Welcome to Travel by the Book. I know for most of us, reading is an escape. One of the things I love about reading it getting to travel. And I'm sure I'm not the only reader who has wished to take a trip inspired by a place I read about in a book. I've been fortunate in that my Hubs is kind enough to indulge me and take me to said places. This is where I share those vacations that were inspired by a book.
Quite a few years ago, I read a YA book that really resonated with me. So much so, that I shared it with as many people as I could because I felt it had an important message:
"Real, everlasting beauty lives not on our faces, but in our attitudes and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others." -Terra, North of Beautiful
The central theme of the book is accepting and loving yourself for who you are. And yes, it's YA but I think it's a theme that everyone would benefit from. Thus my desire to share it with everyone.
As for the setting, I was enamored by the descriptions of the area Terra lived. The mountain trails where she did her running, the parks and lakes and nearby ski resorts...a playground for both summer and winter. Terra also spoke of the university where her father worked as a professor of cartography - a university she was expected to attend. It never occurred to me that I might be able to visit this location or this university. But then my daughter chose the university as one of her top college choices. :)
Sky and I traveled to Bellingham, Washington, in January. We chose this time of year so she could see what winter was like in the far north Pacific Northwest. The town is charming...small and very walkable, with 4, yes FOUR, new and used bookstores. There's a variety of shops and restaurants. We even located the library.
Western Washington University is a lovely setting for academia. It's situated between a 200 acre forest with hiking trails on one side and Bellingham Bay on the other. The university is home to the largest outdoor sculpture collection. And its buildings were created to make the most of any and all natural light they may get. (which is not much, apparently, although it was a somewhat sunny day when we visited) Bellingham is certainly a place I'll take the time to visit again in the event my daughter ends up at school in Portland. :)
A rare day when the sun is actually shining. In January, it's pretty amazing. :)
You can see the forest, which is all along one side of the college. This is one of the many outdoor art sculptures the university boasts. We were told professors actually hold class on it when it's a nice day.
Sky with Bellingham Bay behind her. We're standing between the university cafeterias/restaurants and the Theater Building.
Sky standing in Red Square. It's named for it's red brick.
The courthouse in downtown Bellingham.
We were really impressed with this mural on our walk around downtown.