A Fish Out of Water

…way out of water

There is so much out there in the world that I could only dream of witnessing, and may or not ever get the chance. The furthest (or farthest?) I’ve been from home was in Florida way back when I was four years old. I’ve never been outside the country and the chances of that ever happening are very slim unless I won the lottery tomorrow and persuaded my family to get over their fear of flying in planes.

But in the realm of fantasy, I can always go on any adventure I want. The imagination is powerful enough to place you in a distant land and act out a story.

There are five places on the radar that catch my interest:

California – just to get a glimpse, even a sniff, of Hollywood life would be sensational, and I might catch sight of some stars while traversing over the famed walk and feeling like a fish out of water. Lying on a beach, actual California sand, and looking out at the Pacific Ocean, would trump all other places I’ve been so far. Eating authentic Pinks hotdogs, maybe attending a taping of a late night talk show. I would like to take a trip through Silicon Valley and google something from my smartphone while standing next to the Googleplex. This is all dreaming, of course.

Scotland – this is presumably where my ancestors originated, the Hammell name and all of its variations (seems to be of Norman origin, from a place called “Haineville” or “Henneville” and hawthorn, go here for the full details or use the site to check out your own name). To go back and maybe see people who resemble me would be inspirational or just funny. It’s stereotypical for people to think of Scots playing bagpipes when Scotland is mentioned, and this is true, but the country is a lot more developed beyond just that. I’ve never been much into golf and have never played it, but being in the place where it was created would thrill me. St. Andrews is the one place I would be sure to visit, as well as Loch Ness, namesake of the monster, Glasgow the largest city, and Edinburgh the capital and home to the Edinburgh Castle. Scotch whiskey and Scotch tape also were invented here. The famous Stonehenge is also around this area.

New York – I would like to be in Times Square on New Years Eve.

India – the most populated country in the world, the epicenter of human activity, where many bloggers are from. One of the richest countries in the world. I’d finally get a ride on a rickshaw and try some of that falafel.

Outerspace – okay, I’ll be reasonable…this has a .01% chance of happening but it is fun to dream of being one of the few handful of humans out of billions to have escaped the atmosphere of Earth. It would make me realize just how small we are in comparison to the rest of the universe. To look out at the blue marble through a space window and know that you are representing over seven billion people in a rare opportunity – maybe a scene from Gravity could be acted out while I’m up there.

In Response to the Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit.

Home of Many Strange Winters

Tahquamenon Falls, with its loud rushing waters, is a place I would like to visit again someday. I last went there as a thirteen year old, remembering how I had to roll up my pant legs when wading through the shallow water with my two other siblings. There are pictures of us crossing under a concrete bridge spotted with grafitti, awkwardly riding in a paddle boat in the chilly water of Lake Superior, and standing on a rocky cliff overlooking the magnificent wonder of Northern Michigan. I must had really looked the part in my “Wolf Lodge” shirt, but had a hard time posing for the camera because of my new pants being too big that I had to hold them up (the beginning of my belt years).

Twelve favorite places of mine I’ve been to in Michigan:

  1. Mackinaw City, Upper Peninsula – going to breakfast at Audie’s Chippewa Room, sitting in an uncomfortable wooden chair while staring up at a menu on the wall wondering if there is anything different than in the LP.
  2. Downtown Ann Arbor art festival – being more interested in my delicious bratwurst than any of the many paintings and sculptures set up in the streets.
  3. Fifth grade camp at Mystic Lake in Clare – be very afraid of Bruno
  4. The historic Michigan Theatre
  5. Michigan International Speedway – getting sunburnt in the “cheap seats” behind pit row.
  6. Tahquamenon Falls, Upper Peninsula
  7. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Empire – trying to reach the Lake Huron shore miles away, etching my name in a wooden post that I would like to try to find again someday.
  8. Hell, Michigan – an icecream shop, that’s about it
  9. Jiffy Mix factory in Chelsea
  10. The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn
  11. Ford Field and Comerica Park in Detroit
  12. Dahlem Nature Center in Jackson

Here in the Great Lakes state, our word for soda is “pop”, as in “Can we get a bottle of pop to go with our pizza tonight?” Though, I haven’t heard it been used in a number of years because of me and other close family members having cut down on consumption of the carbonated beverage. “Pop” was what I heard frequently during my preteen years, like late ’90s to the early naughts, but now I rarely hear it be used at all, even if a recent chart says 90% of the people in my hometown use it.

