I’ve started a go Fundme campaign to help the victims of the the devastating earthquakes in Mexico.
The victims from the 8.1 and 7.1 earthquakes have a long road ahead of them and as a mexican who lives out of the country and was by chance in Mexico City on Sep19 the need to help is our duty. Please help me donate and share!! Lets help !!!


Amidst the Tragedy We Often Find Ourselves ~

The wings of the Boeing 747 were tilting in the great abyss of the night sky, there was yellow lights dotting far below and it always was the most beautiful image to see, to ingrain in your mind. The kind if image you store and archive for your old age.

The irony was the year had started similar to how it was ending new opportunities capped by endless possibilities and yet I was such a different person. Everything had changed.

I had been through so much in the span of 10 months, but no one could see it. To the outside word I was still the same vain, Fendi wearing 30 something that wrote petulant prose as Instagram captions and posted about existentialism in french. I was still the same pessimistic hopeless romantic who cannot phantom wearing yoga pants out to anything that isn’t yoga class and wears sheer black blouses with handmade lace trim and brand name jeans to a six hour flight, the kind of woman who contemplates life sipping vodka and staring at the mirror and who rain, shine or personal tragedy makes sure she looks good because that is the way her grandmother brought her up.

Yes on the outside I was still her, my outside coat of paint was still shallow and expensive. I wanted desperately to live true to my ‘Jetset life’ hashtag that donned my social media presence but inside I was no longer her.

I was no longer sure of anything, and I often cried myself to sleep.
The lights outside my oval window faded into the distance and I wanted to be everywhere but where I was going. I could have stayed in that plane forever, in that first class row two because work was paying. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but it wasn’t home. It wasn’t the fake lights of tinsel town. I wanted to stay in my hometown in the broken edifices and the cracked pavement, and the leftover ruins of a devastating earthquake, I wanted to stay with the hardworking people who in the middle of a tragedy when they could have laid broken just like the skyscrapers that came tumbling around them, they chose to stay standing, to dry the tears and offer what they have to help each other. That is where I wanted to be, in the house I grew up in and the walls that had raised me. In the walls that had managed to stay standing without a single broken bone throughout 32 years and two shattering Earthquakes. 

Perhaps it was that single fact, this one event that had changed the core of who I was. The creaking of the wooden benches in the eerie silence of a polished cemetery. The echo of the building moving and the hallow church broke my sobs and I turned to my mother tear streaked face and said

‘Its an earthquake’

I didn’t run but for the first time in my life I thought I was going to die. The ground was shaking, the church where I used to go as a child swayed as if trying to detach itself from the very ground it stood in and flee. The chandeliers moved from side to side like trapeze acrobats in the vaulted ceilings and then it stopped. I was used to earthquakes, had grown up around them all my life but none had been so unexpected and so strong.

Silence, pure, dead, unadulterated silence in the city that is never silent.

It wasn’t just my life, it was my mothers and my aunts who lay in a hospital bed, a complete different person from the glamorous, energetic woman I had grown up with, always laughing and full of life. No this woman had told me a day before that she wanted to see the ocean one last time. That she missed the ocean and her now grey opaque eyes paled over.

She was the real reason why I had come home, to say hello and maybe goodbye. The odds were not in her favor to connote a tried movie phrase. I had rushed onto an airplane with a carry on and few shirts to see her. I had bitten my lips, batted my eyes and kept the tears from falling when I saw her.

It was a cruel flashback from six years ago when in the same hospital my grandmother, the woman who I most admired in my life had died.

Perhaps it hadn’t been the event of this week, but the gradual sadness of her loss that has been compounded since that Wednesday in 2012 when I received the call, and then hanging up the phone I didn’t cry then but I cried now.

I cried for a few moments outside the white washed walls of the hospital room, in a long semi lit hallway, I grasped the wooden rail that lined the wall for support and let a few stray tears run down, but not too many because my mother was near and the rest of family and I could not cry, not now I could not be the one breaking down. I was the strong one, I never cry and always keep my calm. Call it an acquired skill from my hospitality days, where you always smile and nod even if the restaurant is falling apart. I think that is my biggest flaw, but I never say it. Instead every time I get asked in an interview what my biggest flaw is I say, that it is being a perfectionist, overly critical of myself.

