During a reunion trip with some close friends from grad school earlier this spring, we visited a Mexican- American horse farm in Napa Family. My friend’s Mexican-American family have deep roots in Napa since the 1950s. Her aunt and uncle own the horse farm. We spent the warm evening travelling over just a few of the hundreds of acres they own, drinking Napa wine, visiting some of the horses that freely roam the land, and eating a lovely homemade dinner while Motown music played in the background.
The ranch felt like a setting in Like Water for Chocolate (1989). Without the hum of city lights or urban noise infiltrating our ears, we almost felt cocooned by the valley’s intimacy and preserved in a state of the calm, soothing Americananess that once attracted immigrant families to the United States’ northern California countryside.