Welcome to Hasta La Vino! A blog about our lifestyle, adventures, our love for one another.. and of course, our immense love for wine.
Hasta La Vino ~ “Until the Wine” because people who enjoy wine, enjoy life. Well at least that’s what we were told by a wine tour guide in Santa Barbara and it’s stuck with us ever since. My husband, Jason initially started this blog to document his once-upon-a-time dislike of wine to his now love for it. Personally, I have loved wine since I can remember taking my first sip of… wait for it… White Zinfandel! Luckily it was a transition phase and now I enjoy everything from a white wine spritzer to our favorite, Pinot Noir. We hope you will enjoy our blog, which will be filled with lots of pretty photos (I am also a professional photographer) life advice and inspiration from myself, as well as travel ideas /suggestions, restaurant & wine reviews and more from Jason. We will also keep you updated on our day-to-day life in Southern California and all the crazy ideas we come up with along the way! You could say we are a “Jack and Jane” of many trades – which also couldn’t be more different trades! We laugh because Jason is an absolute left brain and I am right all the way. We have always dreamed of being some cool husband and wife team, but our career lines have just never lined up… until now. We both have an IMMENSE love of living an anything but normal lifestyle… Here’s our story.
To give you a little more background/insight into our lives, we met in Dallas, TX when we were 22 (Claire) and 24 (Jason) (babies!) and it truly was LOVE at first sight. I was still in college and spent my weeks working full-time while going to school full-time, and Jason had just moved to Dallas after serving 4 years in the air force. Of all places to meet my future husband, the LAST place I thought it would be was a club! But that’s where it happened. He approached me, and at the last minute couldn’t think of anything to say so he (very cool guy) took a straw out of my drink and walked off (knowing I would have an attitude, but it would break me away from my pact of girls to go talk to him) and the rest is history! We ended up talking for hours that night and eventually moving in together from day 8 or 9, I believe. As cliche as it sounds – we just knew. We may have been young, but our souls were made for each other. We were engaged 9 months later (On Valentines Day 2007) and married 13 months after that on March 29, 2008. We have now been marred for 6 1/2 years and what a journey it has been.. we really grew up together in a way, but the craziest part is we feel like we’re just getting started!
From a conventional life to anything but..
Once upon a time we even tried to be normal. As most everyone knows how it’s “supposed” to go.. you get married, find a good job with a decent salary, buy a house, and have kids. We were on that track exactly.. after renting for a few years we decided to buy “our dream home” in Frisco (a suburb of Dallas) and it was lovely! I had my dream closet complete with a chandelier, Jason worked with a construction team to add all of the bells and whistles our hearts desired – including a fabulous wine room! (who needs a formal dining room anyway?)
Then there we were.. a family of 2 with 2 fur babies, a 4 bedroom, 4 bath 3,500 square feet house, yet we couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t really what either of us wanted. I even remember us saying, “..aren’t we at the point where we should be talking about and wanting to have kids?” We didn’t feel ready, but they always say you never do so we just thought that was normal. So after a few years of trying (and being the least happy we have ever been) we entertained the thought of selling our house for a profit! There was new construction going up all around us and we thought well let’s just SEE what happens. No later than 1 week of being on the market we had more offers than we knew what to do with. I actually remember where we were sitting when Jason showed me the offer that I knew deep down we couldn’t refuse. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. I have never considered myself a super religious person – but I have always had a strong FAITH. I taught myself to pray and LISTEN. Not for what I wanted but for what HE wants for me. It wasn’t easy at first, but ever since I realized that His plan for my life was better than my own, I have never been steered wrong. There could have been several times in my life that I said, “No, THIS is what I WANT!”, instead I would pray for guidance. Has it been exactly what I wanted? No. Has it been more than I could ever imagine to have wanted. YES. After coping with our failed attempts at living the life we thought we were ‘supposed to live’, we sold our (once-upon-a-time) dream home and rented a brown stone half the size in Highland Park – and up to that point that was the happiest we had ever been! We went from a 4/4 to a 1 bedroom with a study and we LOVED our new little home in the city.
We were blessed to make a nice profit from the sell of our home so about a month after our move we decided to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to somewhere I have always wanted to visit – Europe! It was actually a surprise anniversary trip – but Jason knows I need time to prepare so he gave me about a month notice. I had never been more excited in my life. Little did we know this trip would dramatically change our thoughts – which would eventually change our life. Jason put an entire itinerary together, and completely mapped out every minute of our trip. We flew to Paris, then took a train to Barcelona and ended in the romantic city of Venice. It was an expensive trip that was worth every single penny. “Travel is the only thing you can spend money on that makes you richer.” I will map out each trip in a separate post but to make a long story short(er) our last leg of the trip we stopped in NYC. I had been there before, but being born and raised in Texas my whole life, it was too opposite of a lifestyle for me to grasp – so I dismissed the beauty of it thinking “it’s too different” (ignorance is bliss). One of the highlights of our Paris trip was meeting a personal shopper (my anni gift from Jason) not because she was a personal shopper, but because I learned she spoke 7 languages and has lived in 43 countries – I didn’t even know there were 43 countries! I remember thinking to myself that I had never felt more like a loser. I was 28 and had lived in 1 city my entire life.