I don’t cry. I pat my cheeks as not ruin my perfectly applied make up, the bronzer to accentuate the cheek bone and the glittery highlighter to contour my face. I take the iconic blue glasses off and make sure my eye lashes haven’t come off, the expensive mink kind that I should not be buying but I do. On the outside I am still the same person who swallows her tears and keeps a calm facade, but on the inside I want to lean against the wall and cry. Loud and heartbreaking, without reverence or care, to break down and let all the impotence and anger slide out like snakes from Medusas hair.

I don’t. I never do. I have to pretend. That is what I do good I pretend.

The coincidence you see is that today is the anniversary of another earthquake, that broke the city then too. I was not yet born but my mother was expecting me, she was four months into expecting me. I don’t remember that Earthquake, I only remember what my mother has told me, what my father has mentioned, what I have seen from old news reels. Now 32 years later, in the same month, in the same day on an unplanned, never would have done this kind of visit it happens again. It is as if it was waiting for me, lurking in the shadows of the tectonic plates and waiting to leap out. I know that is only a figment of my imagination, I am not important.Nevertheless it changes me. To hear the silence for long ticking seconds before it burst into commotion, before the radio stations run over each other to report the magnitude, the damages, the death tolls, before the sirens blast and the firefighters and ambulances run their engines,, before the insistent dialing of cell phones that drop all calls and frantic people swamping the city streets, to hear the silence one only hears in death changed me. I ran deep inside me, the desire to talk to God, the God my mother believed in, the one that sat front row and center in the swaying church.

It wasn’t a last minute repentance it was an inspiration. While my mother walked into the parish office after the Earthquake had subsided I stood outside, not knowing if I wanted to cry, or sit or walk, the sun shone harshly outside and it burned through my white knitted top.

I found myself muttering words to God. I wasn’t kneeling in front of the cross, or sitting in a church bench I was simply standing outside looking at a poster for some Sunday Service. “If you save her,” I found myself saying, making promises I never thought I would. I was sure that he would help me, that our barter would save my aunt, but I wasn’t sure of what would happen with the rest of the victims. You see at this point in the middle of calming my nerves and trying to get cell phone service we had no idea what the damage was, we had no idea where the epicenter was, if building had fallen or if there would be more. I eventually joined my mother in the office and the priest said I should take my sunglasses off and introduce myself, I did and I’m sure they thought the tears that still hung around my eyes were from the earth shaking and not because I had been crying before, not because I had been telling my mom I was overwhelmed and lost, and I missed my grandmother. They were unimportant.

We walked to the car in a somewhat rare mood, talking about the 1985 Earthquake and the priest and avoiding the elephant in the room. Maybe it was then as we rounded the corner of the houses draped in patriotic flags for Independence Month that changed me. I felt a deep pang of sadness that strums my soul, I used to walk these streets so often when I was a child, the realization that they such a distant memory that I don’t instantly remember them, saddens me. I recognize them, my heart aches for them but I have lost the visualization of them in my mind. I want to stay here, to absorb it all my home and yet I know that I don’t completely belongs here anymore, more than I belong in the streets of Orange County. It is a hard prize that first generation immigrants or expats, whatever the correct social and political term is, have to pay. You can’t take it back the years change you, and the missing pieces of the puzzle never fit again, they have been standing in the rain too long, they are now soggy and peeling and they don’t quite fit in the spot.

I have promised to watch over my aunts in the same way I should have watched over my grandmother, I have indebted myself to caring for their well being if he saves her and this odd, long lost forgotten part of me truly believes he will, it doesn’t doubt, it doesn’t waver… faith. I had lost her and now she was coming home, much like I was home.

That night I can’t sleep, instead I walk around the house, the old quiet house with it’s plush green carpet and white floored garden. I stare out the main bedroom’s window like my grandmother used to. In her old days it was her window to the outside world, the remorse of what I could have done creeps in again. It has been creeping in and out for the past five years, I should have come home that November, I should have come home for good. I didn’t and I never saw her again, never heard her voice, never told her how much I loved her.

I pack the few shirts I had brought, the few mementos my aunt had bought for me, in thoughts of a happier visit. I pack my memories and my newfound promises because I have to go back to work. tell my aunt I love her, that she means and has meant the world to me, that all the years she raised me, came to visit, sent gifts, have shaped my life and I wave goodbye as I exit the room. She waves a back, a weak smile forming on her makeup less face. I miss her as soon as I leave the hospital and even though I know she will be fine I cry again.

The plane takes of in whirl, the take offs and landing are always my favorite parts of traveling, they encompass along with the airport so many mixed emotions. Hellos, goodbyes, tragedies, celebrations, businesses, and memories all compounded in neon lights and engines. There is butterflies at the pit of my stomach whenever we takeoff, the little bell goes off and the wheels detach themselfs from the tarmac. The city becomes a canvas below the plane and wherever you’re going is full of possibilities.

