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.
Kyla really liked the Ocean.
I mean, REALLY liked it.
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.
I am extremely glad we met.
Kyla and the ocean are now friends. The surf a new mesmerizing lullaby.
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!
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.
We landed here for our first sunset of our trip and the first sight of surfers and dolphins.
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.
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.
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!
No, I didn’t grow up in California, but it was in growing up that I fell in love with California. The summer of age twelve, I spent a month in San Diego. A week of that month was at Ocean Beach. At an impressionable age, on-the-cusp of my teen years, California left its mark in my life.
That summer wasn’t easy. My parents had separated. Southern California was
our my escape. I didn’t have to worry about my family or the changes that were taking place. All my troubles washed away in the Pacific.
At the end of summer, I went back to my home in the Oklahoma countryside, where my accent wasn’t cute anymore and people didn’t ask to hear me talk. I sounded like everyone else again, and I missed the care-free days of the summer. So, I decorated my bedroom walls with posters of surfers. I was determined to hold on to the magic of my California summer.
Surrounded by 60-foot waves, I dreamed of beach days and mushroom omelets at the beachside cafe.
My love for California never departed from my heart. Every chance I get, I go back to remember and dream of those summer days that meant so much to me.
Jason and I leave tomorrow for California and will spend a whole week “California Dreamin”. On our radar is San Diego, Palm Springs, Big Bear Lake, and Ventura. Who knows where else in-between, lots of places I haven’t been to. We don’t have a schedule or strict plan. Our only plan is do and see and go.
I will be taking LOTS of photographs.
Truthfully? Tomorrow morning can’t get here fast enough.
I am not even sure what I’m looking forward to more….sunsets on the beach, being off work, visiting the San Diego Zoo, or under 100 degree days.
Whatever we do, I can promise you, it will be enjoyed.
My next post will be from my iPhone in CALI!!!