How I Came to Love California

Three years ago today was the first day of my journey to California with a good friend of mine from high school, Megan. We decided during the summer of 2007 that we wanted to have a “real” spring break together. What was usually filled with working over-time at our hourly jobs needed to change. We wanted to go somewhere new. Somewhere exotic. Somewhere that would make us feel as if we had the “best spring break.” Somewhere that was better than the Florida Keys. Somewhere that was non-cliche. Somewhere…we had never been. A remote cabin in the mountains of Lake Tahoe, California was deeply planted into our heads in the beginning. Somewhere along the way, we decided that San Diego was the place we wanted to be. What changed our minds? We noticed a lot of the vacation rentals we were looking at said they did not have air conditioning. We asked around, and turns out, YOU DON’T NEED AIR CONDITIONING in San Diego. SOLD.

When we arrived in the San Diego airport, after receiving our bags, we whisked through the sliding doors that led us to the shuttle pick-up. What we felt when those doors peeled in half, was something we had never felt before in our entire lives. Absolutely zero humidity and a just-the-right-speed breeze.

We rented a silver Mazda 3 that Megan had to be the sole driver, since I was not yet 21 years old. We got into the car and pulled away from the Enterprise station across from the airport, and started driving. Once we reached the first traffic light that was at an underpass of the freeway, the car started rolling backward as we attempted to stop the car on a (what was, to us) steep incline. I had the map of the metropolitan area spread out across the dashboard and had absolutely no idea where we were going. It was then, that Megan started to cry. “I can’t drive on these hills!” the never-even-been-outside-of-East-Coast-time-zone Floridian exclaimed. We were in for it.

We arrived at the guest cottage in Hillcrest that overlooked the airport runway and “the 5” freeway. Right-side curbs were marked red, which we had never seen before, but only learned about in Driver’s Ed. The driveway of the house looked a little something like this:

The Mazda 3 on top of our guest cottage driveway the next morning.

The next morning, we awoke in the studio cottage at 6:45. We stepped outside and onto our private deck that advertised views of the bay. Once the sun was up, I remember standing in the kitchen and looking outside of the small window that looked over the neighborhood street. Megan asked, “What are you doing?!” I paused for a minute and said, “I’m … taking it all in.”

The small window of our cottage.

As previously mentioned, I have lived in a lot of places in my short 23 years on this earth. I’ve lived as far east as New York state and as far west as Colorado, and many not-so-fun places in between. Since this trip I made three years ago, I have never in my life been somewhere that I’ve said, “THIS is where I need to be.” That was, until I came here.

And so, my deeply rooted in my heart love affair with Southern California began. The name of my blog, “Coast and Prospect,” was taken from two beautiful streets just above the La Jolla shores. I want to get married in Ellen Browning Scripps Park overlooking the most beautiful coastline I’ve ever seen in my life. I want to call this place, this tiny spot on planet Earth, within this universe, my home. But I know it is going to take time (and lots of saving). Nothing that is worth having is easy to get. And San Diego is most definitely worth having.


One thought on “How I Came to Love California

  1. The problem with living your “dream” is that it becomes a reality of day-in and day-out living. It may not hold the same allure after several mos. (plus it’s really expensive!). This should be your frequent vacation destination and not your home goal!!!

Please, challenge me!

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