California is uncharted territory for me.
It feels different in a way I can’t quite describe. Everybody always says ‘Be careful! You’re in Cali now!’ which finally seeped into my mind at the moment I crossed the border. I suddenly felt very unsure of myself. So many people, so much traffic—and this is the off-season. It’s a lifestyle quite different from any I’ve ever lived. But, with time, I’ve gotten used to life and the view from up here (view from my rental above).
Yes, it’s true, I’ve been living on the beach for three weeks now. And as much as I’d love to go on and on about my time so far, being in southern California is such a sensory experience there’s no way to adequately capture it—seeing every kind of colorful character you’d imagine, sitting in eight lanes of traffic, feeling the thunder of waves crashing against a rock jetty (heh… see my first gif-making experience below), getting a sunburn in March, the smell of sea spray filling the air, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean… I think you get the point. So, consider this more of a status update than a true representation of the area.
El Niño has created some interesting conditions and weather patterns in Oceanside. The beach directly in front of the property has been mostly replaced with rocks. My first several days were rainy and stormy, with tides so high, they were flooding the one-way road in front of the place. Conditions have improved greatly, but most days start cloudy/foggy and end with a chill. No snow though, so I’m not complaining! Decent daytime weather allows for plenty of walking. Exploring the harbor, downtown, The Strand, and Sunset Market has my current daily step average sitting at 11k. Fun fact: The beach house from Top Gun is only a couple of blocks away! Fun fact #2: I’m staying on the same property as the great Michael Gross—the designer of the Ghostbusters logo—did up until his death last fall. I was told he drove a Jeep just like mine, only with a Ghostbusters logo on it 😉
Joshua Tree National Park
I took a day-trip to Joshua Tree National Park, and stopped for some u-pick strawberries on the way. I have a hard time eating store-bought ones since!
San Diego Saturday
I’ve spent a decent amount of time roaming San Diego, checking out Coronado Island, Balboa Park, and every dog beach in the area. Dog beach visits have been my favorite activity so far! Watching Rascal frolic in the ocean waves for the first time was one the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
I knew I was settling in when I was feeling adventurous enough to journey into L.A. last weekend. I started the day at the ever-famous Randy’s Donuts (their glazed donuts are AMAZING), strolled the Santa Monica Pier, cruised Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and hiked in Griffith Park.
I still have some great plans for my remaining time in Southern California and will share a recap in my next post! Looking forward, my next stop will involve a bit of a slowdown. I’ll be traveling up the Pacific Coast Highway (HWY 1) to the San Francisco area where I’ll spend a couple days before heading an hour-and-a-half north for a few weeks stay wedged between San Fran, Wine Country and the Redwoods. Highly looking forward to some time in the woods!