We live approximately 30 miles inland from the coast, but given that California offers 840 miles of general coastal views, we construct our lives to take advantage of as much access as possible.

San Diego County

Swami’s Reef, Encinitas, CA

We may not always be in a position to spend the day on the sand, but our weekly paths typically offer at least a viewing. I absolutely require salt air and ocean waves to rebalance.

I wonder. I’m a Pisces–does that tie me to the ocean for regular infusions of well-being?

Seal Beach, CA

This is the first summer in many years that we simply aren’t able to fit in a true beach “vacation,” where we spend at least a week doing nothing more than enjoying sand and surf.

Newport Beach, California

Although we vacationed at Newport Beach for many years before we were grandparents, the last several years have been particularly joyful as we’ve been able to share our vacation with Sophia and Karina, giving them many of the same experiences I enjoyed as a child with my own grandparents when they stayed a week or more at the beach each summer.

La Jolla Cove, San Diego

I’m telling myself that with the abundance of shark sightings this spring it might be more difficult to be at ease with the girls at play in the ocean.

I am skilled at finding rationalizations to assuage disappointment.

Hollywood Beach, Oxnard, California

The shark population has increased, including 15 great whites caught on camera near Capistrano Beach in Dana Point mid-May. This may become more the norm as warmer water could be pushing them closer to shore, but in general, experts point to a thriving ecosystem after protections have been placed on sharks, seals and sea lions for several decades.

California beachgoers typically aren’t very concerned. Huntington Beach was alive and kicking with swimmers and surfers when I met with a friend at the Hyatt Regency across the street yesterday. We stayed off the sand, but it was a wonderful day for walking…and 20 degrees cooler than our inland heatwave temperatures.

Huntington Beach, California

Monterey Bay, California

Further up the state the beaches and access change and may not be what I think of as swimming beaches, but they are gorgeous. These are the views conducive to sitting with a glass of wine and enjoying the sunset.

Pacific Grove, California

In May we boarded the train at Los Angeles’ iconic Union Station with the final stop in Oakland. We can drive to visit our son and daughter-in-law in under six hours, but approximately ten hours offers a wonderfully relaxing way to travel and provides breathtaking views.

Not everything needs to be experienced with urgency!

I took plenty of reading material, but spent most of my time staring out the window, enjoying parts of the coastline we don’t see from the highway when we drive.

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Later this summer my mother and I will be taking the Coast Starlight to a wedding in a suburb of  Portland, Oregon.  I’m sure I’ll be eager to share many observations, especially with a trip that puts us on a schedule of approximately 29 hours of staring out the window.

We are ready for the adventure.

Train travel may be too slow for many, but let me take in these views and just enjoy the journey!

We should enjoy the journey every day, don’t you agree?

I believe I’m content almost anywhere I find myself, but I admit to being a little more buoyant with plenty of salt water.

Welcome summer!