1,300 Miles Away from Home

I’m moving to Texas! And it isn’t an April fools’ joke. Actually, I have been in Austin for three nights and two days.

The crazy part is that I moved here without ever visiting the city, let alone the state of Texas. The only other time I can think I did something as spontaneous was when my family and I decided to move to San Diego from Mexico City. One day we packed our bags, jumped on a plane and moved.

I spent 14 years in sunny San Diego. It is hard to say goodbye to great weather, beautiful beaches, and above all my family, my boyfriend & my dog, but sometimes you just have to take a risk and follow your dreams, or in this case a dream job?…well I can update you on that one once I start working.

Will I become an Austinite, or will I forever be a San Diegan?

On my way to Austin

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Standing Alone on a Mountain Peak

I’m exhausted, dusted in dirt, possibly dehydrated, and my wobbly knees gave in. This after my three-hour hike to the top of Iron Mountain in the city of Poway. Lately, I’m trying to rediscover what makes San Diego County great.

Even though I don’t like running or hiking, I found out that the trail system in the city of Poway is one of the finest in Southern California.

Multi-use trails allow bicyclists, hikers, walkers, and horseback riders to mingle along the 6.5 mile trip to the Iron Mountain Peak Trail. The 2,696 -foot peak allows hikers to touch the sky, and I feel like I’m on top of the world! 

Once at the summit, breathtaking panoramic views of San Diego County make the trip worth it!

Mexican Folk Art on Wheels

Vochol

Vochol

He has a mind of his own and is capable of driving himself. Who can forget the red, white and blue stripes, and the number 53 on its front trunk.

This iconic racing beetle became famous in the 1968 film “Love Bug.” Now Herbie’s long lost cousin, Vochol is catching up to him!

Vochol is a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle covered in 2,277,000 colorful plastic beads. And it has made his first international stop right here in San Diego!

You can catch a glimpse of Vochol at the San Diego Museum of Art until March 11. That’s before he takes off to other highly respected art institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris.

Vochol comes from the popular term for Beetles in Mexico, “Volcho” and “Huichol” the common name for the Wixáritari indigenous group of Western Central Mexico.

It was no easy task for the eight Huichol artisans that worked on this project. They clocked in 4,760 hours and took about seven months to finish it. The project was sponsored by the Asociación de Amigos del Museo de Arte Popular (AAMAP) along with different public and private agencies.

Besides beadwork, the Huichol crafts include embroidery, weaving, hats, and pray arrows.

The Huichol are very spiritual people and their work is often an extension of their faith. For example, images of two snakes above the clouds can be seen on the hood representing rain, the sides show the gods of the sun and fire. The roof has a big sun and four eagles representing the union of man and the gods.

But wait…here’s the best part! Vochol can be yours if you are interested in buying it as it will be auctioned off in Mexico City. Time to break off the piggy bank!

I know I would love driving this bug around town!



Mangia Bene! Farmers Markets at Home & Abroad

Growing up I remember my mom didn’t buy her meats, fruits and veggies from the big chain grocery stores. She actually went to “El Mercadito” (local market) that was set up in la Noria (a neighborhood in Mexico City.) 

I have fond memories of joining her for her weekly food shopping trip on Sundays.

Perhaps that’s the reason I like farmers markets so much when traveling abroad. They reflect the area’s culture and economy.

I enjoy everything in between, from the little stalls with bright and bold vegetables, to the meat stands, to the booths of bulk spices that fill city blocks.

It seems these days Americans are craving food grown locally and farmers markets in the U.S. have sprung all over the country. According to a recent article I read on National Public Radio, there are over 6,000 farmers markets across the U.S. That’s a 250 percent increase since 1994.

Produce at farmers markets is known to be super fresh and locally grown. Markets benefit farmers, helping them stay in business and supporting the local economy. Farmers markets preserve natural resources as food has less packaging and it travels fewer miles, and they also help consumers as well by providing them with a variety of healthy and fresh products.

These are a few shots of farmers markets during my travels in St. Tropez, MarseilleVeracruzVenice and of course here in San Diego.


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Meditation Gardens

The greatest influence in your life, stronger even than your will power, is your environment. Change that, if necessary. Until you are mentally strong, you can never be what you want to be without good environment to help you. Paramahansa Yogananda

"Ming Tree"

“Ming Tree”

For my birthday, I really wanted to do something different, something that would refresh my spirit and my mind. Oh boy, was I blown away by the beauty of the meditation gardens in Encinitas, about 20-25 miles from San Diego. I was so glad my boyfriend’s mom told me about them. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have ever heard about them. This is truly a hidden gem in San Diego, a great place where one can truly appreciate silence and its power.

The meditation gardens are part of the Self-Realization Fellowship Retreat and Hermitage.

The Encinitas Center was founded in 1937 by Paramahansa Yogananda, this super cool poet and philosopher who came to the U.S. from India in the 1920’s, bringing with him his meditation teachings.

Besides a vast array of plants, trees, and flowers, there are several ponds with mini waterfalls housing huge Koi fish who like to stick their heads out begging for food, or maybe trying to get pet!