CALIFORNIA | ADVENTURES IN THE GOLDEN STATE

California | The Golden State via Club Narwhal
We spent forty-eight glorious hours in California last weekend and it
was bliss. Growing up, I took pretty much everything for granted,
especially how good I had it in the sunny Golden State. But after The World’s Longest Winter here in Michigan, California was like a dreamscape. And I never wanted to leave.

One of my many favorite parts of the trip was chatting with my grandma
about her amazing life. I’m so glad that we were able to capture some of the moments, especially a few
little video clips we shot. I know we will treasure them forever.
I can’t even say how many hours all of us kids spent on top of Grandpa’s shop
alternately eating sweet tangerines and pelting them at passerbys. Strolling around that familiar property brought back all the memories of
my childhood. I loved watching my brother’s child scurry about,
discovering all the same things we used to love.
I have waxed nostalgic on the wonder that is my grandmother’s house
and going back after too many years away only reinforced that sense of
magic I felt as a child. It was
(and still is) paradise. Citrus groves always heavy with ripe oranges,
avocados peeking out of jungly greenery, vibrant flowers strewn across
every square inch.
Even though my grandpa has been gone for four years, I can still see him standing on his beloved hill wearing his worn Levi’s, boots, and a cowboy hat. In my memory, he holds a Diet Coke in the same hand that’s missing a finger. He looks fondly at the whole great big gaggle of us, his brood, all of us racing around the land he carefully tended for so many years. There we all are, gathered in the beautiful home he created for all of us to love.
My cousin’s friend, Daniel Jacob, captured his iconic stance so beautifully in this painting. I could have stared at this lovely piece forever.
Jim Ingersoll Portrait by Daniel Jacob
When we got home, I realized that I had snapped a photo of Warren in almost the exact same stance and in the exact same location–my grandparents’ driveway.
We crammed so much fun and food in those forty-eight hours but one of the major highlights was celebrating the love between Warren’s brother and our lovely sister-in-law. They are simply fabulous (as is her pink skirt, am I right?) and we could not be more proud and excited for them.
And that floral flowy kimono number? I will definitely be wearing that every single day for the entire summer (if it ever gets here). Sidebar: have you ever found a piece of clothing that was your soul mate? That’s exactly how I felt when I found this one.
And let’s not forget how Warren looks when he’s being “fierce.”
California was a brief but much needed jaunt, made all the more perfect by a surprise In-N-Out reunion with two of my oldest friends. I was totally doing Taylor Swift’s surprise face but in complete and utter earnestness. For three straight hours.

And now I want to somehow make this a world where I can live near every single person that I love and also plant a dozen fruit trees in my backyard. A few jasmine and freesia bushes wouldn’t hurt either.PS: I’m over at All Things E sharing one of my new favorite spring salads. Stop by and say hello!

How do you feel when you go home?

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