My son Joshua spent my first full day in Southern California with me (he is my baby – 27 years old). He had his welding class final exam when I arrived in LA the night before so was not able to greet me at the airport. We decided to go to one of my favorite places, Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street.
The weather was incredible for the entire five weeks of my visit. The temperature was between 70 and 85 degrees. I had to remind myself that it was December, especially when I was at the beach. The sunshine glowing on the ocean was breathtaking and breathing in the clean sea air got me high. It made me wonder if this is the best time of the year to visit or if it was out of the ordinary. Maybe it was due to global climate change. Whatever the reason I enjoyed ever single moment of it.
The warm sea breeze was blowing through my hair as I leaned over the railing to take pictures of the surfers riding the waves onto the shore. This is the piece of California that I do miss at times, especially during the English winter that I left behind for five weeks. I thought to myself, “Just wait until all of my friends back in England see these pictures and see what I was doing during the holidays.”
After taking many pictures, walking the entire length of the pier and having wonderful conversations with Joshua, we decided that we had worked up quite an appetite – the sea air can do that – so off we went to Fred’s Mexican Restaurant for a delicious lunch. Joshua and I enjoyed a beautiful day together.
When Steve joined me a week later, we took the opportunity to visit a few of our friends in the area. Knowing how much I love the sea and the beach, I was really looking forward to visiting our friends Doreen & Dave who invited us to spend the day with them at their home in Manhattan Beach. They live in a beautiful three story home just a block away from the beach.
To begin our visit, the four of us walked down to the beach and along the rows and rows of absolutely gorgeous homes built right on the waterfront facing the sea. We walked all the way to the pier about a quarter of a mile down the beach, watching the children playing on the beach as the adults sunbathed next to them, remembering that this is December although it felt like June.
We arrived at the pier and took a slow stroll down to the end, talking and taking pictures along the way.
I caught sight of a number of surfers and got so excited that there I was again, hanging over the railing, taking a few pictures. It began as a few pictures but couldn’t stop as I watched them catch a wave and ride it towards the shore. I seemed to get mesmerized as each one took turns riding the waves on their surfboards.
I was in my element. I could have stood there all day taking this all in and loving every minute of it. However it was now time to walk back to have a delicious dinner that Doreen had prepared for us – yum – real homemade Mexican food I just can’t get enough of it when I am in California. When we finished our meal we went out onto the terrace with a glass of wine just in time to watch the sunset. This is what I do miss about Southern California besides our family and friends, being a short drive from some of the most beautiful beaches in California and the sunshine, warm weather and walks on the pier, especially in December. Oh how I want to live by the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.