I’ve told so many people before that it’s important to find beauty wherever you go. It’s important to bloom where you’re planted. It’s important to appreciate what’s around you, especially when you find yourself facing doubt.
A few years ago, I faced the decision of whether or not I wanted to remain in the Pacific Northwest or move to another part of the country. I weighed my options and despite the quiet lifestyle of Central Washington that many people describe as “boring,” I decided to stay put.
I decided to do some exploring, and I went on a very inspiring adventure this past weekend to Woodburn, Oregon’s Tulip Festival. A friend and I stopped at Luis’s Taqueria, which we had spotted on Yelp. With a 4.5 star rating and raves from many of the locals, we figured we were in for a treat. That was an understatement! This was by far, the best Mexican food I’ve ever had! It was actually a food blogger’s nightmare because the food was so good I only had a chance to take a photo of the chips and salsa…but not before dipping a chip into some tasty salsa with the perfect combination of spicy and citrus. I had the tamales, which were served with rice, beans and a tasty cabbage salad while my friend had a chicken taco and a side of rice and beans. She said that it was the first time she actually wanted to finish everything on her plate. The service was great, too. No wonder there was always a line the whole time we were there! Luis’s Taqueria just goes to show that if the locals are there, I’ll be there, too!
Even more exciting than the local flavors was the local main attraction, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. This place had so much charm and beautiful blooms that we wandered around for hours. Every time I passed by a different color, I proclaimed it as my favorite. I loved how there were so many families sharing the day together under the beautiful sun, disconnected from electronics and entertainment other than what was offered by Mother Nature.
But perhaps the most touching moments came from chats with my friend, Alex from Alex Lasota Photography. It was a privilege to watch her in her element, taking photos for a senior shoot. Alex has been one of those friends who constantly encourages people to do what they love and follow their dreams. She doesn’t even have to say the words. She shows them by her actions. She has taught me that sometimes adventure is right in your backyard (or in this case, about a four hour drive away); when you radiate happiness and peace, you attract people who want to bring you even more happiness and peace and most importantly, when you’re following your dreams, you don’t have to do it alone because no matter where you are, a good friend is always waiting right beside you.