train is, the scenery out the huge windows, ease of security screening (or lack thereof), and how comfortable it is compared to the sardine-can-like experience of airline travel, I did not enjoy the multi-hour delays. It’s a good travel experience as long as you have all the time in the world and don’t care about keeping a specific schedule at all. However, I’m glad we finally got to experience it.

I really didn’t feel like lugging around a large camera on the trip, however, I did use my Nikon D800 to shoot the view outside our hotel window. We had an awesome view of the city.

NOTE: Click on the photos to view them larger.

Chicago, Illinois on March 6, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Chicago, Illinois on March 6, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

I also used my new GoPro camera to make a timelapse (I recommend viewing in HD (720p or 1080p) by clicking on the “gear” icon within the video display):

Chicago Timelapse, March 2014

As I mentioned, I didn’t want to use one of my large cameras on this trip, so I shot photos almost exclusively with my iPhone shooting Instagrams of this great city. Chicago really is one of my favorite cities. I love the architecture, the history, the venues, and the setting on the river and Lake Michigan. I also like that it’s a huge city, but it still feels very much “midwestern” to me. I wouldn’t mind visiting Chicago more often.

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 7, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 8, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 9, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

iPhone Instagram of Chicago on March 9, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

For our trip to Spain we had the opportunity to make the trip with some friends, which made the trip even more fun than it would have been otherwise. We really didn’t have any strong desires to visit Spain any time soon, but when our friends, who took Spanish all through college, invited us along it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. This was my second trip to Europe. We traveled to Paris and London back in 2012.

My photos from Spain can also be found in my online archive in the Spain gallery.

Madrid, Spain on March 16, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Madrid, Spain on March 16, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Madrid, Spain on March 15, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Madrid, Spain on March 15, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

On our trip we flew into Madrid, but spent the majority of the trip in Toledo and Barcelona. Toledo is a small town just outside of Madrid that was built as a walled city long ago.

Toledo, Spain on March 16, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 16, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 16, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 16, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Toledo, Spain on March 17, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

From Toledo we took the high-speed train to Barcelona.

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 18, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 19, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 19, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 19, 2014.  Photo by Ben Krause

Barcelona, Spain on March 19, 2014. Photo by Ben Krause

On this trip to Spain I used the great Nikon D800 DSLR and Fuji X100s. I didn’t have the X100s on our previous trip to Paris and London 2 years ago, but I was happy to have it this time. It was really nice to have a smaller, high-quality camera as an option sometimes during the trip instead of carrying around all the heavy D800 gear. Overall, the weather was fantastic in Spain and we had a really great time traveling with our friends on this scenic trip. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my photos. Thanks for taking a look!

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