Journal

Dear Squamish | Bouldering in Squamish

Dear Squamish,

I’ve heard a lot about you, more than I every thought I would. Dang, you are beautiful. I’ve always had a thing for greenery, but your greens glisten against the stark greys and feel like they go on forever until they touch the sky. For the longest time, you were just a book slammed into a lime green backpack and videos randomly sent to my inbox, but I’m glad we finally met.

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We’re really different, you and I. You are adventurous and grand, I am a natural homebody. You represent a kind of fun that I see no fun in, but we got along better than I expected. Maybe it was the great conversation and caffeine leading up to meeting you, or the warm spirits that welcomed me there, or, I hate to be vain, but it might have been your beauty. I knew I’d love capturing you, but it was more awe inspiring that I expected.

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Thank you for being a space for every emotion under the sun. For graciously giving us a playground amongst the trees for people to challenge themselves, struggle, and conquer you. I am grateful for the new experiences and the new friendships I’ve made. Meeting you helps me understand my friends so much more.

Until next time,
J


Many thanks to this crew of climbers who embraced me so whole heartedly and let me tag along on their adventures.

Dear Portland

Dear Portland,

Call me predictable. Everyone always said that you and I were meant for each other. I'd heard that you are everything I look for in a city - full of art, good food, great drinks, and super chill. Everyone was right. You're not too far away, and it feels like every summer we would try to make it out to see you, but never quite get there. This time was different. Something about you feels like home. I'm not sure if it's plainly the PNW vibe or something about the way your streets and buildings make me think of certain areas in Vancouver. You feel small and big and never once did you feel daunting. 

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Thank you for welcoming my family so warmly! Thank you for the family friendly little food joints and the pleathora of food carts. Thanks for one of the most chill zoo's I've ever been to. Not going to lie tho - seeing the giraffes in that tiny space made my heart ache. 

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I'll never forget walking down the street and seeing Powell's for the first time. The genuine excitement pulsing through my body as I realized that it was a full city block. All bookstores should have their own parking lot. I could write a full letter to this place, and I'm sure one day I will. 

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I regret not seeing more of you, but I know I will be back. Thank you for being the background to our family vacation and for giving us new memories that we get to hold on to forever. You are all kinds of wonderful, and I can't wait to see you again.

x J

 

Dear Whistler

Dear Whistler,

You are special. A short drive away from the bustling city, yet within your arms, I feel relaxed. Most of the time you are ours - a haven that Mike and I crave - but when you're not, we share you with our best friends. You are the perfect escape and every chance I'm with you, I feel refreshed. 

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I feel most myself when I am with you, despite our differences. You provide just the right amount of adventure. I love exploring your hidden gems and getting lost amongst the branches. Masterfully, you simultaneously feel vast and intimate, like a friend you've known for years, yet there are still innumerable things to discover. 

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You are the middle ground. In one trip, we can enjoy the fresh air and blue skies that Mike needs to recharge and give me the urban comforts and artistic intrigues that I need to stay interested. For us, there is no better place than you. There's a reason we choose you year after year for our anniversary. 

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Thank you for giving us solace. This new year's was more challenging than I expected, but being in your comfort helped more than you realize. Thank you for never judging how much I sit and read in your sunlight and for being our constant. I hope you know how special you are. Our story wouldn't be what it is without you. 

with love,
J

Bocanegras in Vancouver

This reunion was years in the making! After almost a decade, our cousin, Mark, made the trip to Vancouver for some quality family time. He brought his beautiful family with him - his wife, Megumi, and daughter, Kate. The trip was short, but we all managed to fit in one fun family day! It started with some All-You-Can-Eat sushi followed by a trip to the Aquarium (the irony is jarring!). We squeezed in an ice cream run before a family dinner at the house. Watching Lucy interact with her cousin and new "best friend", Kate, was magical. 

Hopefully the next reunion is only a few years away!

xx J