Breann & Drew (and Bradford, too) // Ventura, CA
It was late - pushing 11:30 - and I had just arrived in Port Hueneme (why-nee-me) after a nice drive from Los Angeles. Rain spattered on the ground and I was greeted by Breann & Drew outside of their complex with big squeezes and even bigger smiles as they insisted they grab a couple of my bags. "It's not the nicest part of California," Bre had warned me by text message before I got there - but as a typical midwesterner, palm trees and the ocean are truly all I need in life to be happy. What's more to love?
We chit chatted briefly before going to sleep. I distinctively remember lying in bed that night feeling so cozy with an overwhelming sense of comfort and happiness - being around Bre & Drew for ten minutes was enough to show me how wonderful they were as human beings.
This was the first time I had ever met Bre & Drew. It's really quite amazing how things work out sometimes. Both of them had grown up and graduated high school less than forty-five minutes away from me in Illinois. Bre knew Ronnie from her childhood since they attended church together - so there was some bit of a connection and it was really awesome being able to talk to someone who knew Ronnie when he was younger as I hadn't met him until I was 18. Faster forward many, many years - Drew is stationed in the Navy at Port Hueneme, while Bre works at a lovely salon as well as this super adorable coffee shop called "Palermo" in Ventura - seriously check it out if you're in the area!
During my time with them in California, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway (unfortunately when it was dark outside - but still beautiful nonetheless!) to the Santa Monica pier and went on a nerve-wracking, but beautiful ferris wheel ride view overlooking LA to one side and the ocean on the other. After that we experienced the nightlife that is Venice Beach - was that ever an experience I'll remember for all my life - haha! We went to a late night showing of Dumb & Dumber To, and like old ladies that Bre & I are, we fell asleep within half an hour. (Oops) I tried yoga for the first time at a beautiful ranch nestled at the bottom of a mountain (BOOM) followed by a hike in the Santa Monica mountains that only reminded me of how out of shape I was. My last day consisted of Bre & I grabbing brunch and walking around Ventura checking out a bunch of little shops and thrift stores - she's my type of girl for sure.
I long for people in my life like Bre & Drew - so authentic and so genuine - they show humiliation and they accept your failures. They are good listeners and they somehow manage to have the best advice, sometimes with very few words - but in a way that simplifies matters from thoughts that were once so jumbled. They calm you and they make you feel loved.
I remember one of the very first things Bre told me through a message. She explained how she didn't know me much at all and "didn't want to come off as a creep", but that she wanted to extend an offer to stay in one of their bedrooms while I was in California. "We prayed a lot for this home, and asked God to help us help others with it." Seriously... I loved them from the moment I read that.
My time with them was far too short, but I'm so moved by their hospitality, this newfound friendship, and their contagious laughter. I'm not sure where our paths will take us, but I know that this is one of those connections that will last for a long, long time.
Love you three. Xo.
P.S. I'm coming back to steal you, Bradford.