point pleasant, wv travel diary

i had a four day weekend awhile back and managed to convince my mom to drive my friend izzy and i to a tiny town in west virginia called point pleasant. with a population of only 4,000 and a supposedly haunted one-star hotel, you might be wondering why i would willingly sit through a five hour drive to spend just one day there. the answer: mothman.

mothman is a cryptid said to reside around point pleasant. the sightings occurred from 1966-1967, and some people believe that he was involved in the 1967 silver bridge collapse. he’s a pretty neat cryptid, and buzzfeed unsolved has a great episode about him in season four that you should check out if you want to learn more (or read his wikipedia page).

it was a really last minute trip. i think we booked our hotel room in gallipolis, ohio in the morning before we left. we set off sunday afternoon and drove through west virginia as the sunset lit up the autumn mountains.

izzy and i both drew mothman on my chromebook on the drive down. hers was definitely the better one, but unfortunately we didn’t save a picture of it, so have mine instead!

on monday morning, we crossed the ohio river to visit west virginia’s tu-endie-wei state park, a fenced-in four acre plot of land against the water.

the early sunlight on the river, boats, and bridges were honestly spectacular.

izzy and i sat on a bench by the edge of the park and watched barges sail past.

the park also had some monuments and a log cabin called the old mansion house. i’m not sure what’s in there because it was closed, but probably a gift shop or museum.

our next stop in point pleasant was the river walk. about half a mile long, the walls dividing the town from the river are covered in murals depicting scenes between settlers and native americans, and some army-themed ones.

there’s also some graffiti, which you all know i love.

mad anne bailey + izzy making dumb faces

there are also some slightly anatomically incorrect statues along the way, plus several more cute murals scattered around the town.

we found this amphitheater by the river and danced around singing show tunes together.

next was point pleasant’s main attraction: the mothman museum! (admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids ten and under.)

it’s a one-room museum in the back of a shop, filled with life-sized mothman and men in black figures, newspaper clippings from the first sighting, props from the mothman prophecies movie, etc.

see mothman in the mirror?

there’s also a room decorated like a diner where a documentary on all the strange happenings in point pleasant plays.

attached to the museum is the gift shop, stocked with pins, patches, shirts, books, and more mothman-themed souvenirs.

i bought a mothman sweatshirt and two pins, and i’m sort of in love with them right now. i had an nice conversation with my band director about mothman after i wore my sweatshirt to practice one day. finally, i found another intellectual!

after we’d looked at everything in the museum, izzy and i took pictures with the mothman statue found beside the building. he has amazing abs, honestly. 10/10.

then we wandered around the rest of point pleasant. some notable locations include the village pizza inn, which sells mothman pizzas, the coffee grinder that’s home to the mothman cookie, and a clothing store called m&z boutique that sells mothman leggings.

once we’d seen everything that interested us, we had lunch at two waters, an italian/mexican restaurant (they sell mothman rootbeer!!). it was probably the best unauthentic mexican food i’ve ever had, and the staff joked around with us and were really friendly.

it was a great trip and i’m glad my mom and friend got the opportunity to  learn about such an important part of west virginia’s history, because they were clueless before. if you ever pass by point pleasant, make sure to take the time to visit the mothman museum!

also, happy thanksgiving, i hope everyone has a great day. :)

xo apollo

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washington, d.c. travel diary (2)

i’ve finally finished writing my d.c. travel diary! enjoy, and read part one here if you haven’t already.


« day two »

one of the only things i hate about traveling is that i never sleep well. i always wake up ridiculously early and just wait in the dark until i decide it’s late enough to start moving around (aka 5 a.m.).

my mum made us pack up all our stuff first thing in the morning. we stuffed our bags into the car and went to get breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. i ended up burning my already hurt taste buds on (very) hot chocolate.

bethany and i texted each other while we ate, which was dumb, because we were sitting across from each other. my messages were along the lines of “wish you were here! this trip would be so much more fun if you were with us!” we’re stupid, i think.

we hadn’t picked what we were going to do that day, so we decided over breakfast: the eastern market. mum drove us into the city (we only got lost a few times) and we started walking in the direction of the bazaar.

the capitol building was on our way. being the tourists that we are, we stopped to take pictures by the capitol’s statues and reflecting pool.

bethany was vlogging some of our adventure. unfortunately, the only parts she got were of me making really awful weed and homeschooler jokes. :’)

some of the trees along the sidewalk had words and doodles scratched into the bark.

is it the illuminati or bill cipher? we’ll never know.

