Chicago Forever

An endless friendship, a new marriage, a cloud-like view. 

I set a goal about one year ago like everyone does when they're twenty-four and confused. That goal was to visit more places and take to take pictures of those places. I redid my website and made plans to visit San Diego for the first time. It was a trip I will forever remember, and always cherish. I've visited new cities and have had amazing experiences before, but something about this weekend in San Diego with a dear friend of mine made me feel exhilarated. It accidentally snowballed into a trip to Seattle followed up by a flight to Alberta Canada where I visited Banff National Park. Since then I've continued to seek out these lasting memories in beautiful places, and I'm eternally thankful for the opportunities that have come my way.

I got a FaceTime call from my sister and she told me that her boyfriend had proposed - it was a beautiful moment that I will always cherish. The wedding was to be in Chicago, a place I had visited my family in many times before - a place that is my home in a sense. I wanted this trip to Chicago to be different than each time before, so I started making plans to explore the city in ways I have never had the time to do.

I spent a full day exploring with my best friend, Angelique. Her friendship is one of those special friendships that defy time and space. It's the type of friendship that should be studied, taken apart, and extracted from in order to help humanity better understand the universe. I've heard that when you're close with someone for seven years, your relationship will last forever. It's been seven years since I first met Angelique, and I know in seven more we'll still be manipulating time and space. 

I didn't go to a single wedding until I was several years into my twenties. Several cities, weddings, and dance moves later they're one of my favorite pastimes. I watched my sister walk herself down the aisle. I watched my sister start something beautiful with an amazing man. I watched her through my tear-filled eyes, smiling, holding our mother in my arms, as she created something beautiful in front of everyone she holds dear.  She is one of my best friends, my mentor, my example. I strive to be like her in so many ways.

I will be back to Chicago many times, and it will always be a city I love. I love it for its old buildings, and the small front porches, and the public transit, and the people that will forever be in my life. I have so many memories there, and they will forever be a part of who I am.

Thank you, Chicago, for holding so much of my heart.  

Until next time. 

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Huntington Gardens

In another life, I was a botanist, and my love of plants ruined my marriage and kept me emotionally distant from my family. Probably. In this life, I am single and clean the pores on my Monstera Deliciciosa every Sunday morning. I've named my desk plants after movies I especially enjoyed. And I'm single. 

I grew up with a beautiful cat that somehow always knew when I was sad. Like every single person who ever owned a cat always says, my cat thought like a human; he just knew. To this day I long to have another pet that I can take care of and nap with, but the lease for my apartment holds me back. So, I've begun to adopt plants. They're my family, and I love them. 

Because of this, my love of botanical gardens has blossomed in the last year. I can't get enough of large gardens. I think living in Los Angeles has contributed to the love of being surrounded by life. In a city that is a hub of culture and chaos I find it can feel somewhat plastic at times. 

My very good friend Joshua recently visited and we had the opportunity to walk around the Huntington Gardens on a cool, overcast day. It was the sort of experience that continues to take your breath away over, and over again. We gasped aloud in synconization too many times to count, and laughed at ourselves even more. 

Rose gardens, and Japanese gardens, tea houses, sculptures, and several estates filled with art. The architecture was mesmerizing, but my favorite part was watching my friend explore next to me. It was really wonderful to explore the 120 acres with someone who appreciated the energy the plants shared.

I plan to keep adding to my family for the time being, and maybe one day I will leave my own garden behind that will take the breath away from many others.

 

Gardens, I love you. You too Joshua.

PLAYLIST – I.B.B.I.H.F

In 2016 a big goal of mine was to not listen to any music that made me sad, and other than listening to Ellie Goulding albums a few times I did pretty well. I listened to a lot of music that was just fun. I loved it. 

Lately I have been listening to a lot of music that is fun but has depth. This playlist (I'm basic but I have feelings) is about the balance between enjoying life, and not ignoring the things we go through. Sometimes we go through shit, and sometimes we dance anyway. 

Dance, and learn from your mistakes. 
 

"I just wanna go
Where love is alive"

    —Louis The Child, Love Is Alive (feat. Elohim)