Tag Archives: California

Como la Flor

On the last day of May, I want to share a little bit about how my sisters & I celebrated our wonderful mom for Mother’s Day this year.

We went out to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California and gave her the biggest bouquet she’s ever received. The entire place is filled with colorful petals as far as the eye can see. If you haven’t been out to the flower fields yet, I urge you to visit the beautiful scene. It’s the perfect excuse to wear a pretty dress & take lots of pictures. I hope you enjoy mine…

The Road to Burning Man 

They say your Burn begins the moment you decide to go. If that’s the case, mine started on the east coast, over brunch, only days before my departure. It – like many of mine are – was a last minute decision.  
My friends A&M invited me. I declined. They asked why, and I mentioned the cost being an issue. They countered with a steal of a deal.  Even so, I had no sure way of getting there. Then, they offered me transportation, along with a spot inside the RV that they’d be camping in. All I had to do at this point, was say yes. So, I did. 
My mission was to meet with the group driving the RV. Many of them were traveling from Arizona & making a stop in LA for other virgins (fist-time burners). 

I spent a beautiful day in Venice Beach with my friend, Nick. It was a good feeling knowing that I was dipping in the same ocean that has entertained the likes of Jim Morrison, Evidence & Hank Moody.

Our visit to the beach was only going to be a walk near the waterfront… Or so I thought. I wasn’t dressed in my swimsuit (even though it was packed in my luggage for the dessert). I wasn’t prepared to actually get in the water, which is odd for me, because I know I can never resist jumping in the waves.  

That afternoon, I (re)discovered that you can’t always wait until you’re fully prepared for something. I thought way too long and hard about going in the water before I finally gave in. In shorts, a tank top & a full face of make up, I made my way into the beautiful Pacific. 

I realized that I was only holding myself back from having fun. I know how much I love the ocean, and that I never pass up a good swim, but for some reason, I didn’t take my bikini to one of my favorite beaches…? That’s just insane! 

I had to remind myself that true happiness only comes when you’re doing what you want. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, or how you’re feeling, or whether or not you makeup will look a hot mess. When you get the opportunity to do something you love, you just gotta dive right in… Like right here, right now. 

Here are some candid shots of me letting myself be happy… 

   
 

  
Though I was having a magical day on the west coast, communication from the AZ bunch had ceased and I was worried. I was already nervous about this whole situation. Not hearing from them did not help.  

After a mini panic attack & several attempts at getting in touch with the driver, I found out that the RV was having mechanical issues. They were going to have to delay their departure until tomorrow. 

I decided I would make a night of it & enjoy Los Angeles. I squeezed in a bowling session with Snow Tha Product & the Woke Family. Then, I got a good night’s sleep to prepared myself for the long journey the next day. 

In the morning, I learned that the RV was en route, and would be arriving in the evening. I had time for one more beach visit! I got news that Snow & the Wokes were headed to Venice, so I met them there- this time equipped with my swimwear. After a fun afternoon with my friends & the waves, it was time to get on the road. 

When I first met Leo (the RV owner and driver) I didn’t receive the warmest welcome. Given that I was already nervous about the trip, the rocky introduction just added to my worries. But, even though I felt a bit uncomfortable, I forced myself to board the RV and go through with what I had already agreed to. 

I’ve learned in my recent years that I  should take on my fears. There’s always something great on the other side. So, while fear of possibly being trapped in a dust storm, inhaling too much dirt and dying in the desert in the middle of the night raced in my brain, I was going to Burning Man to see what was in it for me…

Details on my days in Black Rock City will be posted tomorrow. #30postsin30days 

*Special thanks to Nick Morgan for capturing me in my state of bliss.  Your photos are such a gift!  

The Queen Mary

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my recent domestic trips took me LAX.  I had the chance to stay on The Queen Mary in Long Beach & I can’t believe I waited so long to share this post with you.  But, since we’re just leaving Halloween season & since today is Friday the 13th, here’s my story about my stay on the famous haunted ship. 

