Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Thoughts on California - Missive No. 1

Thoughts on California

Before this week I had never set foot on California soil. Always dreamed about it, but never traveled west of Arizona.

I flew in this week and immediately was blown away with the cooler temperatures in LA. I left Texas when the highs were in the low 100s. Here in the valley of southern California, the temperatures this week have been a much more comfortable 99 degrees.

That's okay with me. I like the heat. And that is the beauty of California. You can drive 20 minutes and the temperature will be in the 70s. The 70s! In August! The 70s!

I thought I might not care for the 70-degree temperatures closer to the beach here, but I actually do. As long as the sun is shining, the lower temperatures feel really pleasant.

A couple of years ago, I realized that winter time and cold temperatures are not much fun anymore. I would much rather be somewhere where the sun is shining a a beach or at least a large body of water is close.

Last February, I took my first trip to Key West. And while Key West doesn't actually have a natural beach — it's basically a big rock floating around 90 miles from Cuba — I still fell madly in love with the place. I love the laid-back lifestyle in the Keys. People wear shorts and flip-flops all the time. My kind of dress code.

In California, I've found, as much the same spirit. The beaches here — at least the ones I've seen — are beautiful. The water is a lovely dark blue and the people seem to really enjoy the slower pace of life — outside of Hollywood that is.

I don't know what I expected from California. I guess I expected grass fires and mudslides and celebrities working as baristas at Starbucks. I haven't seen any of that stuff yet.

When I got off the plane at LAX, I did fully expect to start seeing celebrities right away. I'm really disappointed that I have now been here a full 48 hours and no celebrity sightings.

Well, that I know of.

I was driving around the first day and I decided to explore Malibu. What a beautiful place.
The beach and the beach houses are amazing. I would live in the local CVS if they would let me (they won't. I asked.).

When I was driving around I stopped at a little gas station to use what many Californians call, the bathroom. I'm pretty sure I saw Rick Springfield. I almost certain it was him. He was pumping gas and went in to pay right in front of me. I think it was him.

The problem was I haven't seen any photos of Rick Springfield since 1981, when "Jessie's Girl" came out. So, the guy I saw at the store looked like 1981 Rick Springfield, possibly 1985 Rick Springfield, but you get my drift.

What I may have actually saw was a guy in Southern California, who looked like Rick Springfield 30 years ago. So maybe it wasn't him at all.

I did hit the Sunset Strip last night and saw a nice restaurant with several members of the paparazzi hanging out front. My wife rolled the window down and yelled, "Who's in there?"

He yelled something about about somebody semi-famous was in there.

"Who's that?" she yelled back.

"He's a comedian," the guy said. Never heard of him.

"No Kardashians or Britney or Jessica Biel, huh?"


I have a few more days here on the west coast and I'm sure I'll see somebody.

Wonder if Daryl Hall or John Oates lives in California?

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