The Coveted Coast

MY DIARY OF EXPLORING CALIFORNIA'S WONDERLAND

Friday

26

February 2016

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COMMENTS

Unique CAMP

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All I can say to open this experience last October in two words is LIFE CHANGING. A friend of a friend kept talking about this ‘Unique CAMP’ conference and there was something about that called to me; I had to check it out. After researching their website, various social channels and commentary from past campers I was hooked. I was fortunate to have a boss that understood the importance of personal development and agreed to fund this conference (Which is worth every penny BTW). I was in, I knew this would change my outlook on my life and career and even the person I want to be in this world.

In this day and age, it is so easy to get wrapped up in that device that will soon be a major cause of neck and eyesight problems amongst society, the cell phone. This virtual world is made up of various social media channels and digital relationships many people define as their reality, but what does it really give you? In my experience it has given people the excuse to avoid connecting with other people in the flesh and the ability to hold a face to face conversation, both in social and professional situations. There are times where I want to grab people and shake them yelling “Wake up and live this life that’s in front of you!” The biggest notion that Unique CAMP owns and notifies campers from Day 1 is that this conference is a complete unplugged experience. You turn in your cell phones within minutes of stepping off the bus and will not get it back until you depart the campgrounds. I couldn’t wait to get it off my person, and I begged my counselor to take it away! The thought of four days with 100 new people that I have never met from all walks of life and chose to be there to improve themselves was an adventure I was so eager to embark on.

I can only explain to you the level of awesomeness this weekend meant to me by listing out activities and emotions that took over me during camp. Big breath, here it goes…

  • Dancing every chance you get
  • Chant good vibes “We Feel Good UH! We Feel So Good!”
  • Hug strangers for an awkward amount of time
  • Make friends and connections with amazing humans
  • Listen and learn about people’s deepest ambitions
  • LOVE
  • Connection
  • Tight Rope Course (overcame my fear and completed it!)
  • Expressions – happy and sad
  • Crying my heart out while dancing across a soccer field feeling more connected and alive with myself than ever before
  • Uncover passions
  • The desire to do more in this life
  • The need to be happy and live a fulfilled life
  • Create and evolve
  • RENEWAL
  • Connect with past, present and future
  • FUCK GRAVITY!
  • The connection we as humans share with the universe
  • Freedom
  • Zero outside influences
  • Judge Free Environment
  • Unified Support
  • Cedar Sonic!
  • Lodge Skit contest
  • Late night hike and astronomy class
  • The art of meditation
  • Yoga
  • Photography
  • Music & Dancing
  • Goal Setting
  • Mind Lab (Connecting your heart and mind for a cohesive decision making process)
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Rock, paper, scissors tournament

I have made so much personal and professional progress since this amazing weekend I shared with amazing human beings that has shifted my outlook on life and how I choose to live it. I am more in tune with making connections and really listening to people in interactions. I make a commitment to disconnect and unplug every week for several hours or up to a full day away from my phone or any devices. My passion for nature and the outdoors has crawled back up to a top commitment of mine, like it was during my childhood. I am creating a better career path that offers creativity and freedom from an office desk 40 hours a week, resulting in offering a bigger impact and contribution to the world. Since CAMP, I made a goal to commit to my personal well-being and I have kept with being physically fit and take care of my body. Creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle has moved mountains for the person I was and who I have committed to being, and there’s nothing stopping me!

Daily mantras that I recite to myself that have carried me through these months and kept me on track with my goals are:

You are worth it! You deserve anything in this life that you want. Put fear in the back seat. No risk, no reward. Follow your heart. Live authentic.

I am pleased to be returning to Unique CAMP for spring session in May as a counselor, making every camper comfortable to open up in order to get out all they can from this experience. Here’s to never looking back on who that woman was before October that lived on auto-pilot. I am more committed to moving forward and creating a life that I want to live authentically and bring all life’s amazing things to me with a positive and fulfilled outlook.

I wanted to thank all the amazing humans that I met at fall session that hope to see in a few months, and for opening up my eyes to who I really am and to embrace my uniqueness to bring to this world. Check out the Unique CAMP: http://theuniquecamp.com/about/ and know that ‘Adventure is out there.’

Xo,

Caitlin

 

Tuesday

22

December 2015

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COMMENTS

California Winter

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Being a Californian I am constantly feeling grateful for being blessed growing up in such a beautiful state where you can surf, snowboard and dirt bike all in the same day. Even though there are times I wish I could experience a white winter, it is days like these that I change my mind.

