Things To Consider Before Taking Your Kids To A Feminist March With 750,000 People

I took my kids to the Women’s March in LA. My kids are 3 and 5 years old. At the march we chanted, laughed, talked to many, many people, had a hot-dog, ate ice-cream, walked some more, chanted again, and went back home. It was a sunny and beautiful morning. People were nice and supportive.

Before going I had a little trepidation. It is not easy to take two young kids to a protest where hundred of thousands of people are expected. Not sure if you have been in crowds, but they can be scary. In Chile, I have been in a lot of events with a large number of people in uncontrolled environments. Soccer games without seating numbers, music concerts standing up in the middle of the field, protests of some kind or another. This is why I know that taking children to the middle of a huge crowd can be a bad idea if you don’t take precautions. What to do then? Here are some considerations:

  • If you want to go to the event with friends, meet them before and travel together. Many of my friends went to the march. We decided to meet at a train station at a certain time so we could all go together, but trains were filled with people! There was no space. We decided to go separately in an Uber or car and meet there. Bad Idea. It was virtually impossible to find each other once we arrived to the march. First of all, walking around the crowd was difficult, so moving from point A to point B was tough. Secondly, cell phones reception stopped working! Many people lost signal and could not communicate! At some point, I gave up on meeting anybody else and just went with the flow. There were plenty of people to meet and talk to anyway.

  • Related to the above, if you have small children, avoid public transportation. Trains and buses were packed! There was a very long wait and we all know that young children have a very difficult time waiting. It is also difficult for them to be in crowded places with little space to move. I am SO happy we decided to take our car in the end. It took us 25 minutes to get to the march and we found parking only 4 BLOCKS AWAY! It was so easy! If I was by myself, I would have rather take the train and participate in the exhilarating energy that big crowds produce, but with little ones on toe that was not an option

  • Stay on the outskirts of the crowd. When you see yourself surrounded by too many people, retreat. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a crowd without being able to move forward or backwards. Being “incarcerated” by people would freak my children and I out. Make sure you are able to move around at any moment and stay out of the middle!

  • Take a stroller. As long as you don’t get stuck in the middle of a crowd, a stroller is the way to go. We were walking around for more than 4 hours on Saturday. There is no way my lazy children would have walked for that amount of time without asking to be carried, plus, it helps keeping them contained so they don’t run away with the excitement.

  • Write your phone number and name somewhere on their forearms. If they get lost, which it didn’t happen to us (thank goodness), whoever finds them will need to be able to call you. Write your cellphone on their forearms with a sharpie and the problem is solved. Although some people didn’t have cell reception all the time, some were still able to make calls.
  • Bring snacks because obviously!!! That is THE way of keeping children quiet and happy for a minute. Every mom knows that. Actually, I shouldn’t even write this tip on this post, but having more things to say makes me look smarter and knowledgeable so why not share the obvious sometimes? (wink emoji)
  • Women are amazing! Remember 70% of the attendants in this March were mothers or mothers-to-be. Women are cool people! I always feel they have my back! So many of them came to talk to the kids and helped taking care of them. It was sweet to see. I didn’t feel judged but supported. There were SO many kids from all ages. It was beautiful.

As a mother, it is important for me to have my kids participate in peaceful civic engagement, so I am very happy we went to the march. The kids liked it too. They understood some of the issues, albeit not a lot, but they understood the gravity of the moment and the beauty of being part of something bigger than yourself.

Thanks for reading.

Let Us Connect:

Living In A Bubble – A Short Essay On Politics And Living In LA

A week ago, in the morning of the election, I scanned my FB and IG feed, I read the news (WSJ included) and posted the following on FB:

“Judging by my social media, there is absolutely nobody voting for Trump today. I am so sheltered. Seriously.”

It was meant to be a joke, not a prelude of the events that unfolded in the next 12 hrs. I watched the NYT political map go from navy blue to dark red, giving Trump a victory by midnight. I was flabbergasted. Didn’t text any friends. Called nobody. I needed time to think and process.