I landed pretty late at night & was ready to head straight to bed.  I definitely noticed an eerie feeling upon my arrival.  When I got into my room, my initial excitement turned to wonder… & a bit of fear.  I mean this place is known for ghost sightings!  I remember sleeping with the lights & tv on that night. This isn’t uncommon for me, in my states of exhaustion, but this time, it was on purpose.  

I wanted to sleep in a bit, since I’d be working all night, as my returning flight was a redeye.  I wanted to explore the ship & take in as much as I could.  Here are some shots from my 3 hour, audio-guided walking tour.  

 

The view from my room.


  

The longest hallway on board. If you stand at one end, people seem to disappear as they approach the opposite end.

 

 

You can find stories like this posted all around the ship.


 

A bit of history: The original office for the Travel Bureau, from the Queen’s active days at sea.

   
 

This is the view you get while entering or exiting the lobby.

 
 In these next photos, you’ll see shots from the upper & lower decks, as well as some of the control rooms.  It was really cool seeing some of the behind the scenes stuff.  

   
   
   

Radio Control and Communication room.

 
    

A look into where the Captain of the ship used to stay.

   
 
   
  

Walking through the control room all alone, was kind of scary…

  

One of the most haunting places I stood on the ship. This room is the lowest point on the ship & the propeller is actually under water.

  

I captured this shot at the end of my tour, before dinner.


After a delicious dinner on the upper deck, and a beautiful California sunset, I headed to my room to get ready for my flight.    
Thanks for checking out this post. I hope you enjoyed it! 
*Remember, for more up-to-date stories, you can add me on SnapChat: CcTheStar. 

For live feed coverage, follow me on Periscope: @StartingAt30

A Picture Perfect Day in LA

Last month, my friends at Rhymesayers Entertainment invited me out to the Camp Flog Naw Carnival at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Growing up a Raiders fan, I’ve always wanted to see the legendary arena. Sure, it wasn’t an actual game & sure we’d be out in the parking lot area, but hey, it was going to be fun either way.
Camp Flog Naw has hosted this Hip Hop Carnival for the past three years. This year’s line-up was insane. With artists ranging in styles, ages & hometowns from from coast-to-coast, the event had acts for any and all hip hop heads in attendance.
I arrived in time to catch some of my favorites on stage…Step Brothers.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8101.jpg

After their set, I met up with Ashanti to thank him for the generous invite.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_81021.jpg
He told me to head backstage where he’d meet me in a bit. That’s where all the magic happened..!
I walk around, greeting some of my favorite familiar faces. Some of the guys from Rhymesayers (who I met at Soundset) and, of course, some artists fall into that category. I love seeing them all behind the scenes, when they’re just “hanging out” with their peers. It’s beautiful to watch the interactions.
My heart is thrilled when I spot my friend, Evidence… Because he’s seated at a table that’s hosting pure Instagram Royalty. Sure, I want to play it cool and not show too much of my giddiness… But I can’t help but be excited when I notice WatchxWitness (13th Witness & Jason Goldwatch), Madchild, and others…
I carry on a casual conversation with Ev & Madchild. When Madchild asks me to snap a group photo of the guys…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_7374.jpg

I see my opportunity, so, before the moment escapes me, I give in and ask for pictures, too! I start by asking Ev to pose with me. I know him, so, it’s not weird… But here’s the kicker… I ask the legendary photographer & Instagram King, Tim McGurr aka 13th Witness to take the photo. It’s seriously an honor. I love every picture that he (and his girlfriend, Monica Alcarez) posts.
Ev turns to me and asks if I know who that is… I respond with “Yes, that’s the reason I asked him to take the picture.” Ha! He laughs & trades places with Tim. Now I have another Instagram legend (and amazing “Director of Photography“) taking my picture with King Witness himself. I’m stoked!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8103.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8105.jpg

I decide to keep it going at this point… I’m asking one genius after another to snap my picture & to use their talent to capture my moment with each of them:
So, after 13th Witness took my picture with Ev, & Ev took my picture with 13th Witness, Ev snapped me with Madchild, Jason Goldwatch caught me with Murs, and Misha Louy shot a few fun frames of me with Jason Goldwatch!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8106-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8107-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8109-0.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8108.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8111-0.jpg

I got to chat with Jason for a bit and gush over how much I love his work. He captures human beings from all over the world in the most beautiful, authentic way. He captures exactly what I see when I’m traveling the world… unique, wonderful people, all different, yet all the same… He captures a true sense of unity. His work is moving.
I asked him if he ever felt weird taking candid shots of strangers… His response, “I got over that a long time ago.”
*Check out one of my all time favorite Jason Goldwatch videos here.

