California Cruizin'

Discovering the Hidden Jewels Throughout America's Golden State

Gems by the Sea

Seal Beach. The gateway to Orange County, this sleepy beach community of about 24,000 boasts a  charming main street  IMG_6465IMG_6467 IMG_6477 charming main street  and the longest wooden pier up and down the California Coast.

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Strolling down historic Main Street, fancy boutiques, antique shops, barber shops, cafes and restaurants beckon. The food choices are as diverse as the Southland population. American, Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Irish, Lebanese, French. There is something for every taste bud.
One of the most popular breakfast eateries, the Crema Café, http://www.cremacafe.com, is one of my favorites too. IMG_6463

You can sip gourmet lattes, cappuccinos and chais, while indulging in scrumptious wraps, omelets, burritos, sandwiches, salads, and soups. But you must try their famous wholesome breads IMG_6635

and mouthwatering French pastries freshly baked in their newly opened artisan bakery every morning.

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And if you like to step back in time and experience the bygone Hollywood days, sit back in those red velvet chairs at the Bay Theatre, http://www.baytheatre.com, just a few steps down from the Crema.

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For a more breezy dining experience try the sunny beach patio at River’s End, http://www.riversendcafe.com. IMG_6595

Tucked away at the end of the white sandy beach where the San Gabriel River meets the sea, this hidden gem features a great mix of American, Southern Caribbean and Central American dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers stunning views of the Long Beach Marina, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Catalina Island, the Orange County shoreline and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountain ranges. IMG_6441
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The Magic Hour

WOW! That’s what my hubby said when we arrived at the beach this evening to watch the sun sink into the calm Pacific. The dreamy sea looked like a sheet of silver shimmering against the yellow, orange, and red streaked sky.
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Under the last sun rays, bikers and roller skaters passed each other in the rosy dusk.
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I don’t know about you but I always feel a mysterious hush settling over the land in the hour of sunset. So, I encourage you whenever you see that sun hang over the edge of the California sea, dig your toes into the sand, lean back and watch the seagulls circle over your head.
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Postcard from Long Beach

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This picture perfect aerial shot taken by John Bahu, http://www.sandiegoscenics.com, captures the beauty of this pulsing city of 470,000 stretching along the sandy shores of Southern California. I have strolled around the shoreline village, peddled down the endless beach bike path,
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and cruised around the harbor countless times. And every time I did, I felt like the luckiest girl on the planet. Who gets to work and play in a place where the sun kisses your face, the ocean breeze whips through your hair, and the sky spans above you in the most brilliant blue?

Not only are we Southern Californians blessed with snow capped mountainsIMG_0270
and charming beach coves
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but a climate that is the envy of many. Boasting sunshine and moderate temperatures all year round, this multicultural melting pot of Caucasians, Latinos, and Asians is a magnet for tourists from near and far. The saying goes that in Southern California you can surf in the ocean in the morning and take to the slopes up in the Lake Arrowhead ski valley in the afternoon. I have never done it but many people have.
And if you’re neither keen to play in the snow nor in the waves, maybe you’d like to check out what else Long Beach, http://www.visitlongbeach.com, has to offer. Rising in the shadow of her bigger sister Los Angeles, this beach metropolis boasts a state of the art convention center, a world class symphony orchestra, http://www.lbso.org, one of the best school districts, http://www.lbusd.org, in the entire nation including one of the best public universities, http://www.csulb.edu, on the West Coast. The Aquarium of the Pacific, http://www.aquariumofthepacific.org, along with the RMS Queen Mary, http://www.queenmary.com, anchored across form the shoreline village are the pride of the city and so is the annual Grand Prix, http://www.gplb.com.
The city’s bustling port ranks among the biggest in the world and the Boeing plant still is one of the backbones of the city’s strong economy. The Long Beach Airport, http://www.lgb.org, offers flights to many major cities throughout the US, and houses Gulfstream’s maintenance and outfitting facility which makes sure those fancy private jets roll out the door to the satisfaction of their mega rich clients.
And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for our upcoming discovery tour.

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Like Riding a Bicycle

Today I came across this sweet quote by Albert Einstein, illustrated by Angela Duncan. You can check out her lovely artwork at http://www.theangeladuncan.com.
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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Isn’t that the truth. We’ve got to keep moving. In every area of our lives. I remember my husband telling me many years ago of a sermon he listened to. And what stuck with him were these words: “if you don’t use it you’re gonna lose it.” I guess that can be applied to everything in life. So keep moving like you’re riding that bicycle down the beach.

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Cruzin’ down Long Beach Ocean Boulevard

Cruizin' Long Beach Ocean Boulevard

Cruizin’ Long Beach Ocean Boulevard

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Waiting To Be Discovered

California. America’s Golden State stretching along North America’s Pacific Coast makes most people think of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. Of the many starlets that wait tables and valet park limousines hoping to be discovered as the next Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, only a few lucky ones make it onto the big screen. But in the dream factory’s big shadows the real California lies hidden waiting to be discovered: quaint fishing hamlets and bustling beach cities, historic mining towns and snow capped mountain peaks that tower over breathtaking desert landscapes, lush valleys and a sun kissed shoreline that draws lean bodies with surfboards into the foaming waves year round.
So, let’s roll down the windows, hold our faces into the wind and let’s take off into the sunshine, cruizin’ along California’s most beloved road, Highway One, the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, commonly known as the famous PCH.

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