To come clean, I was not a big Hillary supporter. I was more on the Bernie side. I raised my concerns with friends only to be dismissed. Hillary won the primaries and we should stand behind her, they said, and I did. I wore white to vote because, whatever your political views, voting for a woman was transcendent. I watched the elections, believing without a doubt that the future was blue and white, but shock ensued. I was wrong, and also everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) else I know.

I woke up on Wednesday and went to work. The day was somber. You could feel and see it. Even the freeway seemed slower and gray. There was a sadness and despair. Most of my friends shed tears, a feeling of alienation. The pain was real! But the trauma was worst- the realization of the naiveness we had in understanding this election, thanks to the inaccessibility to faithful information about what is really going on in this country.

This is when I started to feel angry, not at the results, but at the media. I foolishly bought the whole care package that was fed to me by liberal and moderate media. I had been deceived. We all had. Polls lied, journalists lied, editorials lied. Just thinking about it makes me sick.

How is this possible? How did we get it so wrong? How did the Trump voter disappeared from the mainstream media but still managed to make the difference to win? I was told that not even the Republican Party liked Trump!!! Is that true? What is going on?!? I needed to understand.

I have friends that called the NYT to cancel their subscription. I stopped listening to NPR, and I have not opened the Huff Post since then, because what is the point? They are lying to me. They are as blindsided as I am, as most of us are.

Today, this same media is telling me that racism and misogyny are to be blamed for the results. They tell me this loss has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with “them.” “Them,” the other people; the people that don’t understand the world; the uneducated voter that is voting against their own interest. Those people. The other people… but, who are they?

I woke up early morning today, peruse the Internet to buy a pair of $90 shoes I have wanted to get, had my bullet coffee readily and warm to bust my morning while my insured children prepared for a day at their wonderful schools where teachers value their opinion and want them to succeed. I got into my big fancy car, filled up the tank without looking at the gas price, and thought about which design posts I should write in the next few weeks. That is how difficult my life is. I live in a comfortable bubble surrounded by people with the same values and political views I have. I don’t get it, but I want to. I want to understand.

They say, if you believe the media, that those who made the difference in this election are from the Rust Belt. Disfranchised voters that were once Obama supporters, but, this time, decided to go the other way. Blue collar workers that have lost their manufacturing jobs and have no prospects of finding a new one in this lifetime. How does this feel? I wonder.

I don’t know really. I can’t empathize. I have a life full of possibilities ahead of me. Dreams and plans. A good income, a loving husband, healthy children with access to a future and healthcare. I am a mixed race Latina that has not suffered the discrimination that other Latinos have, mainly because I live in West LA and don’t look the part. I live in a bubble, surrounded by people that think like me and news that tell me that thinking like me is the only right way to live.

Elections turn big issues into black and white topics. They simplify complex subjects with a misleading reduction of who others are and think. It is easy to believe that a vote for Trump is an agreement with all his statements but it is not. Voting for Trump doesn’t mean you agree with everything he says. I surely don’t agree with everything Hillary says, but I voted for her.

I am not saying there is not racism and misogynists in the US. I am  saying that these are not the main reasons why Trump was elected president. The truth is much simpler, people with wary prospects and uncertain futures want (need) change, a change that Obama promised but wasn’t able to deliver.

To understand and help, we need to step out of our wonderful bubbles. Demand the government help those in need. Create new jobs, embrace new programs, but more than anything, we need to stop the misunderstanding of who we are and what moves us. At the end of the day, we all want our children to have food on their table, don’t we?

A couple of minutes after my post on FB about how sheltered I felt, a Chilean friend living in London replied the following:

“Judging by my social media, nobody voted for Brexit. Hope yours is a better predictor…”

I flipped. This is what scares me, not racism, which can be clearly identified and denounced. What scares me is that my world is not real, that I am completely out of touch, and also most of my friends.

How can we change anything if we are oblivious to reality? A logical fallacy of those that profess higher education. We are our own worst enemy.

Thanks for reading till the end. Would love to hear your respectful comments.




