Archive | November, 2012

Thanksgiving in Del Mar, California

28 Nov

Del Mar holds a special place in my heart.  My grandparents would spend the winters, away from freezing Minnesota, in Del Mar.  Their condo was on the Morgan Run golf course in Rancho Santa Fe.  I have so many memories in this area of California.  It’s where I would go hunting for snails with Fred, the grounds keeper, where I chipped in a golf ball from 100 yards away right in front of my grandpa at the age of 7, and would eat fresh strawberries with angel food cake after every meal.  Lucky for us, my uncle ended up buying a beautiful house in Rancho Santa Fe after my grandma passed away, so we are still able to visit Del Mar at least once a year.

One of the best things about this area is the amazing seafood restaurants.  My favorite restaurant, George’s on the Cove, is located in La Jolla.  We always sit on the ocean terrace, order the mussels, and watch the sunset.   And if you visit La Jolla, make sure to walk down to the water and see all the seals.  I found this guy out sleeping on the beach. Don’t worry, he’s not dead.

As for the shopping, there’s plenty.  But, Solana Beach has an area known as Cedros Avenue which is a design district.  The two stores I make sure to hit every time I’m in California are Leaping Lotus and SoLo.


Hotel La Catalina in Cabrera

12 Nov

One of the most beautiful places on earth is the quaint town of Cabrera on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. It feels undiscovered by the everyday tourist looking for the all-inclusive island vacation. In Cabrera, you feel the real heart of the Dominican.

I am lucky enough to visit Cabrera almost on a yearly basis. My best friend in the world, Ashleigh, works at a hotel owned by her father, Tim. Hotel La Catalina is the most amazing hotel. The visitors to the hotel are regulars because when you stay once, you come back as frequently as possible. The food is absolutely delicious and the bartender, Coco, makes the most amazing Mojitos you’ll ever have.

This past year, Ashleigh married Roberto, on the most beautiful beach called Playa Grande. It was the best wedding I’ve ever been to (sorry friends and family). Her family and friends (only about 20 total) spent a week together participating in activities all week. One was to visit the non-profit Ashleigh started after moving to the Dominican Republic. Ashleigh was able to raise enough money to rebuild one of the poorest schools in the area. Ashleigh’s non-profit, Catalina DR Foundation is dedicated to the educating of underprivileged children and the rebuilding of schools in the Dominican Republic. Feel free to donate as much as frequently as possible!