ironically found on a trashcan.

space cadet.

no war.

bethany insisted that we pop into one of d.c.’s many starbucks. it had this lovely mural on the wall, so i’m glad we went in. bethany got some fancy cold caramel drink and she let izzy and i taste it. it was the first time i’d ever had starbucks coffee. it was kind of weird and made my throat hurt, but i guess it was alright.

i wanted to take pictures of the pigeons, but bethany was in a modeling mood.

if i had a shop, i would definitely put up lights like these.

we started daydreaming while we meandered down the streets, gazing at the colorful ivy-covered houses squished side by side. we imagined we’d live in one together, the three of us, maybe with a cute puppy. bethany would pursue a career in makeup at the mall, i would become some kind of sad freelance artist, and i guess izzy would just eat all our food. it sounds nice, you know — falling asleep to the sounds of the city beside my best friends.

pastel walls.

color block.

we made a friend. :)

this gorgeous mural is next to the eastern market. it’s odd, but i like it.

i’m convinced that my friends only keep me around to take pictures for their instagrams.

bubbles always make me think of rutvi’s about to burst poem. you should definitely read it. :)

after a lot of walking, we finally reached our destination. the market is a vibrant, buzzing mess of creativity: always something new to see, to smell, to hear. there were paintings, jewelry, honey, flowers, clothes, fruit, soap, candles, live music, etc.

i used to knot bracelets like these, they’re really fun to make.

an outdoor display. the market was so colorful.

flower shop.

i ended up buying a tapestry with a dragon yin and yang design in the center. i actually just put it up in my room today!

fairy godmother books & toys
from pandelibros.com

while we were deciding where to go next, we spotted a tiny shop called fairy godmother books & toys. it was super cramped (you could barely move without bumping into a shelf or customer) and a bit messy (lots of books were splayed out on the floor instead of stacked), but they had a great selection.

i bought the screaming staircase by jonathan stroud. it’s the first book in one of my favorite series.

by afternoon, we were really hungry, so my mum fed us chocolate from her purse while we went in search of the food trucks. i feel like most mothers carry little snacks in their bags. it kind of creeps me out, because as soon as you say that you’re hungry, all the moms around dig something out of their mary poppins purse. bonus points if someone has those weird strawberry candies.

while we were looking for somewhere to eat, we took a detour through the national gallery of art. i don’t have pictures of the actual paintings, but here’s a photo of a little café tucked between the wings.

i did a drawing based on this one. i’m working on another art post right now so i can share it with you guys.

i wish this one wasn’t so grainy. :/

there was also this insanely cool pathway between two of the galleries. the ground moved under you, and thousands of lights in the walls lit up as you passed.

isn’t this magical?

i got two souvenirs from the art museum: a color wheel pin and a map of the gallery, which i didn’t realize was in mandarin until it was too late.

once we escaped the national gallery, we bought a really chewy soft pretzel from a food truck to share while we explored the statue garden. most of the statues there are just misshapen hunks of metal that would be hard to call art. still, there were pieces like the amor statue, a creepy rabbit, and two boards painted like the sides of a house that looked complete no matter where you were standing that i enjoyed seeing.

all you need is love . . .

lunch was french fries for me and fried chicken sandwiches for izzy and bethany, which i thought looked pretty gross. idk, maybe that’s just how it is in the south.

there was a street musician playing an electric guitar. he could make his voice do some insane stuff. it was nice to listen to while we ate.

we stopped at the smithsonian museum of natural history on our way back to the parking deck that evening. i’ve been there a few times, but it still amazes me. my favorite part is easily the gem section. i didn’t get any photos of it this time, but there are display upon display of vibrant jewels. and the hope diamond is housed there, which is allegedly cursed, so that’s exciting (read about it here).

there was a tiny garden by one of the windows, mostly orchids. i got an orchid around valentine’s day, and all the blooms fell off over the weekend, so i don’t understand how theirs looked so good.

           bethany must have mentioned these doors a million times. she was really set on getting a picture in front of them, so we paused to get one once we were done with the natural history museum. i think they’re by the building where the declaration of independence is kept, but i’m not 100% sure.

we listened to twenty one pilots on the way home. the blurryface album is good road trip music.


i had an amazing time, and i’m so glad i have friends who are content to just wander around all day. izzy and bethany, thanks for the wonderful weekend. <3

have you ever been to d.c.? if so, what’s your favorite thing to do there? i like people watching and looking at art.