A few weeks ago, I chose to spend my Sunday afternoon strolling the cliffs of Laguna Beach with a close friend and her pup. It was so warm I was catching some December sun rays in a tank and crops. It was a crystal clear day with calm waters to show all it’s beauty of colors. The blissful sounds of the waves gently meeting the sand and feeling the warmth of the sun, I stopped and reflected for a few minutes.

I spent a good 10 minutes reflecting about this year and all that I have accomplished and grown both professionally and personally. I reached clarity with the small things that people let upset them on a daily basis and how I am committed to focusing on the positive. Each day I aspire to find clarity in who I am and who I want to be. My outlook in so many aspects of my life has shifted to put fear in the backseat and that I deserve everything I want in this life. So much of today’s society focuses their energy on what they don’t have and forget all that they possess; happiness, family, friends, health and the means to live. I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place where Laguna Beach is just a short drive down Pacific Coast Highway that brings out so much energy and light into my life. The simple joys of taking an afternoon walk along the coast to take all the nature and beauty this world possesses.

It takes a daily effort to change your outlook and make a positive impact on your life and the people around you. Take the time to shift your energy and you will be surprised at the manifestations you create that come to life.

Xo,

Caitlin

Monday

21

December 2015

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COMMENTS

Coffee Education & Exploration

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I have embarked on an exploration within the world of coffee. In my years of coffee intake, it has been based on staying awake with getting through a college all-nighter or the horrendous daily LA commute. The coffee culture has interested me over the past couple of years and I have chosen to educate myself on the art and craft of a delicious cup.

Living in Orange County, the coffee shop choices are a select few compared to Los Angeles. The two that I have visited and are very pleased with are Portola Coffee Lab at Tustin Union Market and Cafecito Organico at The Lab in Costa Mesa. The difference I have experienced in roasters that take their time in the quality beans and milk they use is clearer than ever. I can no longer run through Starbucks to grab a quick venti because it just tastes of burnt beans and prefer not to anymore. I am continuing to learn the ways of roasters and the depths of flavors that come through in each sip.

I have a few trips in the coming months to San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago and you bet I will be taking suggestions and looking for the best local spots in each city. I am very fond of this adventure I have started on and taking a drive to coffee shops to sit in silence and enjoy the aromas and environments around me. Coffee spots are perfect for making time for me and my thoughts while enjoying the warm delight of a cappuccino, flat white, or espresso!

I am on the path to being a ‘coffee snob’ and I am pleased to be selective in what I choose to drink instead of unpleasant and burnt coffee. The coffee education continues and will be a part of my traveling adventures as well!

Xo,

Caitlin

Thursday

12

November 2015

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COMMENTS

Escape to Thailand

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Koh Phangan Beach

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As the year draws to a near end, I wanted to reflect on all the amazing adventures that took place this year. The destination that takes the cake, Thailand! This had been a constant place in my mind of world travels for my bucket list over the past few years, but I never made a solid effort to make it happen. Spontaneity introduced itself when I learned a close friend was going to extend her trip to Asia for a week in Thailand. When opportunity knocked, I answered with open arms and with only six weeks until departure, I booked a flight. Walking onto the plane for the very long flight, I realized Thailand was going to be the farthest from any place I have experienced. I went into the adventure with no expectations or really any idea what I was going getting myself into, and it was so liberating!

Accompanied by three girl friends and seven days of exploring Thailand, we were able to experience Bangkok and the islands Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. We spent two days in Bangkok eating our way through the massive city in addition to learning Buddhism and the act of praying. We went to a variety of temples including the Grand Palace, where I had to put on linen pants over my shorts because shorts were not allowed inside the palace walls. Following the amazing food and sights of Bangkok, we were eager to hop to the island of Koh Samui for some real relaxation.

We spent our days lying on the beach drinking exotic fruit cocktails where time stood still. One morning I woke up early and took time for my solitude and simply walked down the beach as the sunrise came over the island. As the low tide waves whispered as they met the sand, I felt free. Seeing with my own eyes there are beautiful places like this across the world from Southern California, it was done, I had gotten the travel bug. Right there I made a promise to myself that each year I would take a trip to somewhere I have never been and explore new beauty. Whether it’s on an island where there are elephants, waterfalls and scooters to rent for $8 a day like Koh Samui, it will be a priority. I don’t want to lose that feeling of wonder and adventure, and whatever that may be. It could be a long road trip to a state or landmark I haven’t seen or a 17 hour flight to Australia, the important thing being that I make it happen and stick to that promise I made myself.

