Thursday, April 28, 2011

Off To The Golden State


Off To The Golden State

I was not yet twenty the first time I visited California. From years of Beach Boys songs and old black and white movies, I fully expected it to be a land of palm trees, milk shakes and clear blue skies where everyone looked like Cary Grant and Farrah Fawcett and rode around in red convertibles. Confirming my belief that we do tend to find what we look for, that first trip was indeed a carefree, sunlit introduction to the Golden State. My best friend and I stayed a house in the hills above Marina del Rey, where gardenias bloomed by the front door and sea breezes sailed in through the windows . We ate fresh plums and cheese every day. We paddled in the cold surf at Malibu beach. We went to Disneyland. And it never rained once.

Upon our arrival, when our friends handed us the keys to a little yellow Toyota that was to be ours for the length of our stay, they inquired if we were experienced in driving a stick shift. Naturally, we lied. And let me tell you, that legendary laid-back demeanor that Californians are so famous for can turn on a dime into a horn-blowing, fist-shaking tantrum when confronted with two teenagers whose car goes dead at every single traffic light on Sunset Boulevard. Not the most ideal training course for learning to drive a manual transmission, but it worked.

The next few times I traveled to Los Angeles was in the company of The Songwriter and a great deal of my time was spent in recording studios and restaurants. I went to concerts and kept strange hours. I bought a dress on Rodeo Drive that I don’t think I ever wore. During late studio nights I learned to sleep with my index finger wedged in my ear, a talent I still employ today whenever Edward spots a squirrel out the bedroom window at six in the morning. (Trust me, if you master this ability, you don’t hear a thing, no matter the decibel level.)

My friend from that teenage trip was so charmed with Los Angeles that she still journeys west every chance she gets. Me? I tend to head east, usually across the Atlantic. But tomorrow, I am returning once again to the land of blue skies and palm trees. I don’t know if I’ll indulge in a milk shake, or ride around in a red convertible, but I do plan to see some old friends, and a couple of brand new ones! I’ll share more about that later. Suffice it to say, I’m meeting with two people who feel like old friends, even though we’ve never met face to face. These are a couple of people you all know and, I’m certain, love as much as I do! I’ll share all when I return next week.

27 comments:

  1. An insight into human nature. How we envy you. While you pop across the Atlantic we long to have a glass of Grgich Hills on the terrace of the Mondrian.

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  2. Do have a fun time Pamela - can't wait to see who you meet up with!

    California is always a great getaway place. I love the laid back feeling all around, watching the people enjoy the outdoor life, the beautiful scenery with different flowers and trees than the ones here at home.

    If you're still away when I leave for the UK - 'see ya' later. Hope to trace your footsteps at Hill Top and cross the border into your beloved Scotland......for just a wee visit!

    Safe journey - fun time dear.
    Hugs - Mary

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  3. I am so happy for you. Enjoy your wonderful trip. We will all be waiting to hear about it. yvonne

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  4. Interestingly California is somewhere I have difficulty being attracted to. I've visited a couple of times and while the coast line is beyond beautiful, I find myself void of connection there.
    Travel safely...

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  5. Sounds beautiful. Have a wonderful trip.

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  6. I'm a native Californian who left it for the last time 8 years ago. I left it at 21 and returned in my 40's and found it unlivable. Great place to visit maybe but not to live.

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  7. Have just seen what happened at the Agata cafe in Marakessh. The number of times we've sat there at night watching the souk and the snake charmers. Made me think of your cancelled trip and how glad you came to London instead. Another reason to be thankful and enjoy a trip to LA.

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  8. Have a wonderful trip! I look forward to your tales. Your stick shift story made me laugh. We're planning a trip to Italy this summer, and automatic transmission costs twice as much so my husband is going to try to remember how to drive a stick. He learned years ago in England and plans to practice on our neighbor's pick up truck before we go. I never learned myself. It is actually impossible to rent manual transmission cars in Maine now. I'm thinking we should buy one used for our kids and me to learn how to drive for other times we leave the USA.

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  9. Hello Pamela

    I hope you will have a great and safe trip to Califorina!

    Look forward to all your stories when you get back.

    Best
    Tracy :)

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  10. Welcome to Los Angeles! I live up in the Hollywood Hills if you need another friend in town, I'm here... I hope you have a wonderful time and bring back lots of stories to tell!

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  11. Have a wonderful trip! I am always interested by others' impressions of California...

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  12. Tis my home state, Pamela...westward ho!
    I'll envision you whirring down Highway 1 in that convertible and look forward greatly to your upcoming tales.

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  13. Hi Pamela, I’m in Long Beach...If you want to meet up, I can come to Hollywood or wherever...let me know...just email me. It would be lovely to meet you in person.

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  14. Have a lovely trip and enjoy meeting your new friends.

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  15. Ah... California in spring is so lovely! I hope it's fresh and green for you, with ocean breezes, scents of nightblooming jasmine, iceplant, orange and other tree blossoms...that the lupines (bluebonnets, if you are from Texas) are yet covering the hills!

    Safe and refreshing travel to you.

    (oh and I so LOVE this travel poster, gorgeous!)

    M

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  16. I think I have a little inkling who you might be seeing...at least one of them! But I won't say a word!
    I grew up in the sunny state and as much as I love the sun and desperately wish we had some right now...I'm thankful to live in Seattle...even though our beaches are full of rocks instead of sand!
    Have a wonderful time...and say hi to ----- for me, I'm jealous! ;)
    xo J~

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  17. Another adventure!....I can't wait to hear all about it ;)
    The first thing I would do....pop on Joni Mitchell's...

    "California, I'm coming home
    Oh make me feel good, rock and roll band
    I'm your biggest fan
    California, coming home"

    Know it?

    Send my best to California..

    Jeanne xx

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  18. I just have a feeling you're meeting Lisa B. G. & if indeed that is true, what a marvelous person to meet. Have a wonderful, sunny Cali time. When I close my eyes I can just 'smell' California. Miss living there very much at times. Safe travels to you Pamela and the Songwriter.

    x Deb

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  19. Hope you're having a lovely time and I can't wait to see which bloggers you'll meet :)

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  20. Have a ball in CA...soak up the sun...put your tootsies in the water!!

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  21. Dear Pamela,
    I hope you are enjoying your time in California. There is something about the light there . . . absolutely matchless! I love the fresh food, too. One of the most blissful meals of my life involved a fresh artichoke in Northern California.

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  22. Just saw your picture with Brooke and you look beyond wonderful looks like a fun time!

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  23. From Velvet & Linen to you..great found!!
    I love very much dogs too and I have now a little two months old labrador puppy, "Gilda".
    Kisses and have a great week.
    AnnaP

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  24. Hope you're have a fun time in California and the breezes are blowing your way. Look forward to your stories.

    I enjoy northern Calif. but can't connect to the southern part...it's toooooo intense.

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  25. Had a feeling it was going to be that delightful and very talented lady - I love her and her hubby's amazing design work and always follow her blog. Looking forward to your return and hearing all about your West Coast adventure!

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  26. Dear Pamela, the index finger in the ear made me laugh.

    Hope you've had a great time. Look forward to hearing more xx

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  27. I'm hoping you enjoyed your travels. Now I want to hear all about the people you've met and the places you've been.

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