The thing about palm trees…

The idea was to paint this series based on Palm Springs.
I visited there years ago on a family vacation. Probably in a station wagon. Stopped at Hoover Dam, Hollywood, Disneyland and then couldn’t wait to swim in the hotel pool in Palm Springs. Most likely a Holiday Inn if there was one. If we were lucky, a ‘ Holidome’. Those were the best.

I went back to PALM SPRINGS a couple of years ago with my husband and younger son. Swam in the hotel pool. Ate great Tex-Mex food. They played golf. I bought a t-shirt. The place is GORGEOUS.

But I realized that the series isn’t about Palm Springs. It’s about family, and vacations in the family car (or in our case, a rental) and PALM TREES everywhere. And how they make me smile.

I love to TRAVEL and it’s not because I don’t like to work. I have the greatest job ever. But I’m obsessive about vacationing with my family. I enjoy new scenery (I’m an ARTIST for heaven’s sakes- I’m visual.) I’m curious and enjoy the differences in climate, and topography, and culture… oh and the food.

As a kid, my mom and dad took us on plenty of summer vacations, and I am fortunate enough to have seen a lot of the country. I think the only states I haven’t been to are Hawaii and possibly North Dakota. These weren’t fancy trips. Sometimes we camped, most required way too many BORING hours in the car for my teenage liking.

But that’s just what we did. And the travel bug stuck.

When we all four of us are crammed together in a rental car or out for dinner in a new city, the family dynamic changes, and that’s the best part.  When my kids became teenagers, sometimes vacations were the only time we were REALLY together as a family unit. I mean, there was conversation. They weren’t embarrassed to be seen with me and they decompressed from the stress of SATS, college apps, and homework. They finally put away their phones and gazed out the car window.  Possibly noticing the huge world out there so different from the little suburb where we live?  Maybe they relaxed? Or all of us did?

Whether a Santa Barbara palm tree or one on the Isle of Palms, the palm just makes me feel as if I’m on vacation. They don’t grow naturally here, but south of the North Carolina border the Palmetto tree is everywhere. And they line the Carolina coast.

I can’t help but look up at them and smile.

And BREATHE.

Oh, and notice how my family members put away their phones (after documenting for Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook, depending on the generation).

We pay attention to what’s around us. RELAX. And talk to each other.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

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