California Sunshine

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It has been awhile. After two very long trips almost back to back, I sort of went into a photography/writing slump. Celebrating 50 has been a big job but so many good times for Jim and I and then family time also. I feel like I have finally caught up, as best I can for now, so once again I am back to writing and editing all the photos that I have taken. Don’t get me wrong here. It will take me months and even then, I will never be able to edit them all but hopefully, I will be able to share a fair amount of them with you here on the blog and also on Instagram.

Shortly after returning from Paris, about three weeks later, my son and his girlfriend invited Jim and I to visit with them in LA, California. Julia is from LA and still has her lovely house there even though she now shares most of her time here with Chris on the North Shore. We were excited to go. Whenever our kids invite us anywhere there is never any other answer but “yes we would love to come”, because we really do enjoy being with them and it’s kind of nice that they still care to be with us. So off we went to sunny California. Just as a side note, that was the second time, back to back that we did six hour flights. For me, as someone who, at one time, couldn’t even get on a plane, that is just shy of a miracle. Honestly though, I did not have any problems. I truly think the more we face our fears, the less frightening they become.

We had been to LA a few times many years ago so it was like going as a newbie again. Of course over the years so much has changed and this time we had tour guides leading the way to show us the sights, sounds and delicious smells of the city. What a treat to only have to worry about what time to meet Chris and Julia at the front door.


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Meet Julia. She is warm and loving and also a great tour guide. She opened her house to us and then both her and Chris took us “touring” around LA. Imagine my delight when, on our first walk we came across this French Cafe right down the street from Julia’s house. A little bit of Paris right here in LA. This is how I see Julia, with open arms, a happy spirit and willing to share pieces of her life with us. She is also a lot of fun. We had such a great time with both of them.

 The first morning we were there we walked downtown to a lovely little cafe/restaurant called The Butcher’s Daughter…Tables outside and lots of good vibes and food. We sat inside and had the best breakfast since leaving Paris…

The first morning we were there we walked downtown to a lovely little cafe/restaurant called The Butcher’s Daughter…Tables outside and lots of good vibes and food. We sat inside and had the best breakfast since leaving Paris…

 So much beauty along the way. The early morning light was great for photographing the scenes. I found myself stopping frequently to take a snap. Fortunately my family knows my passion and so they just let me do my thing and they just walk a bit slower until I catch up…

So much beauty along the way. The early morning light was great for photographing the scenes. I found myself stopping frequently to take a snap. Fortunately my family knows my passion and so they just let me do my thing and they just walk a bit slower until I catch up…

 So many different things happening on our walk. I could have stayed there all day but the beach and a ride were waiting. I did go back though on our last day for one more walk. I did love this little area with the peacock and wonderful words..if only.

So many different things happening on our walk. I could have stayed there all day but the beach and a ride were waiting. I did go back though on our last day for one more walk. I did love this little area with the peacock and wonderful words..if only.

 It was really hot when we were there so besides cooling off at the beach we went walking in the woods. There has been a draught there so instead of lots of green, we saw lots of brown…still we enjoyed the time out of the sun and a few other lovely gifts of nature.

It was really hot when we were there so besides cooling off at the beach we went walking in the woods. There has been a draught there so instead of lots of green, we saw lots of brown…still we enjoyed the time out of the sun and a few other lovely gifts of nature.

 Welcome to Julia’s house. This is the front yard where we would relax in-between our trips. It was lovely to sit and enjoy the sun in such a lush and private setting. Do you see Bae there? That is Julia’s dog…Such a good girl and she loves being outside.

Welcome to Julia’s house. This is the front yard where we would relax in-between our trips. It was lovely to sit and enjoy the sun in such a lush and private setting. Do you see Bae there? That is Julia’s dog…Such a good girl and she loves being outside.

 Then there was Hal…something about him that drew me in..the tones, the light and the roughness. So after Hal…we moved on to the Getty Museum.

Then there was Hal…something about him that drew me in..the tones, the light and the roughness. So after Hal…we moved on to the Getty Museum.

 So beautiful here. So much to see. This is the second Getty Museum we have visited and after this one, we have one more to go. I’m only able to give you a tiny taste of it here but if you ever get the chance, go. We spent most of our time in the gardens. So beautiful.

So beautiful here. So much to see. This is the second Getty Museum we have visited and after this one, we have one more to go. I’m only able to give you a tiny taste of it here but if you ever get the chance, go. We spent most of our time in the gardens. So beautiful.

