UNITED STATES

MIDWEST BLUES & BBQ

October 9 - 19, 2020

AUSTIN ADD-ON

October 19 - 21, 2020

Travel, Landscape, People, and Urban Photography

Includes live blues & jazz club performances, bourbon distilleries, beer breweries, smokehouse barbecues, and rodeos.

Includes

  1. -11 Days

  2. -Workshop Adventure

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -Photo Walks & Hikes

  5. -Small Group Size

  6. -Fine Hotels & Motels

  7. -Breakfasts

  8. -2 Dinners

  9. -National Park Entry Fees

  10. -Local Transportation

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PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE VACATIONS

Blues, BBQ, Bourbon & Beer

Chicago, Kansas City, St Louis, Memphis, New Orleans (and Austin)

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Experience America’s Heartland with Music, Food, Spirits and Photography.

Midwest Blues & BBQ Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.

We pride ourselves on unique and authentic experiences throughout the world. But exotic doesn’t always have to mean the deepest, darkest corners of Asia or Africa. With our Midwest Blues, BBQ, Bourbon and Beer Photo and Culinary Adventure, we immerse you in the taste of Americana, just like we do on our Historic Route 66 tour. The difference here, is that we expose you and your camera to the coolest and most popular midwest blues clubs, bourbon distilleries and beer breweries (some historic, some craft), and let’s not forget the culinary aspect of this fantastic opportunity. The midwest from Chicago to Texas is known for some of the best barbecue in the country, if not the world.

We begin this amazing and unique photography adventure in Chicago, home to Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters. Chicago is the perfect hub to begin our adventure with a fabulous “Welcome Dinner”. Next we fly to Kansas City, renowned for its Kansas City Steaks and smokehouse barbecue, including B.B.'s Lawnside Blues & BBQ and more. St. Louis is next on the agenda with its world renowned ribs, its famous arch, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and more. As we work our way south and hug the Mississippi River, our next stop is Memphis Tennessee, famous for the influential strains of blues, soul and rock 'n' roll. Beale Street, Sun Studios, where Elvis, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded albums, and the Blues Hall of Fame. Finally we arrive in New Orleans for some blues and jazz, jambalaya and gumbo on Bourbon Street. For those still looking for more, we offer a 3 day extension to Austin, Texas for more blues and maybe the best Texas BBQ in the state!

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than the American midwest with it’s rich heritage of blues, barbecue, bourbon and beer.


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Group Size



6-8 Guests


Experience | Difficulty



Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers

DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras

Moderate schedule

Travel by SUV or minibus

Moderate elevation changes and some walking and hiking

(non-photographers also welcome)


Photographer | Guides



Michael Chinnici  |  October 9-19/21, 2020


Weather | Sun



October - Chicago Temps 70/50 F  20/9 C  Sunrise 6:56 | Sunset 6:19 (18:19)

October - New Orleans Temps 82/65 F  28/19 C  Sunrise 7:03 | Sunset 6:30 (18:30)


Includes



Travel, landscape, urban, nature and people photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

Small group size (6-8 guests)

4 & 5 star hotels

Breakfasts

2 Dinners

Local transportation


Accommodations



Chicago, IL - Viceroy Chicago, Kimpton Gray Hotel, Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile or similar

Kansas City, MO - The Raphael Hotel, 21c Museum Hotel - MGallery or similar

St Louis, MO - The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta, The Westin,  or similar

Memphis, TN - Hotel Napoleon, The Westin Memphis Beale Street, The Peabody or similar

New Orleans, LA - Hotel Monteleone, Hotel Peter and Paul, The Saint Hotel, Autograph Collection or similar

Austin, TX - The Driskill, Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, JW Marriott or similar


Travel Information



Arrival Airports: 

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) - Transfer time to hotel 45min

Midway International Airport (MDW) - Transfer time to hotel 45min

Departure Airport: 

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) - Transfer time from hotel 30min

If extending to Austin... Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) - Transfer time from hotel 30min

Our adventure begins at 9 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.


Price



MIDWEST BLUES, BBQ, BOURBON & BEER 11-DAY PHOTO ADVENTURE

Photo Adventure Vacation | October 9-19, 2020:  $7,995


AUSTIN TEXAS 3-DAY EXTENSION

Photo Adventure Vacation | October 19-21, 2020:  $2,395


Combination Offer



PAY IN ADVANCE AND ADD AUSTIN, TX FOR ONLY $1000 MORE

Photo Adventure Vacation | October 9-19/21, 2020:  $8,995

(Must pay in advance in full. Offer based on availability. Limited time only. Includes Austin, TX flight, hotel and transportation, a $2,395 value for only $1000 more)


Single Supplement:  $1000

(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room (Chicago):  $400

(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room (New Orleans or Austin):  $350-$450


Deposit:  $1000


CLICK TO CONVERT CURRENCY




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*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.