After my personal photo-shoot, I took some time to walk around the festival to catch some of the live musical acts.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8112.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8116.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8117.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8115.jpg
Locals, Grouch and Eligh made me feel right at home.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8114.jpg
Mac Miller gave me a chance to celebrate my (part-time) PA residency.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8122.jpg

Rick Ross had me & the guys dancing to his hits. Tyler, The Creator (the mastermind & founder of the carnival) made us all feel like kids when he took the stage. His set was a huge bedroom with a ginormous bed. There was definitely lots of jumping around and it felt like play time when beach balls were being tossed around in the crowd.
We stuck around to watch a huge chunk of headliner, Pharell Williams, set. He hit us with a real show. His amazing dancers and the N.E.R.D. reunion kept the crowd thoroughly entertained. It was a great festival, overall. I had a blast.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8118.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/270/63368954/files/2014/12/img_8123.jpg

After the festival, I made my way to Santa Monica with Ashanti, Dem Atlas & his DJ, Justin. I had great time chatting with the guys. They’re all hip hop geniuses & I love their energy.
One of my favorite moments of the night was when I was talking to Josh (Dem Atlas, 22 years old) about his success & how he deals with the guilt of being away from his family. This is something I’ve been experiencing lately… Fulfilling my dreams, and missing precious time with those you love dearly. The answer that this young man gave me was mind-blowing:
What keeps me going is that I know I’m doing all this for them. I’m not doing this for me. You know, I’m doing this for my mom, for my family, for the youth… When I realized that I could actually have whatever I want, that the power is within me, all I could think was, “Ok, what’s next?” Today, I saw so many artists that I admire & I got to talk to them & let them know that I love & appreciate their work…then, I turned around & some kid would be saying the the same thing to me. Like I’m that to them. It’s beautiful!
Well put, young sir. Well put!
We shared a moment discussing The Doors, Jim Morrison, Southern California, music, love & the power within… It was the perfect way to end a perfect day… Well, that & tacos! ūüėČ Thanks, Ashanti.

Thank you for taking the time to read my about my adventures. If you’re reading this, know that I appreciate you. Now, what are your dreams? What’s your story? What’s next for you?

Special thanks to my friends at Rhymesayers, Ashanti, Siddiq, and Skye, for feeding my obsession of hip hop & amazing human beings and for introducing me to people that I connect with and adore like Dem Atlas, Clint Schaff, and so many others linked to the RSE family. It’s an honor to feel so welcomed. Thank you!

Mexicali Taco & Company

This past weekend I finally had the pleasure of eating at LA’s famous Mexicali Taco & Company. I hopped in the car with a couple of my friends & made the forty-minute drive (in Los Angeles traffic) to satisfy our craving for Baja style tacos.
When we arrive, we’re greeted by my good friend (& owner), Esdras Ochoa and his huge smile.
IMG_7949.JPG
I’ve known Esdras since we were in junior high school…before he mastered the culinary arts & was still experimenting with some questionable combinations. Haha! Now, I see his face on TV & get to read all about his success.
Esdras clears a table for us and when he hands us menus, I insist that he surprise us. He’s a great sport. He’s considerate enough to ask a few questions about diet restrictions & then he heads to the kitchen. He sends out a variety of delicious options of carne asada (beef), chicken, and pork…
IMG_7951.JPG

We tried every salsa available & devoured every bite of our food. The famous flour tortillas (which are exported from tortillerias in the Baja region) added undeniable authenticity to our meal. It was amazing and I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in LA.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you have to stop by 702 N. Figueroa Street to try these tacos!

For more information (including menu, hours, location and contact) visit MexicaliTacoCo.com.

