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Gratitude Inventory

My talented and beautiful friend Gina Thomspon Venturini often writes about giving thanks and showing gratitude; I was especially touched by her recent words:

“If you think you don’t have enough, start taking inventory around your life and I bet you will find that you have plenty. If you have either of these: a job, a car, a roof over your head, clothes, and food to eat, then you have a lot more than most. Before you close your eyes, give a big Thank You to the universe and may you continue to be showered with blessings.”

Gina and Eddie

Gina with Eddie, one of her friends from the streets, near Santa Monica

I am especially grateful for the overall experience of living. In the past week I have enjoyed delicious food, friendly interactions and the opportunity to pay all gratitude forward. I shared two delectable meals with my friend Calamardo, first at Las Margaritas and next at La Mesa de Coco. Las Margaritas delivered great service, incredible cuisine and several cards for free drinks. We were touched by the graciousness of the owner and server, who thanked us with smiles and handshakes for dining with them.

Calamardo at Las Margaritas

Calamardo at Las Margaritas with a beautiful chile relleno!

Next, Calamardo’s friends David and Tony from La Mesa del Coco prepared a hand-cooked Sea Bass dinner complete with sides and garlic bread. The generosity and kindness of this establishment is sincere and enlightening:  a bartender that loves to cook and an owner that allows him to use the kitchen to prepare food for friends. ¡Gracias, La Mesa del Coco!

David at La Mesa del Coco

David at La Mesa del Coco with a beautiful tequila presentation

Last weekend I attended Que?Pasa Bar and Grill’s 9th Anniversary Celebration, featuring free cervezas, free Gringo Tacos, several live bands and a heavenly pastel for everyone.  A wonderful evening in a place where I volunteer with kids and celebrate with adults. ¡Felicidades!

Michael and Yvonne

Que?Pasa owner Michael Hayes and his wife Yvonne have much to celebrate!

The gratitude continued during the week as I received a promotional flyer from Abarrotes Hilda (the tienda where I buy my cawamas and garrafonts). La Casa de las Cachapas specializes in savory folded cakes of elote stuffed with cheese, vegetables and meat: a traditional dish from Venezuela. ¡Muy rico! I will definitely be returning for more. 

Flyers for the week

Flyers, menus and cards: gratitude is everywhere

All this generous delicious eating and drinking makes me appreciate the non-edible things in my life the most: when people I have only recently met make sure I am welcomed as a guest, fed well and return home safely. I look around and I am thankful for beautiful weather, a cute apartment, new friends and the ability to help others whenever possible.

Speedy and Me

Give thanks for little dogs like Speedy that you can hold in bars!

Thanks for the reminder, Gina. I’ve taken inventory this week and find myself more grateful than ever for my life.

Author: Kate Dana

Teacher, traveler and writer living on the Caribbean coast of South America.

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