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He found his grandparents vintage travel photos and embarked the adventure to recreate them …

Alex A

Three years ago, Christian Carollo found his grandfather vintage travel photos and his grandma’s travel journal and decided to embark an adventure to recreate them.

Carollo started the project Past Present, in which he roams the United States in search of the exact locations where his grandparents once stood.

On his blog,  he showcases the recreated photos along with the extracts of his grandmother’s journal.

Golden Gate Bridge April 1979 - May 2015
Golden Gate Bridge April 1979 – May 2015
Lucia Lodge in Big Sur April 1979 - May 2015
Lucia Lodge in Big Sur April 1979 – May 2015
Fishermen’s Grotto in San Francisco | April 1979 & May 2015

Christian writes

Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 27, 1979: “The wharf was just getting alive, stores and boutiques opening slowly, like everything else – no hussle. Wax museum, Chinese and other restaurant, seafood in every form, baskets of giant crabs all over.”

During my very first night in San Francisco, I happened to show my grandfather’s photo of a scene at Fishermen’s Grotto in 1979 to a waiter who worked there. He immediately told me that he knew the man in the photo and, in fact, he had just finished working and was sitting at the bar. We met, pointed out things that had changed since 1979, and then had him stand in the same spot for this photo. I’d say the first night was a success!


Groveland | April 1979 & May 2015

From Chrisitan’s blog:

Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 23rd, 1979: “Groveland – and the Iron Door Bar, 1849. And down towards a big lake ‘New Don Pedro Reservoir’ in steep and sharp curves.”

When I entered the Iron Door Saloon, which happens to be the oldest saloon in California, I came across a man sitting at the bar who told me he was in 11th grade the year my grandfather’s photo was taken. He went on to tell me that he and a few seniors used to park behind the bar and enjoy a few beers inside the bar after school. I believed him. I also had the chance to show the current young owner what his bar looked like in 1979, which he loved. When I offered him a copy of the photograph, his face lit up and he declared “That’s badass!”

Valhalla Pier in South Lake Tahoe | June 1981 & May 2015
New Mexico
Old Mesilla | April 1979 & October 2014
White Sands National Monument | April 1979 & October 2014
South Dacota
Cedar Pass Campground in Badlands National Park | May 1981 & October 2013
Needles Highway in Custer State Park | 1973 & 2013


Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans | February 1978 & April 2014
Cafe Du Monde | February 1978 & April 2014
Jackson Square in New Orleans | February 1978 & April 2014
Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie | February 1978 & April 2014
The Market Square Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg | February 1978 & December 2014


Yosemite National Park
Tunnel View | April 1979 & May 2015

Excerpt from my grandmother’s travel journal on April 20th, 1979: “Entering Yosemite National Park at 12:40 – clean and cool air, the smell of pine & redwoods, stopping at several photo spots, going through the long long tunnel, into the valley itself.” 

Yosemite Entrance | April 1979 & May 2015
Stanton Hall in Natchez, Mississippi | September 1974 & April 2014
Christian and His Grandpa


Check out his Tumblr blog and facebook page to follow his adventure.

All photos by  Christian Carollo,