Friday morning. My first full day in beautiful SoCal and sitting poolside with a fresh cup of coffee was the perfect way to spend the early morning. A perk I love about visiting the West Coast from the east is the time difference… I wake up super early without even meaning to. So yes, I was up happily drinking coffee at 7am where normally I would be hitting my alarm over and over again not wanting to get ready for work.
After finishing the last sip of that hazelnut cup I packed an overnight bag, threw on a bikini top, one of my favorite beachy coverups and jumped in that beautiful car which from then on I would pretend was 100% mine. My first stop on my way up the coast was a little trip down memory lane… Long Beach, CA.
Both my parents were born and raised in Long Beach and it is a place I spent a lot of time in when my family was still living in California. It’s funny how places can catch your eye and bring back a feeling inside of you even when you haven’t been there in over 15 years. On my way to check out my grandmother’s old house, the house my mother grew up in, I was intensely drawn to this seemingly random park. Pulling into the parking lot I realized this was the place we used to go to ALL the time when I was very young. We would walk along the pond, feed the ducks and enjoy that beautiful SoCal sunshine.
Visiting that park was such a pleasant surprise I was ready for some more familiar places around Long Beach! I drove by my grandmother’s old house (funny how much smaller it actually was than how I always remembered it) my mother’s old high school, and my final and most important stop… All Souls Cemetery on Cherry Avenue.
Both of my grandparents on my mother’s side are buried at All Souls. It was just as beautiful as I remembered and I can’t even describe how it felt to visit. Since my immediate family is living on the East Coast now but are all originally from the west, there is a lack of real connection to the east for me. Being in Long Beach and visiting All Souls gave me that deep feeling of a past, a place I truly come from and that is a huge part of who I am today.
By this time I was looking at about 2pm and it was time to get the hell on the road! My next journey was a little drive up the coast to Santa Barbara… and who wants to get stuck in that shitty LA Friday afternoon traffic on such a beautiful afternoon??
But first… gotta load up on that Double Double for the road 😉