From Sea Level column: Vail Daily intern missing avocados
There are two things I think of when I think about what I miss from California: avocados and Mexican food. And I guess if you’re looking at my region of California, wine, but technically, I’m not old enough.
Avocados, though, are the one thing that’s consistent in California. Northern or Southern California, avocado toast or guacamole, face mask or smoothie supplement, we love it. I’ve even seen people stop in the middle of cooking to run out and get avocados — avocados which weren’t even in the recipe.
So it’s fun to come here and see that Vail really does try to create a mixing pot of people. Not just in big ways, but in the small ways that solidify a community. The most amusing way Vail represents California to me is through avocados. There are always at least three different sections of avocados in City Market, and Sundae even has an avocado coconut flavor.
The rodeo is a bigger way that Vail brings together different lifestyles. Rodeos, and the environment that goes along with them, is incredibly important, and usually taken very seriously. Here, that seriousness is represented, and it its significance in many people’s lives isn’t dismissed.
I went to the rodeo one and a half times (the second time I went, it was sold out, but we lingered for about an hour to people watch), and it was clear that there were people in attendance who had been going to rodeos for most of their lives. But there were also people there for the first time. Everyone was welcome, and no one was looked down on for liking the rodeo, or wanting to be there, regardless of prior experience.
As much as I go on about how nice people are here, the best part of that kindness is the courage it gives people. Despite the advice people are often given — that it doesn’t matter what other people think, do what makes you happy — there is always a fear of being laughed at. So people who are most familiar with the lifestyle found at the Bravo! Vail classic music festival can still go to the rodeo and be comfortable there, as well.
Rodeos and the country lifestyle become ingrained in people’s lives, and you can get there through time and effort, but it’s most natural when you grow up with it, when you become familiar with the smells and sights of the arena. But people here welcome everyone to everything with open arms.
And for me, avocados are a part of childhood. They’re not necessarily a cultural staple, but they’re something that I’ve always had around the house, and most restaurants back home have some sort of avocado-based dish. To me, avocados are a small representative of California, one that everyone can enjoy. They’re a category of their own.
Plus, avocados taste really good.
Lindsay Bribiescas is interning at the Vail Daily this summer. She attended UCLA for one year and calls Santa Rosa, California, home. After the summer, she’ll head to St. Andrews in Scotland to finish her college degree. Contact her at email@example.com.