You’ve probably noticed that most people are nervous on their wedding day. One June afternoon, someone else’s wedding was happening and yet I was nervous. I suppose I wasn’t all that surprised by this boomerang feeling as it comes back to me whenever I perform a wedding ceremony.
This tiny pile of stones is interesting enough to look at, and the surrounding scenery is truly stunning. But the story behind these weathered ruins fires up my soul.
After two years of saving, planning, and daydreaming, my family made our way to Scotland. We drove a “hired” van all over the country, exploring grand cities and glory of the the middle of nowhere for two weeks. (Believe me, you’ll see and hear plenty more about this trip at Fits and Stops). This particular day had seen us take a bus and two Cal Mac ferry trips to reach our destination on the Isle of Iona.
The mansion was warm and inviting by the light of day. However, an entirely different character descended upon the house on that November evening.
My wife and I chose to spend her birthday weekend in Napa, California. Strangely enough, I don’t know that we sipped any wine during this entire trip. Instead, we explored the countryside and gentrified downtown district of Napa. At the epicenter of our stay was Churchill Manor: a sprawling and stunning plantation-style home built in 1889. It is today a bed and breakfast — and one of the most beautiful we’ve ever visited. Had you stepped into the place, the furnishing and decoration might have convinced you that you’d been transported back to the day it was built.
It was anything but a white Christmas in Calico, California. Which made for a great climbing day, evidently.
We had traveled to California’s Mojave Desert to spend the holidays with family, and the drive was undoubtedly worth it. Great conversations, great people, and (too much) great food prepared by Aunt Becky. After awakening from a food coma one afternoon, my wife and I resolved that we wouldn’t spend the rest of the afternoon on the couch. No! Instead, we would venture forth to the local…ghost town.
As it turns out, my daughter Kali had a taste for photography before me. She received a lil’ pink digital camera at the tender age of two and quickly began to snap photos of unsuspecting family and friends. Disappointed with the quality of the candid shots she was getting, she began asking her subjects to pose for her. She’s a fast learner.
On this particular evening, the tables had turned and I had the camera in hand.