Proud to Be A California Girl


Salt Creek Beach – Monarch Beach, CA


T.S. Eliot once wrote, “Home is where one starts from.”

Last week, I ventured out to the West Coast to visit my first home in sunny California: South Orange County. I had been away from OC for nearly three years, so it was past due to pay my hometown area a visit.

Southern California will always be my first home. Having spent the bulk of my childhood in Orange County, one summer in Santa Barbara, and three years in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, I had a well-rounded SoCal experience spanning 21 years. But like every wide-eyed, ambitious young American out there, I realized I had to leave OC behind to realize my full potential. Now I call the Washington, D.C., metro area my home.

“Back Home” by Andy Grammer is largely the inspiration behind this blog post about my trip back to Orange County, CA.

These lyrics resonate with me the most:

See, we won’t forget where we came from
The city won’t change us
We beat to the same drum

And no matter where we go

We always find our way back home

I found my way back home, but only for a brief visit. Nevertheless, I’m still proud to hail from Southern California.


First and foremost, no trip back home is complete without a visit to In-N-Out Burger.

In-N-Out Cheeseburger with Animal-Style Fries. Yum!

In-N-Out Cheeseburger with Animal-Style Fries. Yum!

Thought I’ve eaten Five Guys on numerous occasions, it will never compare to an In-N-Out Cheeseburger and Animal-Style French fries. It was great to bask in this deliciousness with my childhood friends. Proud to be friends with future dentists, chemical scientists, and academics!

I also paid a visit to Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Laguna Beach with some friends to eat some quality Mexican-Asian-Brazilian cuisine. (If you haven’t eaten at Wahoo’s, go!)

Afterwards, I paid a visit to Pearl Street Beach and snapped this view. Gorgeous, right?

IMG_6264I had plenty of opportunities to snap pictures of the surrounding beaches in Dana Point and Laguna Beach.

Marveling in one of my old stomping grounds, Salt Creek Beach!

Marveling one of my old stomping grounds, Salt Creek Beach!

We also met up with some of our relatives in Dana Point. We walked around the harbor and reminisced about good times.


Statue of Richard Henry Dana – Boston, MA politician, sailor, and intellectual who founded Dana Point, CA

Admittedly, this visit to my first home was surreal. Perhaps I’ve been aware for too long or have successfully acclimated to East Coast living. SoCal felt slightly different since my departure in September 2012. The political climate and social scene are still the same–now more assuredly Democrat and superficial, respectively. Barren, dry landscapes  were more readily apparent  thanks to the Sacramento-created drought. The same whiff of snobbery I loathed was still omnipresent. And yet, the tranquility that emanated from the Pacific Ocean (ironic, I know) temporarily washed my qualms about California away. It was a perfect week-long getaway!

California was once touted as the Promise Land. Alas, the Golden State is slowly but surely losing its golden hue. Full Democrat-rule in Sacramento, big government policies, Hollywood, among many things, have adversely impacted my home state–causing her natives to seek refuge elsewhere. It pains me to see California fall from greatness.

As a native Californian happily displaced in the Washington, D.C., metro area for three years now, I felt like an outsider from the inside. Everything was simultaneously familiar and distant. (I bet many of you have had ambiguous thoughts about returning to your hometowns.) While I enjoyed my time back home, it made me appreciate applying my California roots to a higher purpose here in DC today.

Yes, there are a lot of negative stereotypes about my home state, especially SoCal. Rich, privileged, spoiled, affluent — all adjectives come to mind about SoCal. However, it had many redeeming qualities. Thanks for expanding my food palate, molding me into a beach bum, and making be a rebel with a cause, California!

For those of  you who haven’t trekked out West before, listen to these songs to get a feel for California:

“California” by Kenny Chesney

“California Gurls” by Katy Perry

We don’t wear Daisy Dukes with bikinis on top, but we California girls are pretty unique. The Beach Boys did a great job of drawing everyone’s attention to that.

“Californication” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

RHCP is arguably one of the best bands to hail from California, and this song is reflective of SoCal in so many ways.

“Hella Good” by No Doubt

No Doubt was formed in Anaheim, CA. It’s one of the best bands to hail from SoCal–especially from Orange County. For those of us from California, hella is slang for “good,” “hell of a lot,” or “very.” Though its origins are from Northern California, many of us from SoCal have adopted the term into our vernacular too.

“Holiday From Real” by Jack’s Mannequin

Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate, spent a great deal of time in Orange County. His music is quintessentially Californian.

“California” by Phantom Planet

This song was popularized by the hit TV show, The OC. Though I never watched the show – I didn’t need a show to remind me about my hometown – the song stood out to me.

“Hotel California” by The Eagles

How can you be from California and not like this song? It’s a classic!

