(“together” on canvas. email me if you’re interested in the original!)

karen’s visit has turned into one big celebration of our road trip out west 10 years ago. i had just turned 23 years old, was living in florida, and was enjoying my last summer before the end of graduate school. i had never been west of dallas, texas when karen convinced me to hop into her little red nissan and drive with her all the way from tallahassee, florida to seattle, washington – a cross country road trip, just the two of us. with less than $900 and a brand new journal in my bag, i was ready for whatever would happen that summer and really had no idea what i was doing or what to expect. karen had planned the entire trip and i thought “what the hell, i’ll go with you.” we were two very young girls on the adventure of our lives. windows down. music blaring. it was before the age of email and cell phones and ipods and digital cameras. we were truly out there on our own. our only communication with our friends and family were the postcards we sent home from places like sedona (AZ), the very large array (VLA), las vegas, austin (TX), new mexico, route 66, san fran, portland, seattle. we stayed in youth hostels (our favorite was in a new mexico city named truth or consequences), paid no more than $14 for a full tank of gas (remember those days?), met a ton of friendly strangers along the way, ate chocolate donuts every morning, took a million photos, saw the craziest lightening storms in wide open spaces, discovered mountain views (they don’t have those in florida), and saw the grand canyon and pacific ocean for the first time…together. we were giddy and in love the west coast, the open road, the sunsets, and most of all, our freedom. it was on that trip that i discovered and fell deeply in love with the great northwest. less than a year after our return home, i moved to portland and never looked back. that little grand “what the hell, i’ll go with you” road trip ended up being the best decision i could have made. to explore. to be poor and still travel. to figure it out. to fall in love with girlhood even more. to find the place i wanted to live. to learn and live and be free.

inside the pages of the journal i kept that summer are a million lists (because everyone knows i love lists). lists of funny highway signs. lists of gas tank purchases. lists of how many cokes i drank (i was trying to kick the habit, even then). lists of all the new food i tried (sushi, strawberries, caesar salad). lists of baby names. even lists of words that caught my attention (words like dazzle. sparkly.).

it was a time to remember. one glorious summer on the road with my friend karen. i will never forget it. here we are, the two of us, in a photobooth, somewhere in middle america. i love my little colorful doodles around us. weren’t we cute? i can still roll my tongue like the best of em.

and here we are now…on a mac photobooth earlier tonite with bella in the middle:

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed.

Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore and nourish their creative souls.

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