xo apollo

washington, d.c. travel diary (1)

at the beginning of the month, i spent the weekend in the capitol with two of my friends, bethany and izzy. between the three of us, we took lots of pictures, and it’s taken me forever to edit them all. half of them were blurry because we were laughing too hard to keep the camera steady. (and the photos in this post especially suck because most were taken on my ipod.)

anyway, enjoy the first part of the travel diary. :)


« day one »

in the early afternoon, my mum and i met up with izzy in a lowe’s parking lot (we’re classy). while we went to pick up bethany, we talked about the office — apparently izzy’s dad is making her family watch his favorite episodes. we discussed how similar my brother is to dwight; and, yes, living with him is terrible, thanks for asking.

we picked up bethany from this random lot out in the middle of nowhere, and the banter began immediately. but it was kind of sad banter because our friend kelsie couldn’t make it, so the gang was only ¾ complete.

izzy has this compatibility quiz book that she made us do. basically, you choose between two options (such as make the bed or don’t, organize your files or give them random names, etc.), and the amount of same answers determines what kind of relationship you have. i got “peas in a pod” with both of my friends. but on one page (the infamous toilet paper debate), izzy picked the obviously wrong answer: that the loose end should be on the bottom. it would have been a deal breaker for me, but the book said we were almost soulmates, so i guess i should try to overlook this.

important question: which way do you think the toilet paper should go? if you agree with izzy, you are welcome to unfollow, because i don’t need that kind of negativity on my blog.

(i’m kidding, i love my followers.)

 things that happened on the drive:

– we saw a kid riding a razor scooter through the grass by a highway. i will never be that cool.
– google maps kept changing the course and taking us to random fast food places.
– i was listening to heathers: the musical on my ipod and bethany kept playing with the volume. she almost busted my eardrums.
– izzy started flipping her water bottle and i almost threw it out the window.
– we were in my dad’s ancient car, which has no radio, no ac, and the windows only go down halfway. i think we were all dying a little bit because it was so hot in there.
– we got lost (shocking!) and had to get directions from this guy with a beautiful, enormous beard.
– i was smelling izzy’s shirt for some reason (who knows), and i accidentally stuck my nose in her armpit. sorry, izzy! thanks for wearing deodorant that day!

we reached our hotel a little bit before dark. it was windy and cold and we had to climb three stories with all our bags to get to our room. hotels are usually exciting for no reason, so we bounced all over the place, investigating everything.

interesting hotel room finds:

– a rainbow coming through the peephole.
– a safe?? thank you, quality inn of d.c., for thinking of that but not extra washcloths.
– there was an ice bucket that we all thought was a tiny trashcan.
– free mini toiletries!! we divided our plunder and i got lotion + soap with a little star on it.

after we were settled, we drove to the mall in tysons corner. while we were walking through the parking deck, a pigeon flew at us and it kind of freaked me out, because you never know when birds will get fed up with us and become homicidal.

freaking out over a space station set because we’re children and it’s super cool.

my mum insisted that we stop by the american girl store for nostalgia’s sake.

 bethany found this baby as we were wandering around and claimed it as her own. please congratulate her on becoming a mother, we’re all so happy and excited to support her on this journey. :’)

bethany chilling with a creepy cutout.

eventually, we got hungry and went in search of food. my friends wanted to make a detour, so we visited the disney store. at that point, i was hungry enough to cook simba and eat unseasoned lion cub, but, luckily, it didn’t come to that.

whenever i’m in d.c., i eat at the exact same chinese place. i probably get exactly the same food, too: sesame chicken with lo mein noodles. but this time, it was so incredibly hot that i actually started crying while i ate it. i’m talking about big tears rolling down my cheeks as i stuffed my face with chinese.

my mouth hurt for a few days after that, but it was worth it.

izzy wanted to buy me something, so we set off for barnes & noble. the store was gigantic: two floors, a café, escalators, and an entire section dedicated to harry potter. we poked around for awhile, and i eventually decided to get the newsies soundtrack on cd and carry on by rainbow rowell. i’ve listened to newsies almost everyday since, and i finished the book, which was super, super great. thanks for spoiling me, izzy. :)

on our way back to the car, bethany convinced us to stop at a makeup store. they had this super cool policy where you were allowed to test all of their products for free. if i knew anything about makeup, it would have been a dream come true.

bethany talked one of the workers into giving her a makeover. she looked amazing. afterwards, we decided that would be the perfect job for her, since she loves talking and doing makeup.

