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Archive for February, 2012

The beautiful sea

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.

Huntington Beach Pier

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 weather was for the birds

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.”

Riding the waves

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.

Joshua at Fred's Mexican Restaurant

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.

Dave & Doreen's

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.

A day at the beach

We arrived at the pier and took a slow stroll down to the end, talking and taking pictures along the way.

Dave, Doreen and Steve

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.

Surfing the waves

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.

Sunset

Sunset


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Home for the Holidays

I did not think that I would go five weeks without  writing to you, my dear readers, while I was visiting my family and friends in Southern California. But as you will read in my stories to follow, I had so many obligations and responsibilities taking care of my parents due to their poor health. By the end of each day I was emotionally and physically exhausted, which put my creative juices on hold. During the times that I was able to fit in real quality time with Jonathan & Liz and Joshua, I wanted to feel the experience, the high energy and the love for as long as I could – sometimes into the wee hours of the night, not able to write them down at the time.

But I am back now and focused and ready to share my stories with you of my visit. So here we go get ready for the ride:

The Seat-back Map

After getting up and ready to go at 4 am, Steve drove me from Lincoln to Heathrow . I was prepared as I boarded the flight to Los Angeles, an 11 hour non-stop.  I had my iPod with the airplane music playlist that I created, a few magazines and a book of word search puzzles. During the flight, I did all of the above, and talked to the guy next to me who happened to be an ex-professional football player for Newcastle United. I had a meal and a snack in between. Unfortunately there were no movies or TV programs worth watching (I usually catch up on them while on this long flight).  I usually am able to sleep for a few hours but not on this trip as I was too excited about seeing everybody especially Jonathan, Joshua and Liz.

So with this extra time, my mind raced with thoughts of home – it has been  10 months  since our last visit for Jonathan & Liz’s wedding in February. This being  a long visit (5 weeks)  I am planning on seeing a few good girlfriends, and when Steve arrives the next week we will visit with a few couples  – being here to celebrate the holidays with the whole family. Then came the thoughts of my parents’ ill health and the condition that I will find them in on this trip (6th one in 3 years due to their failing health). So that filled a few hours of the flight. As amazing as it may sound that before I knew it, the fasten seat belt sign bing-ed on for our landing at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).

I Love LA

Standing at the immigration queue, I was so excited knowing that my oldest son Jonathan was just outside waiting to greet me. I even was looking forward to the hour-long drive on a traffic packed freeway, giving us a chance to catch up on things uninterrupted –  well, almost until the call I got a from my parents asking where we were and when we would finally get to their house – bless them.

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Sorry for the gap in my blog writing and thanks to all of you that emailed me messages that you missed my stories. You encourage and inspire me to write.

I was in Southern California for five weeks over the holidays visiting our family and friends and taking care of my parents – both not well –  so my responsibilities with them were very demanding. Steve came over to join me for three weeks giving us real quality time with our sons Jonathan and Joshua and our daughter in law Liz and her family. We drove to Arizona to visit Steve’s parents and even squeezed in some time to visit with a few dear friends. We celebrated Chanukah and New Year’s Eve  and my Dad’s 80th birthday on December 25th by giving him a family party.

Me & the boys

So you can see why it has taken me a bit longer than usual to recuperate from that visit

Now that I have had time to get my thoughts together I will be back to writing. More about my trip soon…

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