Most people travel to NH to ski, snowboard, and enjoy the outdoors.
Me? I go to NH to completely mess around while taking in Mother Nature's doings.
I briefly visited New Hampshire back in November as well as January to see some of my friends.
Here are my little moments.
I've always wanted to go to Keene, NH. I'm not sure why. Honestly...I really can't think of why I would want to go.
But, with that being said, I'm glad I came to Keene before it was buried in snow!
The area is adorable and quaint. Stores are closely tucked aside one another. Local businesses flourish throughout the area. It's cozy and the lack of cell phone service is both a bad thing, and a great thing.
Thinking of Robin Williams and Jumanji
While in Keene, my friends and I experienced nostalgia and bittersweet memories that encompass reflecting back on childhood. We saw some of the shooting locations for the 1995 classic, Jumanji starring the late and great Robin Williams.
There is something so beautiful, yet tragic, seeing portions of your personal pop culture history and realizing that time has truly passed and there is no way to return, yet through media like film and photos.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams. We miss you and thank you for bringing joy into the lives of people all over the globe.
Before returning back to campus to prepare to head North the following day, we visited a quiet and serene park and filled it with laughter. While exploring in the park, we found an abandoned shovel (which obviously calls for an impromptu photoshoot).
Moments like these makes me grateful for the friends and moments I'm able to share during my time on Earth.
Inhale the Imagery
Months, a season, and a hair change cut later - I returned to New Hampshire to visit my friends. This time around was focused mainly on taking in the beauty of the state.
My friends attend Franklin Pierce University, which resides in Rindge NH. Unlike the typical Boston campus, this campus has plenty of land to explore and enjoy...including a MOUNTAIN. A MOUNTAIN...
What do you do when you're faced with a beautiful, emotion-provoking, mountain?
I took my time and allowed myself to indulge in painting and creating a picture that I felt represented the peaceful emotions I experienced while sitting on the frozen lake outside of Franklin Pierce.
Yes, you read that correctly. The lake which faced the mountain was frozen solid...which clearly means go walk on water like you're Jesus before it thaws out!!!
Franklin Pierce's Hidden Get-Away
Before I left New Hampshire, my friends Ryan and Vic showed me a hidden gem on campus. On campus, there is a little cabin facing a former ski lift trail. Not only is the view spectacular, but the inside is even cooler!
Inside lies a pad to hang out, watch tv, and chill. In the basement of the cabin is even cooler. The university created an indoor rock-wall climbing experience for its students.
I was amazed by the effort and care the university took to assure its students were content and entertained. The campus is truly gorgeous and perhaps if I could travel back in time to when I enrolled in college, I would've attended here.
Special thanks to Ryan and Vic for hosting me and showing me around your beautiful school and neighborhood.
While driving down the East Coast on my November road trip, I spent some time with my Uncle Roger in South Carolina. Aside from going to the zoo and enjoying the beach, we took to the historic Brookgreen Gardens.
Brookgreen Gardens combines art, sculptures, gardens and a wildlife preserve together. Visitors are free to explore the gardens, observe wildlife, enjoy a picnic, and take in the beauty and relaxation of the Gardens.
Prior to coming to South Carolina, I had never heard of Brookgreen Gardens. I was only familiar of Myrtle Beach as a popular tourist destination.
Now, Brookgreen Gardens is my favorite destination in South Carolina and I cannot wait to explore the area again soon.
Nature and Art Combined
When I arrived onsite, I was nearly overwhelmed by how vast the property was and how much foot there was to cover.
My Uncle Roger and I decided to take on the sculpture area by foot then take his car to the wildlife preserve portion.
Every aspect of the property was filled with art of nature that captivated me. Every time I turned, there was a new thing to take in, observe, and appreciate.
Eurydice and Orpheus
One of my favorite stories of Greek Mythology is that of Eurydice and Orpheus. The play tells the tale of Eurydice who is killed and her husband, Orpheus, who attempts to bring her back from the dead by visiting the Underworld.
This story moved me while in high school, and I've never forgotten it since.
Therefore, I was thrilled to see the sculpture adaptation of Eurydice and Orpheus. I thought the presentation of these sculptures were almost as beautiful as the story itself.
Peace of Mind
One of the most spectacular aspects of Brookgreen Gardens is the sensation of peace of mind. The sense of calmness and serenity is undeniable.
To sit and collect my thoughts and feel deep appreciation for life felt necessary after the previous months of hurdles and issues regarding my personal life and illness.
How do these images make you feel? Do you feel at ease? Warm?
Are you impressed by the craftsmanship of these sculptures?