we slipped into the lego store just before it closed. i attempted to recreate whizzer from falsettos as a minifigure. i haven’t been into the musical for very long, so i didn’t quite know what i was doing. but, all things considered, i guess he looks alright.

back in our hotel room, we ate cake (it’s the zodiac from gravity falls. thanks, mum) and watched the live-action cinderella on the tv. it was ok, but it definitely needed more singing.


so that’s how our first day in d.c. went. part two coming whenever i stop procrastinating and finish writing it.

xo apollo

youth retreat travel diary

a group shot ft. callie the dog’s butt.

you know how much i like travel diaries. they’re a fun way for me to record my adventures. this particular one is about spending a weekend in the mountains on a youth retreat. :)

also, i’m aware that the pictures suck. i was cold and in a hurry, and this is all i have.


« day one »

my mum took me to the meeting point, the church’s office. i chilled there for a bit before the leaders made us load up our bags and get settled in the buses. they managed to fit all the girls in this giant white vehicle and we played name games and telephone on the ninety minute ride.

i love the drive up to the lodge. the serpentine roads are bordered with pine trees, the sheer drop-offs make you dizzy, and once you’re out of the forest, there is so much sky. last year, the sunset stained the whole world; this time, it was just cloudy, but still gorgeous.

the girls stayed in the “doughnut room” — a circular space with a closet in the middle, with bunk beds lining the walls. once we’d all unpacked, we sat in the dining hall and decided what animal everyone would be. i was told that i would be a doe, graceful and light. i don’t think i have great self-awareness, so it was really interesting to see how others perceive me.

we played spoons after that. i happen to be an expert at that game, and i was the first to get a spoon about 4/5 times. i’ve even played full contact spoons, which is excellent and violent.

the lodge director preaches after every meal. the room he talks in has this domed window on the ceiling, and i think i spend more time staring up at the sky than listening.

anyway, on friday night, the director spoke about spiritual highs and lows. when you’re at the lodge, surrounded by other christians, it’s easy to feel on fire for the Lord. but when you’re home and back in your routine, the only way to stay close to God is by reading the bible everyday.

they leave that room open every night for prayer. i stayed there for awhile to write in my journal, and the youth leader who invited me on the retreat prayed with me. we talked about the school shooting and my family and maybe some other things, but i was tired and i love her voice, so whatever she said just kind of floated through my head like soft music.

« day two »

i got up super early on saturday morning. it was still dark. but the world was beginning to wake up, so i did, too.

i won a game that day. it wasn’t very fun, but hey, i got prizes: a giant hershey’s cookies ‘n’ cream bar, a freaking enormous tube of sweetarts (like, as long as my leg), and a basketball net that you wear on your head. i gave the net to this annoying kid who sang the sound of silence // disturbed nonstop last year.

after the morning service, they made us have time alone with God. i read my bible by the creek. i’ve been going through psalms, but i lost my bookmark, so i decided to read 1 corinthians instead.

then we were all forced outside into the damp, freezing wilderness to play ultimate dodgeball. it can be fun, but the game just goes on and on forever.

a group of us went inside early and played wild uno in the dining hall by the fire. wild uno is just like normal uno, but if you have a card that’s identical to the one in the center, you can play when it’s not your turn. it’s really fun and intense.

i made a friend while playing cards, i guess: one of the youth leaders, a guy named johnny. he’s twenty-something and doesn’t know how to shuffle. we teased each other during the game, and it was probably the most fun i had all weekend.

it started snowing while we played, giant fluffy flakes. snow in the mountains is so quiet and peaceful. i wish i could live in the feeling of watching the snowflakes dance down from the sky.

there was a competition that day to see which team could build the best structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks (slightly better than last year, which used chewed bubblegum instead of marshmallows). i knew my team was going to lose as soon as one of the members started talking about donald trump.

so i was forced to shape innocent marshmallows into a wall, a giant stick figure of the president, and the words “make america great again.” i hated every second of it, and we got dead last, as i had predicted.

i think i might have wandered around outside with my camera after that, but i can’t be sure. time kind of blends together up there. the lodge director talked to me for a bit, and he remembered my name, which is pretty dang impressive. see, i’d only met him once before, and that was an entire year ago.

sometime in the evening, we played silent football, aka my least favorite game in the world. there are so many ridiculous rules, and breaking any of them will get you disqualified. these rules included no laughing, smiling, covering your mouth/face, pointing, saying someone’s name, etc. i made it pretty far before i was kicked out (for gesturing), but i was actually super relieved when i was. it felt like i’d been sitting there for hours and i was glad to be moving again.