*Special Thanks to Esdras Ochoa for a wonderful meal, for your kindness, warmth & generosity…and for being such a great friend. Congratulations on all your success. I’m so proud of you!

Thanks for reading, everyone. Happy eating!

New Me, No Excuses

So, I turned 31 over a month ago. I wasn’t feeling so good and I had to take some time to reset & heal. I dedicated two full weeks to getting healthy & back on track. I spent the time back home, in San Diego, where I saw my doctor, my dentist, my hairdresser & my trainers (and family & friends, of course).
Working in the airline industry, time literally flies. Before you know it, things in life can fall out of integrity and affect your overall well-being. Seeing my doctor made a huge difference for me, my dentist brought my smile back to life, and my hairdresser & trainers sent me back to Philadelphia looking & feeling like a new woman.
I worked hard and attended classes five nights a week at NXPT (No Excuses Personal Training) in San Diego. I met Dan and Richie back in May 2012. I was instantly attracted to their style of teaching & the unique workouts they offered. The guys are so charismatic and so much fun. They really care about their clients and about getting them results. It’s evident that they absolutely love what they do. They’ve actually been voted the best Boot Camp in San Diego two years in a row.

IMG_7925.JPG

I was the healthiest I had ever known myself to be that summer. I changed my eating habits, my social habits (I even quit smoking), and I was in amazing shape. Over the past year & a half, since becoming a flight attendant (& being away from that environment), I found it challenging to keep up with my new (healthy) habits…
So, I’m making it a point to get myself back to where I want to be. The guys hooked me up with a 21 day supply of Herbalife shakes & Proven Nutrition supplements for weight loss & muscle recovery (which they sell in-house).

IMG_7919.JPG

After two weeks of consistent training, I lost close to 5 pounds! It was a great start… I’m only 5’1″, so, five pounds makes a huge difference.

IMG_7920.JPG

As a bonus, I got to experience this all with my mom & sister, who are also members at NXPT and big fans of the guys, too.

IMG_7918.JPG

Since returning to flying, I’ve been pretty good with working out on my own. Of course I took a little “turkey” break for Thanksgiving, but I’m back in my routine now. Since this isn’t a health and fitness blog, I’m not going to document my progress through my posts, but I’m hoping my progress will show itself through my pictures…

For more information about NXPT, Herbalife and Proven Nutrition supplements, & health tips, head to nxptfit.com and subscribe to their newsletter.

Special thanks to Dan, Richie and the entire staff at NXPT for all that you do. You guys are so inspiring and you are definitely my favorite trainers in the whole wide world!

I’d also like to acknowledge my hairdresser of 16 years, Brisa Ramirez. After all these years, your magic still amazes me. You are a true artist & I love my hair. Thank you! If you’re in California, you can contact Brisa here.

IMG_7916.JPG

Thank you all for reading along. I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season & new year up ahead! Do you have any resolutions that you’re putting in place before 2015?

Love Haight

I just got back from a short visit to San Francisco. It was amazing. My good friends, Ryan & Brian, just had twins & I just had to meet them. I mentioned before, that Ryan was a huge inspiration to me when it came to traveling & seeing the world. She’s a special person in my life.
Even with brand new babies & lots of feedings and diaper changes, plus some bathroom remodeling & a full house, she knows how to make me feel completely welcome & at home.
I made a quick, last minute decision to head to California to visit. I was greeted with a delicious dinner with the entire family (Ryan, her husband, the new twins & Ryan’s mother-in-law) at a restaurant in Sausalito with a killer view of the city (forgive the absence of photos). We had invigorating conversations of family, and of course, travel. It was great to catch up.
The next day, the plan was to spend some time in the Haight Ashbury District…a place I’ve always dreamt of seeing…
When we arrive, we park near Amoeba Music and start our walk through the historic neighborhood. Ryan’s mother-in-law tells us that she’s excited to be here, too…she lived through the Summer of Love & has wanted to visit the district for almost 40 years. It’s a first for all of us.
The walk up the street if full of diverse music & fun fashion. We stop to grab lunch at El Faro (they let me feed my Mexican food craving). I We devour every bite, before continuing our voyage.