In Travels With Charley: In Search of America, John Steinbeck wrote“The Pacific is my home ocean; I knew it first, grew up on its shore, collected marine animals along the coast. I know its moods, its color, its nature.”

 Though I now reside in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, California – especially Orange County – will be my first home.  It taught me to value the finer things in life and to aspire to be successful in the future. It taught me to appreciate nature by facilitating my love of fishing and good beaches. It taught me to appreciate quality food–especially food of the Mexican variety. Most of all, it molded me into the easy going, spirited, independent conservative chick I am today.
Love you, California. Hope to see you again in the future!

Cheers to Three Years in Washington, D.C.!


On this day three years ago, I boarded a plane from sunny Orange County, CA to start post-graduate life in Washington, D.C. And what an adventure it has been! I’ve been incredibly blessed for all that has come my way.

How can one succeed here without losing their soul? Be an outsider from the inside. Be kind to others, remember your roots, work hard, and don’t be afraid to forge your own path. Most of all, don’t become part of the problem–nobody likes an entrenched Beltway barnacle.

Thanks to everyone who helped me successfully transition from the West Coast to the East Coast. I’m forever indebted to you!


Dear L.A.: Leave San Diego Alone!


San Diego, a.k.a. America’s Finest City, will always have a special place in my heart. I spent three years there during my time at UC-San Diego. Though I moved out of California several years ago, I fondly look back on my time in S.D.

I recently learned that UT-San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union Tribune (SDUT), was bought by the parent company of the L.A. Times. (Ugh.) Here’s more about the recent merger:

The day after the announcement of an agreement to sell the U-T San Diego to the parent company of the Los Angeles Times, the reaction among a variety of civic leaders struck a welcoming tone to the new owner, tempered with a cautious note of wait-and-see about possible changes in a newspaper that traces its lineage back 146 years.

SDUT always had decent commentary, especially with its conservative/libertarian-leaning editorial board. Its reporting is far superior to that of LAT’s “reporting,” in my humble opinion. (LAT is notoriously leftist.) I suspect UTSDo will adopt a more leftist bent following this deal. Truly sad.

This is not the only attempt to subvert San Diego or nearby counties to the whims of L.A. There is immense chatter about transferring Qualcomm Stadium in downtown San Diego up to Carson in L.A. (The Chargers would potentially share their stadium with the Oakland Raiders.) Additionally, the renaming of the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was perhaps the most idiotic move imaginable. (I don’t even follow sports that closely but found this move to be nonsensical since L.A. already boasts the L.A. Dodgers.) Again, L.A. has an encroachment problem.

Here’s more about the rivalry:

“There is a great rivalry going back to the late 19th century in terms of who would be the great Southern California metropolis, San Diego or Los Angeles,” said UC San Diego political science professor Steve Erie. “But then L.A. ended up getting the Southern Pacific railroad in 1873 because they were willing to pay more, and about a quarter of the San Diego business community high-tailed it up to L.A. believing that is where destiny smiles. In a sense, we have been in L.A.’s shadow ever since.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I don’t hate Los Angeles; I just prefer San Diego.

Growing up in Orange County, which is situated between these two metropolises, I had the luxury of traveling to both cities as a child, teenager, and college student. The L.A.-S.D. rivalry was widely apparent, and I always sided with San Diego. I always loved San Diego and knew deep down in my heart that I’d attend college there.

Suffice to say that L.A. is not an entirely horrible place; it’s just so overcrowded, leftist, and superficial. Several relatives live or have lived in L.A., so there were always frequent visits up to Santa Monica or Marina del Rey.  (Thank you Hollywood and decades’ long leftist policies in place for tainting this once-great city!) There are many wonderful things in L.A.–the food, the beach, great art museums, etc.–just not many attractive things available to convince me to move to the City of Angels. (Thankfully I’m out of California entirely.) However, here are just some of my observations as to why S.D. is more superior than L.A.:

  • Fewer, much nicer people – S.D. is home to friendlier people. It must be due to less traffic, proximity to beaches, and better standard of living.
  • Rich military history–Just about every branch of the military is housed in S.D. Navy SEALs are trained here. Plus, there’s the U.S.S. Midway.
  • Fewer taxes, more politically sane – The current mayor is a Republican, though he could benefit from being more conservative. It’s the eighth largest city in the U.S. and is more prosperous than L.A.
  • Nice beaches–Coronado, La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad–need I say more??
  • Great brews, good food–S.D. is known for its variety of food and libations, especially its authentic Mexican food and craft beers.
  • Oldest city in California–S.D. was founded in 1769 and is known as the birthplace of California. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stumbled upon it about 200 years before its establishment. Top that, L.A.!

