Tag Archives: San Diego

On The Radio!ย 

I started my blog with the intention to show what life could look like when you start over. I wanted to share what it was like to try new things & chase dreams. During a recent visit home, I had the chance to fulfill my dream of being on the radio! 

My friend, Alexia, is on air Monday through Friday on San Diego’s Energy 103.7. She’s been building her career in radio for well over a decade and it’s all come full circle. I introduced her to San Diego about 13 years ago, for a crazy weekend to celebrate her birthday. She (like many) fell in love with America’s Finest City instantly. Now, she’s working her dream job in the city that changed her life. I’m so proud of her! 

When she invited me to come chat on her show, I jumped at the opportunity.  You see, I’ve always wanted to have that, “Hey, what’s up, it’s your girl, Ceci, coming to you live. Up next, we have The Weekend with The Hills…” moment. It felt so good to make that come true. 

  
We spent hours sharing stories of our younger days, of my travels, my tinder-ing & just laughing & catching up. She made me feel like such a rockstar when she asked me questions about my life. 

  
But, for me, it was so much fun watching her in action. She amazes me with how quick she records & edits snippets, how comfortable she is on the mic, and how happy broadcasting to her listeners makes her. It was truly a beautiful thing to witness. 

   
   
  
So, this is my way of saying “Thank you,” to my friend, for allowing me to spend a night in her world, to experience something I’ve always dreamed of, and for being such an inspiration to me & so many others! 

  
  

  
Catch Alexia on air M-F from 7pm-12am PST on 103.7 fm in San Diego, or Energy1037.com worldwide! 

  
Thanks for reading along, everyone.  Make sure to tune in tonight! 

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Gorgon City (San Diego & Philadelphia)ย 

When my ears first heard Imaginiation by Gorgon City, it was love at first sound.  My friend, Miguel (who has now become like my personal DJ, sending me tracks & mixes on a regular basis), first introduced me to the song one wild night in Philadelphia.  I instantly became a fan.  

I played the song and the album, Sirens, on repeat more than my roommates could probably stand.  Sorry guys! I was in love…

 
I’ve played the track for just about everyone in my life, and I’ve made new Gorgon City fans in different parts of the world.  You’re welcome, guys. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Some of those fans, and some of those lands, include my sisters in San Diego, CA.  Luckily, the fine city that I call home would be the group’s second stop for their North American Headline Tour.  I had to go!

My amazing sisters were kind enough to purchase my ticket & call it an early birthday present.  For those of you wondering, I’m a Scorpio. October 25th is the day I celebrate life (along with some of my favorite musical influences).  

Anyway, October was a super busy month for me.  Although I’m famous for always celebrating my “Birthday Month,” this year, I had the chance to work my tushie off, and I took full advantage of that… More on that later. 

The night before the show, after working a long flight from Madrid to Philadelphia, I hopped on a flight from Philly to San Diego.  I wanted to get a good night’s sleep and have lots of energy for the show. 

The excitement was killing me.  I met up with my sisters and we headed to the House of Blues.  We didn’t arrive too early, so, we didn’t have much time with Amtrac before the guys took the stage.  

I wasn’t sure if Kye & Matt (“Foamo” & “RackNRuin”) would be bringing their festival-worthy live singers along on the tour.  So, when I heard Lulu James open the show with her rendition of Real (originally performed by Yasmin on  Sirens), I was elated… & I knew Josh Barry would be hitting the stage soon, too.  

  
As the show progressed, the guys took us on a wonderful musical journey, while Lulu and Josh flexed their vocal abilities, covering lyrics from a wide range of artists who have recorded with Gorgon City.  One stand out moment for me, was when I heard Lulu do 6am.  On Sirens, the track was recorded by Tish Hyman, who has a killer unique voice.  Lulu’s cover was raved about weeks later in Philadelphia, by my flight attendant friends.  We were also quite moved by Josh’s rendition of Unmissable, especially when he went a cappella & had the crowd clapping in unison. 

I was extremely impressed by how much all four artists grew over the course of the tour.  Their movements seemed more fluid & their chemistry was undeniable.  In such a short time, their stage presence had really matured. It was awesome to witness. 