Let Us Connect:

A Guide To Visit The Rose Bowl Flea Market


Let’s talk about vintage obsession today – not about politics, ok?

When I say my house was 70% built at the Rose Bowl, I mean it.

My house is filled with old scores I have been collecting throughout the years. Thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets…they are all part of my hunting routine, because I am a hunter and a hoarder… but don’t tell that to George because in our relationship HE is labeled as the hoarder.

In LA,  the Rose Bowl Flea Market is my usual vintage destination because it is one of the ultimate flea markets in the country. Famous beyond boundaries, filled with amazing pieces, and heaven for vintage collectors.


As good as the Rose Bowl is, there is one problem and that is $$$. You don’t go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market to score a great deal. You go to the Rose Bowl to find beautiful things that others scored at a great deal. Scoring a great deal is hard work, folks. It takes time and effort and a LOT of trips to estate sales, so, if you don’t want to spend that time and effort to find beautiful things for your household, you can go to the Rose Bowl where it is all layout for you in a beautiful, easy, and pricey way.

I take my trips to the Rose Bowl very seriously. I get there early morning – 7am -. I start from the top. Focus. Go vendor to vendor (I already have my favorites). Get out of there by 10am.


Early bird is my middle name and  I recommend it is yours, too. After 10am it gets SO crowded and hot! It is hard to walk, bargain, and appreciate the beautiful pieces. On the other hand, if you want to get a good discount, it is better to be the last one standing, so it is up to you.

rose-bowl-5 rose-bowl-3rose-bowl-4

Here are some tips if you are planning to visit the Rose Bowl:

  • Get there early. 7 am is the time I like to get there. It costs $15 to get in (after 9am it only costs $9). Vendors are setting up, the place is not crowded, and there is plenty of parking.
  • Finding parking is easy early morning. I have my favorite parking place right in front of the Exit doors. If you park on the grass, make sure you memorize some kind of landmark near your car. I have seen too many people get completely lost trying to find their cars on that grass. Beware!
  • Bring cash! Withdrawing money from an ATM on site costs $5, so there you go. Don’t do it.
  • Asking for a 10% discount when bargaining is the reasonable amount. Always ask for that discount, not much more than that.
  • Take a cart. This is major for me. It is hard to go around the market with a bunch of stuff in your hands. Another option is to ask vendors to keep your purchases with them until you decide to leave later, but this is such a big flea market that finding the same vendor again is not your easiest choice.
  • Do not be discouraged if it is raining. Rainy days are the BEST days to go to the Rose Bowl. There are not as many vendors, true, but what you see gets sold CHEAP! Best deals I have ever had at the RBFM happened during rainy days.

rose-bowl-13 rose-bowl-7rose-bowl-10Rose Bowl General Information 

Opens the 2nd Sunday of each month

Schedule: 5am-4:30pm – Ticket office closes at 3pm – most vendors start leaving at this time too.

Regular admission starts at 9am: $9.00 per person. Children under 12 are admitted free with an adult.

Express admission from 8:00am – 9:00am at $12.00 per person

Early admission from 7:00am – 8:00am: $15.00 per person.

Special preview VIP admission from 5:00am – 7:00am: $20.00 per person.

Free parking.

No pets allowed

Food and beverages available on site.


Let me know if you have any questions or need any tips. I am happy to answer anything you want!

Let Us Connect:

An Outing To The Aquarium Of The Pacific


My friend Paloma and her son, Diego, came for a visit, so we took them to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It is one of my five top places to take friends with children when they come to LA. Kids (and adults) love it so much.

(Places like this remind me of how different was my childhood from the one my kids are having. I was born and raised at the “end of the world,” one of the southern most cities of the American continent Punta Arenas, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and people, but not much access to the “world”. My kids, on the other hand, have access to almost everything the world has to offer, including an amazing, gorgeous, and informative aquarium with hundreds of sea creatures just 30 minutes away! They are spoiled. I know it.)

So, let’s talk about the Aquarium of the Pacific. It is not a HUGE aquarium, but it is big and you can easily spend 5-6 hours there if you enjoy the different events and special exhibitions they have. If you just want to see sea creatures, you can be done in 2 hours. It has two floors and an outdoor area.