Nap Time for Adorable Animals
Enjoy these adorable photos I captured while visiting the wildlife refugee! Sleepy babies!!!
Feathers and Friends
I love these photos I captured while observing the animals.
Enjoy these critters!
Leaving the Garden
Before I left, I took a moment to appreciate the beauty and time I spent.
I realized I might not ever return to these beautiful and peaceful place.
I realized how blessed I was to have taken a chance, hit the road, and experienced the beauty of life outside my comfort zone.
Over a year ago, I went to Washington DC with other students from UMass Dartmouth. We boarded a shuttle bus and drove down to see the African American Culture and History museum, Howard University, the Frederick Douglass house, and have dinner at Bus Boys and Poets.
It was an incredible experience being surrounded by history, art, and culture. Ever since then, I've had a craving to return to DC and explore other aspects of the country's capitol.
***As a preface, I wanted to note that I've decided not to go heavy on the photos for this blog post. I photographed a lot at the Holocaust Memorial Museum but decided to include minimal photos. I believe that it's best to experience what I had experienced in DC for yourself, first-hand.
The Most Important Meal of the Day!
Before I left my Baltimore Airbnb, I decided to do a quick Yelp search of breakfast places in the area. One in particular caught my eye. "Lost in the 50's diner". Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE the style of the 50's (the clothes, the furniture, the music, the cars!) so I had to have breakfast before I explored DC for the day.
The diner was absolutely precious. It seemed like it was locked in time. Everything from the decor, to the furniture, even the prices were seemingly from the 50's. I started my day with chocolate milk, grits, toast, and a poached egg. I was full and energized for less than $10 and I was ready to explore DC!
After parking my car for the day, I decided to hit the gift shop first. Every state I explore, I pick up a pin or button for my collection. The last time I was in DC, President Obama was still in office.
So...I was a little surprised to see the gift shop looking like...well...this.
I really don't know what else to say besides I can't believe this is real life...still. I don't like to get political but...geez.
Engulfed in History
The first time I've truly traveled alone was during this road trip. I had never been to a museum alone or really spent significant time in my own company.
Walking around DC, reading and observing monuments, taking my time and allowing new knowledge to find me was such a beautiful and powerful experience. I spent hours walking around DC, reading and taking in whatever I could.
I thought about the history and the footsteps that were here before me. The fights for equality. The battles for the US. The elections, the movements, the justices and injustices.
I thought about the people who died for this country. The people who died for women's rights and for African American rights. I thought about all the wrongs in today's country and thought about how I could participate in helping to create a better tomorrow.
I want to help participate in a better tomorrow.
Little (Monumental) Moments
Although it was a cloudy day exploring DC, it was beautiful. Those who were also out seemed so thrilled to be in the capitol. It was beautiful to see people of all ages and backgrounds being captivated by the history and culture among us.
History and politics can push us so far away, but can also bring us together. It can be so painful and devastating to see...but also so beautiful and powerful.
I felt so emotionally moved. I wanted these moments to last forever.
Monuments Up Close (Aka, Meeting Celebrities)
When I went to DC the first time, we didn't have enough time to visit any of the monuments outside of the agenda. The travel time and time waiting for seats at restaurants led to us having no extra time to explore.
To me, seeing parts of history is like meeting a celebrity. When I traveled to the Jersey Shore and walked the boardwalk, it was like meeting a celebrity. It sounds cheesy but it feels so monumental to me. It feels so powerful and beautiful to step into parts of history and out of the places you know so well and to explore what you've heard about but have never seen before.
Therefore, FINALLY seeing the monuments up close was MONUMENTAL to me! Spending 20 years seeing images in books, clips on tv, hearing stories from friends...I was so ready to see history in person. I felt like a kid in a candy store or Disney World. It was so thrilling to see the monuments in real life.
But, it also made me think deeply. Monuments are supposed to honor aspects of history that led to positive change and sacrifices. Then why are there still monuments of historic figures that should NOT be honored? Historic figures that led to minorities experiences suffering and mistreatment?
The Holocaust Museum
This day. This day was about learning. About opening up my mind and heart and allowing myself to be emotionally moved.
So I did. I allowed my mind and heart to be open.
When I visited the African American Culture and History museum, I allowed my mind and heart to open. I allowed tears to flow, and questions to be raised. I learned that seeing and experiencing a museum in person triumphs what is learned in the classroom.
With that being said, I've included some images from the Holocaust museum. I've decided to not include all images or my thoughts. I believe museums like this and the African American Culture and History Museum should be experienced in person individually.
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