when the parents came to visit...

my parents had never been to california and trust me, they've been around the world and then some. it was thanksgiving weekend and their 44th wedding anniversary, so there was a lot of celebrating to do. their trip started in downtown los angeles. i had created an itinerary of the area for them, including where to have lunch (grand central market, of course!...which they missed, but that's another story). we then traveled to malibu for brunch, drove down the coast, past santa monica, venice beach...the whole enchilada. on that sunday after mass, we took off to joshua tree national park. my parents, who live in florida, don't have anything like it anywhere near them. i knew they would enjoy being there as much as i enjoy going. 

for thanksgiving, we drove up the pacific coast highway to see my cousin and his wife who live in daly city, right outside of san francisco. the drive was educational because my dad kept googling anything we were curious about: why is it called "camino real"? and who was van nuys?. we managed to catch the sunset crossing bixby creek bridge. i learned my mother was dramatically afraid of heights. 

san francisco is always a great getaway. we went down lombard street in my green fiat, we had the famous clam chowder soup inside a sourdough bread on the pier, and you know we had to hit up napa! i treated my parents to a wine tasting tour of the mondavi winery where we laughed a lot after the tasting. 

this isn't my first time traveling with my parents, but it was certainly the best trip we had ever taken. i'm adding some pics from my parents cell phones so that you can get their POV as well. 

dia de los muertos

a mexican tradition, el dia de los muertos is a day for remembering the departed. families and friends head to the cemetery to visit those who are in the after life and honor them with gifts and offerings. often, the families will prepare their favorite foods and hang out at their graves. in los angeles, the hollywood cemetery celebrates this holiday and everyone is welcome to participate. i have been dying to witness this for a long time and i finally was able to make it. it just so happened that my friend venus was getting her make up professionally done, and there was one more spot open for me! i couldn't miss this opportunity and i'm excited to share these pictures with you. 

Celebrating Luna

My dear friend Alejandra is having her first baby and she hosted the baby shower for Luna in Kenneth Hahn park in Los Angeles. Let me first tell you that Ale is a master at DIY and these pictures will prove that. All the sandwiches were hand made and individually wrapped with love by her sister-in-law and yours truly (I wrapped them). Ale baked and designed the cake. She also made these tiny succulent plant decorations as souvenirs. Her aunt had sent her a beautiful macrame wall hanger and her mother had made a gorgeous dream catcher, and Ale thought that it would be a great spot for guests to leave notes for Luna. The day was sunny and breezy, and we all enjoyed the home made sangria while listening to her dad's records. It was definitely a unique baby shower and one that I believe should be all over Pinterest! Can't wait to meet Luna! 

Abbot Kinney Festival 2015

Having just moved to LA, I needed to get my photo shooting skills up and running. It happens to all of us: if you pause your passion, it gets rusty. So when I heard that there was going to be a festival where I would have the chance to snap away, I told my friends that we had to attend. 

We came in through Brooks Ave. and Abbot Kinney Blvd. where there was a stage and live music was playing. The crowd gathered around and danced and cheered. I enjoyed seeing the diversity because in Miami, well, we are Latin. We are diverse, but from the same part of the world. Here in LA people come from everywhere else. Street vendors followed and featuring everything from jewelry to metal dart boards. I started snapping away because I had to capture the vibe here. Tattoos, pink hair, clear glasses sprinkled in the crowd. The smell of grilled sausages, carnitas, and roasted everything hung above just teasing and confusing us all...what to eat? 

Then came the sound of drums and Brazilian batucada, a sound so familiar from my life in Miami, I had to rush to experience that. Smiling faces, dancing feet, sweating bodies...it was so hot that day! And I'm from Miami! 

At the end of the day, we were exhausted. I know we didn't see everything and now we'll have to wait until next year. At least I have these images to show for it! See you again in 2016.