MIDWEST BLUES & BBQ 11 DAYS


Day 1 | Chicago - Wicker Park

We meet in the morning at our hotel in Chicago to begin this amazing and unique photo tour. We begin by discussing PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles to Great Photography” as well as our “THE ART OF SEEING” photographic technique. We will have informal discussions on what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. After lunch we will explore Chicago’s downtown and Wicker Park neighborhood. In the evening we celebrate with our “Welcome Dinner” at one of our favorite Chicago restaurants. (D)

Day 2 | Chicago - Downtown - Trendy Neighborhoods

After a sunrise lakeside shoot and breakfast we begin our photographic journey through the city, and visit some of the newer, trendy neighborhoods. Chicago offers great food, blues and jazz music and neighborhoods with character. To put this in perspective, here’s a little history on the movement that brought blues to Chicago. Urban blues evolved from classic blues following the Great Migration, or the Great Northern Drive, which was both forced and voluntary at times, of African Americans from the southern United States to the industrial cities of the north, such as Chicago. Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters directly joined that migration. An early incubator for Chicago blues was the open-air market on Maxwell Street, one of the largest open-air markets in the nation. Residents of the African American community would frequent it to buy and sell just about anything. It was a natural location for blues musicians to perform, earn tips, and jam with other musicians. Although we can’t bring you back 100 years, we’ll do our best to get a sense of Chicago both then and now. (B)

Day 3 | Kansas City - Vine Jazz District

We are up early for our flight to Kansas City, where we will begin our road trip. Once checked into our hotel we will begin exploring this underrated midwest city. Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge, straddling the border with Kansas. It's known for its barbecue, jazz and blues heritage and fountains. Downtown, the American Jazz Museum shares a building with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. We’ll immerse ourselves in this for two days. In the evening we will dine to live blues music at B.B.'s Lawnside Blues & BBQ. (B)

Day 4 | Kansas City - BBQ Tasting Tour

After an early morning shoot and a review of images, we embark on a 4-hour barbecue tasting tour of KC. Maybe you should skip breakfast on this day. We’ll learn a lot about Kansas City as well as hit all the best BBQ joints. In the evening we’ll spend some time exploring KC’s fountains and then have dinner. (B)

Day 5 | St Louis - Gateway Arch - Soulard District

On day five we depart for the other side of Missouri, and the city of St. Louis. Straddling the Mississippi River, St Louis is famous for its iconic 630-ft. Gateway Arch, built in the 1960s. It honors the early 19th-century explorations of Lewis and Clark and America's westward expansion in general. On the river you can see replica paddlewheelers ply the river, offering views of the arch.

After our hotel check-in we will set out to explore the city and photograph the Arch and downtown. In the evening we will visit the Soulard District, home to barbecue restaurants and clubs playing live blues music. (B)

Day 6 | St Louis - Anheuser-Busch Brewery - Downtown

We’ll depart in the late afternoon for the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Nestled in the historic Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, this is Anheuser-Busch’s largest and oldest brewery and was selected based on its access to the Mississippi River, the large presence of German immigrants in the 1800’s, and the natural cave formations that were used to store beer prior to artificial refrigeration. As you walk through the halls of the historic St. Louis brewery, you are transported back in time. All of your senses will be engaged while you discover what it takes to brew some of America's most popular beers. You will also learn about Budweiser’s signature 7-Step Brewing Process that was created and perfected more than 100 years ago to brew the most consistent, quality beer. We’ll spend our evening by the river where we’ll dine. (B)

Day 7 | Memphis - Beale Street

Memphis Tennessee!!!! What can you say other than blues, soul and great Tennessee cuisine! As we depart St. Louis and drive the Mississippi River south to Memphis, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for some historic towns, general stores, and more. Once in Memphis, we’ll begin with an evening on Beale Street, home to many blues clubs.

Memphis is famous for the influential strains of blues, soul and rock 'n' roll that originated there. Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded albums at the legendary Sun Studio, and of course it’s Elvis Presley’s home. Other music landmarks include the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Blues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. (B)

Day 8 | Memphis - Mojo Tour - Sun Studios - Blues Hall of Fame

We sleep in this morning to do some editing and catch up. After we’ll set out for a Memphis food tour and a Mojo tour with a local musician to learn about the city’s musical past. Hear behind-the-scenes stories about famous musicians from Memphis, and even tour Sun Studios. And considering this is a blues adventure, we certainly can’t miss the Blues Hall of Fame. Dinner at one of our favorite Memphis barbecue joints! (B)

Day 9 | New Orleans - Flower District

We leave early for our drive down the Mississippi River and into Louisiana. On this day we’ll take our time driving by some great old towns along the way, and hopefully listening to some really cool stories from some elders. Then pick up Route 55 to NOLA. After check-in we’ll dine at a fave restaurant in the Flower District. (B)

Day 10 | New Orleans - French Quarter - Bourbon Street

On our last full day we will explore New Orleans’ most culturally rich neighborhoods— starting with the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. During our photo walk, we’ll head towards Jackson Square, where we’ll find the St. Louis Cathedral, one of New Orleans’ most beautiful cathedrals. Before we start heading towards the Bywater neighborhood, we’ll have to stop at Café du Monde, a French bakery/coffee shop known for its traditional Louisiana beignets. During our stroll through the picturesque Bywater we’ll see street musicians and performers, we’ll stop for lunch before walking by the pretty New Orleans-style houses and voodoo shops in the area of Marigny. These three areas are the quintessential New Orleans neighborhoods that leave you in awe of its distinctive beauty. In the afternoon we’ll have our final group discussion about photography and the trip.