there’s one place in the lodge that should really have stairs, but has ramps instead. unless you’re wearing shoes and taking huge steps, it’s kind of impossible to climb. anyway, these ramps are perfect for sliding down on in your socks. so some of us took advantage of this and did tricks while sliding down, like spinning, doing splits, dabbing, and going down on your stomach like a penguin. it was fun, but also kind of painful.

one of the staffers got a chance to preach that night. he talked about zechariah 9:1-13, and how God is basically our dad, and he won’t let people pick on his kids.

some of the girls chilled in the dorm after that. we talked about suffocation, abusive siblings, who has the best calves, clinical waterboarding — you know, normal girl things.

they organized a game of murder in the dark later. i used to play it all the time with my brother’s friends, but it was much different playing with so many people. i got killed in probably the third round, which is honestly better than i expected?? anyway, i was killed at the bottom of the stairs, so i had to lay there while people stepped over me. one guy tripped on my legs and we both got hurt, so that was fun.

there are these nooks above the stairs that are only accessible by climbing up on the railing. i suggested that johnny hide in one and grab people’s heads as they walked under him. there were more screams that round. >:)

« day three »

on saturday night, someone started recruiting people for a sunrise hike the next morning. for some reason, my dumb self thought that sounded great! so i was woken up at 5:30 on sunday and shoved out into the disgustingly cold world with damp hair.

i’ll talk about the sunrise hike more in a different post. just know that in the end, i was really glad i did it. :)

they scheduled another “time alone with God” session after breakfast. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep in the hallway with my bible in my lap. hopefully it looked like i was deep in prayer, but who knows. i would have slept all the way through the midday service if a girl (she’s an aesthetic q u e e n) hadn’t woken me up.

instead of preaching, the lodge director asked what we had learned that weekend. people said things like, “i should read my bible more,” “i shouldn’t be ashamed to stand up for Jesus,” “God wants to know me; all that’s standing in the way is me.”

i didn’t say it, but i think i learned a lot about family. youth leaders, even ones who know nothing more than my name, have been some of the most helpful and caring people in my life. they’ve calmed me down after anxiety attacks, made sure i ate, driven to my house at midnight when i was super freaked out and needed someone to talk to. and maybe i’ve felt more at home with kind christians with soft voices than i’ve ever felt with my own kin.

everyone got packed back into the buses afterward. i got a seat all the way in the back, and it felt like i was on a roller coaster, but that’s cool with me.

one of the youth leaders sat with me, and she flat out asked for my life story. i can’t keep eye contact when i’m talking about myself, so i was basically having a conversation with the window instead of her.

the whole thing left me absolutely exhausted. i’ve been home for over a week and it still feels like i haven’t gotten my energy back. i’ve just been sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.

last year, i went on the retreat with my friend n. he wasn’t there this time, and it was kind of boring without him. i didn’t have anyone to talk to. i’m still glad i went, though; i think i learned more about being a christian, and it was definitely better than being at home all weekend.

i am not my own, for i have been made new. please don’t let me go, i desperately need you. (meteor shower // owl city)

xo apollo

emerald isle travel diary | pt. two

hello, my friends!

it is hot as heck today. i spent the morning with my friend izzy, and we decided to use the sun to our advantage. so we went outside and burned stuff with a magnifying glass: ants, flowers, leaves, cat hair, our legs. (friCK, it hurt).

anyway! here’s the second — and final — part of my emerald isle travel diary. :) (read the first part here.)


« day four »

another night without much sleep! how fun. it’s turning into a habit.



we went to the pine knolls aquarium this morning. there were some normal stuff, like frogs and otters and freshwater fish. but there were also a few sharks, as well as lion fish, jellyfish, pipefish, and sea horses. the whole thing took us about two hours.

once we had been at the beach house for awhile, my parents went to check out a fishing shop. c and i sat on the porch and he insulted my friends again while i played ukulele. (believe // yellowcard and adam’s song // blink-182 are easy songs.)

i convinced c to go on a walk with me. we went in the opposite direction that i explored last night. it was really humid and hot and kind of gross and the wind kept blowing my hair into my face. but we saw a dog and some pretty beach houses and i picked flowers, so it was alright.

for dinner, we went to a restaurant named port of calls, which was right up against the water of the inland side of emerald isle. it was raining the whole time we ate, but it was rather nice anyway, because i got to watch the waves and the storm clouds and the rain drumming against the windows. the restaurant served seafood, which i’m not too fond of. so i got something called “buried treasure,” which turned out to be an enormous plate of potatoes, covered in cheese and bacon and tomatoes and sour cream. it was pretty good, but there was so much of it.

