A Weekend Getaway to Sunny CA...

One of the great things about having a good friend who grew up in another state is that over the years, you meet and get to know their old friends when they come to visit. And sometimes, their friends become your friends too. 

And when those out of state friends include you in an invitation to come for a visit, you feel very fortunate....and oh, so thankful...especially when the place they live is sunny southern California! After the record breaking rain of this past winter and spring in the Northwest, the thought of sunshine is very appealing.

One of the things I love about visiting So Cal in the late spring is the Jacaranda trees in bloom. So, so lovely as they line the streets of Long Beach. 

Another thing I find interesting is that each of the "cities" within the greater Los Angeles area have their own vibe and character. I used to think that LA was just one huge sprawling city, but the outskirts are really individual towns that bump up against each other. And if you are fortunate enough to work in the town that you live, like Long Beach, you really don't have to venture out on the crowded freeways or go downtown. And another wonderful thing is that there are several beaches with their own little boardwalks, shops, and restaurants within a very short drive, like Seal Beach below. I was able to meet up with a special young lady, Jessica, our former pastor's daughter, for a good visit over lunch in Seal Beach.

After several relaxing days hanging out in Long Beach during the day, venturing out to restaurants in various neighboring cities at night, our hosts rented an electric powered tour boat to cruise around Naples...very similar in feel to Naples, Italy. The houses line the canals that lead out to the Pacific.

 The boat coming into to the dock...

The boat coming into to the dock...

 Heading out on the canal...

Heading out on the canal...

 Fearless Captain Todd and our host, Mike...

Fearless Captain Todd and our host, Mike...

 A public beach we passed on the way...

A public beach we passed on the way...

 A gondola...just like Italy!

A gondola...just like Italy!

 One side of the canal had houses with docks and boat slips...

One side of the canal had houses with docks and boat slips...

The other side of the canal had houses with beach in front...some were quite large!

Personally, I loved this Craftsman style gray and white home...

 Such a perfect evening for our cruise...

Such a perfect evening for our cruise...

 Love those palm trees...

Love those palm trees...

My dear friend, Pam, and our hostess, Donna...

What a wonderful getaway! A change of scenery and warm weather just lifts my spirit. Thank you, Mike and Donna!

And we flew home to sunny weather...an added bonus! Do you have a favorite spot you like to visit in California?

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Warmly, Gracia