I slept in California last night! Right next to the Pacific ocean.
We’re in Huntington Beach, CA, at the moment – and it is wonderful here.
So, yesterday involved a lot of me driving in traffic for four hours on our long journey from Las Vegas to Anywhere-on-the-ocean, CA. That specific place ended up being Huntington Beach, CA, – after an hour of driving, lost, down the coast – and really, there could have been worse places to be lost, dazed, and confused. So we were in good shape.
While we were searching endlessly for a parking spot, I whipped out my phone and again used some magic technology to book us a motel in the city. Thank you, 3G! Now with a sure place to go, we whipped our rented Ford Taurus (Silver!) around and headed to the aptly named “Ocean View” Motel. (With in-room spas! Aka, showers.)
Yes, I slept next to the Pacific ocean last night. In California. Did I mention that yet?
After we parked the car and mangled the room key from the manager’s hand, we piled all of our belongings into our new for-the-night home. It wasn’t bad. There was even a mini-fridge! Now that’s high class living.
Then we were off again to find the (what had to have been) twenty-mile long beach that we had passed on our first run through Huntington Beach.
This is what we had come for! There were people, and dogs, and tents full of stuff to buy, and food, and more food, and oh – more food, and sandy beaches, and, of course, the ocean.
Nicole and I took carefully measured steps as we first approached the roaring waves of the Pacific. Then, once we were covered in smelly, salty ocean water up to our hips after the first wave hit us – well, we were hooked. Yes, we did run down the coastline. How did you know?
It was a really beautiful experience. As we walked toward some pier in the distance (which I’m sure has a name, but I didn’t see one), we stopped for a few minutes to watch the sun sink beneath the mountains. I watched the sunset. In California. Next to the Ocean. Oh, and then the dolphins started leaping out of the water.
Is this starting to sound like a movie or something? I couldn’t believe it.
Dolphins! Yes, I will freak out like a proper tourist from the Midwest and get excited over dolphins. Everyone else on the beach seemed to be properly freaking out, too, as there was quickly a herd of people surrounding the spot on the beach where the dolphins could be seen. Others were snapping photos, and I tried to get a couple, too, but some things simply cannot be captured by technology – sometimes you just have to watch, and remember, and that is the best way to live that moment.
At the pier (which must have been about a mile from the dolphin spot), we wandered down and took in the sights of what was then a dark Huntington Beach. The lights of the city from the pier were beautiful, and yes, I did take pictures of that moment.
It was really everything I expected from a pier over the ocean – lots of people, musicians playing on the benches with their hats out, more stuff to buy, a restaurant, and a pelican. He was sitting on this “fish sink” and having some (what must have been for him) delicious fishy-tasting water. Yum!
To end the night (after a 45 minute walk back to our car), we stopped at a nearby Jack in the box for dinner. Yes, we tried Western fast food. It was pretty good, too. At least to two girls who hadn’t eaten all day.
Ok, now we’re getting to my favorite part. (Not really, but really.) Back at “home”, we spread ourselves out on our beds with our fast food dinner, and watched some Cake Boss.
Now that is a good day.
Now, to L.A. and beyond!
(Oh, and if you’re reading this and you’re from the LA area, or you’ve been there — Where should I go? What should I see? Tell me everything!)