Where I come from, there aren’t really any accents, but rather we all sound like typical Americans. Except for the few people I’ve met from other countries such as Australia, Japan, and Germany – some of them foreign exchange students at my high school – the majority is straight speaking English.

If there’s one thing that defines my immediate region, it is acres and acres of fertile farmland by country roads, most of the homegrown vegetables and fruits going to the local supermarket store, previously known as “Thrifty Acres”, accessible by a main strip of fast food restaurants named after the city airport – which is nowhere near that but so isn’t the city of Michigan City, which is in Indiana.

The one other big thing that my modest looking town is known for, even by people in far flung places around the country, is it was formerly the home of one of the biggest prison’s in America – so at least we’re not a total afterthought. Oh, and we are home to Tyler Oakley, the flamboyant YouTube personality, so there’s a slice of glamorous fame for us.

Other things we’re known for:

  • Bridge Cards
  • 10 cent bottle returns
  • Bad drivers
  • Complaints about gas prices
  • Random weather

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

A Walk in the Electric Meadow

My curiosity got the best of me again.

Today I took a walk in the thick meadow behind some houses in front of mine where the powerline structures are situated, a first. I was kind of nervous at first because I didn’t know what was out in this area, if wildlife was hiding in the tall brush or if I was going to get in trouble (a plane went by overhead and then took a sharp turn somewhere, hopefully not to the authorities). I jumped a few times when I heard rustling in the stalks, thinking a snake was going to slither out but it was just the wind. I went as far as the outskirts of a farm (below) because of it being private property.

Meadow walk Power tower Powerlines Electric pylons

When man erected the first powerlines, they didn’t do it with aesthetics in mind at first. After the sky became blocked out by jumbles of wires belonging to multiple technologies, a more organized approach in environmentalism and safety was taken with the dangers of living too close to powerlines being raised. They can cause serious health effects to humans in some cases.

Electric pylonsWalk in the Meadow Walk in the MeadowI didn’t worry about that, fortunately. It was quite an adventure, one teetering on the edge of danger I have to say.

Free As A Bird

Daily Prompt: New Skin

I soared high yonder over every creature, landmass, and water body on Earth. The air was incredible under my soft, bristle tipped wings. The humans and their mechanical boxes looked like ants as my sharp eyesight honed in on future prey, my keen sense of smell bringing in the scent of something scurrying to safety, its hopes for survival futile as my hunger for fresh meat became strong and irresistible.

Through the clouds, free as a bird, literally. It is the ultimate dream, to soar through the sky, to visit places far and wide. The spirit follows my every movement. Life is abundant, thriving everywhere I look. Aerodynamically sound is the state of my windswept body. I fly through the air with relative ease, the air a mixture of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen making a nice whooshing sound, sifting through my finely tuned feathers.

A bird has free range, can fly limitless. Can see many things one could only hope to see in an entire lifetime: the seven wonders, exotic countries, the tops of high buildings, every major celebration happening in the world, mecha sporting event gatherings, extraordinary people being honored for their achievements, music from all walks of life, the cultural differences, language variations, interesting smells of native cuisine.

Suddenly, the cry of another winged warrior reached my tiny eardrums. It was a call of desperation. She was in danger, maybe being hunted down by a much larger predator. My curiosity looked around for her presence, flying faster to follow the sound of her cries for help. But then it was drowned out by a sudden rainstorm erupting from the clouds, dampening my beautiful feathers. Time to go in for an emergency landing.

Landing under a bench turned from its natural brown to a damp dark grey, I observed the modern homo sapiens hurrying around for shelter; some whipping out handy umbrellas, some covering their heads with the Daily News, some testing to see if their phones were truly waterproof, some just standing there taking it all in. Even though I’m a bird now, I can still think like a human, can still remember when I was a creature of habit, a creature of self-satisfaction, needs, and wants. I used to see the world through a narrow opening, only knowing what was in front of me, how I was used to living. But now that my form is that of the bright yellow American Goldfinch, so small and fragile but quick as lightning, I see that the human world is very trivial, so valued on the pursuit of greatness and destiny.

