This past week, we've been traveling in California and I tell you, as a place to visit, it has become a favorite. I have no idea if I'd ever actually want to live here, but I sure like looking around. There are oceans, plains, hills, mountains, Joshua trees and cacti. There are mighty cities that give way to enormous fields of real food framed by endless orchards of nuts and fruits. Beautiful vistas unfold everywhere we go. Admittedly, I'm easy to please and curious about anyplace that's not familiar, and many people would not be quite so thrilled with some of the things that thrill me, but that's okay. I'm having a blast.
We started out in Newport Beach last weekend. That town is seriously like a living museum of What to Do and Buy if You are Among the Much-Monied in America. Houses everywhere that when Zillowed (something you do when you are NOT among the monied) show prices in the multiple tens of millions. Dream cars. As in Lamborghinis and Ferraris and McClarens. Seen every day. In Newport, a Mercedes C-class or BMW 5-series is the like a Camry or Accord in Real-World America. It is fascinating to observe as an outsider. I'm sure that life has its own kind of normal, and Sam, who served here for 6 months of his mission, loves the town and the people here. That's why we came. We got to meet one of the families who loved and cared for him on his mission, and that was the true treat. They were wonderful and their admiration for my son was evident. Thank you Sanders Family, for your goodness.
It really is beautiful though, both in natural ways and man-made. Here is the view from just outside the condo where we stayed:
I loved Balboa Peninsula for its cottages, set right next to each other; each unique but with a certain style that creates a wonderful, harmonious neighborhood. We had a lovely sunset walk on the beach there:
It's a bit surreal for me to be towered over by my sons in this photo, but it represents a happy memory of easy togetherness. Maybe that is why I love California so much. It is the place where many moments like this one have happened for me and my family. And now my early morning time is gone. More about the rest of the trip soon.