the magic of south bend indiana

so a precious friend of mine, amelie, my first nicaragua roommate (roomie!), has a family property in south bend. they are based in virginia. it’s a long trip, but only 2.5 hours for me… so when they made it out here, i ran to o’hare to rent a car and join in the fun…

the drive was super easy, the house was easy to find despite being in the proverbial middle of nowhere. it’s in a small town with all the usual amenities, but the driveway is very nondescript and around some other properties that are not houses (ie. a church, a bank, a funeral home)

from even pulling up into the driveway there were magical, unexplained details waiting to be found. my favorite surprise was a bright yellow couch in front of a fire pit at the end of this huge expanse of lawn, complete with croquet. something straight out of alice in wonderland.

the orange couch

i attended an al fresco dinner with my friend and her mom, her son, her uncles and aunts… a feast of everything that could be grilled, lit by the tiki torches – what i love about tikis is how their ambiance changes as the sun sets, it starts off just festive and gets more romantic as the lights go down

dinner al fresco

the nights are PITCH BLACK, but no vampires here. i expected it to feel like when i was visiting a town in iowa called Holland – it’s dutch and beautiful but i felt that it was too perfect and was adamantly pointing the whole six hours i was there that there had to be vampires or something wrong in Holland. i’m *sure* i’m mistaken. but anyway, this house is the opposite, there is only the serene feeling of a light in the dark, of a well-loved old book, of a couch that you grew up jumping and off of saturday mornings.

house at night

late saturday night ended with a wal-mart run for s’mores supplies, sparklers, and a few actual necessities for the house. sunday morning i woke up to a bright window filled with green. nice break for a city girl.

the view when i woke up

after rousing, we had some sunday morning s’mores made in the oven! every bit as good as campfires, but in the MORNING. this is extremely novel to me, obviously :)

sunday morning s'mores!!!

this house is amazing. it’s old, it’s got secrets, it’s got rugs painted on the floor.

this house is awesome

the basement: also full of secrets. and a pretend grandma. this rug is real though.

south bend basement

i love remnants of the night before… and what’s to come (sparklers!!!)

remnants of the weekend

amelie’s mom and i took a morning walk while waiting for the s’mores to cook. she set the tea outside to steep in the sun and showed me the back of the property. every time i’ve talked to mom, we talk about ethereal things, past lives and myths of our families and the cosmos. maybe my favorite way ever to start a morning :)

south bend

we picked mulberries off the trees and stained our lips and fingers

picking berries

there’s an old family barn that has obviously fallen into disrepair

south bend barn

south bend barn

but it’s just picturesque out here. there’s an innocence of it feeling like it’s always been this way

south bend

the property goes really far back. mom was telling me stories about growing medicinal herbs (and shrooms that grew naturally)

south bend

then the s’mores were done so storytime wound down.
suddenly awake and full of sugar, sparklers seemed like the right idea

south bend

sparklers!!!

the dog: not so into it. I LOVE BULLDOGS. he is adorable. and a fraidy-cat.

liberace the puppy

amelie and i decided to head to the shores of lake michigan, where the waves were HUGE compared to any other michigan beach i’ve been on. we took her fearless son into the waves for a few hours, just bobbing along and chatting, catching up on life. my favorite detail is the spiderman on his arse. i wish i had a spiderman suit.

at lake michigan

we had some sun time while i dried out – didn’t want to get the rental car soaking wet :)

me, amelie, and linwood

and i left amelie and her son at the beach (we drove separately), saturated and happy. it was a great escape weekend. totally decided to go on the fly, and it was so worth it to shake things up and have some quality time!

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