Hollywood. Silicon Valley. Pacific Coast Highway.
The name California may bring any or all of the above to mind. Currently the most populated of the states, it also claims the third largest land area. With a natural border of the Pacific Ocean on the west, it come with great advantages as a port of entry and natural resources.
The area was explored in the mid-1500’s by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and Sir Francis Drake. However, the first Spanish settlement was not built until 1769 when the first in the string of missions which reached from present day San Diego to San Francisco Bay was established.
All of my life, I’ve had a least one relative live in the state. At first it was a great-aunt who would send tree ripened oranges to my grandmother some years. Later it was a mother-in-law. Currently a nephew calls California home.
All travelers or tourists should find something of interest in this state of contrasts. Do you like mountains? Giant trees? High desert? Sunny beaches? Rocky coast with powerful waves? The rush of a thriving city?
During several visits to this state I manage to find something new each time. We drove past impressive Mount Shasta on my first visit. Spent a day at Disneyland on another. Toured a retired luxury liner another time. And paused long enough to confirm the reports of wonderful weather in San Diego on my most recent.
So pull out a map. Decide on a destination or two — and GO!
When pausing to soak in the sights at Santa Monica pier, look for the descendants of these fine fellows – the class of 1998.