A few of my friends soar down from the sky, landing on the pavement, looking for shelter and food like me. I observe them, looking around curiously at the commotion racing back and forth through the now rainy park in New York City, the celebrations and energy from last night now the remains of confetti and discarded alcohol containers filling trash bags.

Just last night, I saw Times Square, the streets crowded with a sea of humanity, ushering in a brand new year, a new glimmer of hope. Perched on top of a flashing billboard, it was incredible to see my former species from a different perspective, unburdened by limited mobility, able to take in everything around me, not being a virtual sardine in the mass of people. The closing year extravaganza stretched all the way down the Manhattan borough through Broadway, the screen on the Times Square tower displaying the time until 2014 turned into 2015. Advertisements cycled through on curving LED boards, the electricity coupling with the combined power of the swarming crowds below.

As the musical performances picked up on center stage, my little body flew in for a closer look, taking in the intensity of the moment, the energy and excitement, the sound raising up the decibel scale, a comparison to a buzzing hive of worker bees.

As my former friends counted down from ten and shouted out the now overused, clichéd celebration chant heard year round, I was glad I didn’t have to worry about making any New Year’s resolutions or counting on incredible but unlikely goals happening. As a bird, I didn’t have to worry about traveling the world – I could do that for free, all I needed was my internal GPS guiding me, showing me the way. Most birds aren’t aware that they could have an excellent view of anything in the world, without having to get on a plane or pay to get through the door, but I have the human awareness to realize I have this ultimate freedom to explore the world like never before. I also didn’t have to worry about losing weight – I only munch on small leaves and berries and go after the meat of small rodents that I fancy. I don’t have to worry about finding a job – I believe my only job is to survive, being below a lot of others on the food chain, and to use my special observation skills to explore and roam freely in this world.

Spending the next year as the Goldfinch, with its beautiful yellow body and black and white wings, is an interesting endeavor. Actually, I could have chosen any bird, but searching through pictures of bird candidates, from the browns, blues, reds, and multicolored, I saw that this one had colors I was fond of. They are bright, elegant, and happy colors as well as the color of sunshine. I’m not a big bird expert and diving into the details of these winged species would be a boring task. The big picture is that choosing to be a bird for a year would strengthen my observation skills. I would get to see the world more, fly to interesting locales I am currently unable to see. I would get to learn about these spritely creatures from the mind and wings of one, would learn how they communicate, what their daily lives are like in their eyes. I guess you could say I would have a Birdseye view of life from another species.

If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?

Amateur Tent-Makers Revisited

Daily Prompt: Hindsight (Rewrite your very first post)

Two large automatic doors open up with a whoosh sound. A burst of bright white light engulfs the scene, shining into my eyes, illuminating everything around me. As my eyes adjust to the light, something blurry is situated in the white light of the room. As my eyes get more into focus, I make out the blue outline of what seems to be a logo of sorts. Then the sharp lines of a letter come into focus. It’s a stylized “W” set in a circle and situated in the center of a pure white wall. I walk into this gigantic room and the sliding doors close and air lock behind me. All is silent around here. It is a pure white chamber. To my far left I see a pearly white podium; I slowly walk over to it, looking around carefully for any signs of trip wire or traps, but nothing happens as I reach the stand. Set into this podium is a tabletop computer and there is a program already loaded up on it. It consists of a blank writing box with a box for a title on top of it. There is a “Publish” button at the bottom of the page. Above the title box, in lowercase letters, is the word “macbofisbil”, which is a name I created, but as far as why it is suddenly being used here, I have no idea.

A voice suddenly booms in the still air. I look up, startled.

“Welcome to WordPress. Are you ready to write your first post?” It is a very Big Brother, “1984” sounding voice. Authoritative, commanding, mysterious.

I look around the futuristic clean room, wondering where this disembodied voice came from.

“Um, I don’t know. How did I get here? What is this place? What’s WordPress?”

The disembodied voice, seeming to come from all around this sanitized chamber, speaks again:

“This is the blog department of WordPress, a free and open source blogging website. You are in the user level section. If you recall registering for a WordPress blog yesterday, than you have come to the right place. You won’t remember how you got here because you were drugged and blindfolded so you wouldn’t see where we were located, how to get here, keeping our whereabouts secretive.”