IMG_5460.JPG

We pass by all the cute shops, the hippies – locals and tourists- & loud music to get to the famous corner of Haight & Ashbury, where we stop to snap some photos.
It’s exciting, it’s nostalgic & it’s just plain beautiful…

IMG_5458.JPG

IMG_5457.JPG

IMG_5455.JPG

IMG_5454.JPG

The smell of “herbs” in the air, the variations of music, and the fun crowd make for such a great experience. I’m in love & I’m pretty sure I’ll live here someday.
After our adventure, we head home to feed the babies & prepare for dinner. I get to know grandma a little more… She’s actually the one who inspired Ryan to travel so much, so, it’s great to hear her stories..!
There’s one story, in particular, about how she wanted to fly for Pan Am after college that touches me. It’s amazing to hear about such a pivotal moment in her life…
Dinner leads to more stories & quality time. The food is delicious & the conversation is just as indulgent.
The night ends with dad & I drinking “Mexican Ashtrays” & playing games as mom, grandma & babies sleep. Then, we feed the twins before we head to bed.
In the morning, after a quick visit with the ladies & babies, I’m off to the airport…back to Philadelphia, back to work… This is always the hard part. But, alas, I know I’ll be back & I’m
Looking forward to it.
There’s no place like home & nothing like friends & family…

Thanks for reading, everyone. Peace & love!

A Big Weekend Back Home

I was recently home for a weekend visit. As I mentioned before, the plan originated when I got an invite for my friend, Ryan’s, baby shower. I met Ryan in 2008, at new-hire orientation for a bank we worked at. We’ve been friends ever since. She’s a world traveler and always inspired me (and encouraged me) to see the world. She had a huge influence on my decision to become a flight attendant. Now, she’s having twins, a boy and a girl. It’s exciting!
I wanted to make the most of my time in California. I knew that I was going to be reunited with lots of my girl friends at the baby shower and I wanted to make time for family, too.
I have a lot of family in Northern California. Growing up, I was raised with my mom’s side of the family who live about an hour and a half east of San Francisco in the city of Modesto. As for my dad’s side of the family, many of them live about an hour and a half south, in Watsonville – where I was born.
Recently, thanks to social media, I’ve reconnected with some of them. We’ve been making an effort to reach out and to get know each other. So, we planned a gathering for the day after the baby shower. I was looking forward to reuniting with some of them…& meeting some of them for the first time.
Other than a quick stop on my drive down Pacific Coast Highway, back on my 30th birthday, I hadn’t been back to Watsonville in over 20 years.
My trip started with a visit back home to San Diego. That’s when I had the chance to take my mom and my little sister to their first ever hip-hop show
The morning of the baby shower, I catch an early flight to San Francisco. When I land, I discover that Ryan’s having a bit of a busy morning. Something’s aren’t going as planned, but that doesn’t stop her. She’s expecting friends and family from all over to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Ryan’s house is beautiful! It looks like those homes you’d see on the cover of a magazine. The decor is equally as beautiful… our friend, Aimee, is a master of design.
The party plays out in such a lovely way. I’m reunited with friends (who started as co-workers at the bank) and I get to make new ones over yummy drinks and delicious food.

20140513-080555.jpg

20140513-080641.jpg

20140513-080650.jpg

20140513-080656.jpg

20140513-080710.jpg

20140513-080716.jpg

That evening, a few of us head into the city & grab dinner. Then, a couple of us head to a show.

20140513-081030.jpg

The next day, most of us reunite for a delicious Sunday brunch at Bin 38. (I’m reminded of the fun tradition we used to have when we all lived in San Diego…good times). We share recaps of our night and indulge in wonderful conversations…& mimosas.

20140513-081147.jpg

20140513-081200.jpg

20140513-081338.jpg

After brunch, most of us will leave San Francisco to return home. For me, it’s family time…

20140513-081458.jpg

20140513-081522.jpg

My two (very generous and patient) cousins offer to drive me. They live in Watsonville & make the trip just for me. They’re awesome!
When we get to my family’s ranch, I’m greeted by cousins, aunts, uncles…and amazing food! It’s great seeing everyone again…and it’s nice to finally meet some of them. They’re all warm and welcoming…and they make sure I’m well-fed, as they continue to bring food from the grill to our table. I’m surrounded by cousins, laughter & great stories. I gotta tell you, I have some amazing cousins!
The party moves inside & I share a bottle of Puerto Rican rum from my travels. We continue to bond & catch up…it’s great getting to know them all better. We take some pictures… well, lots of pictures (on lots of cell phones) before everyone heads home.

