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    Half Moon Day – Living With Tourist’s Syndrome

    Oh just another quaint little town by the pacific north coast that offers cozy views, the cutest shops, yummiest cheese, and always, a fantastic wine selection..

    Whenever I’m up north, I make it a point to visit Half Moon Bay. We brought the kids today so they could adventure a little with us. I think we are getting them more and more used to visiting little shops that you’ve never heard of before, and likely will forget the name as soon as you leave. The sun kept coming in and out, and when it was out, we were greeted with rain. Pouring rain. We stopped for coffee and hot chocolate, but since we were anxious to get it, we ended up at a nearby grocery and had no choice but to sit outside on a wet table in the cold and drink it. Of course after drinking it and then walking around we spotted eight other places that would have been better to go to, you know, inside where it’s warm, with cute knick-knacks on the walls. But alas, the cold kept us awake.

    Spent a good amount of time at a kitchen store looking up an egg timer. I’ll post about that later..

    I do want to encourage you to go out an adventure a little, even once a week. Even if it’s just to walk around and look at things. If the only plan is to get coffee with someone and walk around, take in the local talent, go for it! They say those who truly appreciate California aren’t ever from there. I would say this goes with any place. If you live life with the eyes of a tourist, you’d be amazed at how friendly everyone will seem, when in fact, they’re just reacting to your excitement and curiosity. Try it out next time. You know how when you’re visiting a state or country you aren’t from, you get this sudden braveness to bust out the camera and take photos by the most random of structures? Well, if you don’t see travel in your near future, you can still live out a day with the eyes and heart of a traveler. When I travel, I like to go in to small towns and talk to local artists there, I like to see the culture in the area and imagine myself fitting in.

    It’s called having a “Tourist Mentality”. What does this mean, exactly? Well, when you’re a tourist, you’re obviously 1) not from there and 2) not staying too long. This means that weather doesn’t halt your plans as easily. We could have woken up today, looked out the window and easily said, “Let’s go to Half Moon Bay another time. It’s cold, the kids might get wet, we won’t be able to walk, lots of people can’t drive in the rain..” the list of excuses goes on and on. How about, “let’s go! It will be fun! Many people will be staying in, so we might get to see more to ourselves.” That’s exactly what happened. I’ve dubbed this “disease”: Tourist’s Syndrome.

    You, or someone you know, might want to work on getting past that “local mentality”, where you are constantly saying, “I could do that any other day…” and hardly get around to it. There truly is no time like NOW. Perhaps it’s easier for me since I lately haven’t really been *from* anywhere, I refuse to call just one place “home”, but regardless, if I was stuck in a place for a long period of time, I like to make the most of it, as often as possible. Meeting people, being human and exercising your curiosity is what it’s all about! If you have children, they can learn from you as well, and hopefully hone in on their social skills that will better prepare them as adults when it comes to greeting strangers and asking questions.

    Now, I am by no means saying to leave the house no matter WHAT the weather conditions are, and yes, there are days where I would rather just stay indoors and do nothing. If there’s a hurricane coming or flash flood warnings (like they’ve been having in San Diego apparently!), then by all means, drink that hot chocolate from the comfort of your own living room. What I’m saying is don’t let too much time go by where you’re days off and free time look exactly the same.

    I’ve found some of my favorite pieces at our home from spontaneous adventures and travels. I like that there are pieces that you simply cannot find at just any furniture or appliance store. I like that I can never get my favorite cheese board from any other place besides that one cute shop in San Clemente, where Jeff and I had one of our first dates out after having Amelia, and we tried “olive oil tasting” for the first time, and left with a really beautiful hand-carved wooden board. A memory gets to tag along with this cheese board for the rest of it’s life. We have stories like this for a lot of our furniture as well, and even some appliances! I kinda like it. The process seems very one-by-one, but it’s worked for us. We aren’t always shopping while traveling either so don’t think you always have to purchase something, there are many times I just request a card and a website and look in to things more, I haven’t gotten to my father’s level yet where he’s actually measuring things and getting full specs – haha!

    For instance if you’re from San Diego – just hop in your car one day and take a drive down PCH. You’re bound to run in to something, “quaint.” What about taking a trip for the day to Julian? Even the town of Ramona has some great character. Lots of corners that look like little scenes from an old movie. How about a trip out to Temecula to see how it’s booming over there. Check out the wineries and talk to the owners if they’re around. Bring friends. Go alone. Exit any beach town and head towards the ocean. Meet locals. Eat local cheese. Drink local wine. Don’t be shy and bust out the camera! Pose in front of a silly or historical sign or figure just because you want your future grand kids to see this one day and maybe visit that same spot and create their own memories. Bring the kids. Don’t bring the kids. As long as you’re in the mix, it’s gonna be a good day. Saying this in the nicest way possible: GET LOST.

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    ^Thanks for the snap, Pops!

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    ^Took a while to cool off that hot chocolate and Sebastian’s first sip proved to be a scorcher, he looked at me pointing to his mouth full and eyes starting to tear up so I said, “spit it out Seb!” Thankfully he did… but right back in to the cup. It’s not easy to be specific when ones tongue is on fire.

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    ^Will I ever be able to take a photo of street art on it’s own or must someone always pose in front of it? My children know the answer to that question.

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    ^One of those stops off the side of the road that you would usually just pass by, but when there’s kids in the car, sure, why not?

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    ^True Feelings

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    Photography by: Ricardo Soriano and Natalia Cruz

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