  
The best part of all, is that I got to meet Josh & Lulu after the San Diego show & we chatted after the Philadelphia show as well.  I stayed in touch with them & had the pleasure of catching up with them during a recent trip to London, where I got to witness Lulu’s original music with her all-girl-band.  Keep an eye out for them! 

  
As for now, the Gorgon City guys will be hitting the road again with these two  talented singers tomorrow, as they start their South American Tour.  For dates, ticket sales, and of course, more music, check out GorgonCity.com

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

*Special Thanks to Josh Barry for keeping in touch & taking care of me at the shows… You and Lulu really made me feel at home while I was visiting your home (the lovely UK). I’ll catch you on the road again soon! 

 


***A note to the reader: I realize that we are already in December,  yet, I haven’t shared much of my year with you guys.  So, I’m challenging myself to #30postsin30days.  During this last month of 2015, you’ll hear fun stories about what I’ve been up to.  I hope you follow along! 

Instagram, Twitter and Periscope: @StartingAt30 

For more up-to-date stories, follow me on Snapchat: CcTheStar 

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

The “Atmosphere” in San Diego

After over a month of being away from home, I finally got the chance to return to America’s Finest City. San Diego will always be my favorite place on Earth. It’s where my friends & family are, it’s where my roots run deep. It’s home & there’s no place like home.
It was a short visit, and I wanted to squeeze in as much as I possibly could.
It started with dinner with my family. Then, I spent the night with a good friend at her beautiful home. I woke up to a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and a delicious breakfast. I had lunch with a pal, dinner with friends & family & (thanks to the amazing guys at Rhymesayers Entertainment) I spent the evening at House of Blues San Diego for the North of Hell Tour, featuring Dem Atlas, Prof, and Atmosphere!
I brought Val along (who you met in my Amsterdam post). She loves any live music & she’s always good company. I knew we were in for a good night.

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When we get inside, Prof is rocking the stage. Looks like we missed Dem Atlas, darn it! It’s Val’s first time at HOB, so, we make our way around & check the view from different angles. We choose a spot near the merch booth, off to the side of the stage. That’s when I see Josh. He’s Prof’s tour manager. I met Josh at the G&E show in Boston and I’ve seen him at a few other shows since.

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Prof is charismatic & comedic. He definitely has the crowd’s attention. It’s apparent that his music is well-known in San Diego. Everyone is cheering him on & singing along. He announces that he’ll be signing merchandise & posing for photos after the show. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know that I love & respect artists who take the time to do that!
Now it’s time for the main event… when Ant, Bill & Slug take their places in the spotlight, the crowd goes insane. Atmosphere has sold out every California show…and San Diego is proud to be the first in their Golden State run! We give the guys a welcome as warm as our (perfect) year-round weather. They reciprocate with a flawless performance!
Hitting us with classics & new favorites from their rather extensive catalogue, Atmosphere is metaphorically telling us, “Thanks for stopping by San Diego!” And like the legendary Ron Burgundy, these guys are “kind of a big deal!”

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The energy is on point & the message behind the music is fitting for a crowd that loves diversity. In SD, we have it all within our reach… beautiful beaches, mountains, snow, dessert, amusement parks…& even Mexico. The guys are a perfect fit with their wide range. They can make you scream, bob your head, pump your first, laugh, contemplate life, and connect with one another.

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Thank you, Atmosphere for your dedication throughout the years. San Diego knows you & loves you. We’ve been rockin’ with you since way back. Come see us more often!

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Towards the end of the show, Slug announces that he knows “where the f*ck he’s at,” and how “he knows he can’t leave without a freestyle.” Dem Atlas & Prof return to the stage & the guys go at it! San Diego goes nuts!
With references to our city, the guys grasp our attention. They got us roaring with Anchorman references and with personalized lines. It cracks me up when Slug ends the cipher with “I just hope the Vikings beat the Chargers!” The crowd doesn’t know whether to laugh, to cheer, or to boo. Haha. It’s great. His response, “I told you mother f*ers I’d keep it real with you. Don’t hate me for being a good friend.” Boom! Love him!