Only this time the emotions are raw, the people on the plane did not talk about it, the free newspapers splashed the news across the front page and every page. I had downed a shot of vodka in the ten minutes I had to spare between getting to my gate and last call. The waiter didn’t utter a word and I left him a 100 percent tip. It numbed everything in a sense, alcohol always does that.

I stared at the window all the time we took off, until it became a dark peaceful nothing below us, I stared then too because it was calming. We existed outside the realm of the damaged Earth, just for a second. A few tears streaked my cheeks but the only witness was the cold glass upon which I was pressing my face, it didn’t mind I’m sure it has been witness to other tear streaked faces.

When I landed the calm of the late summer night in California swamped me in silence and I contemplated all that had happened. I could not phantom this shallow life we live,, so appeased and unfazed. The truth is I can’t pinpoint when it happened, perhaps it was inside the swaying church of my youth, inside the sacred walls that I had refused to visit in months. Maybe it was that moment I saw my aunt, when she grabbed my hand and told me she had enjoyed her life, maybe it was outside in the bright Mexican Sun in my imaginary bargain with God, or maybe it had been a long time coming from the moment my Grandmother died in each and every tear I shed months after, in all the pent up silence of those first weeks when everyone asked if I was okay andI simply nodded. The truth is I missed her, everyday in every important event, in every sad moment.

When she passed away I slept with her sweater on my bed for weeks, this time around I found another of her sweaters, a soft, plush pink one that she used on cold rainy nights. I brought it with me, it doesn’t smell like her anymore but it smells like home. I don’t know what that smell is but I remember it.

I remember it almost as well as I remember the building collapsing, the screams of the people and the rubble that formed after. Almost as well as the tears of uncertainty I shed that night and the sirens that still blared two days after when we headed to the airport. Almost as well as the cracks in the terminal floors and the cancelled flights because Control Tower had lost communications. Our world centers around numbers and electronics that fade in a second and all we are left are human connections that are willing to go out there and help without a single thought. Upon my return and in the guilty comfort of my bed I sent some supplies to the victims but is it enough? The hungry disasters pile up one after the other tearing our American Continent apart like no other time that our generation has seen. That is the innate change, how can I help them. I still dress up every morning and coordinate my outfits, and I still peruse the perfume counters at Saks but it no longer captivates me, doesn’t hold me over like it used to. I have had time to re asses my life, a whole decade to question what impact I want to make. I could have always told you that I wanted to make an impact in the world, a positive impact, to save lives or change laws but that was the vain me speaking. A few weeks ago I contemplated going back to school, becoming a doctor or an epidemiologist, I still want to but I have come to realize in the span of five days spent in Mexico that we can make an impact in so many other ways. I learned about strength in those five days like I haven’t in years. I have always been a self-center person, and my problems have in a way revolved around myself from my years battling bulimia to the battle against self-harm, overcoming them both was a show of strength but no like the one I saw that week. Strength from both my aunts as one pulled all nighters to stay with her in the hospital, putting her life on pause to hold her sisters hand and from the other holding on to life to reciprocate. And the strength from the nation, that against corrupt governments, disasters and drug wars stands tall and proud, and caring. They all came out to help, the well off and the poor, the doctors, the architects the rescue teams. Small stores and huge chains donated in their capacities and the normal people came to help in droves, to help their fellow brothers and sisters.

I had never felt so proud to carry the tricolor flag inside me, and I had never felt so sad to do so. And all that I learned was that the world was not about me, it wasn’t about me being in the Earthquake, it was about the fact that all of us who are safe and sound, who have a home, and money in the bank are luckier than we can imagine. It was about the people in Oaxaca sleeping in the streets because their homes and their jobs are gone. I cried in the car as I drove to wok, after I counted all the cracks in the freeways and checked five times that we have emergency supplies in the house. I cried after I hung up on my mother today and she told me that the verdicts on my aunt are not optimistic, but the tears are becoming normal this week and everything that isn’t helping has taken a backseat. I am not the same person I was when I landed on the ancient Aztec soil, on that country that was built upon a prophecy of an eagle eating a snake, on a prophecy of doom and a calendar of proof, but perhaps that is how it’s supposed to be. My mother often says that things happen for a reason. I used to think that it was a cheap saying, something people say when they can’t justify what is happening, just like religion. I used to think many things I don’t believe anymore, and the timing of everything that has happened in this week has come to make me believe that things do happen for a reason. The reason is to help, make that impact I so badly wanted to fulfill my life and change someone else’s.

