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Vacation California - The "First Time" Trip

We rented a car in LA and were delighted by not only getting a convertible, as requested, but one with only 5 miles on the odometer! The 'bright' color - described to us as Crayola Blue - only seemed fitting. We were then off to head north on the Pacific Coast Highway (the "PCH" among locals).

Not too far up the coast is the famous party house of WR Hearst, commonly known as Hearst Castle (although the 'real' Hearst Castle is in Europe) . It was quiet the imposing force you would expect from a man with money and a fancy for European architecture - though perhaps not a unified vision for what he was building.

Hearst on the hill in the CA haze

A Intimate Dinning Room

The Coast from the Castle

NC feet at home on CA

After several hours of schlepping around the grounds, we headed up the PCH and made a stop to view the Elephant Seals molting along the beach. We were told by some onsite park ranger types, that they hang out here for about 30 days, basking in the sun and washing in the surf to encourage their coats to shed.

Next up... Carmel by the Sea!

Vacation California - The "First Times" Trip

If you know someone who knows the way, you can find a deserted, private beach in Malibu, CA. If you are fortunate, you will enjoy not only warming sunshine and hypnotic seas, but visits from seals and dolphins.

Led by my daughter, we drove to a popular beach in Malibu and found the crowds, complete with a crew preparing to film a ESPN Football Summer promo.

NFL on ESPN does Malibu

We also found a very high rock wall, adorned with rock climbers, that terminated the beach on it's South end.

Then, we were led to a hidden path that took us over the rocks and to what would be our private beach for the afternoon.

Enjoy the video below. Drop back next week for another "California First Times Trip" post.

Vacation California - the "First Times" TRIP!

I promise not to dump hundreds of photos (although I DO have them) and countless meanderings upon you from my recent trip to California. I will however share a post each week for some time on my 'first time' experiences and a few stories.

First up... my first time - hike up to the famous Hollywood sign. Originally, the sign read Hollywood Land and was intended to promote the availability of land as a new and somewhat risky real-estate opportunity.

I found it much smaller than I imagined and after several balancing tricks, we moved on to other adventures.

TO DO List

I have no idea where this originated, but I had to share it.

20+ Pinterest Pins for You!

For those of you on Pinterest, here's some photos you might enjoy sharing. They're mine -so no worries about copyrights. Take and use as you wish!

Ebook and Wishing

Time passes quickly...

Have you ever had regrets? Do you find yourself sometimes wishing you had done or said something you didn't? Truly?

I believe it is often NOT too late. Not while we have breath and a small resemblance of sanity...

Oh. Update on the e-book. 7 of 10 chapters written.

Enter Charleston - August 2011

I recently took a bit of vacation in Charleston, SC. For some reason, I was taken by all of the doors, gates and portals into various nooks, yards and gardens. Here is a taste of my walk around Charleston. Enter Charleston...

A Rose Is...

Sometimes, a rose is more than a rose...

Yes, Taylor, another flower.

A Step Changes Everything

It changes when you move...

Hanging on the wall in my office, there is a picture of a tree that changes color and definition to reflect the four seasons. As you walk by the angle of the print causes the tree to shift from a winter scene of bare branches and snow, through sprouting spring foliage, the full greening of summer and then the autumn leaves of fall. From my desk seat, it always looks like autumn. 

I like seeing the different images of the picture. The variety, changing colors and images offers a nice change from what is often the static unchanging art of an office space. There are times when I will just move to a different place in my office to see and enjoy the picture differently. It isn’t that I don’t like seeing the fall tree, I do. I like seeing the other images, too.

Here’s my thought: My living is often the same way. It is easy to settle into the same routine, the same patterns of moving through life and soon – everything seems to look stagnant. In the same way I have to get up and move to a different place in my office to see the variety of the tree picture,  I can move to a different place in my living to see life with new colors.

From a simple move, like visiting a different coffee shop, to a more dramatic change, like ending or starting a new relationship, we can experience the very different seasons of our living. I’m not advocating change for change sake, but I am encouraging myself to remember that sometimes I need to move a little and change my perspective in order to appreciate the rich variety of life.

I sat in a meeting yesterday with a successful local entrepreneur – a very rich man. He was clearly tired, almost exhausted throughout the meeting. After we had finished our business discussions, the conversation shifted as he explained his fatigue. He had spent the previous evening volunteering at a local homeless shelter. As he begin to tell the tale of his time helping others that night his energy lifted, his spirit soared and the conversation moved me to a different place. The business of life glowed more brightly than the drab hues of the previous conversation about his business.

Get up. Move. See. Enjoy.

Sometimes You Wonder Why You Did...

The year was 1993 and the Women's group at the church wanted to have a fund raiser. The theme was the 1960s and they needed an Elvis... Need I say anymore?