Small Town (Girl) Grows Up
Community. Family. And Small-Town Love. That’s what Andrea Crettol’s childhood was all about. Community. Family. And Significantly Larger-Town Love. That’s what Andrea’s adulthood seems to be teeming with.
She’s a native Sacramentan and is as in love with our fair city as she has ever been. Listening to Andrea talk about her childhood feels like stepping into a movie about idyllic, small-town living. I am comforted and soothed just hearing her stories.
Andrea spent the majority of her Sacramento upbringing, visiting Vic’s Ice Cream after gymnastics class at Byers Gymnastics in Land Park. “We just loved Vic’s so much- it was just this very unique, 60’s style Diner, with the black and white wall paper, and a super cute vibe. When you walk to the restroom area, you get to pass where they make the ice cream, so you know, as kids, that was just so cool to us. It just felt like a very special place.”
Gymnastics Class and time with the family at Vic’s was complemented by weekends at the River, hanging with friends, rafting, and just enjoying the Sacramento sun.
Keeping matters close to the family, and as sweet as Vic’s Butter Brittle Ice Cream, Andrea’s sister eventually wound up buying their childhood Gymnastics Gym, and renaming it Planet Gymnastics, so that her kids could have the same kind of sweet, close to home, wholesome fun that she and her sister had when they were kids.
There was a moment in Andrea’s Young Adult “City of Trees” Life when she and her boyfriend Joel thought they might leave the Farm-to-Fork Capital of California. “We felt for a while that there really wasn’t much to do in Sacramento, and we were looking for something a little more dynamic and exciting. Then, right when we were about to move, we started to notice a lot of new Mom and Pop restaurants popping up, and music and art events starting to happen in mid-town, so we decided to stay and see what would happen, and we’re just so happy we did.”
Joel and Andrea met through Andrea’s sister, who worked with Joel at Elephant Bar. A few years after their first, brief meeting, they ran into one another, exchanged numbers and the rest is history. They’ve been together 8 years now.
Joel and Andrea, both big foodies, now enjoy exploring all that the mid-town cuisine scene has to offer, and taking their two dogs, Layla Rose and Venture, to a wide variety of Sacramento dog parks. Partner Park Dog Park is Andrea’s favorite because of how big it is, and for the fact that there are two sections of the park, allowing dogs to play in two distinct environments. “Our dogs have it good,”Andrea tells me, chuckling at the sweetly idyllic life even her dogs are getting to live.
When I ask Andrea what she would like people to know about Sacramento that they might not yet be aware of, she tells me about The Art Mix, an event which I, myself, had never previously heard of. It happens once a month at The Crocker Art Museum and is apparently quite a blow-out, fun-time, not-to-be-missed, grown up style, party. Performers perform, Painters paint, DJ’s spin, Burlesque Dancers dance, and patrons often attend in costume.
“One time,” Andrea tells me, “the theme was ‘Glow’ so my friends and I all wore neon colors, enjoyed the different bars at the event (there are usually at least two), and just had a super fun time all night. It’s really my girlfriends and my favorite way to just get together and have a really good time, catching up with one another and letting loose.”
During the day, Andrea works for New York Life, a company she adores and that provides her the stability and sense of “giving back” she so desired to find in a workplace.
“New York Life is all about helping people figure out how to meet their financial goals. We take people from what they dream about having, to a living action plan that allows them to enjoy living in the moment, knowing they are taken care of by the company.”
Andrea lights up when she talks about her job. “New York Life is all about giving back to the community and educating people of all financial levels about how to get financially empowered. We go into all different kinds of communities in Sacramento and offer financial advice that is truly for everyone. I honestly just love working for this company. I couldn’t be happier.”
Dog Parks. Fun Times. Excellent Food. Community Spirit. Familial Love. And Work That Inspires… Hmmm… Andrea’s life in Sacramento makes one wonder: Maybe it’s time we invest in keeping Sacramento’s brilliance a wee bit hidden, lest the rest of the world discover just how awesome we truly are, and lest those dogs parks start resembling Bay Area traffic—which so many come here to escape. :)