California Girls

When Jason and I decided to take a trip to California, there were lots of reasons for stopping in San Diego; the zoo, and the beach for one. Plus, both of us had spent some parts of our young life in San Diego. Our affection for this land and sea, a mutual one.

But a third reason for me included a chance to meet an online friend (or two). One that I had known for over FIVE years. In online time that’s like a hundred years. Her baby girl was a bonus to the whole deal. I am a partial to baby girls having one myself and two step-daughters.

I had a few panicky moments that we might not meet. Sometimes, vacation time, which seems endless, rushes by from place to place, then it’s mysteriously gone and you’ve missed out on half of what you wanted to do.

But somehow the stars aligned, and it all worked out.

Not only did we get to meet IRL (in real life), but I got to be silly with baby Kyla and see her first look at the Pacific Ocean. We met at my favorite place – Ocean Beach.

It was just like meeting a friend I had known my entire life. She was exactly as I imagined her – warm, sweet, and beautiful.

It was definitely worth the wait. We had a wonderful dinner, then hit the beach to snap a few pics. I wanted to get seven-month-old Kyla at the Ocean for the first time. And although, we didn’t do a formal portrait session, I think they still turned out great.

Look, it's the OCEAN!

Fun, and happy Kyla

Mommy and Kyla share a kiss.

Mommy and baby toes

Oh, Mama, that's cold!

Just hanging at the beach...LAUGHING!

Kyla really liked the Ocean.

I mean, REALLY liked it.

Love her game show face

Or maybe it was me making funny faces at her.

These two California girls are a pair to be reckoned with in cuteness. Don’t even try, because they will win hands-down.

Jen & Kyla

I am extremely glad we met.

Kyla and the ocean are now friends. The surf a new mesmerizing lullaby.

Kyla staring at the ocean

I was sad to leave them both. That’s the thing with online friends. They live far away and you just don’t know when (or if) you might see them again. I hope I do!

San Diego’s Ocean Beach

Initially, I thought I would take my vacation photographs in bite-sized pieces.

I would share with you step-by-step our progressive trip through Southern California.

But instead of showing you our first stop (Dana Point, CA), I am showing my second. Because really?

This is it. The beach from the summer I turned thirteen. This is where my obsession (and yearning) for California was born. My escape. My paradise.

I am so glad we found it. I am so glad it was a real place.

After so long, I just wasn’t sure.

Ocean Beach Pier Entrance

Sun Rays over Ocean Beach Pier.

Pink sun rays off the Ocean Beach Pier.

We landed here for our first sunset of our trip and the first sight of surfers and dolphins.

Dolphin sighting.

It was pretty dim when I took the last few photos of surfers. They are hard-core riding to the very last drop of sunshine.

The clouds part, the rays disappear, and the sun melts into the Pacific Ocean.

Pier Sunset at Ocean Beach.

We watch.

Ocean Beach at Sunset

Enraptured.

The sinking sun into the Pacific,\.

It was a very moving display of color and light as the evening tide reached up to embrace the sun in its last good-bye for the day.

Jason standing at Water's Edge

We lingered in the glow until we headed back to the hotel. The beach was a little chilly after sunset. Not quite the 100 degrees we were used to. The cool was a welcome friend.

So far, our trip was pretty amazing.

Of course, this is just the beginning…………stay tuned!


Ocean Beach Pier, California 2011

Adding this to You Capture as best summer sunset.
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