I grew up in one of the most beautiful small towns in the world. Mill Valley has changed a little bit since I lived there, but a lot of things have stayed the same. I learned to drive on narrow mountain roads, and when we went on a hike on top of Mt. Tam (bottom picture), everything came rushing back to me: sweet burning summer grass, wild cherries, nose bleeds and stomach aches from rides to the opposite coast, love songs from the '90s, torn jeans and holding hands and so many bittersweet memories.
I took a few pictures so you could see what my childhood was like...
1) The Mill Valley Public Library. I spent most of my summers here, camped out on a couch, devouring book after book.
2) The mill that the town was named after.
3) Sasha and Jackie were like family to me growing up. Sash lived down the street from me, and we would always walk to school together (elementary school, middle school, high school). I'm wearing Jackie's sweater, which is from South Africa.
4) The clock tower at my high school...still one of my goals to sneak inside the tower some day.
5) The fire station downtown Mill Valley.
6) - 9) El Paseo, a hidden walkway in downtown Mill Valley.
10) A (chocolate) banana slug from U.C.S.C. finds a home on top of Mt. Tam...quickly before getting eaten.
11) - 16) Natalie's house. This was my second home during high school, and I love the fact that it's still the same. The Carmens are a jet-set family, and their home is a reflection of that. It's filled with prayer flags and Indian beads, French pottery and antique masks. There are little clay creations and drawings from all their artist friends, and there are dozens of antique toys littered around the house, remnants of Natalie's (and her siblings') childhood.
17) Mt. Tam, as seen from behind Natalie's house.