If I lived in So. Cal

I would not drive a conversion van like half the population of So Cal.

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But I might surf. Might is imperative here, because this morning I could barely tiptoe into the chilly ocean to even my knees. With a wetsuit, though, one can do a great many things that one cannot do without a wetsuit.

It seems to be the way of So Cal – you go to the beach, and you surf. In a black wetsuit; which, if you are a guy, you put on while standing behind your conversion van wrapped in a towel. Girls tend to show up ready to go. I appreciate this.

And as a Southern Californian surfer you either drive a conversion van or a Rolls Royce. Or maybe just a Volkswagen beetle. I’d be happy with a Mazarati?

Surfers also run frantically to the water, like the waves will disappear at any second and you won’t get to hang ten. I would probably do this, too, if I lived here: the running AND the hanging ten, of course.

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If I lived in So Cal, I would have an expensively bred dog, an expensively highlighted haircut, and expensive expansive yoga pants. All this would go with me to my tri-weekly sunrise Vinyasa yoga class, where my headstands would win a prize and everyone would admire my binds and my ujjayi breath. I would not become a yogi- I would just go for the exercise. My peace and joy would not come from hands at heart center, or the enlightenment of meditation, because looking inward for peace is too depressing. No, I’d look upward for my peace. I think the beach would be a beautiful place to spend time in worship and prayer with the maker of the palm trees, who is alive and more than just a flickering flame of incense or a feeble om chant.

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Breakfast would happen at Pannekin Coffee and Tea in La Jolla, always, except on Sunday, when I’d eat mango sticky rice and espresso while strolling around the La Jolla Farmer’s Market. I’d buy white nectarines from Northern California and colorful ware from Tijuana. I’d make friends with the venders.

I would make friends with native TJers, too, and they would take me across the border to the safe spots in Baja so I could enjoy the culture without getting shot or kidnapped.

On cloudy summer days below 60 degrees, I would not leave home without my down vest or Uggs. Nuh uh. Never mind having lived in Minnesota for 20 years. It is the So Cal way!

If I lived in So Cal, on hot, sunny days I’d play frisbee on the beach with people from all over the world, like these Italian boys.

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If I lived in So Cal, I’d live in La Jolla, maybe, on a quiet little beachside street with a view of the ocean and lots of hibiscus plants.

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Or I could live in a downtown San Diego apartment… In Little Italy? Overlooking a gelateria? Now there’s a thought…

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If I lived in So Cal, life would be sandy, salty, and chill.

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Rent would undoubtably be high, but hey – these people don’t have Mosquitos. Or snow. Can you imagine a life without shoveling or applying mosquito repellant? That’s worth a higher cost of living.

Plus, if I lived in So Cal, I’d have the Pacific herself. She’s pricey, that Pacific. But for all her coldness, she’s got a gorgeous turquoise glimmer on a summer day. And her waves are foamy white and green when they sweep across the sand.

That’s a sight I could stand to see every day.

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