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The Getty Museum was on our last day with Julia and Chris. It was the perfect day to end such a lovely vacation with them. It was so nice to just relax, have lovely conversations and enjoy good food, wine and sights. There is so much more that I will share at another time. I didn’t get a chance here to take you to the Venice Canals or walk a few more streets. It was time now to move on to Del Ray to meet our friends for a few days. So Chris and Julia, thank you for inviting us, for sharing your world with us. Julia thank you also for a peek inside your life before Chris…it was fascinating and lovely. You made your house so comfortable for us and by the time we left, it felt a tiny bit like home. We love you both for so many reasons but mostly because you are kind and loving souls. So happy we get to travel with you sometimes. That’s two vacations this year…both awesome. 🙏😘

 After leaving the kids, we then traveled a few miles away to the Del Ray Resort and Marina. This is the view from our room. Still warm and sunny. Honestly, we are so fortunate with weather when we travel…We were meeting friends for a few days. Ruthanne and I met on Flickr many years ago and have been friends ever since. Amazingly enough we manage to get together about every 3 years and it’s always so much fun.

After leaving the kids, we then traveled a few miles away to the Del Ray Resort and Marina. This is the view from our room. Still warm and sunny. Honestly, we are so fortunate with weather when we travel…We were meeting friends for a few days. Ruthanne and I met on Flickr many years ago and have been friends ever since. Amazingly enough we manage to get together about every 3 years and it’s always so much fun.

 A little relaxing and then we headed to dinner at the resort. Oh my, we had no idea that Ruthanne and John had planned a little 50th celebration for us. It was also so nice to meet their niece, who also joined us for dinner. I think we killed off a few bottles of wine. So much fun.

A little relaxing and then we headed to dinner at the resort. Oh my, we had no idea that Ruthanne and John had planned a little 50th celebration for us. It was also so nice to meet their niece, who also joined us for dinner. I think we killed off a few bottles of wine. So much fun.

 Day two, we headed the Getty Villas. Another beautiful Getty property. We have now been to three of them.. The other one was in Florida with another Flickr friend of mine Peg Rogers. This place was amazing. Thank you Ruthanne and John for planning this trip for us. We enjoyed every moment of it.

Day two, we headed the Getty Villas. Another beautiful Getty property. We have now been to three of them.. The other one was in Florida with another Flickr friend of mine Peg Rogers. This place was amazing. Thank you Ruthanne and John for planning this trip for us. We enjoyed every moment of it.

 The museum was so lovely. The gardens were beautiful. The weather was perfect and the company was the best. You know you have a good friend when you only meet a few times every couple of years and you pick up right where you left off the last time…

The museum was so lovely. The gardens were beautiful. The weather was perfect and the company was the best. You know you have a good friend when you only meet a few times every couple of years and you pick up right where you left off the last time…

 We had lunch at the Getty Villa and then John took us for a beautiful ride along the coast. We stopped at this lovely spot but I don’t remember the name of it. Perhaps when Ruthanne sees it see will tell us. I’m thinking it was in Malibu though.

We had lunch at the Getty Villa and then John took us for a beautiful ride along the coast. We stopped at this lovely spot but I don’t remember the name of it. Perhaps when Ruthanne sees it see will tell us. I’m thinking it was in Malibu though.

 Then this beautiful ocean scene. We walked a lovely little path to get out here. Travel is just so exciting. It opens our eyes to so much we would never get to see or experience. Every coast line is so different. This was beautiful.

Then this beautiful ocean scene. We walked a lovely little path to get out here. Travel is just so exciting. It opens our eyes to so much we would never get to see or experience. Every coast line is so different. This was beautiful.

After our full day at the Getty and then on the road we decided we just wanted some comfort food and the guys could enjoy a bit of sports on TV so we ended up at this really cool sports bar and had a really nice, low key meal and relaxed and of course, more talking. Back at the hotel we sat outside and had a cup of tea and a lovely warm fire to take the chill off. We were leaving early tomorrow morning for our flight home. We didn’t want to go to bed but we had to after our very long day. We would meet for breakfast and then part ways again. I’m hoping it won’t be another 3 years before we gather again.

 Goodby my friends…thank you for coming on the 50th Anniversary Tour…a great end to our 50th travels. We will miss you but I know that whenever the spirit moves either of us…there is always IG and texting and the phone. We are never really very far apart. Next time…The New England Coast. By the way, John, my daughter would like for you to bring the car when you come. 😘  So there you have it my friends. Yes, all of you are on the 50 Anniversary train also. Each of you who visit here is a special friend . We might not have been able to gather but we do keep close in our sharing of photos and stories. Each one of you is a gift. Family and friends, it’s the little loves that make the world a better place. Thank you all for the gift of Friendship.

Goodby my friends…thank you for coming on the 50th Anniversary Tour…a great end to our 50th travels. We will miss you but I know that whenever the spirit moves either of us…there is always IG and texting and the phone. We are never really very far apart. Next time…The New England Coast. By the way, John, my daughter would like for you to bring the car when you come. 😘

So there you have it my friends. Yes, all of you are on the 50 Anniversary train also. Each of you who visit here is a special friend . We might not have been able to gather but we do keep close in our sharing of photos and stories. Each one of you is a gift. Family and friends, it’s the little loves that make the world a better place. Thank you all for the gift of Friendship.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust

All photos were taken with the Fuji XT-2 and the Fuji 18-135 lens.