Is "California Dreaming" over? Have the State's economic woes changed the fantasy of what it's like to visit, live or experience California's West Coast?... That'd be a "NO". If anything, the dream has become grittier and more real to residents and travelers panning for their life goals in the Golden State.
I'm on calls in San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Though they have similar coastal locations, each destination's offerings and character are truly unique. Future trips and blogs for each are forthcoming... I know, the things I have to do sometimes.
There's a perception that people who live in California are all dreamers trying to "find themselves", but I disagree. The locals I encountered believe a sense of self is not something one finds, it's something one creates. California, the most diverse State in the US provides everyone the opportunity to design and construct their own adventure. Following only local advice I gained a better appreciation of the real California and why its lifestyle is the envy of the rest of America.
San Francisco- In Chinatown I had incredible dim sum with duck, rabbit, or quail... or something I don't ever want to know. Couldn't tell you the restaurant name either. Green awning, white floor, smells like Chinese food... you can't miss it.
Santa Barbara- Rooftop cocktails at the Canary Hotel with the MMG and Santa Barbara CVB team I got a bird's eye view of the American Riveria. Casual elegance in pristine beach setting.
Los Angeles- Front row, bean-bag seat for a fire wielding, pole dancing, acrobatic cabaret show in old airport hanger. And that's just what I can put in this blog!
A traveler sees what he sees but a tourist sees only what he's come to see. So be a traveler in California, its vast diversity will have you seeing more than you'll remember and its people will have you remembering more than you've seen.
Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel on This Trip:
1. California's economy is the 8th largest in the world and makes up 13% of the US GNP. 4 of the top 10 largest cities in the US are in CA.
2. The Golden Gate bridge is so long, once it's finished being painted, the crew has to start all over again. "How was your day honey?" "Fine, painted my favorite pole orange again."
3. Skateboarding and surfing are part of the culture of Santa Barbara and there is no age limit or social barriers among participants.
4. See a show in LA, but get out of Hollywood. There are tons of great cultural experiences every night of the week so open up your mind and let the City of Angels float it away for an evening.
5. If you're in LA and your local actor buddy introduces you to a group of people as "Ted, he played Alan on General Hospital for two seasons before writing for HBO" just go with it because they'll never know.
Well.. I sometimes used to think people ran away to California to escape heartache or find a lifestyle more like their own, but in reality, the California coast is a world created by romantics who wanted a place to build their dreams... and there are no architectural rules for castles in the sand.
"Holy crap! Sully, did you see her climb down from the ceiling and put out that fire like that???"- Dan
"Are you going to write about this freaky LA cabaret show in your blog?"- Dan
Additional Photos from this journey can be found by clicking here FlickrTravelWithTed