To my fellow California natives still residing in the once Golden State or residing elsewhere: what do you think? Do you think L.A. has an encroachment problem? Weigh in below!

Statist California Senator Set to Retire in 2016

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced today that she won’t be seeking re-election in 2016. ABC News writes:

The 74-year-old Boxer made the announcement in a video with her grandson.

She was first elected to the House in 1982 and then to the Senate one decade later. It was an election that marked a watershed year for women in politics with four winning U.S. Senate seats, including fellow Californian Dianne Feinstein.

In the Senate, Boxer has been a staunch supporter of abortion rights, gun control and environmental protections.

Isn’t this good news, fellow Californians? Though I may be an ex-pat residing in Virginia, I’m elated to hear this news. Babs was arguably one of the most statist, leftist U.S. Senators in recent memory. She’s been in office since I was 2-years-old. (22 years is a hella long time.) Scary, isn’t it?

And who could forget this gem of a video?

It’s a very long shot for a Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat (or any top position) in California. The most recent data on California voters says 44% of likely voters are Democrats, 32% of likely voters are Republicans, and 19% of likely voters are independents. The number of independent voters continues to rise, but most of them lean Democrat. Let’s not kid ourselves about the California Republican Party either…It’s in shambles.

It’ll take someone charismatic, principled, and likeable on the Right to clinch a U.S. Senate seat from Democrats. Maybe actor Gary Sinise? Not sure.

What do you think about Senator Boxer’s news? Weigh in below!

New Townhall Column: Online Abortion Class Demeans Free Thought at University of California

I’ve penned a new column for Here’s an excerpt:

The University of California (UC) system is one of the most reputed institutions of higher learning here in the United States. Boasting 10 campuses stretching from Davis in Northern California to San Diego in Southern California, the UC system is historically regarded for molding future leaders and pioneers. Unfortunately, intellectual diversity and tolerance of differing opinions are concepts largely absent in the UC system today.

UC-San Francisco (UCSF)—UC’s medical school—is one of the first universities offering a free online course on abortion. The free six-week course is titled “Abortion: Quality Care and Public Health Implications.” It is taught by Dr. Jody Steinauer, a noted pro-abortion OB/GYN and former president of Medical Students for Choice. The course started on October 13 and will conclude on November 24. It is open to the public for enrollment.

Continue reading at

Year 2 in DC: Making DC Listen

Two years ago today, I boarded a DC-bound plane from Orange County, CA to begin my post-graduate life on the East Coast. Following my arrival, I began an internship at a reputed media organization and was then hired by LI a few weeks later. (I was very lucky to get a job straight out of college.)

You might be asking me, “Why would you leave sunny California for DC/NoVA?” Moving from the West Coast to the East Coast was certainly a big change in my life. I left family, friends, and all things familiar behind in California to advance my career in conservative politics. The DC-area gets a bad rap for being an incestuous, corrupt cesspool (which it is), but thankfully there are many good elements here.

Funny thing is, ever since I moved the to Washington, D.C. area, my disdain for politics as usual and the status quo has exponentially grown. Here in Virginia, I now pay fewer taxes and am working towards becoming a gun owner–which are foreign concepts to most Californians. Additionally, I’ve had more opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life like fishing, shooting guns, traveling, and relishing a quasi-Southern lifestyle. I’ve made some life-long friends, met some interesting people, and have done my part to #MakeDCListen in the process. I have no regrets moving here.

Thank you to my family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else who helped and welcomed this wide-eyed Southern California girl to the East Coast!

New Counter Cultured Column: UCSB Killer Elliot Rodger is to Blame for Massacre

I’ve penned a new column at Counter Cultured. Below is an excerpt:

I want to start this article by first extending my thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Isla Vista massacre. I spent summer 2010 in downtown Santa Barbara and will always cherish the time I spent living there. No town should be subjected to this kind of horror. Please join me in offering your condolences to those in the UC-Santa Barbara area.

Following the massacre, unsurprisingly, many leftists have made calls to ban guns and to dismantle gun groups. Additionally, radical feminists gave birth to the viral yet misleading #YesAllWomen hashtag to blame the massacre on men.

22-year-old Elliot Rodger, a Santa Barbara City College student and son of Hollywood director Peter Rodger, went on a killing spree May 23 with knives and guns that left six coeds dead and countless others injured. He ultimately died following a confrontation with Santa Barbara police.

Elliot Rodger was a deeply disturbed guy. From his bizarre YouTube videos to his 140-page manifesto, Rodger appeared to be self-absorbed, antagonistic towards others, and troubled from early on.

I’ll be appearing on NRANews’ Cam and Company Show today at 2:40pm ET to discuss the article!