20140513-081748.jpg

A few of us cousins stay up for girl talk with my aunt. Later, we interrupt one cousin’s study session to go on a fun late-night run for coffee & donuts. It’s the perfect way to end the night!
I have to catch a flight back to Philadelphia in the morning. A couple of my guy cousins have offered to pick me up at the ranch & drive to the airport…in San Jose! Again, a very generous offer.
Before we hit the road, my aunt makes sure that we all have breakfast. We take our places at the table as she brings over course after course. It’s quite the spread. I’m humbled by the hospitality & I’m really enjoying this wonderful meal with my family. I feel like a kid again…
In San Jose, we stop to visit my godparents. I haven’t seen them since my age was in the single digits. We visit briefly, chat a bit and play around on their mini motorcycle. It’s great being a kid again!

20140513-082214.jpg

As we prepare to head to the airport, I realize that I’m missing something…my uniform! I left it in Watsonville, hanging in my cousin’s closet. Luckily, a couple of my cousins are heading our way. So, after a delicious cup of Phil’z Coffee & lunch at the famous Falafel’s Drive In (& maybe just a little panic attack) I’m off to the airport.
In the end, everything worked out…I had a wonderful visit back home. I got to see so many people that I love, meet so many new ones, and reconnect with distant relatives. Such an amazing trip!

Thanks for reading along, everyone. I really hope you enjoyed this post.

My Morning Hike With Mom

During one of my recent (impromptu) visits home, I had the pleasure of having my mom all to myself…
It’s a beautiful morning in San Diego, CA (as usual). My mom has just prepared a delicious breakfast of eggs, veggies, papas, coffee & tortillas. My sister, Monica, popped in for a bite on her way to work. When she heads out, it’s just Mom and me until my flight later.
I want to make this time count…I’m wondering what we could do to make our morning even more special. Then, I have an idea…I look over at my mom & ask if she’d like to go on a hike and enjoy the beautiful weather before she takes me to the airport. She seems thrilled!
We get dressed in a hurry. We want to get out as quickly as possible. I drive, since I know exactly where I want to take her. It’s a familiar route. Torrey Pines is my favorite places to hike in San Diego (especially Broken Hill Trail). It’s just such a beautiful view…
We park near the beach. I can smell the salt in the air and a gentle breeze is blowing. The sound of the waves crashing is soothing and I’m happy to be here with my mom. It feels good to be home!
We start our walk to the national reserve and I realize that I have a question for my mom…”Have you ever even been hiking?”
“No,” she answers. I can’t believe it… & Now, I’m really excited! It’s such a treat to introduce my mom to something new & beautiful.
We’re having a great conversation & catching up as we make the uphill tread to the trail. I love my talks with my mom. She’s very animated when she shares her stories. (Especially the ones that are funny…she can barely make it through, because she’s laughing so hard). I enjoy watching her & hearing her express herself.
We take our time on our walk. I want to show her the different views & Just let her take it all in. It’s still a nice little workout…
20140510-194229.jpg

20140510-195256.jpg20140510-194237.jpg20140510-194244.jpg

When we approach the trail, I take the lead on the narrow path. We’re still indulging in conversation & having a few laughs.
20140510-194825.jpg20140510-194832.jpg20140510-194842.jpg

Because I know what to expect, I stop ask my mom to take the lead as we approach the end of the trail. I probably shouldn’t admit this, because it’s kind of a *spoiler alert* but, I always get a kick out of doing this to Broken Hill Trail first-timers. The trail is true to it’s name…it literally just breaks off…and you’re left at the ledge…with a breath-taking view.
20140510-195001.jpg20140510-195008.jpg20140510-195015.jpg

I’ve seen different people react differently to this…some are immediately impressed by all the beauty around…others get scared when they see the sudden plunge in the trail. Either way, I always get a kick out of it!
As for my mom, she’s just calm…there’s a smile on her face & she seems at ease. It’s nice. We stand & enjoy the view for a while…& of course, snap a few pics…
20140510-195105.jpg20140510-195112.jpg

We head down another trail that leads to the beach & head back to the car. It’s time to shower & get ready for my flight. It’s always hard to leave this paradise I call home…especially after moments like this with my amazing mother.