oh, and while we were eating, i figured out the names of my future pets: the dog will be named turtle, and i’ll have two turtles, who will be called dribble and billie joe armstrong.

my dad went fishing down at the beach after dark. c and i went to watch after our mom told us he had caught sharks. while we were waiting for him to catch something, we got in the water, even though the sea feels like a creature waiting to pounce when it’s nighttime. the water was creamy and warm and i wanted nothing more than to slip under the gentle waves and swim and swim and not come back.

 my dad did catch another shark while we were down there. it was slightly shorter than my forearm and it wriggled a lot and it felt like cold sandpaper.

« day five »

i didn’t sleep much again. what a surprise.

i woke up at eleven because there were noises in the house. the bathroom sink is leaking, so i guess there’s a plumber here to fix it. but he’s being extremely loud and he’s right outside my door.

i’m ready to go home. i feel like i can’t hear my own thoughts out here. i need to hide in my loft bed at home with the soft blankets and the fairy lights and not come out until the summer is over. we’ll leave on sunday morning, so i have to get through three days before i’m home again. that sounds really hard and i want to cry and sleep the rest of this trip away.

a few good songs:

long lost feeling // blink-182

if it means a lot to you // a day to remember

miserable at best // mayday parade

jamie all over // mayday parade

we walked along the pier and watched the fishermen lined up against the railing. people had carved hearts and their names and phone numbers into the wood. you’d think that couples would be able to come up with something more romantic than their initials inside a crudely drawn heart. if i were going to scratch something into a railing, i think it would just be the word lovely. 

we checked out one of the touristy shops by the beach. i don’t remember what it was called. there were tons of t-shirts and swimsuits and beach towels. the only thing i actually liked were the lifeguard tees. but i think it would be weird to wear something like that if you had never been a lifeguard. it sounds like a fun job to have, though. to me, one of the coolest things you can do is save someone, or at least be willing to. i’d like to be a lifeguard someday.


we went to watch spider-man: homecoming at a tiny movie theater called cinema 4. i have always adored spider-man, and the new actor made me like him even more. my mom and brother kept telling me how similar i am to one of the characters, michelle. i’ll take that as a compliment.

« day six »

would you believe me if i told you that i actually got enough sleep last night? yeah, i didn’t think so. nights are hard, my friends.

old microwaved pancakes are good for breakfast. i bet that when i move out, i could make one batch of pancakes and live off of it for a week.

my mom took my brother and me back to the aquarium. there were two trails there that led to the sound, and we hiked one of them. it wasn’t very long, only 1.2 miles. but there were so many awful mosquitoes. don’t even think about hiking here without lots of bug spray. it would have been a disappointing outing if it weren’t for the crabs. they were all along the marshy parts, with their holes beside the trail and claws littering the ground. and there were huge clusters of them on the sandy area of the sound.

we stopped by a little shop called homer’s point on the way home to pick up seafood for dinner. we still have some frozen food at the beach house, and i can have that instead of scallops.

my dad and i both really want to go home. we managed to convince my mom to let us leave a day early. :D so we’ll be going home sometime tomorrow (saturday) instead of sunday.

pro tip: don’t listen to three green day albums right before going to bed. you will be too hyped to sleep and you’ll want to run through the streets at night and kiss pretty people and overthrow the government and rule the world.

there was an insane storm tonight, and i was awake until four, drawing and watching the lightning. it lit up the sky more than the fireworks i’d seen a few nights ago a in the beach. and it wasn’t like there was one strike every few minutes. this was a constant light show. some of the lightning was red and it slithered from cloud to cloud. the strange part was that it wasn’t raining here at all.

« day seven »

i got up before noon today (i deserve an award, honestly) and packed all my stuff up. we left at 10:30. i’m in the car now and i have a feeling that this will be a very boring six hours. it’s rather hard to draw or write in a car, so that leaves me with reading to pass the time. this would be more bearable if i had music.

i had a dream that i kissed your lips, and it felt so true. then i woke up as a nervous wreck and i fell for you. (fell for you // green day)

apparently we’ve already been driving for an hour? it doesn’t feel like it. maybe this won’t be as awful as i anticipated. (i’ll probably look back at this in five hours and start laughing, and then i’ll cry.)

i thought we were getting close, but we actually have about three and a half hours to go. sigh. i would write down some of my thoughts, but the only thing in my head right now is basket case // green day on repeat.