“Oh, I see. Am I the only one here? Where is everyone else?”

“Oh, there are lots of others here, in different areas. This is your area, where you will write your daily posts, but you can communicate with other bloggers through our revolutionary built in system.”

I look around again at this room, something out of a dream no doubt. There doesn’t seem to be any doors other than the entrance way. The ceiling, walls, and floor are all alike, hard to tell which is which.

So this is WordPress. Why they don’t want me to know where it is located is a pondering question.

What will I write for my very first post? Thoughts of my summer so far are in my mind. Maybe I’ll write about going camping soon this summer, setting up the tent in my yard, all the trouble we goofs went through.

As if it was reading my thoughts, the voice softly spoke: “So you’re going to write about your pre-camping rituals? Are you sure that will make for a good post?”

“Yes, I believe it is a good start, a way to channel some of my thoughts. I mean, this is my first post, where can I go wrong? I have nothing to measure it against.”

“That’s a good way to think about it, but remember, first impressions are important, make your first post a good one, put your heart into it. It’s your decision to how you want to approach it but we are not liable for any mishaps you may have. Are you ready then?”

I stare at the blank screen, no idea of what I am getting into, what lies ahead, but the excitement of starting something so brand new in my life finally makes me say “Yes.”

“Okay. To get started, just touch the screen.”

I do so and the tabletop screen suddenly rises into an inclined position, enabling me to see it better. A keyboard is revealed after a sliding door opens in the podium. It is now the traditional desktop computer, though I’m not sure if this is Windows, Mac, or some proprietary system owned by this WordPress. A panel in the floor also opens and a chair rises out it. It is a nice looking chair, egg shaped, with a swivel bottom. I sit down in this and suddenly my mind is clear. A great burst of energy pulses through my body. I feel like writing! This seat is magical, soothing, releasing tension in my muscles. I press a button on the arm of the chair labeled “Forward” and the chair advances toward the computer station. My fingers touch the keys, and after some thought, I write down my very first words.

Surviving in the wild will be a interesting endeavor for me and a small number of others in my family. The new link in the chain, the bearded, obnoxious man named Charles, will be coming with us. As far as his anti-social cat named Bubbles, well, he’ll be eating food out the dish of one of Chaz’s friends.

Getting back from swimming, in which I received a job offer from the Nokia girl and tried to get the illusive tan, Uncle Jack said he had a present for me in the trunk of Emily’s car. Whenever my uncle says he has a “present” for me, I usually think it will be something small and worthless. But when he popped open the trunk, a medium sized duffel bag was before my eyes. This was the brand new tent for our camping trip in August, the one we will sleep in while trying to fend for ourselves in the ruthless wild. Okay, so it’s not going to be that bad, not like we’re going to have a bear walk into our camp and demand we give up our food or else. No, this place will be enclosed and monitored but will feel like old fashioned camping: cooking food over a fire pit of wood, fishing, fending off the mosquitoes, hanging clothes on a line strung from tree A to tree B.

The only other time I had been camping in my life was at Mystic Lake in fifth grade, when I was a naïve eleven year old with no knowledge of the world except what was in front of me. All I knew was what was in my innocent mind, my little elementary school, the then so-intimidating camp counselors looking like big responsible adults to me when in fact they were in about eleventh or twelfth grade, only a few years older than I. Unlike what we will have on our future camping trip, there were cabins and large heated bathrooms with showers. I had to get up and use the bathroom so many times during my first night that the counselor in our cabin who was in charge of us started to get annoyed. My flashlight led the way and I, scared of monsters popping out in the woods, ran to the bathroom and back up the stairs into cabin safety quickly.

Getting the ruddy tent up took a bit of work, but after some help from Chaz, the man with the know-it-all attitude and technology that could rival the U.S. government, we managed to pitch the tent in no time. The problem was getting those pesky poles into their foot slots. They had to be precariously bended, the tent being shifted to and fro, stretching it out. What we were left with was a modest 10 by 8 foot tent with enough room for about four to five people, depending on size.

Of course I wanted to sleep in the tent the first night so that’s exactly what happened, with the addition of Jack. With a few blankets and a small, uncomfortable pillow, along with my phone that I call my extended arm, I made it through my first night under the stars.