Beach hopping & Bike sharing :

Coastal Living Stories: 

Drab and lazy is usually how my mornings start. I am by no means a morning person and if said morning is to visit the doctor… well whatever motivation I have shrinks.

However, today my post blood work plans included bagels and coffee on the posh, sandy Manhattan Beach shores.

I took my medium sized coffee I bought at Manhattan Beach Bread & Bagel and walked without rush or care along the warm sands. The ocean always soothes and calms me. 

Want a secret confession? That was my last cup of coffee for a while, doctors orders.

Oh the sadnesses of getting older 

After Watching the waves became a tiresome ordeal I headed back home to ride a bike along the Long Beach harbor. 

I had been meaning to go bike riding for the last two years. Talk about procrastination!

So today finally, I rented a bike from Long Beach Bike share & rode down to the Queen Mary and up to Los Alamitos Beach.

The booking process online was a little confusing because I didn’t know if my booking was working or not but the picking up process was super easy. The price of $7 for an hour, $15 a month is very reasonable. I did exactly 55minutes brought it back and all was fantastic. The bike was easy, in good condition and had a charming basket in the front. 

I can’t believe I waited that long for something so easy and fun. I will probably rent it out again or buy the monthly pass. 

The views along the bike trails were spectacular and the wind in my face was divine.

Lessons in living the life you want? : 

~ Do things as you want them, as your feel them, as you dream them. If you don’t you might realize you wasted two years without riding a bike 😉 

Monday in Paradise: 

Creating a life you don’t need a vacation from.

The world likes to tell us there is a purspose to our lives. Some unknown destiny we must fullfill that somehow looms ahead of us since the moment we are born. In stories, in advertising, in religion it makes it seem that our lives serve as something, some higher purspose we are unaware of at the time of its happening. It makes it seem that whatever we are doing be it working for a high profile corporate, for a non-profit or if we are self-employed we are bound to make a difference in someone else’s life, an in turn that someone will make a difference too.  It tries to tell us that no matter if we love our work,  if we ended up being doctors and lawyers to follow a family path, if we are actors, restaurant owners, or simple parking lot attendants there is meaning to everymorning. That we should be content to be alive, to get up every morning, brush out teeth, comb our hair and make breakfast. That the one person whose life we change will be the next Mother Teresa, the next MLK, the next John Paul II.

I’m not sure if this theory is certain.  What I do know is that my truth is different from your truth, that Catholics will tell me Christ is the truth and Buddhists will tell me I am the truth.  That all the while we are lost in a sea of labels and expectations, millennial, feminists, women, minorities, priviledged, liberal, socialist right, socialist left. We are left trying to understand what they mean and pretending to know where we stand.

All the while trying to figure out how to live that perfectly poised, filtered instagramed life. Here too there is so grander motive that should drive us, the need to live to the fullest and find our tribe or whatever it is that is being said now. It is as the New York time has put it an ‘obsession with wealth’. But how do we really create that life we don’t need a vacation from? Is it truly different from our parent’s generation and why won’t anyone tell us once and for all what is the right path. It is estimated that more than 40% of professionals are now freelance, we see it everyone splashed across Facebook and Google ‘free yourself for the 9-5″. But did our parents really have it that wrong?

Is the only way to be free and happy, to travel and blog? I don’t think so, but it sure has been a succesful lure. I think the world again has fronted us with an image of what should be, a prototype and we have flocked to believe it, just like we believe our lives have a grand meaning, and just how we believe in gender roles.

I think that living a life we don’t want to run away form has more to do with appreciating every moment, every accomplishment, realizing we all have a role to fulfill in society, being thankful for everything we have and never ceasing to learn. How can I be so certain? Because  I look at my grandfather who created a wonderful life and wonderful family by opening pharmacies. They weren’t his plan, he didn’t set a five year plan, he simply did it. I look at my mother who hasnt’ traveled the globe over and is perhaps happier than I am. I look coworkers, and colleagues, and old friends and they are living the life they were given without a photoshop filter.

