Monday, August 3, 2015

Rosarito Weekend Getaway

Colorful casita we stayed in, via Air

My dad's car got stuck in a ditch in this parking lot once. 


My dear friend is a planner just like me.  She makes up her mind, plans and DOES IT.  I really admire that.  One random day, she messages me "want to go to Rosarito"... to which I said, yes, duh.
As a kid, my parents would take my brother and I across the board from what seemed like monthly.  We drove in on a Friday night (smooth crossing, some traffics in San Diego) and made it to our airbnb.  Admittedly we had some trouble finding it. You rely on directions given by the host with descriptions of what to look for. In the dead of night, it was easy to miss some of those details.   

We did it all from Papas and Beer for drinks and bottle service (�� super cheap), horseback riding on the beach, shrimp and fish tacos, shopping and exploring. It was incredibly reminiscent for me. Going to Puerto Nuevo reminded me of the countless times I went as a kid.  Going back to explore gave me some déjà vu moments but also an opportunity to find new spots like the cute coffee shop. 

I got a lot of side eye when I told people I was going. With their main concern being safety.  We were 4 young women and we never felt unsafe. We took cabs into the downtown Rosarito area, the mobile home park had 24-hour security, and we were conscious of sticking together and looking out for one another. We made friends with the Papas and Beer staff and ended up going there twice.  Definitely due to the season (February) it was a bit of a ghost town. 

I write this as the husband and I drive down to Rosarito for a few days. It's much needed R&R and how better than on the beach with a mango on a stick?!

Monday, July 27, 2015

DIT&O Weekend 10

My face says it all. 

I basically haven't had a solid weekend since 4th of July weekend.  But finally, alas!  Some photos of 2 great days to share.   My job in the summer is 24/7, basically, so having weekends is near impossible.  But to retain a bit of my sanity and relieve stress, I'm making sure to make time not working.  So this "weekend" was two non-consecutive days!  My first day "off" in 14 days was this past Thursday and I did exactly what I wanted to do.   Lounged on the beach and went to happy hour for margaritas.  We went to Malibu Lagoon State beach and Casa Escobar, conveniently across the street, after.   

Saturday after sending some of my international groups to Disneyland and Seaworld, John and I cleaned and enjoyed the comfort of just being home.  Wanting to escape the heat and bright sun, we went to Arclight to watch Amy and ate an e-n-t-i-r-e bucket of popcorn.   As a huge fan of Amy Winehouse, it was nice to see the context of the music she wrote.  Accompanying the drama and stories, a song would begin to play and we would see clips of her recording the track or singing it on stage.  

From there we went to DTLA for KCRW's Chinatown Summer Nights.  I'm subscribed to We Like LA's weekly email and it comes in handy when we're looking for something to do other than the usual.  The energy there was incredible.  Everything was COVERED in CONFETTI (my dream come true).  People were laughing, dancing, playing, eating, drinking, it was all magic on a beautiful summer evening.  

I'm doing a much better job at a balance with work and my life, so I hope to get back into my regular-blog post-groove.  

Until then party animals, 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DIT&O Dinner 1: Cena en la Casa Azul Part 2

John reading his favorite Frida quote. 

My parents and I. 

I decided to do this on a separate post because there are so many details to touch upon regarding this dinner.  

First the concept.  

The idea for DIT&O Dinners is to have regular (bi-montly) get togethers hosted at a different location each time.  I've been sitting on this idea for some time and it's inspired by a few different things.  For a short time 2 years ago I worked for Dinner Lab.  With an ever expanding group of people becoming foodies, pop-ups are all the rave.  What Dinner Lab does is take a space, any space, not intended to serve as a restaurant, and host a nice 5 or-so course meal to about 50 people.  Each time a different chef hosts the dinner, drinks are paired to the courses, you get the point, fancy.  And the other source of inspiration was the social networking site Meetup.  I wanted to have a regular meeting of friends, but I didn't want to always be the person hosting, planning and doing everything.   I would of course help the host with coordinating but the theme/concept for the DIT&O Dinner would be up to the host.  

~~Ain't nobody got time for that.~~ 

You may or not know what I do for a living, for my real grown up job, but you can read about it here.  I'm about to start my busiest season, the next 5 weeks will be so, so busy but so rewarding and fun.  I wanted to host the first DIT&O Dinner before it all begins, which was perfect timing for Frida's and my mom's birthday.  

M E N U 

For the menu I used a book perfect for the event, Frida's Fiesta's.  Written by Frida's step-daughter, Guadalupe Rivera, it highlights a menu for every month of the year.  Each menu is preceded by text explaining what they would typically celebrate in that month including stories from Frida's kitchen, conversations Frida would have with her housekeeper Eulalia and experiences from Guadalupe's perspective from her time while living in the blue house.  I went with the June menu and chose the dishes I saw fit for my experience level and accessibility of ingredients.

D E C O R 

I set up the altar in a hutch.  Photos were collected from online sources and printed at Walgreens, my go to for printing on a budget.  Walgreens sends out weekly coupons and the week of the dinner they happen to have deal on poster size prints so I printed 2 high resolution photos of Frida in large format at half price!   All of the little items decorating the altar I have collected over time.  Most of the dinner table decor was found at the 99 cent store (all glassware) or Dollar Tree (place mats and blue vases).  The table runners were reused from the wedding.  I borrowed a lot of platters and dishes from my mom for serving food.   My house plants filled space and provided some natural greenery.

We listened to Spotify's Latin Lounge Playlist and my guests enjoyed cocktails on the patio while I made the last of the dinner preparations.

I had never hosted a dinner party like this.  It was intimate, there were a lot dishes to prepare and with the help of my parents and John pulled it off.  It was such a wonderful evening, I imagined that day what it would have been like to attend one of Frida's dinners in the Casa Azul in Coyoacán.

I look forward to the next DIT&O Dinner.   Now I just need to find someone to host it!


Monday, July 6, 2015

DIT&O Dinner 1: Cena en la Casa Azul Part 1

Feliz Cumpleanos Frida!   

To celebrate my mom's birthday, Frida's birthday, and in the spirit of doing things together and often, I hosted a dinner party, the first of it's kind, "DIT&O Dinners".  

I want to elaborate so much more on this but this will leave this as a teaser with details to come!