20140510-195248.jpg

Feliz Dia De Las Madres, Mama. Te quiero mucho!

& Happy Mothers’ Day to all of you beautiful moms out there!

Sick Jacken in San Francisco

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a few days off & was spending time back home, in California. So, when I saw that Sick Jacken was going to be in San Francisco on the same night I’d be there, I knew I had to catch the show.
*You know Sick Jacken from the hip hop group Psycho Realm
I was in town for a baby shower for one of my favorite friends, Ryan. She’s having twins and we’re all so excited. It was great being reunited with so many lovely ladies. My friend, Nadia came as a surprise. I was so happy to see her! Nadia & our mutual friend, Jessica, booked a room in the city and invited me to stay with them. Nadia even agreed to accompany me to the show…now I’m really excited, because it’s her first hip hop show ever! I love it when things just work out.
We decide that we’re going to walk to the show & enjoy a little bit of the city. After a sushi dinner, we start the tread from Union Square to the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. It’s a beautiful night in the city…even along some of the “questionable” streets we pass. Lol.
20140504-172350.jpg

We get to the venue just in time to catch rap duo, I.L.A.M. The guys (Trey C & Playa Rae) are really working the crowd. It’s a small, intimate show (my favorite) and there’s a great vibe in the space. It’s the perfect setting for the next MC to hit the stage. Reppin’ for the ladies, is Gavlyn. During her set, she’s joined by special guest, Oh Blimey, to perform a fun track entitled “Ew.”
20140504-172541.jpg

20140504-172555.jpg

Next up is Bambu. I’m stoked to catch his set, since I missed him at the Observatory the night before. He has a great stage presence; very entertaining. I’m super excited when he introduces his special guest…his “baby momma,” Rocky Rivera. They have great chemistry (obviously) & are a lot of fun to watch.

20140504-172751.jpg

20140504-172805.jpg
Now that the crowd is hype, it’s time for the headliner to take his place. When Sick Jacken takes the stage, the crowd goes nuts…or should I say Psycho…? ūüėČ This guy is simply captivating.
Almost everyone in the audience is dressed in black, & wearing either the Psycho Realm, Soul Assassins, or Oakland Raiders logos (which I’m sure are all directly inspired by Sick Jacken’s wardrobe). Hands are in the air & heads are bobbing as the crowd joins in on spitting lyrics from classics like El Barrio from The Legend of the Mask & the Assassin (Sick Jacken’s collaboration with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill). More crowd favorites from Terror Tapes Vol. 1 are performed & Sick Jacken tests just how psycho the attendees are when he goes on to perform tracks from Terror Tapes 2.
The whole show is very entertaining & Nadia & I are having a blast. When it’s time to wrap up, Sick Jacken (like other favorite artists of mine) takes the time to meet & greet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. I get the honor of chatting with him after the show & having a drink with him & some of the other performers in the green room. We discuss music, food, family, travel, and even more opportunities for future blog posts.
I treated our conversation as a casual one, not an interview, so, I won’t quote anything here. I will, however, say that Sick Jacken loves menudo! Lol. He’s a funny guy, with a big heart and a great smile. I look forward to sitting with him in the near future for an official interview. Stay tuned…!

For upcoming events, follow Sick Jacken on Instagram and Twitter

Thanks for reading along, everyone!

20140504-172910.jpg

20140504-172918.jpg

20140504-172928.jpg

20140504-172937.jpg

20140504-172944.jpg

A very sincere Special Thanks to Joaquin “Sick Jacken” Gonzalez for granting me access to the show!

Special Thanks to Federico, for special accommodations.