Places that make your imagination take flight

Lake Arrowhead village
Lake Arrowhead village

This weekend my husband, parents and I went to a village in California’s San Bernardino mountains that brought back a lot of memories for me.

Nearly twenty years ago, my parents took me and my rambunctious little brother to Lake Arrowhead for the first time. I was thirteen and totally embarrassed by my family – although, if I’m honest, they’re all a lot cooler than I am.

I spent that weekend engrossed in Harlequin romance novels, which I’d just discovered, in an effort to avoid thinking about the fact that I was a chubby pubescent girl with braces and a feathered mullet. That weekend, I was a confident career woman in my twenties who brought tycoons to their knees (figuratively and literally :)).

While we were there all those years ago, I also saw a stunning bride smiling for her wedding photos, and that cemented in my young mind the fact that Lake Arrowhead was among the most romantic places in the world.

Lake Arrowhead
Lake Arrowhead

My flirty twenties are now behind me, and I’ve been a stunning bride (if I do say so myself), but Lake Arrowhead still pulls at my imagination. Walking around with my husband and parents made me realize how important reading has been in my life – both to keep me grounded and to give me wings, to develop my empathy and soothe my sometimes aching heart.

Two things are the same, all these years later. First, I spent this past weekend reading Harlequin novels. Except this time, I read them as a reviewer instead of to escape.

Second, being in Lake Arrowhead filled my imagination with stories. Only now, they’re stories I’ll have the confidence to write down and share instead of keeping them private.

Is there a place that you strongly associate with reading? Is there a place you’ve visited that sparks your imagination, or a place you’d love to visit because you’ve imagined it so many times you feel like you’ve already been there?


  1. a couple of months ago, i was driving home from a doctor appointment and passed 3 different signs, all leading me to what was called The Hidden Chateau and Garden. i’ve been going to this dr. for years and have never seen these signs before. well of course, i had to check it out! it ended up being the most romantic, charming, quaint church and gardens i’ve seen in a long time. and i couldn’t believe i’d driven that way and had never seen it before. i was so thankful i had my journal with me! i copped a seat on a bench and wrote and listened and looked for hours. 😀

    1. What serendipity, Kristen! It sounds like such a beautiful place. I love discovering new and wonderful places around where I live – and they can be so easy to miss when you’re consumed with all the day-to-day thoughts that run through your head.

      Glad you found The Hidden Chateau!

  2. I would LOVE to go to Ireland one day. I devour all books and movies I can find about Ireland. I think it’s the rolling green hills, steep banks falling into the ocean and fantastic accents that attract me (although I’m sure it’s not ALL rolling green hills!). I do feel like I’ve been there before simply because I’ve read/watched so much about it. I’m going to have to set a novel there so I can have an excuse to visit 😉

    1. Carrie, Ireland’s beautiful! I’ve only been to Northern Ireland and Dublin, but I’d love to go to more places. Such a gorgeous country. You should definitely set a story there – if you need an excuse to go!

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