My daughter approaches the ampitheater
I had my doubts when I left the more urbane Orange County for a lesser known suburb of Los Angeles four years ago. I joked that I had moved to a no man's land devoid of interesting things to do and see. Friends who drove an hour out to see me from Los Angeles and Orange County acted the same way. But it is hardly so in this new region that I now call home.
Art and culture are everywhere here in the Inland Empire (yes, a ridiculous name that only serves to encourage snickers from those who don't live here). You just have to look around you. Fortunately, when the temperatures start shooting back up, you don't have to look very hard.
Just 10 minutes from our house is an outdoor ampitheater that frequently hosts cultural and seasonal activities. Summertime means a series of outdoor concerts, often accompanied by outdoor art installations by local artists.
A beautiful mountain backdrop to the ampitheater that, on a smaller scale, reminds me of the Santa Fe Opera.
On Tuesday, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo by packing up a picnic dinner of chicken taquitos to take to the ampitheater before enjoying live performances by the David Maldonado Trio and the Son Oeste Band, our first outdoor concerts this year. This is an activity that has definitely become one of my favorite summer pasttimes with my family.
The lovely Adrienne Nims shone. Her soulful playing of the saxophone was the highlight of my evening
You see, my husband and I have been bringing our kids to these events since they were newborns. As a result, they have a deeper appreciation for music than they otherwise would without regularly enjoying live music. They know to clap after each performance. They dance with wild abandon if the music moves them. And, when they go home, they pretend they are professional musicians performing in front of an audience with microphone in hand.
Their worlds expand and so do their dreams.