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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The Broad

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As a young girl I used to frequent the Museum of Contemporary Art aka MOCA. It started off as a school field trip, but soon I would be asking my dad to take me quite often. I used to sit there and sketch the sky scrappers towering over DTLA. And ever since, visiting museums has been something I absolutely love to do. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m some sort of art connoisseur, that just means I love the feeling of traveling into someone else’s world. I try to break down the artists’ thought process while admiring their work.IMG_2751

This love I have for museums is something I want to instill in my children. And I think I might already have. Last year while in Mexico City, I made sure to hit as many museums and historical grounds with the kids. I can confidently say that they are some little explorers just like their momma. Dad on the other hand wishes the museums can come to him. Ha ha !

Luckily, there was not much convincing to do when I told him about the new museum in town: The Broad. As I was reading off the list of artists that are featured, he was sold at the mention of Basquiat. Needless to say, I was happy! We didn’t have reserved tickets, which meant we would have to head out a bit early and hope that we would get in. And we did! I quickly signed up for a time slot for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, as I’ve heard time slots go fast! I smiled as the museum associate gave me my 10:50 am tim12208272_10207615823572033_7536879106288317390_ne slot. Yay!

The kids were oh so well behaved, with the exception that they refused to take pictures. Does that count as  misbehaving in your book? It does in mine! Ha. They were particularly fond of Warhol’s pop art, Koons because what kid doesn’t love a jumbo sized blue balloon dog steel sculpture, Yayoi Kusama’s endless LED light display surrounded by water, and Wool. They also loved the twists in the staircases and the Willy Wonka like elevator. It was spacious enough to where the kids didn’t fel like they had to walk on eggshells, it was perfect!

I highly recommend you make this a date with your significant other, a girl’s day, and/or a family fun day! The Broad will not disappoint.

Cheers!

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Playing Ketch-Up

So much has gone on since my last post. Let’s see, I finally received my baccalaureate degree (!), I left my old job of 9 (almost 10) years, started a career in higher education, reduced my circle of friends–not sure how i feel about this quite yet (or why I’m even mentioning it), took on running, and celebrated birthdays galore over the summer break. Much to your dismay, I won’t be touching base on any of the aforementioned happenings quite yet. The next couple of segments might be written out of order: Almodovar style. If you’re familiar with Pedro Almodovar, you know what I’m talking about.

I’ll start with the present and work my way backwards. Summer break is now over and the kids are back in school. Miles started 8th grade, Zoe started middle school (6th grade), and Gael is now in 1st grade. Of course I was a wreck just thinking about how my baby would be left behind all alone to fend for himself. How will he survive elementary school?! Of course Miles put things into perspective one day while I was having a meltdown. He looked at  me and said “I didn’t have an older sibling to watch over me and I survived”. It’s true– Miles you’re a trooper! In the midst of this intense hormonal imbalance meltdown, Gael was nothing but excited to be walking to class on his own like the “big kid” that he is. Last Friday his teacher pulled us aside to let us know how sweet, kind, and how much more advanced Gael is than most the rest of his classmates. I think he’s managing 1st grade quite well on his own. You guys, this is a total humble brag. I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Sometimes as a parent, I’m not quite sure that I’m doing things “right”. But it’s times like these that I’m reminded that we most definitely have done something right. Whew!

I tackled one worry only to have another one present itself. Baby girl was starting middle school. And although she wouldn’t be doing middle school entirely alone, she would still be doing middle school entirely alone. The kids don’t attend their home school, therefore, they both seem to have started all over again. Socially that is. I moved around during the transition between middle school and high school, and I hated every second of it. I remember missing my friends immensely, having trouble acclimating and making new friends. And that’s that I am pretty social. Zoe is a lot more reserved and most definitely an introvert. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I worried that she would have to eat lunch by herself in a lonely restroom stall or something. Is that crazy? I did that and it was awful! Of course I’m just traumatized and haunted by my past and always think that the story will somehow repeat itself, and that petrifies me! Well, fast forward and two weeks in and Zoe suddenly bursts out into tears and begins to sob uncontrollably. Miles walks in, pulls me to the side and whispers in my ear “she’s got the 6th grade blues”.  He described it as “missing old friends and feeling overwhelmed with all the new academic responsibilities that comes with being in middle school. Well, sure enough– that’s exactly what Zoe said it was. Not once did she use the phrase “6th grade blues”. When did Miles become the wise know all about/ have all the answers to life’s questions dude? I asked if he cried during the transition and he of course said “NO”. Zoe is now trekking along this third week and doing outstanding. She’s so naturally independent and responsible. It’s really not fair how easy she makes motherhood for me sometimes.

Last but not least, there’s Miles. He seems to have mastered everything but the balance between academics and a social life. We hit a tremendously bumpy road with him these past two years, but I am certain that this year is a pivotal year for him. And I’ve got to say that Zoe is going to make all the difference. Miles is competitive and there s no way that he’ll let his sister “outshine” him.

All in all, i feel it in my heart of hearts that this will be an amazing year for all three kids. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am already having meltdowns and disagreements with my better half about where we will be sending Miles to high school NEXT YEAR. Ha ha!

Kudos to all you out there holding down this fort we all call parenthood. I hope you and your kids have an amazing 2015-16 school year!

Cheers!

p.s. please tell my I’m not the only mom that has crazy meltdowns about pretty much anything that has to do with her kids.

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August 17, 2015

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