I am someone who grew up in the 70’s. I know, I’m old. And when I was a kid, we took road trips. Lot’s of them. My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was little, so we drove everywhere.
We took a road trip this past Spring Break up to a BEAUTIFUL city called Ione, California. And as my husband and I took turns driving on the 8 hour trip, I would occasionally look back at my kids riding in a luxurious, safe minivan, securely fastened in their booster seats, watching DVDs, playing videogames, making crafts and coloring with their 568 crayon colors on their deluxe, lap desks with organization pockets to hold all of their supplies.
My road trips as a kid consisted of riding in a wood-paneled station wagon with bad suspension, all the windows down, two parents, four kids, and one 100 pound dog riding with no seat belts, pulling a huge camper behind us. You couldn’t hear anything over the wind, you couldn’t read or draw due to the wind and the bouncing around. I can’t even remember exactly WHAT I did on those trips to be honest. It must be my subconscious saving me from painful memories. To this day, my husband can’t figure out why I get so carsick all the time. I tell him that if he rode in the back of a station wagon, backwards, in a suicide seat with no seat belts for most of his childhood, he’d be carsick, too.
We met my brother Mark, sis-in-law Rita and my awesome niece, Camille, up at a cabin they rented for the week. We had such a fantastic time. And I will say that when photographers talk about THAT light, that buttery, gorgeous, warm sunlight that is perfect for taking pictures, we are talking about THIS place. The grounds consisted of acres and acres of beautiful land with swaying, lush, green grasses, purple flowers, an old barn and a fabulous cabin. We spent hours outside, lying in a hammock, swinging on a porch swing, playing badmitten and horseshoes, and just exploring. My girls walked to a neighboring farm with their Uncle Mark to pet baby pigs and a horse named Okie… and the owner of the farm gave them a dozen eggs just because. We drove through little towns, went to an old gold mine and panned for jewels, and ate ice cream at an authentic old-town shop.
It made me realize how sad it is that in Orange County there just isn’t that much space around you. Sure, we have a park across the street, but it’s different than just walking off your porch and being in nature. It was a special place and a special time with family. I know my kids will remember this trip for years to come.
I, of course, brought my camera and got some great shots of the beauty of the location. And I wanted to get some shots of my beautiful niece, as well. She is a bright, witty, phenomenal girl with a fantastic personality and a huge heart. I wanted to capture her spirit…. not an easy task, but I think I caught a glimpse. 🙂
Ione will go down for me as one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. I can’t wait to go back someday…