From my first day of school to now being an amateur tent-maker, I have learned the ropes and have experienced life. There is still a long road unwinding for me and where it takes me I will soon find out. Only I can decide that. Right now though, I am lying on the floor of a tent, listening to the wind and rain pattering the roof, the cars rumbling by, and the sound of water dripping and splattering into the mud pit we call a garden.

After I look over the post and add some finishing touches to it, I happily hit the “Publish” button. A congratulatory message pops up, telling me I have published my very first post and should tell the world about it on various social media sites. Why not? My first steps into this exciting world have been taken, my flag planted. Now I’ll wait to see what the response is from the other bloggers hiding away in their various compartments of this complex that is probably so enormous I could fit 2,000 copies of my house into it.

A few days later:

I check back on my first post. It received just 1 like and no comments. Oh well, it’s a start. I wasn’t expecting it to go viral or anything.

Something New, Something Fried

Daily Prompt: Final Trio

For the first time, I am writing my blog from a location other than my home state. That’s right, I am in Wisconsin right now, visiting the older sister in Janesville (and many of you probably have never heard of this place). On our rather uneventful trip here, Emily’s iPod touch was connected to the car stereo and playing her set of songs, some I totally liked, others that were “meh”, but the song I probably loved the most during that trip was “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. I found myself singing along to some of the catchy lyrics and tapping my foot along to the uplifting, powerful beat. It’s an oldie (I would say anything older than 20 years qualifies) but still a goodie.

On an unrelated tangent…

There are days when I feel like waking up and making a nice healthy breakfast, complete with my now habitual over easy, fried eggs, two slices of slightly toasted bread topped with peanut butter, a glass of milk, and maybe some sausage or bacon on the side if it is available in our freezer of icy epic proportions (I put a leftover Frosty from Wendy’s in there last night and in the morning it was frozen solid like a rock – I placed it in the fridge to thaw out and will probably be a liquid by the time I get home from Wiscy in three days).

When the meal is prepared, I usually take my plate and head into the living room, using a bar stool as my eating surface. Turning my attention to the flat screen sitting in an entertainment stand about the size of a single bookcase, I always see the same shows on in the morning, the old-time classics on MeTV. Because of our limited number of channels on free antenna television, my television watching is like a bookcase with just a couple books on the shelf that I just keep pulling off, reading, putting back up, and then repeating again (for about three years now).

As I sit there pleasantly enjoying my modest meal, one or both of my cats come up to me, looking up at my food that must seem so much better to them than the old cat food in their dish. They occasionally will try to sniff at the food and have that begging look in their little black eyes. These cats don’t seem to know when they are hungry; they just eat out of pure instinct or whenever there is something juicy dangling in font of them. I occasionally will tease them, waving something tasty in front of them such as an egg, watching Goldie jump up at it, his eyes darting back and forth curiously, while my quick reflexes pull the poultry out of harms way (except for one time when Goldie swatted at the egg and successfully managed to drop it to the floor for a nice snack with Blackie joining in the lapping as well).

It’s days like this that I wish I had more people to converse with, more freedom to explore the world, to meet new and interesting people, join in worthwhile activities, instead of trying to find some sort of inspiration in my walled garden life. Rarely do I move outside the walled garden. Okay, maybe it’s not quite an enclosed garden where I don’t have access to certain things – I have opportunities to reach the high luxuries of life but have not had the means to find ways to reach them. With a very tight budget, getting my hands on the latest greatest technology, seeing movies when they first hit theaters, ordering the best, most expensive item on the menu just is not feasible. That’s what I call my walled garden or rather a garden that has a bunch of doors I have to get through by solving the combination locks in order to progress to freedom. Once I reach the final level, get through the final door, I will be able to live my life with very little restrictions, not have to worry about money, or wondering whether my dreams will stay just that – dreams. That’s the dream – to finally have all my ducks lined up in a row and have my life operating smoothly. To do anything and go anywhere I want because I have worked to make those opportunities possible, to have the financial leeway to do so.

Getting back to something cracked and fried, after I am done with my skimpy breakfast, I usually rinse the dish off in the sink and place it upside down out of a habit that I have gotten into, a sort of pet peeve.

