Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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“The more you read the more places you will go,the more places you go the more things you will learn.”
― Dr. Seuss                                         Photo/Featured Image taken by Madison White

 

My top three favorite places in the world:

 

_Jim Creek Rd.; Arlington, Washington

Won’t take nothing but a memory, from the house that built me.

The house in these pictures was, for all of my childhood, my Grandparents home. The house sits pretty under rows and rows of trees on a long stretch road called Jim Creek. Growing up, my brother & I visited in the Summer and sometimes the Winter, going to visit said Grandparents, get out of our own parents hair for a bit and also to see my Aunt Caroline. Most of my favorite childhood memories I have belong to this place and I tend to get really emotional about it because the memories bring me a lot of intense happiness. Most of the memories I can actually recollect of the time my parents spent together are set here; under a Christmas tree opening presents, playing in the snow, walking around in the pasture. I learned to fish here, I swam across an entire lake here, I made friends, raised tadpoles (then got sad when they all hopped away as frogs) here and spent a lot of the best times of my childhood in this town, this house specifically. After my parents divorce, my time was split between houses. My mom has moved us a couple times and my room at my dad’s house now belongs to my step siblings, so this house was, what felt like to me, my solid “childhood” home/bedroom. Although I never lived in this house, I spent tons of time here, laughed so often, reflected and prepared for my life; I can’t stress enough how many great great memories I have tied to this patch of land. I first learned to drive here in my Grandma’s white mini van on the pasture and down the windy Jim Creek Road. I ate stove popped fresh popcorn and my Grandma’s fried rice, chicken & dumplings, my body weight in Dibs ice cream bites and my Grandpa’s favorite; Pepsi & a bag of regular Lay’s potato chips. My Grandpa took us to Boom City at night to watch the fireworks. My Grandma  would walk us through the backyard to pick blackberries and huckleberries to eat as snacks or to make jam. And my Auntie (or my Grandma) would sometimes walk us down the road and through the neighbors land to spend the sunny days swimming in the actual Jim Creek, catching baby rainbow trouts with our Scooby Doo/Barbie hand nets. We ate infinite amounts of bluegill for supper, constantly tried to get my Grandma’s cockatiel Jojo to even look at us and watched the deer eat apples from trees from the living room window. I was a totally different person while I spent time here and I wish more than anything I could go back to spend more; my heart broke when my Grandparents sold the house in 2012 to (unfortunately) a nut case who wound up building a snipers nest in the front of the house to shoot at passersby. Though the space/land is now a bit tainted by the incident, I will always hold every memory, breath of real fresh air and ounce of love I have for 17208 Jim Creek Rd. closer to my heart than any place on this earth. I’ll be back someday.

 

_Badlands NP (South Dakota) & Zion NP (Utah)

Photos of Badlands + Zion by Brian Lewis

On a 13 state road trip I took with my Grandparents, my younger brother and my Japanese cousins, Maho & Kaho; we drove through and stopped in the Badlands National Park and Zion National Park (among others). These places were my favorite and are absolutely breathtaking; a place that really allowed you to think freely, clear your head and let go of anything negative you’d been holding onto. At a young age I recognized my privilege to be in such beautiful spaces and I really tried hard to take pictures in my mind of these places and with much success, I still remember a lot of detailed memories of the roads, tall trees and intricate rock formations from different stops of the trip. I think that I had (& still have) a very strong appreciation for the road trips we took and during such a naive time in my life, understood that I was seeing things, absolutely beautiful things, that not many people would ever get to see in their life. And what blew my mind most was that all this stuff was naturally occurring. No painting, sculpture or piece of art could ever compare to that of the sunsets throwing vibrant, vast stretches of reds, oranges and bright pinks setting over wind + rain sculpted formations that were art installations in and of themselves. These places are incredible, more beautiful than anything I had ever or will ever see again. I have stills in my mind of my younger brother with a sun setting on his face and memories of road games paired with enough laughter to fill my Grandpa’s motorhome from front to back. When I reflect, the most vivid memories I have with my cousin Kaho, are set here in the scenes. She, after a long rough struggle with cancer unfortunately passed away this year. We would play SLAP the card game over and over, slamming cards on the fold up table so hard that we bruised our fingers. We would lay on the top bed in the motorhome that was directly above the driver/passenger seats, watching the winding roads directly in front of us, which was most likely very dangerous. And despite the language barrier between us four, we made up words and gestures of our own in order to communicate, sang songs in Japanese and I tried teaching them things in English that they didn’t know. I hope that these memories I have, are also carried within her older sister Maho as well as my younger brother Aidan, for that trip we all got very close in companionship through laughter and the innocence of our ages.  I know that when I get the chance to go back to the parks, I will have an overwhelming feeling of comfort and love because I will be thinking of her. If you get the chance to experience these places, GO; but remember to be respectful of them; leave only footsteps, take only pictures!

 

_Solimar Beach; Ventura, CA

I have spent countless amounts of days at Solimar beach. The sand is soft, there are no big rocks sticking out of the sand, the waves aren’t rough and the water is just right. Families big and small flock to Solimar beach for its sense of community and good times. There are always tons of cute pups and usually a big group of people playing music loud enough for everyone. This is my Moms favorite place to be during the Summer and we’ve been going for years. I can call back on times shared in this place with her and my brother, my friends and our family; going for the whole day for the sun, water and sand or sometimes just a small chunk of time around sunset. This place will forever and ever feel like a space of complete comfort and relaxation for me, for it will remind me of my Mother, exclusively, for years to come. Thanks Mom for tying Solimar beach in a tight knot straight to my heart.

 

While there are tons of places I love to be, these are my top three because of the emotional connection I have with them. As always thanks for reading! Until next time…

 

xo, -b

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