My favorite things to look for are the aquariums inside the building with the Horses and Dragons. Sea horses have all the colors and shapes you can imagine. My kids’ favorite is the Shark Lagoon. The sharks and stingrays get fed a couple of times a day; which is a lot of fun to watch. The Lorikeet Forest is a highlight, too. You are allowed to feed the birds while they walk all over your arms and hair. Did I mention there is a baby penguin? And a tunnel that runs in the middle of a seal swimming pool? Yeap, lots to do, for sure.

Here are some photos:

jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific15jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific28jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific26 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific23 Nemo!!! All kids know Nemo and love seeing it in the natural habitat. jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific22 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific20 This is a shark egg. That right in the middle is a shark. Kids can see all the different stages of shark development inside an egg. Precious.
jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific18 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific16jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific6 Look at these glowing colors. Just WOW! Don’t you think?
jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific5 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific4jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific3 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific2 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific13jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific12Jellyfishes are beautiful. So graceful and serene.
jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific24jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific14jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific17 Yes, this is a sea horse, can you believe it? jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific1jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific27jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific21jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific11jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific7 The Lorikeet Forest. More and more color. jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific9 jestcafe-com-aquarium-of-the-pacific10

Paloma and Diego. Love you both!

My only problem with the Aquarium is that is expensive. It is better to buy a family membership and use it many times through out year to make it worth it. Otherwise, you will pay $29.95 for adults and $17.95 for children every time you go there.

Tips for your visit

  • Get there early to avoid crowds, especially on weekends.
  • There is a restaurant where you can buy food and drinks. They have healthy options.
  • There are some water games in the outside area. Some kids can get wet, so you might want to bring a change of clothes.
  • It is hot outside during the summer, bring sunscreen!

Hope you like it!

Aquarium Address
100 Aquarium Way,
Long Beach, CA 90802

Open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m – Every Day of the Year, Except Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and During the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 15-17, 2016).

Let Us Connect:

The Arts District, DTLA – A Great Place For A Date

jestcafe-com-artdistrict5Right now, it is all happening in the Arts District, DTLA. Nice restaurants (have you been to Bestia?), cool galleries, vintage shops, bars… It is a great place to be so we have been taking advantage of it. It is close(r) to home, not that crowded (yet), and in Downtown, which is my favorite place to go out in LA.

If you are planning a night out with friends, I highly recommend going here. You can see art, have a drink, look at murals, watch people taking photos -million of IG opportunities here-, take a selfie -cause you know why-, and then have dinner somewhere.

Most galleries close around 6 or 7pm, but the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel closes at 8pm on Thursdays. Here you can get a drink and see some art before dinner. Shops like Hammer and Spear close around 7 pm, Poketo closes at 10pm on weekends, etc.

The last couples of times we went there, we ate at Fritzi. A small and modern restaurant; kind of unpretentious but hip.  It is small, and never too crowded. The drinks are tasty and the food, too. The fried chicken is their signature dish, and it is delicious. The fries are great – double fried, which is the only way of making good fries. I like to sit outside and do some people watching.

The Arts District Brewing is just next-door. It has great beers and drinks, plus a relaxing vibe.

After dinner, walk over to Little Tokyo. There are even better bars over there and all the fun of a neighborhood that resembles Japan.

Here are some photos I took in one of our outings. Hope you like them.

jestcafe-com-fritzi3jestcafe-com-frtizi9jestcafe-com-fritzi12 jestcafe-com-fritzi11jestcafe-com-frtizi8jestcafe-com-frtizi10 jestcafe-com-fritzi4 jestcafe-com-frtizi6jestcafe-com-frtizi5 jestcafe-com-frtizi7jestcafe-com-fritzi2 jestcafe-com- the arts district 1jestcafe-com-artdistrict2jestcafe-com-arts district 3jestcafe-com-the arts district 4

Let Us Connect: