As I’m preparing to go to Southern California next week I’ve been doing some thinking on the all the places I’ve had the opportunity to see already. So I thought: why not do a post about it? I’ve narrowed it down to my top five favorite places. I picked these not just because they are beautiful, but because of the experiences I had there and the beautiful people I experienced them with. It was hard to choose, but I definitely chose the correct ones!
1. Riga, Latvia
From 2011 to 2013 I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Latvia three times. Each time I went was to work at an orphans camp for Talsi Christian School. Working at this camp has been some of the best and most charished memories I have. I chose to talk about Riga(the capital of Latvia, and where we fly in and out) instead of Talsi, because my time in Talsi is so much more to my heart than a place to visit. It’s a long post for another day!
Riga is like no place I have ever experienced; the culture, the language, the people, it’s truly an incredible place! Riga was founded in 1201, but I’ve been told some of the churches are quite a bit older than that. It’s crazy being in a building that is 600 years older than your own country, or walking on cobble stone street that are the original streets. It takes my breath away. It’s a quick drive to the baltic sea, and several castles.
2. The Oregon Coast
I have quite a bit of family in Oregon on my Moms side. My family, while it was still the four of us, were able to take a road trip out that way once in 2002 and a second time in 2007. We flew out a third time for my Grandma’s funeral in 2011. Oregon is such a beautiful state, and every time I’ve been to the coast out there it just takes my breath away! I love the mellow colors and the weather! My favorite is Cannon Beach with the epic haystack rock in the photo right below. My Dad is a bird watcher and knows so much about nature and wildlife, which makes being out there even more fun for a dorky family like us! After loosing Mom in April, memories like these are even more precious to me. I love how much my family did things together. We always had fun and Mom and Dad always made time for me and Danny. These moments out in some of the prettiest nature (in my opinion) that God created with the loving family God gave me are so special.
3. The Los Angeles Area
Next week will be my second time in Southern California. The first was in August of 2012 with Jordan, who I will being going back with. She is doing school out in the area and will be going back home for the semester. LA is one of my favorite places ever! It’s so artsy and full of things you just don’t get where I’m from. It moves to a different beat, and I love that beat. This trip is a lot of what stirred my desire to do art. Once I got back I took art appreciation and I was sold on my new journey. But before that class LA really pulled on my heart strings with its street art, art museums, and way of doing things! It also helps that Disneyland is 20 minutes away….
4. Comfort Tx
I almost didn’t do Comfort because I just blogged about it, but it’s up there so I had to. My parents met the Boyce’s in the early 90′s and shortly after they moved down to the Texas Hill Country. My parents have stayed friends with them since. We took a trip out to see them in 1998. I was sick pretty much that whole trip, but it was ok because I had the company of a cat with heretocromia(one green eye and one blue eye) named C.L.
Dad and Mom went down several times to see them over the years just the two of them. After Mom passed Dad and I took a trip out there to get away from everything here. It was such a great trip. It really lives up to it’s name, Comfort. It was such a fun relaxing trip. They have a sheep ranch and we were there just in time for lambs!
5. New York City
This trip was the most sporadic trip I’ve ever taken. It started as a joke I said in front of my friend Katie, and she said “why not?” A month later, in August of 2010, four other ladies and I were on a plane to NYC. Between a garage sale and taking about a billion portraits I somehow came up with the money for it. It was just one of those meant-to-be trips. I was able to see two shows on broadway, “The Addams Family” with Nathan Lane and BeBe Neuwirth, and “Promises Promises” with Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes. New York is such an amazing city, full of so many things to do! I really hope I get to go back before its all said and done.