With two kids, a job, and a house to run, believe me when I say that it is rare for me to get away with a couple of girlfriends for an hour, much less a day. So when the opportunity arose for me to take a mini getaway with two dear friends, I pounced. And I decided to take lots of pictures so we could transport ourselves back to that slow place where the meaning of Newton’s law is the one we learned in physics class long ago, not the one we learned after fig cookies crumbled—again—in the interior of our handbags. My girlfriends (who are also deeply ensconced in the intricate and sticky work-kids-home-life matrix) and I decided to take a day trip to Indian Springs Spa in Calistoga, CA. An hour drive from our home, it was the perfect destination for us to immerse ourselves in a deeply relaxing experience in a limited time. Rather than trying to “do it all” we chose to focus on two things: floating in the pool + a leisurely lunch.
The whole thing came together very spontaneously, which is probably why we were actually able to pull it off. If we’d planned it for months, something would’ve come up. But with two days’ warning, I had a lightning-bolt-variety revelation: record this for posterity because THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I knew it would be over in the blink of an eye—and I wanted a way to savor the experience. I decided then and there that I would create a mini photo book intended to capture the way that day felt. I wasn’t out to get pictures of all of us with arms around each other, posing for the camera. That feeling of community and support between us is perfectly powerful left undocumented.
What I wanted was an artful book that captured the light, the sun, the water, the textures, and the calm that was our day together. The Instagram Mixbook theme was perfect for my project for a couple of reasons. First off, the clean, minimalist template complemented what I was trying to express. Second, the interface between Instagram and Mixbook was effortless: I snapped photos right in Instagram, then pulled them directly into my Mixbook later that night. And finally, the way I was able to tinker with photos using all the filters in Instagram lent a lot to the moodiness of the book. I played with every filter that day, but ultimately decided that Instagram’s “toasty” lens was closest to the look I was after. It heightened the vintage effect that’s so palpable at this retro little old-school California spa.
When it came time to head home, we were snapped back to reality more quickly than we had anticipated. With traffic due to an accident heading south, picture three moms in a minivan calling husbands, daycares, babysitters, preschools, and camps—six kids were in six different places, naturally—to coordinate pickup and dinner.
But it was worth it!
And yes, my GF’s did see me snapping away on my iPhone, but they were perfectly gracious, tolerating the frequent intrusion of my electronic devise. What they didn’t know is that I’m creating three little mini books—one for each of us—to keep that day close, and revel in the fact that we are not alone in our crazy lives and our rabid need to treasure those precious-few moments of calm.