Music is Life

Coachella Music Festival 2001

As I creep closer and closer to being half a century old I sometimes forget what it was like to be in my 20’s. I was so young and did not have a care in the world.

Attending the ‘KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas’ this past Sunday brought me back to that time instantly with two of my favorite bands among the headliners – “Weezer” and “Green Day”. The last time I saw Green Day was back in 1997 at a small venue called the Palace in Hollywood. The last time I saw “Weezer” was at the festival “Coachella” in the desert in 2001.

I wonder how so much time had passed without seeing these bands again. I know —something called life. My husband once told me that I was too old to keep going to concerts like I once did. I disagreed with him, but with that being said, I am lucky to attend a concert once every other year.

You know….there is something really special about music. It can bring back memories all so quickly. Dancing around at that concert I was instantly transported back to my 20’s. I was carefree without a worry in the world and at that moment I knew everything would be all right. Life is so darn busy and stressful at times, but listening to Rivers and Billie Joe still singing all these years later, I drank my beer, smiled, and cheered to good times… and there are so many more ahead!!


US Open of Surfing 2016 – Photo Fun

For the last five years I have taken my kids to watch ‘The US Open of Surfing’ competition in Huntington Beach. Each year we have more fun than the year prior and this past year was no exception.

We now attend the first weekend of the event when the Junior Pro Surfers hit the waves. We stay the whole weekend enjoying the event.

Today I would like to share photos from our trip down south to Orange County.

Day 1

The kids with Duke Kahanamoku

A visit with Duke Kahanamoku on our way to the beach

Huntington Beach Pier

Photo opportunity on the Huntington Beach Pier

Fogged in

Too much fog for the surfing to begin!!!

Vans Umbrella Give Away

Free umbrella compliments of the Vans Retail Shop. We love you Vans!

A Winner!!!

Someone won a pair of Vans tennis shoes playing this game. My kids’ rock!!!!

Dairy Queen Girls

Lunch at Dairy Queen where my daughter catches up annually with their youngest employee!!

Lunch US Open of Surfing Style

More freebies!!! Hotdogs compliments of the US Open of Surfing. We brought lunch back to our neighbor on the beach.

Open Sky

Finally some sun and the surfing has begun

The Bowl

We visited ‘the bowl’ and saw some juniors’ skateboarding

Day 2

Our amazing day meeting some of the Junior Pro Surfers !!!!!!!

Girffin Colapinto and fan

One last awesome photo that was taken by a World Surfing League photographer!

Cannot wait to go back in 2017!

Pacific Edge Hotel- Laguna Beach

Pacific Edge Hotel

The Pacific Edge Hotel is a beachfront property in Downtown Laguna Beach, California. The property is not the newest or the fanciest or the cheapest, but it has an amazing location, great amenities and helpful staff. Prior to booking the Pacific Edge Hotel I completed a thorough internet search and chose this location for a Girls’ Weekend Getaway this past summer. It was the perfect choice for our group!

My friend and I made our way from Los Angeles to the hotel, which is located at 647 South Coast Highway, by taking a relaxing drive along Pacific Coast Highway. Arriving at the Pacific Edge we parked at the valet located near the entrance of the hotel. The young gentleman working here was attentive and friendly and guided us to the lobby. Parking is $30/night and we were happy to drop our car off for two nights as we were in a central location and planned to walk and take the free shuttle around town.

The hotel itself is spread between three buildings with two valet parking locations. We had a Partial Ocean View Room with Two Double Beds. Our room was in the same building as the lobby and we enjoyed relaxing on our balcony with a drink catching up, enjoying the sun, and taking in the ocean view. We did take time to explore the property and located the two pools on-site as well as the two restaurants: “Driftwood Kitchen” and “The Deck”, both of which were oceanfront!

Partial Ocean View- Pacific Edge Hotel

Looking Out From Our Partial Ocean View Room

During our stay we did not have enough time to visit the pools or the hot tub, but one morning we did make our way to the beach and enjoyed the beach butler who set us up with lounge chairs with cushions, umbrellas and beach towels just steps from the ocean. Speaking of the ocean I enjoyed going for a swim and having the option of going to our room to quickly clean up. I did take advantage of the on-site towel service too as one friend went to pick up towels for us near the lower level pool.

Beach Butler Service

Beach Butler Service

The Mighty Pacific Ocean

Ocean Views are Incredible in Laguna Beach

We did have the opportunity to enjoy the “The Deck” for dinner on our second evening at the Pacific Edge Hotel. The bar and tables were pretty packed prior to our seating, but we were able to grab drinks and sit on couches inside one building that connected us to the restaurant. We did miss the sunset sitting outside, but we had great views from this spot as well. I would recommend arriving earlier to this location should you want to catch the sunset while dining.

"The Deck Restaurant"

The Deck Restaurant

I have no complaints about our stay. The only suggestion I would make is for the valet drivers downstairs by the restaurants to slow down a bit while driving on the property. Cars are strategically parked along the property and there are many cars coming in and out. I did feel a bit in danger crossing between the upper and lower buildings going to the beach and restaurants.

