Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego

by Heidi Obermeyer

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I am so excited to finally getting to be writing about California on the blog. I LOVE CALIFORNIA. I love California almost as much as the New York Times loves to hate on it. I love California like a fat kid (or really, just I) love cake. It is an American dreamland. For every snowy, bitter winter day I have experienced, it is almost painful to know that yet another sunny, beautiful, 70-degree day is passing by in California.

This year, California is experiencing what is being called a 500-year drought– not a joke in a state that produces an INSANE amount of the food that we eat in the States. This interesting piece from the Atlantic chronicles how far back the water arguments go in Cali, and mentions some thought-provoking points about the almond industry.

The above photos are from Cabrillo National Monument, which (as I am just reading now on the NPS website) commemorates Cabrillo’s landing in San Diego Bay in 1542- the first European to do so on the Pacific coast. That’s pretty impressive!

Before we dig in here, I should preface this post by saying that I f***ing love National Parks. They are the my absolute favorite thing. I like them almost as much (or maybe more than) I professed to loving California a few paragraphs ago. That awesome Ken Burns documentary on Netflix about the parks? I eat that kind of thing up. The Germans love to go to the National Parks (something of a Grand Tour of America for the modern day) and I do too. They really are a uniquely American phenomenon, and I would encourage anyone thinking of coming to the States to put those on the top of your priority list instead of the usual New York City adventuring.

Cabrillo isn’t large, but it is nice to see what the California coastline looks like when there aren’t houses right up to the water’s edge- southern California really is a fairly arid place, so it’s interesting to see what plant life naturally thrives along the coast. Grey whales are in the area around this time of year to do the whole having babies thing, so we scanned the horizons every time we were near the ocean, but sadly had no luck in spotting one. We walked around a bit, admiring the vistas and the neat old lighthouse- have you ever seen a lighthouse bulb? Those things are crazy. Unfortunately, the tide pools weren’t exposed on the day that we went, but they are supposed to be good to check out while you’re visiting. Overall, it was a nice way to spend a morning in the California sunshine. And the best part? If you walk just far enough, you get a text that says “Welcome to Mexico!” from Verizon. Close enough, right? 🙂

Still to come- a few beach visits, getting up close and personal with the marine creatures at the aquarium, and antiquing finds. Stay tuned!