SOMETIMES MY MIND PLAYS TRICKS ON ME. IT ALL KEEPS ADDING UP. I THINK I’M CRACKING UP. AM I PARANOID? OR AM I JUST STONED?

we stopped for lunch, and lo and behold, there was a chick-fil-a. sadly, we didn’t get a free milkshake like last time, but it was still pretty good.

make sure you stay hydrated, kids. if you want some water, but you think it’s too much work to get up and find a drink, DO IT ANYWAY. if not, i will come to your house and lick you all over, and believe me, no one wants that. just looking out for your health, my loves. :)

the last time i remember driving through the mountains for a long time was in february, when i went away for the weekend with n. there was a girl in the van who got really sick after just a couple of minutes. i’m glad that no one in my family gets very carsick. i never know what to do when someone is feeling ill. reason #74925390 why i would be a bad parent.

 

my brother is snoring next to me. it sounds like when you have a cold and your nose is all clogged up. you guys can laugh at this picture of him, since you seem to enjoy dumb things.

we should be getting close to home, but i don’t think i recognize anything. maybe that’s because pockets of trees and golden fields crisscrossed with fences are everywhere here.

wait. apparently we’re on the road that goes right by the high school. i’m so confused. how can i not remember any of this? not being able to trust your own memory is a scary feeling, because what if the best ones, the ones you fall back on to escape when things are too hard — what if the version you’re clinging to isn’t how it really happened?

i don’t know where i am and i’m wondering if my most important memories are lies, but there are flowers along the road, so everything will be ok.

scratchy rock music playing on the radio is kind of comforting.

COWS.

my favorite things about my hometown are the wildflowers that grow in the median, and the christian music stations that remind me of my brother’s old friend, and the rundown stores along the highway that are owned by the locals, where time stops moving and all you can think about is the too-cold air conditioning and the smell of cigarettes and the moisture on the cooler doors and the colored specks in the tiles and the taste of freezer burn on the ice cream.

i know where we are now. we just got out of the state park that’s filled with waterfalls and trees with faerie houses in them. i’m still confused as to why i saw the road sign that’s supposed to be next to the high school. maybe there are two roads named that in this state (unlikely)? maybe i can’t trust my memory. i don’t know.

my mom said we would home at 5:17, but it’s 5:19 and we’re not there. lying to your family. what a monstrous thing to do. (also, i’m about to run out of battery, help.)

I NEED TO GO TO THE BAAATHROOOOM, BUT IT’S A MUUUSICAAAAL.

hello, post office! hello, town hall! hello, housing development! hello, bumblebee car! hello, my hill! hello, my house! hello, my kitten!

xo apollo

emerald isle travel diary | pt. one

hello, my friends. i have just returned from vacation in emerald isle, nc. :) i did a travel diary, of course. they help me remember what i did and how i felt, and if i don’t write it down, it will start to fade from my memory in a matter of days.

i was there for nearly a week, and if i put all the days in one post, it would be 3k+ words long. i don’t want to do that to you, so i’ve split it up into two parts. enjoy reading about the first three days of my trip.


« day one »

i have this bad habit of waiting until the last minute to begin packing for a trip. i usually start an hour before we go, maybe less if it’s a weekend trip. but this time, i actually started the night before we left. *appluause* granted, i finished packing a few minutes before we needed to leave, but it’s still improvement, i guess?

it was a six hour drive, stuck in our tiny car with three other people. bags were piled on the half-sized seat between me and my brother, and crammed onto the shelf below the back window. we didn’t have much room, is what i’m trying to say. to entertain myself, i read the tail of emily windsnap by liz kessler, played mario kart 7 with my brother (we’ll be calling him c), strummed on the ukulele at odd moments just to annoy him, stared at all the very interesting trees and rows of corn out the window, etc. we stopped twice, i think, one for food (it was supposed to be fast food, but it really truly was not) and one for gas.

i realized we were getting close when i started seeing all the pine trees with the really tall, bare trunks. the trees we have at home are mostly maples and oaks, and the pines don’t look like the ones in north carolina.

the view from the bridge to the island.

the drive down here was really boring!! let’s leave it at that.

i love all the palm trees and pastel houses that you find at the beach, and i was hoping that ours would be a pretty color. but, no, it’s this weird teal color with sort of orange-y wood on the deck. it’s not awful to look at, but the pastel beach houses are so much lovelier. at least we’re really close to the ocean. there’s only one row of houses between us and the beach, and i can listen to the waves while i’m falling asleep.

