[California] Magic Grapes

 
First day back in New York after a week in California. My biological clock is a little off, my bank account is recovering, my phone is overloaded with photos and my mind has a million thoughts spinning around.

California is a beautiful state, I especially loved wine country. Shocker, right? Besides the obvious magic grapes that grow all around, there’s a little extra something to this place. Something so special, that now I’ve added owning a vineyard to my life goals. This might be tough, as I plan to retire in a beach house, but I’m sure I can work something out.

Looking at this photo again, it genuinely makes me happy. Beyond the simplicity of the fruit and the delightful contrast, these little grapes will one day, turn to be someonelse’s happiness. Maybe it’s a birthday toast at a BYOB restaurant or maybe it’s that special comfort you need after a rough day at work. Either way, these grapes only mark the start of a journey to who knows where and that, my friends, I think is pretty cool.

Christmas Morning

In the midst of the sweet chaos that coming home for the Holidays entails, I wanted to take a second to be cheerful and cheesy. I love Christmas time, it’s really the best time of the year (besides my birthday, duh). I love seeing everyone come together, if only for a day.

I love seeing people go out of their way to come together in celebration, but most importantly, I love the magic it brings to life. I don’t even dare say what we know to be real or not, because on a day like today I like to believe that all of us believe a little more that we care to admit for. My little sister with special needs has already been told where the presents come from, but still, she left her letter with cookies as she did every year. I don’t think I’ll ever know what’s truly in her mind, if it’s pretend or not, but seeing her this Christmas morning made me very happy. She was sleepy and grumpy, but for a second we were all there in the floor opening presents together and it felt as magical as I always remembered it to be.

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Wanderlust problems and other itchy feet musings

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Once upon a time, I was blessed to call France my home. I would ride a bike to school, have lunch by the river, come home to a dog and a warm family and drink good, cheap wine with new wonderful friends.

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The thing about wonderful times is that they end, and as sad or exaggerated as it sounds, you never get them back. There’s something so bittersweet about it that I can’t help but smile. Sure, I could technically book a flight to France next week (I do have a credit card) but in reality it can never be the same. People and places change, but most importantly, you change as well.

That’s why we need to keep creating adventures, so you don’t miss the old ones that much. You will never get your old times back, but that is what makes them magical and timeless, the rarity and exclusivity of things that are gone.

It sure didn’t feel magical when I was stuck in my desk studying for a final exam, sad because I had ran out of money and my camera had broken. It sure was not exciting when I had to eat ham and cheese sandwiches for a week because I spent way too much money on my week at Spain, but once you leave and look back, it all sounds ironically perfect.

Sometimes things get even better when you have to look back to enjoy them. It’s almost risky though, to look back too often, as you tend to unconsciously edit the memories, add filters and suppress the mishaps (bike falls, broken cameras, hangovers, dry lunches, too cheap wines, boring lectures, train delays and scary flights).

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Still, you know you would do it all again and in your future attempts to somehow really do it all again, you will get new, exciting adventures that will keep the cycle alive.

Humans are never satisfied and our thirst can’t be quenched that easily, so let’s drink on.

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All photos taken by Cristina Nogueras © – Do not take without permission or credit

Toto, I have a feeling I’m not down the shore anymore…

Image from bit.ly/17lJpIz

There’s this magical selling point about snow. It can make things look prettier and depending on your perspective, it can even make you feel cozy (If your perspective is inside a house and by a fireplace). Then there’s the romantic aspect of it, the perfect kiss under the snow with little snowflakes falling around you and the sweet music playing on the background.
Except, this is not what really happens most of the time, of course.

This morning we had the first snow showers in Hoboken, New Jersey. Maybe I’m still in summer mode or maybe I will always be an island girl, but I don’t like the cold. By the time I got to the train I couldn’t feel my legs, granted my choice of wardrobe was not the wisest of them all. How I went to college in upstate New York will always be beyond me.

So yeah, deck the halls and all that stuff. Snow is pretty, snow is magical, but man can it be annoying.

Cold? Let the puppy warm your heart.