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

 

California Part 2: Remembering My love for Science at the California Academy of Sciences

I believe we are born curious.

Were you ever interested in science? Well, I used to love science. I distinctly remember wanting to learn more about biology, animals, and nature. Unfortunately, for me, those embers did eventually die as a middle schooler. I didn’t know any Latina scientists with my cultural background and I found it hard seeing myself as a scientist. Looking back now, I would’ve told young me to study whatever she wanted, but as a middle school girl seeking a sense of belonging and a desire to fit in, pursuing science would’ve done the opposite.

That curiosity did follow me as an undergrad when I took a course titled “Chemistry and Society” which I totally loved. It made chemistry real and accessible. Then, in graduate school I pursued my love of astronomy and read many articles on the biological sciences.

Although a career in science was not in my future, I love that I can still enjoy the beauties of science in museums and every day life. To me, science is about being curious. It is about being so curious that you will do whatever possible to understand the why and how of something. Science truly is for everyone.

I am thankful for places like the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco that ignites excitement of the world and reminds us of our childlike curiosity.

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much love to you,
Olivia

 

California Part 1: Feeling Insignificant at Muir Woods

“You become like an astronaut who sees the planet Earth surrounded by the vastness of space and realizes a paradoxical truth: The earth is precious and at the same time insignificant.” -Eckhart Tolle

I honestly felt this way while in Muir Woods. I felt so small and so insignificant in the midst of the enormous redwoods. But you know the beautiful part about it? I was in awe of how magnificent and precious they were. Have you ever felt that way? In awe of nature?

I feel this way when I look at photos of the billions of galaxies in our Universe. Or the billions of grains of sand at the beach. Or the amount of leaves in one tree. There truly is so much abundance on this planet and in our every day lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the drama of it all, but looking up and reminding ourselves of nature’s beauty and abundance can give us a quick reminder that things are okay. They’re more than okay. They’re perfect.

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My Trip to Japan! Part 6: Date Night at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

You know those dates where time seems to slow down? The ones where you know you’ll remember for a long time? The ones that you want to bottle up and save forever?

Well, this particular date was like that. My husband and I had a tea and dessert date on our last evening in Tokyo. I don’t think we could’ve ended our trip in a better way. We went to the Tokyo Park Hyatt which has a restaurant with one of the grandest views of Tokyo. You may remember it from the movie Lost in Translation with Bill Murray.

If you ever find yourself in Tokyo please make the trip to the Tokyo Park Hyatt. You’ll love it.

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