As the sun sets on 2013, the days of our lives… KIDDING! No cheese here, just a little travel moment: When I lived in NYC, one of my closest friends was from Vancouver, so I have been hearing wonderful things about it for more than a decade. The food, the people, the mild weather… I was so excited to finally take my first trip there! Even having heard so much about it, I was still surprised that there are beaches right in downtown. I landed in Vancouver already obsessed with the water, having taken the ferry to and from gorgeous Victoria. One of my favorite afternoons was spent at English Bay Beach, also called First Beach. We watched a spectacular sunset, along with many families who were outside, too, enjoying one of the last warm days of the year. I love when a place I expect to be so familiar comes up with lovely surprises.
One of my favorite little getaways I had the pleasure of taking this year was to charming Victoria BC off the coast of Vancouver, to visit my friend of Simone. We spent the first two days just wandering around downtown, visiting one quaint block after another. I loved how everything centered around the vibrant center, which was filled with shoppers, live music, and people just passing the time. It was just what I needed after a few busy weeks in Vegas! No agenda, no schedule, just two girlfriends catching up. I enjoyed the ferry ride into town on the calm, gorgeous waters off the southern coast of Vancouver, and then our relaxing few days being tourists in Simone’s hometown, eating good food, and going out for drinks.
If I had it my way, I would have weekends like that one a lot more often!
Busy, busy, busy… Travel, looking for work, seeing friends in Vegas, spending time in San Francisco. Moving is hard work! So imagine my surprise when, during a 24-hour jaunt to LA, something that sounded like a chaotic whirlwind became quite peaceful. My friend Tiff generously let me stay at her beautiful little house in Redondo Beach, and I fell in love with her garden. It must seem quaint for people sometimes when a desert-dweller exclaims only, “Green!” But that’s what I did. Gorgeous flowers, soft grass, bamboo — and a jolly Buddha.
What more could you ask for in a home garden?
I can’t wait to live near the ocean again, when I move to San Francisco this fall. A water baby Pisces who grew up mostly in Florida and moved to Vegas from Coco Beach, Costa Rica, I have always craved the ocean. Now, after three wonderful years in the desert of Las Vegas, the water fairies are calling me back. After an amazing trip to Seattle and a quick weekend in San Francisco, I am now up in Victoria. My favorite part of the island so far? Right… The water… My camera died right after taking my one obvious shot of nothing but water while traveling with my friend Ethan on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. Today, my friend Simone and I are headed back to the harbor for a day of sightseeing. I am so excited to spend the day on the water and want to scream from the rooftops that I will again be near the ocean.
I am moving to California!!
Gotta love Vegas! As a long-time local journalist, most recently at Vegas magazine for three years, I grew to love the history of my can-do town with a “That’s Entertainment” vibe. And downtown Las Vegas is like no other. I happened to be walking around Fremont Street one afternoon when this little scene made me giggle — two Elvis impersonators VERY upset over something, obviously a permit of some kind or another entertainer stealing their space. I loved that that two Elvis’s were on the same side. They marched right on over to the bike cop together, a united front. They probably should be stiff competition, and maybe they are. But whatever was going on, the almighty bike cop (ha) was as tickled as I was. When I move to San Francisco, I will miss little vignettes like this, ridiculous scenarios I will never see anywhere else. Only in Vegas would you see not one, but two, Elvis singers in full regalia doing something as precious as heatedly petitioning a bicycle cop.
Only in Vegas.
Not sure why I was drawn to this picture today, as it was never one of my favorites. It was taken a year or so ago, on the far south side of the main beach in Coco, Costa Rica, where I used to live. I never much liked how brown the beach looked there, even though all of the boats, many of which I knew and had been on, were so peaceful. But today, it is my favorite picture. The warmth of the brown sand makes me think of the desert surrounding Las Vegas, my favorite city, the place I’ve lived longer than anywhere else my entire life. Yet, I am going to move on, and have just collapsed on my couch after my last day at a job I loved so much. I’ve decided I need to live near the water again and am off to San Francisco. After staring at this photo a bit, I think it represents two very important facets of my life: the career opportunity that has always greeted me in Vegas, and the refreshing ocean air that makes me feel alive. Today, I am on the verge of leaving the former for the latter, a tough decision months in the making, and one I’ve made before.
Desert, beach: When my family moved from Orlando to Albuquerque, my dad always joked that “both had a lot of sand.” I hope they also both hold happiness for me!