Updated: Apr 19, 2019
It’s midsummer in Connecticut and I'm seventeen years old.
We’re in my childhood bedroom, swallowed up by bright magenta walls & thick New England humidity. The faint chirp of crickets carries in through open windows, punctuating our comfortable silence. With my head to his chest, I glance up at his closed eyes & soft smile. I smile back, knowingly.
This is love in its simplest, most pure form. This is ‘you-will-always-be-a-piece-of-home-to-me’ friendship – the kind that would outlast every saccharine high school romance we desperately clung to.
This friendship is chocolate chip ice cream & firefly catching in the middle of the night, after my boyfriend had dropped me home. It’s having a 10 page paper to write but choosing to drive around & discuss the new Taylor Swift album together instead. It’s the passenger seat of his car, sharing a buffalo chicken pizza as the sun set on my last day on the east coast. And it’s the bittersweet song we’d listen to over & over, the lyrics hitting us harder and differently as the years passed.
The relationships that once dripped heavy with “I can’t live without yous’ and “I’ll love you forevers’, now live within a few past-tense sentences and simple references of time. As for Justin & I though, our friendship extends over mountains and through state borders. We've since moved from our small town to cities with well-known names, in search of everything.
The love we both felt for our hometown was so strong that we didn't think twice when deciding to leave. Niantic would always be there for us, unchanging – just like me to him, and him to me – but there was more beauty & wonder to be found & seen & experienced outside of our bubble.
And so, while I’ll admit that there are few people in this world that frustrate me more, I am unbelievably thankful to have Justin in my life. Home is many things, and he is one of them.
This was my first visit to Boulder, CO, where Justin currently lives. We spent most of the weekend doing what we do best – listening to music in the front seats of his car, driving to new places, capturing landscapes that capture us right back.
Here are some photos from the trip.
We got up around sunrise on Saturday morning with a very ambitious plan. Coffee, breakfast burritos, and a 12hr drive.
Cycling through our downloaded playlists on Spotify, we talked about shows we'd been to and took turns saying "wow" at the changing landscapes out our windows. (service-less road trips are the best kind of road trips)
We arrived at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park around 3pm. Most of the park was closed, but the view was breathtaking nontheless. Per usual, photos do nothing for the scale of this park
The sun went down early on our trek home, so we opted against the scenic route for a smoother/less stressful drive (although the stars were equally scenic that night).
The sun rose on our faces the next morning & we laid in bed for next hour or so. Once we pulled ourselves together to face the day, we put our name in at his favorite breakfast spot & he showed me around his new downtown.
After breakfast, we hopped back in the car for a much shorter road trip. A low commitment drive with breathtaking views.
We spent a few hours exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. The sun shined, snow fell and wind practically knocked me over at some points.
10 years in the making. Love you, bud.