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I realized that there’s nothing like catching a show in your home town… Every time the performer mentions your city’s name, you can’t help but scream. When they flip their lyrics to personalize them to their current location, you are elated & you rep your residence!
To me, there’s nothing like hip hop, nothing like live music, and there’s nothing like catching your favorite artists in the city you call home!

You stay classy, San Diego!

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* Special Thanks to Ashanti Abdullah and the staff at Rhymesayers Entertainment for allowing me access to this amazing show!

Get your tickets for a show near you and purchase Atmosphere’s latest release, Southsiders here!

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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…
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When we approach the trail, I take the lead on the narrow path. We’re still indulging in conversation & having a few laughs.
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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.
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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…
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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.

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

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

Across the Country Twice in a Day

My trip from Los Angeles got me back to Philadelphia at 6am EST. I had two full days off…so, I decided to catch a flight back to San Diego. I mean, why take the bus & walk in the cold Philly weather to sleep at my place here, when I could sleep on the plane and wake up in warm, sunny San Diego? Sure, I’d only be home for 27 hours…to me, it was so worth it.
I caught a 6:50am flight to Phoenix and I’d continue on to San Diego from there. I slept the entire flight to Phoenix. It felt great.
My connecting flight to San Diego was full, and since I fly stand-by, I didn’t get a seat. The next flight on my airline didn’t leave for 3 more hours. Another great perk of being a flight attendant is that we can actually fly with other carriers for free, too. So, I called to check flights and there was one leaving in an hour.
As I make my way through the terminal, I text my friend, Valerie to see if she’s available to pick me up. She is. I say I want to go on a hike when I land. She says I must have read her mind…
We head to Cowel’s Mountain from the airport. Valerie & I usually hike beautiful Torrey Pines, but today, we wanted a little more of a challenge. This is her first time. I’m excited to show her something new. Valerie’s fairly new to San Diego, so I love introducing her to different parts of this beautiful city.
Our hike was amazing. We got a great workout & the real reward was the beautiful view when we reached the top.

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After our hike, we’re in need of a nutrition break, so we stop at San Diego Blenders for some fresh juice & an acai bowl.

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Now, we’re off to meet Valerie’s brother & sister-in-law. They’re a cute couple. They welcome me into their home. We have some good laughs & share some travel stories. It’s a beautiful day out & the sun is shining & lighting up the living space. It’s these simple little pleasures that I love so much…It’s good to be home.
Later, my sister picks me up. We have dinner plans. Our friends are always raving about a mariscos restaurant in National City called Rincon del Mar…so, it’s time we try it. My friend Joe agreed to take me. My sister, Monica, and her boyfriend, Chris are joining us.
Since Joe is the expert, we let him order. It’s the right choice. He did one heck of a job at stimulating our pallets.

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After dinner, Joe and I grab a few drinks. We head to a local neighborhood bar, where I run into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a while. Then, my cousin who lives near by stops to visit briefly. It’s such a fun night.

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The next morning is not as fun. Haha. The night catches up to me as soon as my sister wakes me up. I want to sleep more, but I have to get in action & prepare to fly back to Philadelphia. We stop for a lovely breakfast before she drops me off & heads to work.
My younger sister, Angie, has agreed to drive me to the airport. I get to visit with her & my beautiful niece for a bit. I hear all about their fun two-day trip to Disneyland. My niece, Valentina, will be turning 3 tomorrow…It’s nice being able to deliver her birthday gift in person.

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The three of us have a very satisfying lunch – Pho, one of my favorite dishes. After lunch, it’s time to the airport…
This is the hardest part of flight attendant life…saying bye to my family. It never gets any easier…my eyes water every time. There’s something about airports and tears….right?
I go to get my last 2 year old kisses from my niece “while they’re hot,” as Angie says. Then, I hug, kiss and thank my sister for a wonderful afternoon.

I’m on my way back to the east coast for the second time in the last 48 hours…back and forth across the country, as I commute back to base to report for duty. At least I don’t have to worry about traffic! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stay tuned to see where I go next…