Wednesday, December 17, 2014

May the LORD rejoice in his works: 50 Things I Am Going to Miss About California (#41-#39)

San Diego Skyline.  Photo Information:
I have finally finished fall semester and am looking forward to CHRISTmas break! It is overcast and rainy outside, the house is quiet, and I am sitting here with you and a hot cup of coffee. (Which, by the way, I’m thinking it is time I switch to tea. Do you have any suggestions for me?)

In celebration of our move from California to Texas, I am listing 50 things I am going to miss about this state. So far, I covered:
50. Earthquakes
49. Traffic

48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living

46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports

43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo

Which brings me to the next THREE:

41. San Diego
Oh, beautiful San Diego…about two or three hours (driving) from Los Angeles! Though (I feel) it is quite pricey, I believe it is a must see (and experience)! I have been there twice since moving here… once for Thanksgiving (circa 1999) when my cousin was living there and once with my parents, sibling, and a couple of my children (circa summer 2009). I would like to go visit one more time before we move. Maybe, I could catch up with a good friend of mine while down that way! San Diego is picturesque and lovely. My cousin’s apartment was in the downtown area when I visited with her and the hotel where my family and I stayed was near the harbor. Actually, come to think of it, I was there one more time when hubs did a job for work…years ago…somewhere between 2001 and 2006. Anyway, the San Diego Zoo is remarkable! It is huge and quite a sight to see! We went there around 2009. I would not mind going back, again. If I had, had the opportunity, I probably would have liked living in San Diego…aside from the cost of living.

40. Los Angeles (L.A.)
I do not believe it should be any secret I am not a huge fan of L.A. It has its charm, of course. Visiting Hollywood Blvd is fun (but I would not want to live there) and Rodeo Drive is a treat. But, L.A. also has its drawbacks. The two that spring to my mind the quickest are pollution and traffic. There generally seems to be this brown haze that hovers over and around L.A. Most days (when I lived in the area) I was not even able to see the city skyline. It is a stark contrast to Northern California in the quality of air and even the trash that lingers and is scattered about on the ground. And, as I mentioned at #49, traffic is a beast. The 405 is especially bad, in my opinion. I used to have to allow myself two hours, whenever I went from my house in Long Beach to an audition in the L.A. area. My absolute favorite part of L.A. is Santa Clarita. It is right on the outskirts of L.A. near the “Grapevine” (on the 5 freeway). It is close enough to visit all the sights yet, not smack dab in the middle of it all. There is a quietness, a peace and serenity to it. In Santa Clarita there are plenty of hotels (which I highly recommend to visitors of L.A.). There is Six Flags “Magic Mountain” and restaurants close by. Not to mention, relatively speaking, the prices are not too shabby. A word to the wise, though. Please take extra care in driving around in L.A. There are some pretty intense areas (so stick to the ones with which you are the most familiar) and NEVER, EVER tailgate on the freeways! The traffic will seemingly, spontaneously come to a complete stop from 65-70 miles an hour. Stay alert!
(Sidebar: Los Angeles named as one of “the most unequal places in America” (CNN Money).)

39. Long Beach
Oh Long Beach. When I first moved to California (CA), hubs and I lived in Long Beach for about a year. We were just a few blocks from the beach (and breakwater) and magnificent boardwalk (which I will cover at #27). We rented a room in a house with a garage off of an alleyway. I worked at the Rock Bottom Brewery (which is a fun microbrewery, by the way, which I highly recommend). The food and atmosphere there were great! For me, Long Beach was a left exit off of the 710 freeway. I forgot this when I first made the drive and ended up getting lost. Thankfully, one or two of my roommates came to my rescue! (I was not too far away from the house.) I actually liked Long Beach and think back on it fondly. We spent our Christmas there on the beach with our older children (who were about ages four and seven at the time). So, I recall the climate to be a bit warmer than Northern California. In addition to working at the Rock Bottom Brewery, I also held a position with a Real Estate Organization in Huntington Beach. I recall all of the beaches in that area (Laguna, Newport, Huntington, Seal, and Long Beach) to be lovely. We could even see Catalina Island and the Queen Mary from where we used to play in the sand. I also enjoyed strolling down 2nd Street (but I will address that at #28). As I mentioned, our time there was limited but it sure was action (and unfortunately drama) packed. It felt more like three years than just the one. I met a lot of wonderful people there. Sadly, I believe I am still in contact with only a couple. But, I think about all of them from time to time and they each have a special place in my heart.
31May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works,
32who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 104:31-35. NASB.)

(Click here to go to #38 - #36.)
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