Category: Wanderlust

Photo by Kai Gradert on Unsplash

What is a road trip you would love to take?

It's enjoyable to me that this prompt came up because road trips are one of my favorite things to do. Something about the wide, open road, roadside diners, and leaving it all behind fills the holes that build up in my soul. I mean, you have to understand that I love road trips and traveling so much that I wrote an entire creative nonfiction essay about it! I'll never not stop dreaming about going on the next one. My dream road trip though is to do Highway 1 from start to finish. I've been on bits and pieces of it…

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sandstone cliffs at red rock canyon

In the Arms of Nature: Rediscovering Emotional Truths Through Nature

With the rapid increase of computer-based communications in the last twenty years, I feel confident in saying that human nature has quickly evolved to the point where connecting to our natural world has significantly decreased. We don't take the time to slow down and enjoy the natural beauty that nature and all of its creatures provide for us. Instead, we take over their habitats, destroy our souls, and fear the animals ensconced there. If we concede that such beauty is freely available to us, we take advantage and tend to ignore it. In 1854, “Walden” was released by transcendentalist author…

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old las vegas mormon fort state historic park

Slanted Suitcase: Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

When I first started studying the history of my adopted hometown, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort was an important part of that studying. I asked myself, "What is this place?" Then, I realized what it was. This is the oldest surviving building in Las Vegas, Nevada, nestled right in the middle of the city, a stop on the Old Spanish Trail. Granted, I've been here since 2004 and it's taken me that long to visit! I'm going to try and explore more locations around the city as part of the Slanted Suitcase series. Significance of the fort The purpose…

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The beehive wallpaper in McHenry Mansion, taken in 2015 by me

Slanted Suitcase: McHenry Mansion, Modesto

McHenry Mansion was probably my gateway drug into my lifelong obsession with old houses. As a local who lived in the Southside, driving past that Victorian-Italianate home to get to the rest of the city was a visual treat and something I looked forward to daily. We did a school trip in third or fourth grade, probably around the time that we were doing civic projects, learning about the history of Modesto and California in general. My favorite memory was learning about how calling cards worked. My best friend A still resides in Modesto and when I moved back to…

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shark reef at mandalay bay

Slanted Suitcase: Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

I've been going to the Shark Reef ever since I moved here. So, here's another photo essay to whet your appetite. Sharks!Spiny fishHorseshoe crabOctopusMore sharkKomodo dragon It's always pretty easy to visit, although with COVID restrictions, always check before you go. Tickets are worth the price, but I've always gotten Nevada residents and employee tickets. The perks of living in a tourist town. You could probably spend a couple of hours here if you really wanted to. It's a bit of a walk to get to from the parking garage as well. You might as well enjoy everything else that…

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a picture i took of bryce canyon national park

Slanted Suitcase: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

I realized it's been a minute since I've shared anything for Wanderlust. Here's a Wayback Wednesday of sorts, a family road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park to celebrate my sister's birthday in July 2007. I low-key kind of love how low-res these pictures are. I took them on a very old, hand-me-down point & shoot camera where the max dimensions were 640x480. I love how technology progresses so quickly. Our overnight family trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in 2007. Admittedly, these were freshened up in Photoshop. But even Photoshop can - and should - only do so much.…

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my picture of fantasyland at the disneyland resort

Slanted Suitcase: Disneyland for Introverts

The Disneyland resort in Anaheim is a magical place. You can try to convince me otherwise but trust me, you won't! As soon as you walk through the gates you’re transported and enter a world of whimsy and joy and you can leave yourself behind for a day. For all the problematic issues that people have levied against the Walt Disney Company, there is one thing they have never faltered on. And that's delivering magic to everyone young and old. Caption: Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy I’ve proudly stated that I’m an…

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A picture I took of the ballroom at Filoli Historic House & Garden

Slanted Suitcase: Filoli

I had the opportunity to visit the Filoli Historic House and Gardens in 2016. Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. It's 30 miles south of the City (San Francisco), and built to resemble an English country estate. Like I told my pal A, it felt like walking into a Jane Austen novel, all without putting a stamp in my passport. Someday soon though! If the place looks familiar, it's been used many times in movies and TV. I told A it…

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My picture of a collage at the Beat Museum, North Beach, San Francisco

Slanted Suitcase: The Beat Museum, City Lights

To try and get back to square one, I took myself on an Artist's Date into the city. My Artist's Dates have always been going to museums, not sure why. They're not particularly creative, but they do satisfy my wanderlust. So I went to The Beat Museum and City Lights. If you don't know me, the Beat writers have been a heavy influence on my life, particularly Jack Kerouac. There's a clue in me that wants to shed my privileged life and run off into the wild blue yonder, but I couldn't do that. So instead, I live vicariously through…

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A picture I took of the outside of the museum.

Slanted Suitcase: DeYoung Museum

Instead of driving into the city to drop off only 70 pages of thesis work, I decided to go to the De Young Museum at Golden Gate Park as well. It's down the street from my school. As I do, I got lost trying to find the parking garage. Just once, I'd like to drive somewhere and know where I'm going. But let's be real, I do enjoy getting lost. Once I make a mistake, I learn from it immediately. I got there around noon or so. I didn't eat breakfast so I ate at their cafe. I had a…

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Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee at the inaugural SVCC

Slanted Suitcase: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016

I attended two days of the Silicon Valley Comic-Con, which was also their inaugural celebration. They'd been hyping it for a few months, and I saw electronic billboards on 101 promoting appearances by Jeremy Renner and Stan Lee. It took place in San Jose, so it was a no-brainer for me to attend. Thankfully the library had a 25% discount on general admission tickets, which helped immensely. Overall, this was an excellent first year for the con. My itinerary for Saturday: Spotlight on Jeremy RennerSpotlight on Nathan Fillion There truthfully weren't any other panels I wanted to attend that day.…

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