Living in the Ranch one of the best ‘presents’ in my life

Twelve years ago I moved from Los Angeles to Rancho Santa Fe. I remember driving down Via de la Valle for the first time toward our new home in the Ranch thinking how beautiful the eucalyptus trees were hanging over the road. I was pregnant with my son and driving this huge U-haul with some of my past cluttered in the back in packed boxes. I had no idea then what to expect. I had never heard of Rancho Santa Fe. To be honest, I thought it sounded like a place in New Mexico. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I drove quietly to my new home. I must admit, I was apprehensive and afraid. What kind of life would I find in San Diego?            
As I share with you my son’s 11th birthday celebration, I am also remembering my beginnings in the Ranch. Now looking back, I wish I could have whispered to my younger self, “You just hit the jackpot, but you don’t know it yet!” That’s how I feel today. Sometimes it takes a while to discover a place and to understand its own worth on our journey. “Presents” can also come in the form of change. In the beginning, losing what we know might be hard. Sometimes what we don’t want to happen can turn out be a blessing in disguise. Celebrating my son’s life here in the Ranch and getting to know this wonderful community has been truly a gift in my life.
Around Town
On March 29, some lucky Ranch residents attended the much anticipated Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour at San Diego State’s Viejas Arena. Wow, I must say as a Lady Gaga fan myself, that’s thrilling! I have included a picture of Ali Acosta, Dylan Mulvaney, Tony Sorge, Lauren Sorge and Kassidy Brown. I’ve always found it odd how Lady Gaga calls her fans her “little monsters,” but the term has stayed and it seems they love it. Thanks for sharing the photo.
On April 3, Ranch resident Jackson Bernard Tuck (my son!) celebrated his 11th birthday party at the Ultra Zone Laser Tag down in San Diego. I had the good fortune of driving two of his buddies — Brett Vitale and Brandon Catledge — along with Jackson down to the party. We met his other good friends Matthew Sorge, Chloe Temple, Atiana Smith, Holden and Reese MacDonald at the location. I included an exuberant group photo of them from that day and one of me with Jill Sorge — my very first friend in Rancho Santa Fe. Thanks to all of his good friends for coming out and making the day perfect.
On April 10, I received a phone call from my good friend Jill and her daughter Lauren Sorge. They were headed down to see the overflow at the dam at Lake Hodges, which has been a local tourist attraction lately. Later that day, I received a spectacular shot just down below the overspill at the base of the dam. I just had to share it with my readers. And, if you haven’t heard of the mysterious monster Hodgee, it’s a fun tidbit of information to know. Just like the infamous Loch Ness body of water in the Scottish Highlands, our very own Lake Hodges may have its own monster living in the dark crevices down below. You must check out this website that documents the history of its sightings at I love good stories like that.
On April 13, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop in Rancho Santa Fe — Caffe Pasitono in Fairbanks. This will be the seventh summer that owner Tim Cusac has delivered gourmet coffee, pastries and sandwiches to the Ranch. A popular stop right after school is the Rancho Santa Fe Sandwich Shop, which is also owned by Tim. You can see the children lined up outside in the courtyard waiting for soft serve frozen yogurt. Congrats, Tim on bringing so many lovely choices for the residents. One of my favorite items at his Sandwich Shop is his freshly made chicken salad. I must add, it’s “divine” as my sister would say.
Save the Dates
On April 23, don’t miss out on the Cielo Spring Food & Art, Craft Fair to Benefit Rady’s Children Hospital, which will start at 11 a.m. Saturday. Local artists and businesses will be there with their own booths featuring excellent Easter and Mother Day’s gift ideas for the family. There will also be an egg hunt for the kids to enjoy. The event location is just off of Del Dios Highway at the Cielo Plaza.
On April 28, my favorite writer — New York Times best selling author Luanne Rice will be here locally at Warwick’s Book Store, located at 7812 Girard Avenue in La Jolla at 7:30 p.m. Luann Rice will be in town promoting her newest novel, “Silver Boat,” which is published by Penguin. If you are an avid book lover or loyal fan of Luanne’s, this will be a night you must attend. Luanne Rice has written 29 novels and many of her books have been made into films. The New York Times Book Review has referred to her writing as “Exciting, emotional, and terrific.” I couldn’t agree more. I have also featured a photo of Luanne Rice here in my column. For more information on this event, visit to, listed under upcoming events.


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