after we dragged all our bags inside and claimed rooms (i called the one with the light blue walls and a balcony that faces the ocean, but my parents overruled me, so i got the tiniest one, with a very green bedspread), i convinced my mom and brother to go to the beach with me for awhile. my mom has been freaking out about the riptides here, so she didn’t let us swim out very far. that outing will be remembered as “apollo and c drink saltwater for twenty minutes,” or “the sea hates apollo’s bikini.”

once we came back and showered, we played “sorry” (spoiler alert: i won) and watched doctor who. originally, we were going to play something called “green eggs and ham,” based on the dr. seuss book, but apparently you needed to play with an adult, and both parents refused.

we basically had skittles and peanut butter m&ms for dinner. i unpacked and went to bed right after that, because i thought i would be tired, but my brain hates me and would not shut up. thanks, brain. :) i wrote poetry and listened to music until nearly two in the morning.

« day two »

guess who slept in until after ten and felt absolutely dead?? me!! i eventually got up and showered and went to the grocery store with my dad. i only volunteer to get groceries when i’m on vacation, because my mom always makes my dad do the shopping and it’s pretty easy to convince him to get unhealthy stuff. we got lemon bread, cinnamon rolls, mini donuts, three bottles of soda, ice cream, two kinds of ice cream sandwiches, two packages of cookie dough, pizzas and french fries and onion rings and other stuff my mom would not have gotten.

observation: time doesn’t exist in grocery stores.

we went to the beach after lunch. c and i swallowed lots of saltwater, got some of it in our eyes, insulted each other’s friends, and tried to ride the waves without bodyboards or surfboards. he was complaining about how pale he is, so i gestured at myself (i practically glow) and shouted, “the beacons are lit! gondor calls for aid!” he thought it was hilarious and accidentally got some of the water in his mouth while he was laughing.

we’ve been chilling back in our beach house for a few hours. c let me play a game called fantasy life on his ds, and i’ve been force feeding him my music while he plays breath of the wild. i made a playlist of some songs with summer vibes, and i’ll try to post that soon.

we have a vacation traditon where my dad buys refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough and makes it for us every night, so we can eat them while we watch a movie. we watched the lake house, this weird romance with a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey mailbox.

i sat on the floor for awhile after the movie finished and played the ukulele. i can play a few songs:

northern downpour // panic! at the disco

can’t help falling in love // twenty one pilots (cover)

march to the sea // twenty one pilots

stomach tied in knots // sleeping with sirens

house of gold // twenty one pilots

« day three »


i didn’t sleep well last night, either. i was awake until after 3 a.m, so i started reading all the bright places by jennifer niven, and listened to the atlas album by sleeping at last.

we went to play mini golf right after i woke up, at a place called lost treasure golf & raceway. it was really humid and kind of awful. i won, but only by one point, i believe.

i think the universe is tired of my existence, so it sent me on this trip to try and annihilate me.

i sat outside on the railing for a long time and played the ukulele. there was a lovely breeze, and i looked at the sea and pastel houses while i played whichever songs felt right. i would have liked to sit there forever and slip away into the music, not thinking about anything except for where to put my fingers next.

this is the dinner that my father and i made possible, having braved one of an introvert’s greatest fears: crowded public places. truly, we are the heroes of this family.

once i finished eating, i grabbed the camera and stole out of the house. i walked on the beach for a bit, then set off down the road and took in all the colors and plants and lights and music and laughter. i was gone for close to an hour, and it was quite serene. there were hints of orange and pink in the sky, it was warm without being suffocating, and i got to walk and walk and almost slip out of reality for a bit. all i had to do was keep breathing and thinking and moving forward and it was the most relaxed i’ve been in a very long time. and i got an idea for a story, which is exciting in itself, but even more so when you understand that i haven’t touched any of my stories since last autumn. it felt like the creative part of my mind, the i have so so so much to say about everything part, dug itself out from under the sand while i was out there in the twilight.


oh, yeah, so it’s independence day. i’m going to play fourth of july // fall out boy on repeat until it’s stuck in my family’s heads forever.

there were lots of fireworks going off on the beach. c and i watched them from the balcony for awhile, and then we headed to the ocean to get a better view. i tried to get pictures of the fireworks, and i think a few turned out ok.


i took a lot of pictures on this trip — like, a lot. i’m trying to sprinkle them into the travel diary, but there are going to be lots that don’t fit anywhere. so you can expect a photo dump soon. :)

xo apollo