As I think of 2016 and what adventure I want to experience, Ireland and Scotland are on my mind. There’s a possibility for wine country in the spring, which will be a much needed girls weekend!

Xo,

Caitlin

Tuesday

15

September 2015

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COMMENTS

Dream Racing Into Reality

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It is quite a euphoric feeling when you approach the opportunity to check off one of the items on your bucket list. I had the lucky pleasure of getting to check one off mine last week that included horsepower and asphalt. I don’t know many women that have such a passion for adrenaline and sports cars, but I have to raise my hand and say with full ownership that that woman is me!

Existing in the desert outside the hustle and bustle of the strip lies the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition to the Nascar track, there is a sports car race track that offers nice combinations of curves and sharp corners. Needless to say I was so ecstatic to spend a Thursday afternoon behind the wheel of my favorite sports cars and do five laps in each on a professional track.

There are three steps that makes the experience all the more enjoyable and let’s be honest, I got to extend my obnoxious behavior. After you sign your life away and they let you know the cars are insured but you must take care of yourself in case or crash or wreck the car, you sit in a class to review basic knowledge about the cars. Not only did they inform the group about the engine and torque abilities so everyone understands the power they will be driving, but it became my duty to let people know what an Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG and Lamborghini Gallardo were. Following the short and sweet class time they took us into a room that resembled an arcade full of Cruising’ USA video games. Fortunately, these were top tier simulators that the professional drivers use to test the track and get familiar with the turns. Lastly, when we finished a couple laps on the simulator we made the walk out to the track. From here, this is where it gets good…

I no longer am walking across the pit lane, then I see the lineup of cars. One in particular was gleaming in the sunlight and could not hold back my excitement. The car that has been on my bucket list to drive, and especially on a professional track, the Nissan GT-R. After waiting somewhat patiently it was finally my turn to take her for a spin. With the instructor in the passenger seat to guide me through the track, by the second lap I had the feel for it all. I was taking tight corners at 65MPH with a top speed of 122MPH on the straight away. The instructor was impressed with my driving abilities and made note that he wished the men in the group could drive like I did. Following the GT-R high, I was able to drive a second car (thanks to people not being able to make the trip). With my dad being an owner and avid Porsche fan, I felt it was my due diligence to choose the Porsche 911 Carrera S. Being that this car is rear-wheel drive, it was a completely different experience in comparison to the all-wheel drive Nissan GT-R. The Carrera was very smooth and still quite an experience, but if I had to choose it’s simple, the GT-R.

Following a heavenly afternoon, it was spent being on a continuous euphoric feeling with a nice steakhouse dinner paired with a lovely red wine. It was the quickest trip to Las Vegas, a total of 22 hours, but it was the best one I have had yet. A huge thanks to Dream Racing for making this dream a reality!

Xoxo,

Caitlin

Monday

24

August 2015

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COMMENTS

Denver On My Mind

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As football season approaches, I wanted to share my trip to Denver earlier this year where I had the opportunity to attend the Denver Broncos playoff game against the New England Patriots. This was my first time in the city of Denver, and I didn’t know what to expect other than it is called the ‘Mile High City’. It took 30 minutes to understand what they meant by that name, and I have to say I never stopped drinking water for the 32 hours I was there. I could not quench my thirst and was so parched, hence the clever name calling attention to the altitude.

As for the food and overall vibe of the city, it was enjoyable and the people were pleasant. With the assistance of a down-lined jacket, I kept cozy in the brisk winter chill. I had some lovely meals and every restaurant had an extensive beer selection.

The sounds of the Broncos stadium were astounding. Apparently, for the duration of the game you must stomp your feet and yell. Stomping your feet riles up the team and yelling will distract the opposing team. I didn’t think I would be able to hold my own with sticking to that rule, but then I realized why they do it. The fans stomp their feet and yell constantly because it’s the best way to stay warm! Even though this was a playoff game with a lot of hype around it, unfortunately Pete Manning didn’t show up with his A-game and the Broncos fell to the Patriots to close out the season.

 

Either way, I enjoyed my first time in the city of Denver filled with tasty food, sporting events and fresh mountain air. I would be happy to go back in the summer months to explore the mountains for some outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

 

Until next time… Thanks for reading!

Xoxo,

Caitlin