Our day comes to a conclusion with an amazing “Farewell Dinner” at our favorite NOLA restaurant, filled with great fun and laughter as we discuss all the highlights of the trip. (B) (D)

Day 11 | New Orleans

After breakfast we will trade contact information and bid you farewell. We urge you to extend your stay in NOLA or elsewhere in the Louisiana and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)

NOTE: If you are extending your adventure to Austin, TX, we will depart for the airport by 10 AM


AUSTIN, TEXAS 3 DAY EXTENSION


Day 1 | Austin - Downtown

After we arrive in Austin we will check into our hotel in downtown Austin and begin exploring downtown. Austin is the state capital of Texas, an inland city bordering the Hill Country region. Home to the University of Texas flagship campus, Austin is known for its eclectic live-music scene centered around country, blues and rock. One of the coolest things about downtown Austin is the amount of bars with live bands. It’s tacky, but it also makes for some great street photography. We’ll visit a few in the evening including the Elephant Room, and possibly the Continental Lounge. (B)

Day 2 | Austin - East Austin - Capitol Building

Today we’ll explore some of the newer neighborhoods such as East Austin, where the hipsters hang out. We’ll spend the day eating the best Texas barbecue you can imagine. And if you aren’t already in a food coma, you might very well be by nightfall. We’ll be sure to shoot the capitol building at sunset into twilight which is a great way to round out your short visit to one of America’s fastest growing cities, and definitely a candidate for “one very cool city”. We’ll wrap it up our last dinner together at a long-time favorite restaurant of ours. (B)

Day 3 | Austin

After breakfast we will do some final photo critiques and bid you farewell. We urge you to extend your stay in Austin or elsewhere in Texas and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®


Options and Benefits



Private Guided Tours & Adventures



We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here to request a quote. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.


Travel Insurance



We offer travel insurance through Travelex. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to get a free quote.


Blog & eNews



   Subscribe to our Think Orange Blog and eNews. PWA THINK ORANGE is a wonderful mix of stories and tips related to travel, photography, adventure, culture, art, technology, cuisine, lifestyle, people and more. Our objective is to immerse you in a world you may only fantasize about. Raise your awareness and inspire your creativity. Perhaps even help make you a better photographer. We deliver similar experiential experiences that our guests enjoy on our photo adventures. Like all of our adventures, our blog is “photo-centric”, while also allowing you to experience all the nuances and cultural aspects of travel and adventure. Welcome to our world. We hope you enjoy. Our eNews is a great way to receive information about upcoming photo adventures, exciting new destinations, photography tips, special offers and more. Subscribe today!


Gift Certificates



Give someone you know a Gift Certificate, good toward any of our Photo Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email for more information.



Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials



We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.


Combination Tours



You can SAVE by combining two or more back-to-back photo adventures. Call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.


Loyalty Club**



All registered guests on 6 day or longer Photo Adventures are automatically enrolled in our Loyalty Club. You will receive a $200 discount on your next Photo Adventure. After attending just 3 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Gold” status and a $300 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. After attending 6 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Elite” status and a $500 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. Elite status guests also receive other benefits such as additional discounts, special offers, room upgrades (when available), and more. Click here to learn more.



**LOYALTY CLUB: Loyalty discounts only apply to 6 day or longer Photo Adventures. The discount is applied to the Photo Adventure fee when booked directly through our website, and cannot be added to or combined with any “pay in full”, “pay in advance” or “discounted specials”. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Your discount will be applied to your final payment. Only one discount per person, per adventure. This discount has no cash value. Polar Adventures are excluded from this offer. Loyalty Club status will be eliminated after 3 years of inactivity.  


NOTE: We reserve the right to change hotels based on availability and pricing. Not included in your rate are alcoholic beverages, unscheduled meals, travel to and from our destinations, airport transfers, travel insurance and any optional excursions you may choose to book on your own or as a group. Breakfast is usually included unless it is not offered in our hotel package. As is standard in the travel industry, all accommodations are based on double occupancy. Please choose the private room / single supplement option if you prefer your own room. Double occupancy can only be offered if you are traveling with a guest. We reserve the right to change events and schedules throughout the itinerary due to adverse weather conditions or complications that may arise that are out of our control. Our number one priority is always the safety of our group.