I don’t assume to know for certain what I want to do with my life. There are days when I want to live by the ocean, create art in long, flows silk dresses and drink wine on the veranda and there are days when I want to dress up in a Versace black suit and conquer the board room, but most days I want to simply live. I have learned that I love the life I live, with it’s flaws and faults. I want to plan a vacation because it’s exciting, I want to have bad days at work because they build character, I want to break down and cry because it remind me what is important. I want to feel afraid to step out of my comfort zone and be challenged,  I want to hate my job because I will value all the achievement even more. I want to love my days off, and my time with friends and I want to also love what I do because it sets up future goals. I want to change my mind, I want it all. That is what creating a good life is all about, creating a life of challenges you overcame.

I don’t understand our obsession with going against ‘traditional job’s because the world is ever changing, the markets are shrinking, people are loosing jobs to machines, and the world is becoming a less friendly place. I don’t think that is the destiny we were meant to fullfill, do you?

I live the life I want already, because if I didn’t, if I want living to create a wonderful future I would be missing the present. Don’t you agree? Don’t believe you have to work on the beach, or in pajamas because you don’t. Wheather you believe in a higher purpose or a simple life, everyday millions of people are working as nurses, lawyers, business women, board members, hotel managers, pilots, crew captains, architects, writes and they are living the life they dont’ need a vacation from. They are certainly planning one, though because planing one, well that is the fun part!

The Case for a Queen : Exploring the RMS Queen Mary

You can almost see the crows as they waved nostalgic goodbyes to their beloved. You can almost taste the sea salt in the cold, crisp air. You can feel the exciment as the beautiful new ocean liner pulled away from safe harbor. It drips with history, in every step you take on it’s wooden boards, in every photograph of Hollywood legends and every display of war time heroism. The RMS Queen Mary now lives in the eastern corner of the Long Beach Marina in the place furthers from what it could have imagined, in the sunny shores of California. There it has docked for many years, long before I knew of it’s existence, before I was even born. Many would say it’s outdated for our modern times; yet, it’s allure is eternal, and the history it carries of better times is far greater than any we can forge now.

The truth is I’ve been aboard the magnificent vessel quite a few times, some for sightseeing, some for field trips, for food or drinks but last week with nothing to do on a gorgeous Spring day I drove down the whole 5 minutes it takes from my house to the ship and decided to be a tourist for one day. 

The attendant at the booth said that we could choose a complimentary tour, either the classic history one or the ghost one. I often for the history one because even though we can read every specification of how and when it was built nothing beats walking the cabins where generations before me had walked, where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor traveled to New York, and where Winston Churchill in turbulent times would drink his troubles away. 

The tour took us through ballrooms, and cabin rooms, and told us about life aboard the Queen Mary.  The guide a chipper and threatically inclined fellow made the one hour of walking seem shorter and we ended on the deck just below the beautiful shops.

After resting for a few moments on the comfortable chairs, we toured the three main souvenier shops. One boasts mainly food, tea and British related gourmets. The second one is clothing and gifts and the final one if full of items you could take home from your trip to California, teddy bears, mouse pads, cups, glasses, flasks and adorable captain caps.

After wandering and not really buying more than cookies, because we had already and somehow inexplicably bought the whole photo package from the photo op room. (Oops) We wandered out onto the outside deck for coffe and fresh air.  Much to the envy of past generations they now server Starbucks coffee inside and we sat down to rest some more. 

Yet there is much to do aboard the Queen Mary, no one ever rests for long here, or so the ghosts say. The ghost myths come from its service during WWII when the British government called for it to stop being a civilian cruise liner and drafted it into service. It was painted grey, earning it the nickname the Grey Ghost, and it transported hundreds of soldier during the war years. 

Perhaps those years changed it, just like they changed the world. A person is never the same after fighting battle, why do we expect things to not be affected? On the outside the beautiful lady of the seas was painted and restored to it’s pre-war glory.  And it carried on transporting the luminaries of politics, music and arts. From the workers who steered the ship 

To the staff who prided themselves in knowing the likes and dislikes of the passengers, to the Captain who carried the ship through troubled and calm waters alike the staff lived to serve. It’s almost magical imagining what life aboard a luxury liner would have been. It’s like a time capsule of better times, when everyone dressed up for dinner, cocktails included champagne and men would escort the ladies on walks around the observation deck.

Sure today we have sophisticated cruise ships, with dinning venues, wifi in every room, childrens camp, water slides and mobile apps but back then the calm of the water was all you had, a good book and the company of your fellow travelers.

And nothing but sea stretching out for days until the shore peaked through and you knew the journey had ended.

Doesn’t it sound quite fascinating? I think it does. 

