Playing with Pals

Whew, y’all. The late January and early February times have brought an abundance of visitors to the SoCal area, and I can’t help but feel thrilled about it. My best friend, Annie, from college had the chance to come out for a few days, and it was the most perfect timing because her sister is living almost down the street from me and we already hang out all the time! I wish we could permanently add Annie to the neighborhood, but we’ll take a weekend if that’s what we can get.

Last Bookstore record player

It was one of the first opportunities I had to explore LA for visitors and find the fun things to do. We painted pots, strolled the best bookstore, rode swan boats, and celebrated the bulldogs racing in a derby. There was a lot more celebrating than there was actual racing, but what else are sporting events about?

Santa Anita Bulldog Derby
Glaze Fire pottery

One morning, we walked through the Downtown Los Angeles Flower Market, and if you are buying plants, especially succulents, anywhere else, you should really rethink your habits. We showed up towards the end of the morning when a lot of the stalls were already shutting down, but even still, I’ve rarely seen so many beautiful blooms in one place.

Los Angeles Flower Market

The most fun and unbelievable part of all was that Annie is about 5 months pregnant, so we got to see her in her maternity state, and by the next time we’re together again, there will be a little one to welcome into the world! It’s so exciting and surreal to delight in a ten-plus year friendship and to watch a loved one enter a new stage of life. Blessings all around!

Echo Park Lake swan boats

Navigating New England

It takes a true amiga to break from their yearly visit home from Argentina to pick you up from the Boston airport in the middle of January! Brianne and her dad came for me carrying jackets, sweaters, hats, and gloves since I hadn't fully planned for my return trip through the Northeastern states. I didn't even pack pants that came all the way down to my ankles.

Unbelievably, it had been two years since the last time we had seen each other, but, thanks to the technology that lets us communicate all throughout the year, it was like no time had passed at all. I was grateful for the opportunity to catch up-- unplugged and face-to-face. There was snow on the ground, but New England had warmed itself up for my arrival and it felt good to be so close to where I grew up. Your residence can move anywhere around the world, but there is no feeling quite like finding home in the heart of a friend.

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Thailand Takeaways

It's strange the way you meet people when you travel. You could be bouncing along completely fine on your own, then you make a friend for a couple of days before parting ways, and you end up wondering how you ever got on without them. That's how I wound up sitting on a balcony in Chiang Mai, talking with my new friend Drew about life and the illusion that anything is worth worrying about other than this moment right here and now. We had met on the yoga retreat and reunited in the city due to an affinity for whole wheat croissants, and the shared human sensation of knowing someone in one location and reconnecting with them later on in a new place.

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Like many others on a mission to trot around the world, we wanted to hold onto the travel high forever, and we wondered at our abilities to do this long-term—physically, emotionally, and financially. It seemed like we both had an inkling that, at some point or another, we'd wind up back home in the states with some time to kill before the next adventure. And, contemplative as we are, we knew that the truly awakened are able to find satisfaction anywhere on earth, doing anything that might be required of them.

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It's easy to keep an enlightened perspective when all you have to do is attend led yoga sessions, scribble down a daily journal entry, and maybe book a <$10 hostel for the next few nights. I was pondering ways that I could bring this feeling with me back home. What did I most want to take away from this experience that would bring me joy in the (likely) less eventful days to come? I loved the freedom of being in Chiang Mai for an extended duration, so that I could take my time and wander without a set destination. I'd walk or bike ride for hours, and stumble upon green patios and smoothie bowl cafes where I could sit and read a book or jot down thoughts, like these...

Thailand Takeaways:

  1. The non-routine
  2. Patio gardens
  3. Backyard gardens
  4. Anywhere gardens
  5. After dinner walks
  6. Motorbikes (?)
  7. Coconut everything
  8. Friends everywhere
  9. Knowing your neighbors
  10. Saying yes

Oh, and I also took away a little tattoo.

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Many Moves

Well hi! I'm here, writing from a new place. Forgive my absence. I moved. Again. I don't have a whole lot of feelings about this move since I recently had to fill out the five years of residences section on my Global Entry application, and my list was rivaling the number of entries they allow. I'm living in a temporary room for the next two weeks until I change again, and it's a wonder how the addition of our stuff quickly turns an empty space into our own.

In the meantime, these two tied the knot. Are you getting married soon? I recommend doing it in Asheville, if that's the case. They have loads of mountains, beer, and biscuits. All the essentials for a proper celebration.

On the afternoon of the wedding, about an hour before the ceremony was set to begin, it rained. Actually, it poured, and flooded just a little bit. Then, believe it or not, the clouds parted ways and opened up into one of the most gorgeous evenings I've ever seen. I believe it, since love has a magical way like that. Seeing Lainie and Warren was like a finding the sun after a long storm.

Love to all! Enjoy your weekend.