Let Us Visit Some Homes- Balearic Islands

The Mediterranean Style is so clean and simple with its stucco walls, wrought iron gates and carved entry doors. Many homes in the Balearic Islands have adapted this style into a rustic, summery, cottage feeling. I was looking at Luis Galliussi’s summer home in Ibiza in the AD website and I found it so perfect. Unpretentious, natural, minimalist, and calming.

So much creativity in the decorative details: the use of nature-like flowers, sticks, or rocks, the mix of new and old – sophisticated rural touches that show how imagination can transform the mundane into art.

I like the white stucco walls with the very light grey tile floors and the bursts of color throughout the house. A lot of houses in Ibiza, Formentera, and Majorca follow this pattern and the most simple objects become means of decoration.

Here are some beautiful houses to get you inspired. I know I would love to have a home like one of these!

  1. Luis Galliussi’s Home in Ibiza

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2. A house in Formentera

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  3. Nani Marquina’s Home in Ibiza

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4. A house in Menorca

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5. A Farmhouse in Ibiza




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Camping With Family And Friends- Leo Carrillo

Most of my LA friends hate camping. As one of them said, “I just don’t see any reason why giving up the comforts of city life is in any way fun.” Others are even more blunt and just admit they are ‘not into nature’. George and I, on the other hand, love camping, mainly as a way to get out of our routines. I have realized that small changes like this enrich my life and help me find my center. Travel in general does this to me (and to everybody really, so don’t be lazy).

We used to go camping a lot before we had kids and we recently decided to try going again. Our kids are older, 1 and 3 years old, so we felt intrepid, but still wanting to move cautiously, as good campers should. We invited a bunch of friends and went for only one night as an experiment, with the idea that even if it sucks, well, it’s just one night. Especially if we go close, right? Do you follow the reasoning? This is why we decided to go to Leo Carrillo, just 20 minutes north of Malibu on the Pacific Highway. We arrived at 2 pm and were gone the next day by 11am. A non-committal activity that can easily be quickly wrapped up at any sign of danger or pain.



Anybody that is reading this post and is unsure of his/her comfort breaking point, just do what we did. Of course, make your reservations months in advance for the summer months and borrow your camping gear from friends so you don’t end up buying a bunch of equipment you will never use again in case you don’t like it. Go for one night, bring an air mattress and put a pad on top of it. Air mattresses suck a lot of heat from your body if you don’t have a pad on top, and the real appeal of car camping is that you can camp in relative luxury. Treat yourself to a fat foam pad on top of the mattress and you’ll feel like a Bedoin King.



Each camping site in Leo Carrillo allows for 8 people but, depending on the camping site you can fit up to 5 tents. Here is a map of the campground. The sites in the middle are the biggest ones and almost all of them have shade. Choose a site with shade! Specially during the summer. You can find this information in the details of each site. Don’t worry about where the bathrooms are located, the campground is not big and bathrooms are always close.

The best thing about Leo Carrillo is that the beautiful beach is a convenient 10 minute walk. There are tide pools and the kids can find a lot of animals when the tide is low. North of the big beach, right next to it, is a sandy small beach and I highly recommend it. The whole place is so beautiful. I loved it.



The worst thing about Leo Carrillo campground is that is not the cleanest and it is not very quiet. Also, you are bound to have a couple of encounters with some drunk people, either strangers or members of your own group. As a chilean, I don’t mind people not behaving exactly the way they should by social standards, but some Americans have a low tolerance for people not following the rules or being somehow disrespectful. Well, if you are this kind of person, don’t go to this campground. We had a great time with the whole experience but, at the same time, I couldn’t 100% recommend it if you don’t like to be bothered. Some of my friends, for example, found that some of our neighbors were noisy and rude but I didn’t care. I loved the whole thing. I slept better than I had in years. And after 10 pm campground regulations require quiet so don’t worry about having to deal with noise all night.





The next day I had to catch a plane at 3 pm so we left in the morning, but we got enough joy out of it that we decided to do it a couple more times during the summer. Wish us luck!

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Flower Market – DTLA

I have been living in LA for 12 years and having my parents visit from Chile is such a treat. I love having them here and I make lots of plans for different activities to entertain them. I love LA and I want them to love it as much as I do and understand better why I decided to leave my family and friends back in Chile.

My dad came to visit in April. He is 82 and divorced from my mom. He is quite a character. He is sharp, young and energetic. Have you seen two people close in age but one seems so much younger than the other? That is what I mean by young. His soul is full of vitality and life. I always say that he lives in age denial, this or he is just terrified of death, which I can understand. He also loves beautiful things. He pretends he is intellectual by reading the same Harold Bloom book over and over again, and listens to classical music all day long. Literally, all day long.

This year I decided to take him to the Flower Market in Downtown LA. He was overwhelmed by its beauty. He loves flowers. Growing up, he took us to the Chilean blooming desert at least 5 times. Miles and miles of hills painted in yellow, purple and orange. It was quite gorgeous but after the second time it was quite tedious too, but he would not budge.


We walked all around the market. He was so moved by the many different kind of orchids. I know it is normal for people here to go to a shop with dozen different orchids, but for my Chilean dad, who grew up in the desert of Chile and ended up in Punta Arenas, a city in the south of Chile, it is not. For my dad, everything in USA is kind of exaggerated, especially the huge amount of available stuff. Going to Whole Foods, for example, is like a mushroom trip




Anyway, going back to the orchids, my dad asked me to take a picture of him in front of a dozen of them and this was the result. Isn’t he cute?


When I go to the Flower Market, I like to go to “The Original Los Angeles Flower Market” on Wall St between 7th St and 8th St. This is like a Mall of flowers. There are two sections East and West of Wall Street. I am sure there are better deals in other places but the good thing about this market is that is concentrated, with a lot of vendors right next to each other and a lot of endless variety of gorgeous flowers. The small con is that you have to pay $2 to go in. I normally go on Saturdays, even though it is open every day. Lots of shops start closing at 11 am, so you need to go earlier than that. Paid parking is easy to find and it is not super-crowded.


Almost a year ago, a friend and I found a new restaurant had opened right on Wall St next to the West Entrance of the Market. Its name is Poppy + Rose. It looked so cute from the outside that we decided to go and try it. It was amazing. I love brunch and the fried chicken waffles were perfect. What a great idea for a restaurant to open here! From that time, I make sure to stop by every time I go to the Market.



Going back to my dad, he wanted to make some flower arrangements for my birthday. While we were looking for flowers, I decided to challenge him to do something new. He tends to buy the same kind of flowers for the same kind of arrangements so I ask him if he should try something different this time. He said yes immediately. He is highly competitive, which I think is a funny trait at 82. He bought a lot of different flowers and we took them home.

Flowers are a serious business for my dad. He always complains when I don’t cut the end of the flowers in my vases or change the water daily, but truly, who has the time!? Sometimes I don’t think he remembers I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Flower arrangements are not high on my priority list, nor even my low priority list. To tell you the truth, flower care is not on any of my lists at the moment.

Anyway, he got home and got to work. He was outside working on that arrangement for hours. Choosing the right vase took an hour, but at the end he was so proud of the results. Here they are. What do you think? It is not the typical arrangement that people would consider hip these days, but I love it anyway.


My birthday present. Thanks, Dad!

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