Perhaps that’s why I was truly sad and when I read an article about the financial struggles to cover all the repairs. What made me sadder was the comments of people saying that it had lived it’s years, that it should not be rescued, that after all this years we should just throw it out because it wasn’t popular anymore. As if all the history contained in it was not part of our history too, perhaps people don’t appreciate culture enough, perhaps they can’t comprehend the rate at which our world is vanishing. I don’t just meant physically, I mean all of it; history, traditions, cultures, families.

That day, last week pretending to be a tourist sacheying across the deck of this worldly lady, looking out onto the beautiful shoreline was one of the best spent days I’ve had lately.  This boat has crossed oceans, bridged distances and saved the world in a way and we have the privilege of being for a few hours passengers of it.

Go visit the Queen Mary … It’s cause for celebration

Population 70,000 : visiting Buena Park

It was vastly different from the hustle of the city, the constant traffic that droned out conversation, the smog clouds that vanished into asymmetrical skyscrapers and the people, oh so many people. The little unassuming city of Buena Park, California was vastly different from my hometown and even though I didn’t know it back then it was perfect to grow up in. When we moved there 23 years ago the population was 70,000.

The cars are few and far apart ~

It was beaufituly peaceful in a ways we weren’t used to. The stores all closed before 10, and the silence perpetuated our nights. Our biggest claim to fame was Knotts Berry Farm, a western themed amusement park with Snoopy and Charlie Brown to boot. My favorite activity was to walk around the outside stores during Christmas time. The mall was a barely noticible hub of staple American stores and food court basics but we went every Sunday nonetheless.

Decorations at Knott’s

Up toward the hills the houses sprawled like miniature mansions and the silence during a morning walk becomes eerie, as I grew up I used to run there every morning and every evening. After rush hour the passing of cars is still far and few except for those leaving the food store that now sits hilltop.

During the summer mother would let me run down the long sidewalks of our suburbia utopia as the sprinklers bloomed in all their glory before California had a drought and when global warming was just being born. Every generation thinks that they are last good one, but in our case I think it rings true. The last to see non hipster mom and pop stores, that belonged to long time residents, to get to know them, and treat them like family. The couple who used to own the dry cleaning behind our apartments had lived there for over 50 years. They used to play jokes on me and I’d ask about their daughter who lived in Oregon. I used to go to school with the son of the guy who owned the grocery store and my favorite store to go back to school shopping was ‘Teacher’s Supply’ nestled right at the exit of the freeway and owned by locals too.

Beauty at Medival Times

Nowadays Buena Park is still that peaceful city I grew to love, although it has kept up with the times and the competition. There is now big modern building a few blocks from Knotts Berry Farm and a big electric guitar sculpture purtrudes from the new ‘Rockign Brew Restaurant’. It has plans, big plans to draw investors and become a destination.

I haven’t been to Rocking Brews because I got distracted by the library that still looks the same as it did when I used to go everyday after school, it has a tiny bookstore of used books run by volunteers that makes you think of grander times as you browse letters and pictures bound in pages that are used less and less.

If you get tires of the ritz and glitz of featured Orange County tourism come to Buena Park.  It will give you a feel of what Southern California really is, go to the historic sites along Beach Boulevard, visit the library during tea time,  walk down Knotts Berry Farm and up to the upcoming Butterfly Pavillion. It is worth a day visit, just as much as it was worth growing up in it.

Little Town Dreams ~ 

I’m a big city girl. I always have been. From the 20 million people in Mexico City to the streets of LA. I love them, the many places to eat, the shows, the hustle, the bustle the energy. Yet, I’d trade them in a heartbeat for small town calm, for charming, for mom and pop, for no traffic. And no place enbodies a more picture perfect small town than Solvang, California.

 Hiding away in the slopping hills of central California it is part secret tourist attraction and wine town. 

Solvang gets its roots from a Dutch community that settled there in the early 1900’s . It is filled with bakeries, Danish restaurants and little stores. There is a bookstore with a complete story on Hans Christian Andersen and a replica of the Little Mermaid statue. 

It has an all Christmas store open year-round and the walk down town is littered with small boutique food & art shops.

Doesn’t it sound dreamy? 

It is smack dab in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley which is a major wine area, so if you feel like wine tasting … go right ahead. There are tours offered that depart from Solvang or you could plan your own, it is also a very short drive to the Santa Ynez mission, a historical site of Californian history as well as an Ostrich farm if feeding birds is more your thing.

Solvang is only about a 4 hours drive from Los Angels or for a more relaxing trip take Amtrak to Santa Barbara and then the connecting bus that drops you off right in the center of town. 

Many happy returns here !