I look forward to returning to the Pacific Edge Hotel again for a beach style vacation, whether it is with my girlfriends or my family. It is a hotel that anyone can enjoy with or without their families.

Sawdust Art Festival 2016

VW Bus

I was fortunate enough to visit the Sawdust Art Festival, which is held in Laguna Beach, California, for the first time this summer. The festival ran from June 24th – August 28th. I highly recommend visiting this event if you are in Orange County over the summer. The venue is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road and is a short walk from Main Beach, or you can take the Laguna Beach shuttle here if you opt not to park on sight amongst the many metered parking spots. There is also satellite parking with shuttle service available.

There is an entrance fee of $9.00 which I found to be reasonable. Walking through the door we were greeted by a colorfully decorated VW bus. This is a great photo opportunity, and yes, we did have to stop to take a photo ourselves. There are 140 booths located around the grounds and a map to help guide you. In addition you can find interactive areas (glass blowing, pottery making, children’s’ area) and a stage with various shows. The day that we visited there was a magician and live music. My friend knew the magician so we sat front row to watch his entertaining show.

Attending art and craft festivals on a regular basis in the Los Angeles area I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Sawdust Festival. The woodsy area where the festival is set was somewhat cool with the shade, the booths had great art (from affordable to out of my price range), and there was a food and drink area on the grounds as well. This was the 50th anniversary of the festival and I thought everything was well organized.

There is a Winter Fantasy Festival put on by the Sawdust Festival as well and I am contemplating returning with my family one weekend that it runs.

The Magician (left) Glass Blower (right)

Lunch Time

Lunch Time

Ages and Stages- Part II

Surfer Statue- May 2013

Surfer Statue - August 2013

Spring 2013

Surfer Statue- November 2013

Winter 2013

Time is passing by and I see my kids continuing to grow up. It is a happy moment for me, but sometimes I think back to when they were younger and needed me more. It is an internal battle as I want them to be independent and less reliant on my husband and I; but I also will always want those big hugs and that look of being one of the most important people to them.

As time passes there still remains one constant for us; they still love “the surfer” statue that is located in Hermosa Beach, California. The statue is a tribute to Tim Kelly, a local surfer and lifeguard, who passed at the age of 24 years old. I truly believe that no matter what age my kids are they will continue to hop up on this statue- and I will continue to take photos of them.

These are my most recent pictures of them enjoying the statue and just being silly kids.

Surfer Statue- May 2014 (2)

Surfer Statue- May 2014

Surfer Statue- July 2014

Spring 2014

Surfer Statue May 2015

Spring 2015

Surfer Statue-Dec 2015

Winter 2015

***”Ages and Stages Part I” can be viewed here***

Will She Ever Learn How to Glide?


All the talk these days from my daughter is that she would like to be a professional ice skater. Before I go on I must take partial credit for this. This winter we have been ice skating as a family three times which is a record for one year. We usually hit the ice once a year in honor of the Christmas holidays.

Growing up in the Midwest I learned how to ice skate as a kid and often took advantage of any piece of frozen water in the yard to practice! Having my Southern California kids know how to ice skate seems like a good idea.

Recently my husband said that our daughter should take up another sport to supplement volleyball. By chance I picked up a flyer about ice skating lessons. Four days later I signed her up for lessons. She is having a lot of fun with the sport and is exercising at the same time.. just lovely! She now has an ambition of being a professional ice skater (What happened to the two plus years of volleyball we have done??!!).

And then I think, “Will she ever learn how to glide?”

Outside Skating

Alive and Well in 2016

It is January again – this time in the year 2016.  Where did the time go? I was so caught up with life for the second half of 2015 that I did not have time to check in on WordPress.  But that was then and this is now…

Many things have not changed for me.

I am still dreaming of visiting Paris where I have not been in almost five years come this summer.  The attacks there this past November broke my heart and made me question what is the world coming to?  Having a handful  of friends living here I quickly checked in to make sure everyone was okay and am glad to report none of them were affected.

trocadero fountain

My kids keep growing and growing.  We have survived the first trimester of fourth grade and first grade – playing a season of soccer, school volleyball and cheerleading. This month I am looking forward to volleyball lessons and our second season of baseball…. and perhaps ice skating lessons for one or both kids.  We have to keep those little ones busy.

I have not left the state of California this year, but I have managed to travel a bit around this fair state’s borders.  Luckily one of my favorite cities ever is San Francisco and I have been there twice since June- once by myself meeting up with girlfriends, and once with my family meeting my parents, one of my brothers and catching up with girlfriends.  I truly am blessed.  I also made my way to Santa Barbara with the kids.  I am sure these outings along with other items occupying my time and thoughts will pop up in my future postings.

giants game

My hope is to blog once a week in 2016. Let’s see how I hold up…..

golden gate bridge