can i just take a second to love on California?

view from Shelf Road in Ojai

view from Shelf Road in Ojai

You know when sometimes things just feel.. right? Ya know, like you’re in the right place at the right time and things just WORK? Thats kind of how I feel about this trip. It started off a little rocky- 6 am bedtime coupled with 11 am rental car pick up time was pretty much a recipe for me being a giant bitch all day Saturday. Luckily, I was by myself so the only person that suffered from my bad mood was me! After a miserable 6 hours driving down the 101, frantically scanning for In-N-Outs (only to give in and buy some beef jerky literally ONE exit before I spotted one), I cruised into Ojai and immediately breathed an orange-blossom scented sigh of relief. From then on- smooooooooooth sailing. Like, literally I’m going sailing today. And the heat wave is over- WIN.

(although unfortunately the heat is still on for the thousands of people affected by and fighting against the fires in North County.. fingers crossed for all of them!)

I may be biased, but California should really be one of the seven (or is it eight now?) Wonders of the World. I’ve lived here nearly my entire life and never get sick of the amazing coastline views and gorgeous mountains. I could do without some of the LA traffic and smog, but I guess you can’t really appreciate the beauty of paradise without checking out the toxic swamplands, right? Luckily LA traffic is now far behind me, and San Diego is just as gorgeous as ever.

Annalisa's killa whales (mural at the apartment pool)

Annalisa’s killa whales (mural at the apartment pool)

Saying goodbye see ya later still hasn’t really sunk in yet- California is my home and although I don’t really know if or when I’ll be back for good, it  will always be. Even after three years away from San Diego, I walk down to the beach near my old house and run into not one, but two old friends. My old yoga studio still seems to think I sell stretchy pants for a living, and I can still remember the back way to get from La Jolla to Pacific Beach. Ojai, where I grew up, is basically mini LA at this point- but running Shelf Road and wandering aimlessly through the farmers market with my dad will probably always be the same (why does he have to try ALL THE STRAWBERRIES?!) Apparently in some ways I don’t change much either- every San Diego visit I give my friends the same speech about how much I appreciate that they accept me with open arms like I had never left- seems like maybe I’m more predictable than I thought (but just as predictable as they know I am).

The point is though, certain parts of our lives can be constants- the people and places you love will probably always feel like home. So even if you leave, find comfort in knowing that if you give love, it will be returned.. and not to be cliche or whatever, but whoever said home is where the heart is had a really good point.

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