Mischievous Look, originally uploaded by bexadler.

This past week I spent visiting my family in Utah, staying with my sister Jessica, her husband, and their adorable little boy, Sam. I often say I’m going home when I go to visit them even though it’s not actually home for me. I grew up here in Sacramento, but nearly 10 years ago now my family moved away. They’ve been living in Utah for about five or six years and, even though it’s not home to me, it has become a familiar place.

Although it’s not really a glamorous vacationing spot, visiting my sister in Utah is by far the most indulgent trip I take every year. I think the familiarity of the environs makes it easy for me to relax there and not feel like I need to get out and see everything I can in the few days I have there. Instead, I actually slow down and enjoy my stay.

One of my favorite parts of this particular trip was spending time at Liberty Park, which is only about a block from my sister’s house. The park has a great running track and plenty of trees for lazing in the shade with a good book. I spent many a morning running there and some of my afternoons just lounging and reading while my nephew played on the jungle gyms nearby. I hadn’t been planning to take the trip because now I feel pressed to get everything prepared before I leave next week for my big trip abroad, but I am so glad that I ended up going. That time to relax and the memories I’ve taken away of my sister and her family were definitely worth it.