Geez, this road trip has turned into an unexpected vacation full of spontaneous adventures.  I've seen many familiar faces, met some new ones, and finally feel that I got a true summertime break.  Driving across the country was my only real chunk of free time before school started, and that hardly felt like relaxing.  This trip has also included a good amount of road time, but each stop along the way has held sweet moments with people I feel comfortable with, and chunks of time where I truly feel free to wander around and relax.  Not a dull moment to be had over here.
  Anyway, to kick off the trip I met up with an old friend in her new home in Boston!

Connie is this completely cute and charming lady who I went to high school with, down in North Carolina.  It's hard to hang out with her and not be a little in love. I'm super excited that she's living up in New England with me now, close enough that I'm ever feeling lonely I can make a trip down and have a friend to play board games with, or steep in coffee shops.
And we did just that - coffee, board games, delicious dinner at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, and then more board games until we couldn't keep our eyes open anymore.  She, in addition to working full time as an art instructor at a nonprofit, makes art herself!  You can look at it here and buy it here!  Support my friends!

Anyway, it's Sunday, and so, the day of gratitude.  These last few days I've been endlessly thankful for my safe journey to the southern mountains.  But, more so, grateful for all the beautiful people I know in various places along the way.  People who I haven't seen in months, or years, and still welcomed me into their homes, shared meals with me, introduced me to their friends.  These are the sorts of the things that make me happy and enlivened.  And these last few days I've been glowing, sitting among different groups of people, some I've know for years, and some I've just met, happy to just share our time together.

foggy // misty // rain

I made this short video of my journey through Washington state and British Columbia.  I was entranced by all the tall green masses encircled with cloud and fog, so there's a lot of that, and then also a lot of coffee.  I quickly put it together here on the road, so sorry about some of the shaky footage, but even still - I think you can tell how how beautiful and majestic that part of the world is - something that you could probably never entirely capture on camera.

p.s. note the moose I saw at the beginning!!!!!!

Stop I: Fort Langley

My coworker was visiting his childhood home while we were on our trip, so we stopped over to say hello.  He gave us a short tour of the little town, and in the process of walking down to the river we discovered an abandoned house.  There's always a simultaneous draw and fear about actually going into an abandoned house, right? But this one, with the sun out, and my friends nearby I walked straight in.  Peeling walls and broken glass, and a bit of graffiti, my favorite being, 'like what you've done with the place' all creating a pretty mysterious and shifty atmosphere.  And then when we were done exploring we walked down to the water and ate strawberries on the fence.  After a strange night in Vancouver the cozy town and familiar coworker/friend's face made me feel quite at ease again and set just the right pace for the rest of the journey.

road trip road trip.

A 4 day weekend and a spontaneous new friend led to a road trip to the interior of British Colombia!  Caroline and I had both heard all of these wonderful things about Nelson, B.C. which usually ended with the person saying, "honestly, you won't want to leave".  So, we arranged for places to stay and hit the road.  It was an 8 hour trip, but the journey ended up being just as beautiful as the final destination.   We meandered through small mountain towns, valleys, prairies - one moment we would be surrounded by dry and grassy plains with the sun beating down on us and the next there was only evergreen with rivers running through it and a covering of snow.  The only constant was the endless layering of mountain ranges, more beautiful than I'd ever seen.  Caroline is Brazilian, so it was fun to watch her get so excited about seeing snow, which had become sort of became commonplace for me, coming from Vermont.  Looking out the window, my eyes never got bored, and really with all of the sun, and no road troubles to be had, there was nothing to do but to look up and be thankful.

pizza & campfire.

Our first stop on the trip was in rural Pennsylvania at Melissa's family's home.  Spending time with family and food and warmth is a comforting thing, especially on a long road trip.  We ordered a 30'' pizza, which was ridiculous.  Her dad and brother built a bonfire in the backyard and we all sat around and enjoyed the spring night air... and sang bad country songs.  The most important thing is how much crying laughter happened over silly stories - there's nothing better.
Plus, soon to come are really beautiful hilly nc bluegrass festival pictures, what?