Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day Date

I like to spend my days off in my sweats, wearing mismatched socks, drinking wine and watching Netflix as much as the next girl. 


If someone mentions coffee and the beach in the same sentence? Well, I may find a way to make it off the couch, into real clothes and to said mysterious coffee/beach location. 

Actually, it isn't much of a mystery when it comes to Gloria and I. Belmont Park is kind of our jam. 

But don't go telling everyone now.

Ahhh, here it is. My favorite place for iced coffee on the planet. It doesn't hurt that they have some bomb ass breakfast, play my favorite California tunes and provide the best people watching around. I can appreciate a place that can multi-task.

This, my friends, is Woody's. Located in Mission Beach, Ca and one place that I actually start to long for if I stay away too long.

Don't judge. I have an unhealthy addiction to coffee and the beach. Hence me being awake and wearing clothes at this time of day.

We made a friend while we were there.

He invited his friends....we had a little roof top party going on.

After breakfast, our beachy meandering continued. I found hats. I'm a sucker for hats. It's unfortunate I was born in a mostly hatless era, really. 

The sun even graced us with it's presence when we arrived at Seaport Village, just about the quaintest little spot you can imagine!

I made the mandatory stop into The Upstart Crow, a homey book store and coffee shop. I have a soft spot for this place, fueled by it's obvious charms as well as it's stellar coffee menu, buttery croissonts and the fact that they don't mind me frantically typing my history final for 5 hours on their wifi, for free I might add.

 Back into the sunshine we went, in search of bloody marys. These weren't the greatest but they were pretty and the view made up for it.

All in all I'd have to say I didn't think about my lonely sweatpants at home once. And that's a good sign, because really, and I'm being honest here, those pants are some damn comfortable pants. 

You win this round, sunshine/coffee/beach, you win. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Concert Weekend

This past weekend was all about music.

And fun. And friends. And beer. 

But mostly music.

Gloria and I have been sitting on these Blake Shelton tickets for ages and it was finally California country time!

We grabbed our cowboy boots, ice cold beer and hopped into my hemi powered American muscle Dodge sex machine (Technical name, of course. ) and had a boot stompin', cowboy lovin,  two step dancing kind of time. A hell of a concert!

...Even if we may possibly have left early due to irresistible Mexican food cravings. That is neither here nor there, good people!

The next night . Ohhhh Independence Jam! Local San Diego radio station 94.9 put on a concert I would love to go to over and over again. There's a reason this show gets sold out every year, because it's the absolute tits!

So many up and coming rock bands it's impossible not to get caught up in this all out jamathon. (Totally a word).

It doesn't hurt that it's right on the beach in sunny southern California either.

My friends and I arrived late but managed to rock out to Walk the Moon, Bad Suns, and Phantogram. All of whom completely blew me away and had me jumping, screaming and sweating until the very end. Hell yeah.

Once the concert was done the fun people in the crowd ran out to the beach, stripped down to our bathing suits and plunged into the Pacific ocean for a late night swim/Splash fest. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday in September.

Have I mentioned I adore southern California? Ahhh music, sunsets and the ocean, what more can a girl ask for? ❤❤❤❤

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Philippines and the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda

I've thought long and hard about this blog post. I've probably written and re-written and deleted it about 5 times, trying to get the words right. To do justice to the subject.

And I finally realized that the pictures alone can say far more than I ever could. 

So without further ado.. 

This is Tacloban. This is San Joaquin. This is home to hundreds of thousands. 

And this is a small portion of the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda as captured by me, more than four months after the fact. 

This is what the words on the news couldn't describe. This is the result of winds so powerful that they ripped concrete walls apart and grounded cargo ships. This is what 4 months of recovery looks like, and it is sad to think that the majority of people in the world had already forgotten Typhoon Yolanda ever even happened. 

Even I could not really grasp what these people went through, not even seeing it around me brought it home. Not the way the stories did.

Every family member I met had a story of survival, a story of loss, a story of a miracle in the midst of disaster.

This is the future family home of the Almaden family, it was under construction when the Typhoon hit.

Josh's uncle brought us here to tell us his story.  I'm going to keep to the condensed version as there is no way I could possibly do the details justice the way that he did.

But I will say that it was a story of survival ; he rescued the family through winds in excess of 200mph and pulled them from waters rapidly rising to the ceilings of the one story houses... brought them to safety by being prepared for things that no one else was. He has a way of knowing things that are not known, a rather wise and mysterious man and someone that was an honor to meet.

I will also say that it was a story of loss; Not the entire family made it through, along with thousands of others in the city.

But like all stories from this country where strange and unexplainable things happen, it was also a story of miracles. A story where people who seemed doomed were saved. Where strength more than what is humanly possible was found. And a story where people who had just lost everything found a way to give to those in more need than themselves.

Typhoon Yolanda has gone down in history as one of the most powerful storms the world has ever seen. And the destruction of Tacloban is proof of this unfortunate and devastating event. 

But if I learned anything from my trip to the Philippines, it's that Filipinos are strong. They are generous. They are loving. Even in the midst of their troubles, they are welcoming and wonderful. 

And none more so than the Almaden and Makabenta families. 

These families and the rest of the Philippines continue to rebuild what was lost, and things are finally starting to look up, slowly but definitely.

I feel so lucky to have been able to see this wonderful country, hear these incredible stories, and meet the most amazing people.  

Thank you to Josh, and the rest of the Almaden and Makabenta families for making me feel so welcome in your homes, even when so far away from mine. I will never forget.

And to everyone reading this, thank you for letting me share a small portion of this experience with you.