Then there really isn’t much to do except open up my laptop again and either do some more needed brain exercises with my blog writing, edit some footage I took with my video camera, touch up some photos, or check out Facebook or Twitter once in a while, the latter being where I might find something I can contribute to and hopefully have some reciprocation from the Twittersphere, some much needed recognition for the work I put into cramming some great thoughts of mine into 140 characters or less. My thoughts on the #SonyHack? Just cowboy up and release the movie, see if the hackers are really serious about their threats or will be too cowardly to take any action once they realize we aren’t scared of them. Aren’t we the home of the free and the brave after all? Hopefully no one in East Asia is reading this because my front door is always left unlocked…and I’m not home.

0427 Incredible Egg

And after all the time taken to write this, I find out that it didn’t even post to the Daily Prompt grid. Damn pingbacks acting up again.

My Hometown

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

Jackson, Michigan has been my place to call home ever since I came into the world 23 years ago at the formerly-named Foote Hospital (now Allegiance Health). It is a city that is quite low-key most of the time (at least in my mind since I don’t get out much). There is a lot about Jackson I am familiar with but quite a few places I have never even been to (the hotels and a couple of obscure restaurants and pubs mainly). As for the strangest thing about it? That’s a tough one. It’s not as though my city is a desolate ghost town with a series of grisly murders in the last couple of years…it looks quite innocent on the outside unless you take a closer look. And there isn’t anything too eccentric about it either. It’s just a nice town to live and grow up in. Peaceful for the most part.

I don’t know about our slang, perhaps that would point to one of our main superstores, Meijer, and how long-time townsfolk add an ‘s’ to the end, calling it Meijers either out of ignorance, long time habit, or it just slipping off the tongue better. My mom and many people in my closest family resort to ‘Meijers’ but I try to stray away from that as well as pronouncing Illinois with an ‘s’ on the end. What I’m betting is that this slang comes from the store originally being called ‘Meyer’s Thrifty Acres’ and then shortened to its present name (the spelling change is odd though) and the original ‘Meyer’s’ just passing down through the ages and sticking. I don’t know if it is just Michiganders either but we refer to carbonated beverages here as ‘pop’.

There are a couple of strange things a person going to Jackson for the first time might experience. One is our apparent lack of popular fan-friendly restaurants (Sonic and Red Robin are long due) and Jackson’s stubbornness to acknowledge this fact. Another is Jackson’s one “major” college, Jackson (Community) College being located in the middle of nowhere, away from the main city, and making it quite hard for people to get there every day especially in the dead of winter with an ongoing blizzard. I put ‘community’ in parentheses because the college recently dropped the word from its name, trying to come across as a legitimate higher prestige college when in fact it still is a community college at best (offering a couple of Bachelor’s degrees in some obscure field does not make it suddenly Harvard-esque). An interesting fact is that Jackson is home to the first prison in Michigan and was once the largest walled prison in the United States in both population and land area. It can be observed that people here seem to follow ordinary everyday routines, going about their lives in uninterrupted fashion. One of the first impressions an outsider might make is that they are all like robots, walking around with little expression and enthusiasm on their faces. It’s like they just live for necessity. The people’s voice is non-existent. Lifeless. Do we even hear from our mayor at all? No, I barely know his/her name without looking it up first. Where’s the connection among the people in this town? That’s probably the strangest part of Jackson, we are a city that is large and mostly distant, though this can be said about other cities as well. The one event that does bring us together though is the county fair every August, when the city comes alive with fun, music, and lively entertainment. I love Jackson, always have, but when it tries to adventure into the fields of movies and high-profile entertainment, things tend to get cheesy really fast, such as the time a movie called “Super Sucker” was filmed here in 2002 starring Jeff Daniels. It was our one shining moment in the area of big-time film making and having a celebrity like that in our town was a dream. The movie was a disaster on all levels but hey, what were you expecting out a crumby town like mine? Another strange thing that someone might find out about Jackson is that everything, in terms of entertainment and hospitality, seems to die at night, with large empty parking lots making this place feel very eerily like a ghost town which in my eyes is kind of beautiful.

P.S. The feature image for this post is from the Cascades Falls Park, where evening waterfall light shows dazzle audiences along with musical guests from around the state. It is our definite landmark and I view the place as a sort of meditative sanctuary for myself, where I can let the rush of the water engulf my thoughts in happiness and relaxation.

The video below really hits it home for me