My childhood was a little different.


Most kids grow up in the same place, with the same friends since kindergarten, finally venturing out into unknown lands in their early twenties when they realize going to Orlando for spring break hasn't made them a world traveler. Not me.
You see, my house moved. Every week.

When I was six months old, my parents sold everything they owned, used their small savings account to purchase a recreational vehicle (yep, an RV) and began a decade-long adventure as vagabond puppeteers. No kidding. We were basically carnies.

We traveled up and down the state of California, and neighboring states, dazzling audiences of children with singing, dancing, prizes, skits, lots of candy, and of course, puppets. I would go to sleep in one city and wake up 100 miles up the coast the next morning. (Shhh, don’t tell CHP.) It sounds like something out of a movie, but at the time, it was all I knew. Didn’t everyone live this way – making new friends every week, viewing the world as your limitless front yard, feeling like a VIP at your own traveling spectacle? No, that didn’t happen to you?

I came out of that experience taller, wiser, and with a few more fillings than a child should probably ever have in their baby teeth, but otherwise unscathed. That vibrant life filled with music and imagination instilled a deep creative drive within me that has propelled my adult career choices, first as a journalist and artist, then as a marketer and photographer for a creative agency, and now as a project manager for the world's largest nonprofit service club organization.

This blog and its social channels are the culmination of years of travel – nationally and abroad, in my recent past and far into my future. Stick with me as I continue to see the colorful side of life in every day trip around Chicagoland and every airplane ride to foreign shores.

The Pineapple Obsession


Somehow, I can't remember ever trying fresh pineapple before high school. But once I did - oh buddy. The beautiful color. That sweet tang. The juicy versatility - drinks, pizza, candy, perfume. I was smitten.

But it wasn't until I was given this yard sale, hand-me-down pineapple candle that I began noticing pineapples and their decorative potential. What a unique-looking shape! The Collection was born.

Even as national pineapple trends come and go, my life-long passion for this delicious tropical treat will never waver. I will continue searching and filling up every inch of available wall and shelf space in my home until the last lonely pineapple statuette has joined my family.

I have HUNDREDS of pineapple things to share with you, day by day. Watch The Collection grow on my Pineapples page.

Jessica and Brandon

Hi, we're Jessica and Brandon. Sometimes our photoshoots go exactly to plan; the resulting photos are crisp, clear and have just the right depth of field.

And sometimes two professional photographers go out into the world without their fancy cameras and lenses to have genuine, whatever-happens-happens moments together, free of distraction.

Yes, the resulting camera phone images may turn out blurry or blown out or grainy, but the memories are just as breathtaking. Stick around and you'll see what we mean.

All photography taken by Jessica Willis and Brandon Willis unless otherwise specified. Please do not repost articles without permission. All content © Drive Swim Fly 2023


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