Photos by Lamour De Paris
Back to NYC. We decided to go out one last time and enjoy the remainder of our trip – even with jet lag hitting full force. I was sitting on the bed about to get ready, when I saw those sticky notes all hotels have sitting next to me. I pulled them out, grabbed a pen and wrote the name of 4 cities on 4 different sticky notes… Paris, NYC, Chicago and LA.
We had discussed moving before and decided the only places we could/want to live are bigger metropolitan cities than Dallas. We made pros/cons for each city.
Paris: Pro: The most beautiful city in all of the world. Con: We would have to learn another language and it was probably the most difficult move out of the 4.
NYC: Pro: A completely different lifestyle Con: A completely different lifestyle. We would have to sell our cars and Jason is a car freak.
Chicago: Pro: The clean city, summers Con: Cold weather 9 months out of the year
LA: Pro: Easiest transition, we have always loved LA Con: ??
We jumbled them all up and picked one… LOS ANGELES
From the Lone Star State to the City of Angels..
That was March of 2013 and by November of 2013 we were making our arrangements to move half way across the country. There were several things that happened in that 8 month time frame. I quit my 9-5 to follow my dream of being a full-time photographer. Jason transitioned from the Real Estate empire he had built to pursue a completely different career field in Business Franchising. And for the first time in awhile we felt like things were more on track than they had ever been before. Except one small thought that we kept in the back of our minds – moving. Then I got the text (which I wish I would have screenshotted). “Do you want to move to LA?, “My company just asked me and I said we would.” As I read it I was both overcome with joy, and at the exact same moment, FEAR. I had literally just got my business to the point where I had more clients than I knew what to do with, and now I have to leave it all? (Oh, and yes most of our biggest life decisions have been made via text!) I loved my niche business I had made, and knew I didn’t want to just let go of what I had worked so hard to build. So Jason being the big idea guy he is, suggested I hire another photographer to take it over in Dallas. Again, what?! As anyone in a creative field will tell you, that’s NOT possible. But a few short weeks later I was searching for a photographer to take over my business. And you would never believe it but the girl who would eventually become Clara Bella – Dallas, was from California! and it was her dream to move to Texas. I knew it was Fate. Another sign we were on the right track. Another sure answer to my prayers.
So we packed up, flew back and forth a few times until we found our perfect rental home – which ended up being in the beautiful and quaint city of Playa Vista, California. It’s technically LA, our license says LA, but it’s on the westside about a mile to the ocean. If you stand on our balcony on a clear day, you can even see a sliver of blue – so it’s basically ocean front. 😉 Since we moved from the suburbs to Highland Park we were already somewhat used to paying a premium, which really helped in our transition to California. Then again, we were aware we weren’t going to be paying for a “good cost of living”, we are paying MORE to live an amazing cost of LIFE! Waiting to move was the longest few months of our lives. I thought I would be sad, anxious and even scared, but I was none of that. Everything just fell into place, and as soon as we arrived, I knew we were where we were meant to be.
We didn’t move to LA to become famous actors, we moved here to live life on OUR terms. Once we (me) realized that we didn’t HAVE to do what everyone else was doing – life was SO much happier. We are still as in love, if not more than we were from the day we met. We’re teammates together in this gift of life. We express gratitude for all we have, and on the rare occasion that we argue it immediately subsides because when you ‘win’ the other person ‘loses’ which means you both lose. We trust, support and encourage each others dreams and desires. We BOTH want this life and I think that’s the most important aspect of any relationship. We certainly don’t think any less of anyone who does decide to go the conventional route, if that’s what makes you happy then go for it – that’s what makes the world go ’round!
So here we are in beautiful, sunny, LA! No one knows what the future holds but it’s a good feeling to know that you are on the path you were intended to be on.. and I have a feeling deep down that it’s only the beginning of an amazing and probably even more unconventional journey ahead. 😉
We have many passions and career dreams, but our biggest passion together is to really enjoy life and all it has to offer to the absolute fullest. We love to go on new adventures together. We love to travel to new places. We love fine dining, and boy do we LOVE wine.
We are dreamers, and doers and we know there are others out there who love the “unconventional” life just as much as we do! We hope you enjoy our blog, and if you want to get to know us even more you can follow our Instagram accounts below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Both/Hasta La Vino @hastalavino
Cheers, it’s winoclock somwhere!
Jason and Claire Anderson
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