I've had this project in my head for a very long time now.
I have ALWAYS wanted to go back to the Condo where I grew up in. Every now and then when we're in the Los Angeles area, Mom drives by our old house so we can catch a glimpse of it for a second. I was able to go inside once a little after we moved to Hacienda Heights, but I've never had that chance again. Even so, I've wanted to at least walk in the community. From my memory, it was actually a nice area that had a small playground, a pool, and some decent landscaping. Well, yesterday I had that chance.
I've bugged Mom for a long time to take an adventure with me and stop by at every house that we've ever lived in, or was somehow connected to my life so that I could photograph it. So we planned and headed out to Los Angeles.
As a result of a missed exit, our first stop became Moms old house on 21st st in which she grew up in. I'm more familiar with this house because, aside from Mom frequently talking about it, it's actually a house that we pass by the most when we're in LA. If it's on our way to our destination we like to stop and drive by.
This stop was the house Dad grew up in. It's not too far from Moms and we actually happened to stop by because Mom recognized his old street and decided to see if she still remembered where it was. Well...she didn't lol. We had a bit of help from Abuelita Maria, but we found it! I had never ever seen this house before so it was nice to be able to add it to my collection.
So this isn't a house. However it is the High School both my parents attended and actually met in. So I would say this is a pretty important place.
Casa Del Sol is an Apartment complex that my parents first moved into after they got married. I don't remember this home at all, but I hear about it alot from time to time. I believe they lived here maybe for about a year or so until they bought their first 'home'.
This home belongs to a woman who is very special to me. Doña Chela, whom I refer to as my Nana, is a lady who took care of me as a baby up until I was about 2 or 3. She is the sweetest and most caring person you will ever meet in your life. I may have been very young when she used to babysit me, but I remember so much from this house.
This was a home which was always fully stocked with toys to play with, snacks to munch on, things to do. However, it was also a place that was full of love. My Nana made me feel like I was the most special person in the world to her, and to this day she STILL makes me feel like that. She's the type of person that lives for taking care of people, especially kids. She is always laughing and smiling. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen her mad in my life.
So stopping here was a must.
We finally arrived to my most anticipated destination. I had been excited about coming here for a long time. The Condo we used to live in is actually a gated community. Our condo was located towards the back of the place in which you entered either through the car entrance or back gate. I had feared all day that I wasn't going to be able to enter because of the gate. But LUCK would have it that someone had walked out earlier in the day and propped open the gate with a twig! and in we were =)
I lived here until I was about 9 years old. Even though I've lived in Hacienda Heights for about 14 years, I've always considered this the home I grew up in. I have alot of memories of playing outside with our neighbors, walking all the way to the front of the community to grab the mail, swimming in the community pool. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, ER trips, friends made, friends lost, HUGE parties with the whole family in attendance. It all started here for me.
Walking around was SO strange to me. Everything seemed so much SMALLER than what I had remembered (of course). I seriously felt like I was walking through a Doll Playset.
We couldn't stay long because by this time we were all pretty hungry. I was so hungry by then that my hands were shaking and I couldn't keep my camera straight! I got what I needed though.
These are my homes now
I consider this project incomplete as I still have other locations I'd like to visit and add to this collection.
Please click this link to view the complete slideshow of my day in LA. This is a more detailed view of our day and destinations.