Family, Journey, Life, Love, Salvation Mountain, trips

Salvation Mountain

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We were headed south on a very much long overdue family trip. We try to visit our family in Mexicali at least 3x a year. We look up cool bucket list spots to make pit stops at on our way there. Last time we drove to Mexicali, we made a pit stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs Museum. If we could enjoy two places in one long weekend getaway, why not?! This time, I brought up the idea of stopping off at Salvation Mountain. Leave it to me to drive us somewhere “interesting”.

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“I have a feeling we’re not in LA anymore”, was the first thought that came to mind as we drove into the small town of Niland, CA. I had only see this place in pictures and it had blown me away! However, as we entered the small town, we still drove about 2 miles before actually getting to our destination. There were trailers to my left and God loving signs to my right. Now, i’d like to say that it was everything I imagined it to be, but it wasn’t. The vibe in particular. Instead, it was a bit creepy at first. I think the rest of my clan can attest to that. Any-who, there were two locals and their dogs were hanging out in a booth at the bottom of the mountain.  And anytime someone would step somewhere not allowed, you can hear the lady  shout; “follow the yellow paint! Don’t climb that way! Get down from there! Wrong way!”. Yikes!

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That didn’t stop the kids from immediately making their way to the top of the mountain. The rest of us followed while my mom trailed behind huffing and puffing. She kept saying “this is why I need to exercise more often”, as if she exercises to begin with– ha ha! Love my mama!  We continued to explore the rest of the mountain and really began to enjoy the art and creativity that surrounded the mountain. If you don’t know the story, click the link above and read it. It’s amazing what one man did to share his love of God.

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Although this place was not quite all that I imagined it to be, I’m glad we went.  It’s a good place to stop off for a quick stretch if you’re headed in that direction.  Especially if you’re traveling with kids. I also suggest that you come during the day. It’s a bit tricky to get to, and I’m not sure I’d like to get stranded or lost in Niland. Needless to say, we stayed for about 30 minutes before we were on our merry way. But not before snapping tons of pictures!

Cheers!

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Disclaimer: This is not a preachy post. I’m not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. Just sharing a cool spot and our experience.

 

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Concerts, Culture, Family, Journey, Life, Love, Mexican, Music

If I could, I would

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If you asked me what my thoughts were about Natalia LaFourcade about two months ago, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said “yeah, whatevs”. When it comes to music, I like what I like. I absolutely love to be exposed to new music, but it takes sometime to include them with my circle of “faves”.

Late September a friend of mine randomly (eek!) invited me to the Latin Grammy’s Acoustic Session featuring Julieta Venegas and Natalia LaFourcade. Now, if you know me, you know I absolutely LOVE Julieta Venegas but every single time she’s been in town I’ve missed her. So you know I agreed to be her date! Not only was I going to finally see Julieta Venegas live but it was happening at this very exclusive show. Julieta 2

Natalia LaFourcade came on stage and got the show running with one of her new singles titled “Hasta la raiz”, which translates into “To the Root”. I must have been biting my lip the entire time trying to fight back tears. The lyrics pierced right through my soul. The song itself talks about the journey of leaving home. Leaving your country behind and the sacrifices and heartache that come with that journey.

You’ve all have probably heard this story before and know that I was born in Mexico City and migrated here with my mother when I was 5 years old. As a kid, I never questioned the reason behind it, I never really cared. All I knew is that my parents led and I followed. This didn’t resurface and cross my mind until I became a mother myself. For a while, I was a bit upset at my parents. My father for having left both my mother and I behind to provide a better life for us, and my mother for having endangered our lives  while attempting to cross the border. LITERALLY. I remember looking at Miles when he was 5 and just thinking about how I could never ever expose him to such danger. It took years before I could realize that all my father wanted was to provide what he knew he couldn’t had we stayed back home. And my mom, well, it was the unconditional love that she had for her husband, the father of her child that drove her to do such a thing. I applaud my parents and love them for teaching me all about unconditional love. natalia

Born in Mexico, raised in Los Angeles, but 28 years later and I still yearn for home. If I had the opportunity to get up and move all of my family back home, I would do it in a heartbeat. I’m still trying to figure out where this feeling stems from but in the meantime, it looks like it’s here to stay. Needless to say, when the song began to play and I began to listen to the lyrics, it spoke to me directly. Natalia LaFourcade did something for me that most all artists I love do: it connected me to a memorable place and time in my life. She, this song, it transported me HOME. I’m almost certain that’s the beauty and the gift of music. I must have gone home and listened to every single one of her albums after the show and have since become obsessed. My connection aside, if you’re a music lover, I highly recommend you check her out. She’s unbelievably talented.

A million thanks to my friend Kristine who made this happen.

 

Cheers!

p.s. listen to my two latest obsessions ❤

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