California Part 5: A Long Weekend in Long Beach

I recently traveled to Long Beach, California and… I loved it! Have you ever been to Long Beach? I was first of all pleasantly surprised to arrive at an indoor/outdoor airport.

I stayed at an airbnb 4 blocks from the beach. Palm trees. Sunshine. Warmish/Coolish breeze. Friendly people. Fresh veggies and avocado on everything. Yes! I especially loved the Shoreline Pedestrian Bike path which stretches for several miles along Long Beach.

I also loved that my morning walks and runs included passing a neighborhood park with exercise machines. A little morning walk is a game changer! It’s such an easy way to implement exercise and movement into your daily routine.

Some photos from my travels below.

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Feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear any recommendations you have on Long Beach!

The Path of Least Resistance: The Secret Chinese Tea House

Have you ever noticed what happens when you feel inspired? It’s wonderful isn’t it? The adventures you go on, the things you discover, the people you meet.

I encourage you to become aware of the beautiful things that happen and unfold in your life when you’re in a place of joy, inspiration, and happiness. When you act out of those feelings, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the beauty around you.

One cloudy-rainy day my husband and I went on an adventure to the Marble House Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. This seemingly uneventful day turned into the most beautiful adventure. We discovered a beautiful historic Chinese Tea House next to the Ocean that we had no idea existed. We’d never heard of it and it still feels like the best kept secret of the area.

It’s beautiful what you’ll discover when you’re curious and willing to step out into the world, even when it doesn’t seem like it’ll be awesome.

I encourage you. When you’re in that good place, seek what is calling you, what you’re curious about, and I am certain you’ll be excited to see what you find.

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stay curious my friends.

xo!

P.S. If you’re in Rhode Island, here is the address to the Tea House:

596 Bellevue Ave. Newport, RI. 02840

Baby Goats and Remembering Our Truth

It’s so important that we don’t forget who we are. what we love. where we came from.

I wasn’t raised on my grandmother’s farm in Venezuela but it continues to be a place of comfort. I can remember how happy I was as a little girl running around after baby goats, not caring how dirty I got, or how silly I looked.

Remembering what you used to love can be helpful for finding what your passions in life are now. I am an advocate of living in the now, but looking back and remembering how far you’ve made it in life will give you so much hope and inspiration to keep moving forward. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” 

I reminisced the other day about where I came from. How lucky I’ve been in life to even just have the basics: full stomach, warm safe place to sleep, and the ability to learn and grow. You know, these simple pleasures are not a guarantee for many people around the world.

It made me realize that gratitude is a choice we need to make everyday. We should be grateful for the simple things, because isn’t that all there is? So, I am grateful for my dad’s love of photography which caused him to take this photo. I am grateful for my grandparent’s goat farm for they gave me such lovely memories. I am grateful for you, readers, for allowing me to share who I am with you.

I have come far in life, and so have you. I say, let’s make our time on this planet count.

Let’s make the things, and write the words, and speak our truth. Let’s be grateful for what we’ve been given and start from there. Let’s forget our excuses and leave our insecurities and fears aside. They don’t serve us. That’s not who we were as children and not who we should be as adults.

Today, I tell you the same thing I would tell the little girl in the photos below:

Do your thing kid. Run around with goats, wear your snoopy shirt, and smile proudly, for happiness is being true to who you are.

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P.S. If you’ve been looking for a sign from the Universe, this is it. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. xo!

California Part 4: Art Meets Wine Country, Napa Valley

Rolling green hills, clear blue skies, vast views of vineyards, and the most vibrant wild flowers. I’d imagined Napa would be like this, but in person the beauty hits you like a ton of bricks.

Have you ever traveled somewhere and wondered: how did I get here? I mean, clearly you traveled there but, that deep feeling within you where you’re just in awe of how different that place may be from your day-to-day? I felt that way in Napa. It was just so beautiful. I mean, it’s like you-don’t-want-to-blink-because-you’re-scared-you’ll-miss-something beautiful.

I couldn’t get enough of Napa. I’ve also heard wonderful things about Sonoma which is another wine country not too far from Napa.  The photos below were taken at The Hess Collection which is both a vineyard/winery and art museum. Hands down one of the coolest places, inside and outside.

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P.S. That’s an 1800’s typewriter with fire coming out of it. So rad!

P.P.S. If you’ve never been to Napa or Sonoma I’d be happy to share with you some recommendations, or if you have, I’d love to hear about your experiences + recommendations!

California Part 3: On Never giving up and the Golden Gate

It was more beautiful than I imagined.

I’ve driven over a lot of bridges. And, like you, have seen so many photos of The Golden Gate Bridge in movies and TV shoes (Full House, anyone?). I really figured it would be like, “oh cool, I can scratch that off my list”. But you know, it wasn’t like that at all! As we drove closer to the bridge I got more and more excited. I wanted to take photos but not lose the excitement of the moment. I wanted to soak it in. I opted for very few photos and decided to enjoy the drive.

I was still really excited when we got to the other side. There’s a little rest area, Bridge Plaza, that allows you to park and take the very iconic photos we are all used to seeing. The photos of the bridge look like a backdrop. Oh, and the bridge really is as orange as it looks, and a lot bigger than I imagined.

Seeing this bridge in person was like that awesome feeling of accomplishing your goals. Achieving them always seems so distant and far away at first until you get closer to them. And the closer you get, the more excited you become. Just a friendly reminder to never give up on your dreams. Whether you want to accomplish something or go somewhere, keep going. I believe in you.

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happy exploring!

Olivia