Dear America: California

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Laguna Beach

I went for the first time when I was 5, to the Bay Area. I remember it being cold in the mornings and hot in the afternoons. I went again when I was 19, back to the Bay Area, and then on a mini-road trip down to Los Angeles with a friend from college. Our first stop when we made it to the area was Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, where the burger was the best I'd had up until that point. I walked the streets with stars in my eyes -- aside from downtown Hollywood, I thought Los Angeles was just magical.

And then I returned the following spring and my mom and I drove through the beach cities (Newport, Laguna) down to San Diego, where I had my one and only surfing experience. I stood up on my very first wave and couldn't stand up again. It was exhausting. I became addicted to fish tacos and banana milkshakes.

And of course, after college, I tried to "make it" in Los Angeles. I was there for nearly a month, lived on Venice Beach among hippies and possible drug addicts. It was scary, amazing, boring, beautiful, sunny ... but then I started running low on money and came home. I haven't been back since, but I definitely plan on it.

I'm missing most of my photographs of Los Angeles and Venice, but here are some others, from the trips I took in college ...

La Jolla

San Francisco

Big Boy and me, too happy to be in southern California :)

Some of my favorite songs about California:

This song says everything I've probably ever wanted to say and couldn't find the words to

The fact that California has inspired so much music says volumes about the place.

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