Happy Place

How could I not want to jump in? The beauty is overwhelming. The blue so incredibly inviting. How to resist?
How to resist… one of the biggest challenges in life. But why resist? Why not enjoy, jump into it, whatever ‘it’ is, while it’s possible? And live every moment remembering just how fleeting they are.
I push all thoughts of the icy water into the back of my mind and climb down.

I’m at Point Mugu State Park. It is windy and there’s a little chill in the air … It is winter after all, but that doesn’t necessarily mean cold in Southern California. Right now there’s snow in the mountains an hour from here, but here at the beach that is extremely rare. I remember hail a few times but that is the coldest I can recall. Point Mugu Rock and beach are worth a stop if you’re driving through the Los Angeles area. Follow PCH Between Ventura and Malibu and you can’t miss it. (15 miles south of Oxnard) The views never disappoint. I often spot dolphins surfing the waves, pelicans, sea lions and harbor seals. Sometimes, on a real clear day, you might be able to spot a whale or two.

There are hiking trails right next the beach. 70 breathtaking miles of them! The hike from La Jolla Canyon to the top of Point Mugu (1,260 ft) and back is about 6 miles and fairly strenuous. If you’re up for a much longer hike there’s La Jolla Canyon loop. Get there early in the summer for a parking spot by La Jolla Canyon, but make sure to check for local updates on the trails before heading out as they can be closed due to damage / fires.

I’ll never tire of this view. Far enough away from the city to not be bothered by the noise and the busyness and doings of everyone. This is my escape from the planned events and must do’s.

We have one life. Just this one. Why aren’t we running like we’re being chased towards the wildest adventures our mind can imagine?

I jump down and I roll up my leggings as far as i can…

Wow Love

in the sand
2 together
Joined you can tell
by a small space, just
big enough,
for those 2 to be holding hands.
They walked
as far as you can see
right where the water reaches for
the warm dry sand.
But it’s cold and windy this time a year
these two didn’t care.
I wondered who they were and
if they had been lucky
enough to find that
Wow kind of love.
That love that’s so rare
So pure
Loyal, yet free
Soft and kind, yet so
unbelievably strong that
it could
Never break.
That love. That Wow

Then I saw them
returning from
wherever they went
down the shore.
She laughed and ran
into the ice cold water as
the wind blew her long hair in all directions.
He watched, reluctant… or maybe
admiring, but only for
a short moment, then
he followed her.
They laughed,
And I swear I saw a soft
light surround them
like a blanket of
friendship, of respect,
togetherness, of
a destined forever.
I was looking at it
witnessing it… that
Wow love.

I left before they
saw me, not wanting to
but I watched as they
strolled, arm in arm, back to their
he opened the door
for her and he kissed
her softly before he
closed it.
I saw him smiling, big,
as he walked quickly
around the car.

I smiled too.
I’m still smiling
Those 2 together alone on a
beach that is always
bustling with people.
Those footsteps in the
And Only those…

© Susanne Harring

If you’re in the Los Angeles area a visit to Venice Beach is a must! If you’re visiting during the Holidays you’re in for a treat. There’s a sort of hidden and very special part of Venice that is lit up and decorated in a very unique and thoughtful way. The Venice Canals.

The canals were founded in 1905 by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney. He dug several miles of canals to create a European feel in the famous beach town. Many of these canals were filled in 1929 but some still remain, creating a quaint, charming and quiet little neighborhood. And a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the Venice boardwalk. Almost every home has a small dock and a few boats in the water. There are 9 unique bridges over the canals and each Christmas these are decorated with different themes and lights.

Today, Abbot Kinneys presence is still felt in Venice as you can walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd, a short walk from the canals, and shop at trendy boutiques, grab a bite to eat and look at amazing art at the ‘coolest block in America’.

After watching the always beautiful sunset at the beach head down Venice Blvd. The canals are kind of hidden but you’ll see them on your right shortly after passing Pacific.

Most of the wishes were made for other people. For friends and family and for other peoples good health and fortune. Unselfish wishes. Wishes made with kindness and care… so special and so beautiful, touching and fitting for this season of giving.

Blemishes or Gifts

Not being flawless, but being a character with something not desired, a fault, a carrier of something that does not please the eye like a physical deformity, is not easy these days when everything is photo shopped into perfection. No one wants to look at a small mark that spoils an appearance of something that’s expected to be beautiful. Off to the trash you go. 

Not this Sand Dollar though.  He got to come home with me.  He’ll be the center piece in a collection of many like him I’ve found this year, mixed in with the perfect ones.  A huge variety of them all different and all so beautiful in their own way. They are relatives of sea urchins and star fish and all have a unique story, even legends, to tell.  

This time a year I get to find these around my backyard every once in a while and every time I do I get so excited. Remember if you’re lucky enough to come across one, check it’s color. Live ones are a deep purple, reddish or brown. Then gently flip it over and check to see if it has little ‘legs’ called spines that move.  If it does, you’ve found a live one.  Please set it back into the ocean and place it spine side down. Taking a live one is not only illegal but I’ve been told it also carries a pretty big fine.  If you’ve found one, a gift, without spines that has been bleached to a lighter color by the sun, you can find it’s age by counting the growth rings on the hard skeleton, just like counting the rings on a tree stump.  They can live up to a decade.

Today I found more San Dollars within a few hours than I’ve found in my whole lifetime!

If you’re in San Diego this is a must see! Go on a clear day and you’ll never tire of the most amazing views of San Diego, the bay, Coronado, the open ocean and Mexico. If you’re lucky you’ll spot dolphins and even whales.  

The drive to the monument is beautiful in itself and features Fort Rosecrans National cemetery and a drive through the military base where you can spot models of navy ships and unbelievable views. 

After paying the entrance fee, everything is free.  First, walk op to the charming old lighthouse.  Visitors can go inside and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper in 1855 when the first light was lit until it was closed in 1891, due to the fact that it was located too high above the sea level so fog would often obscure the light from the ships below. A new light house was built at a lower location and can be seen from the whale overlook.

Inside the lighthouse a cozy living room and the kitchen are on the first floor. A short climb up the spiral staircase leads to the bedrooms and then you can climb up a bit further for a quick look at the top of the lighthouse.  This part is closed off usually, but a few times a year it’s open to the public.  Dates can be found on the official website.  https://www.nps.gov/cabr/planyourvisit/open-tower-days.htm.  Don’t forget to look down the center of the staircase from up there.  Much artwork based on this view can be found for sale online and at their store. 

The whale overlook next to the light house offers incredible ocean views and interesting facts on the kelp forest, whale migration and the surrounding waters.  Follow the circle and make your way down to the visitors center and the Cabrillo monument.  The visitors center has a small, but interesting museum, a theater and a store.  I like to spend my time sitting on the wall by the monument and taking in the view of the beautiful San Diego harbor that was discovered by Spanish maritime explorer Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo in 1542. 

There’s a short, easy and beautiful hike, The Bayside Trail, that takes you down closer to the water where you’ll get to see a searchlight shelter and a power plant from 1919. 

If the tide is low I highly recommend visiting the tide pools afterwards.  (drive/ bike. Don’t plan on calling an Uber as there is barely any cell service).  You’ll more than likely get wet and the rocks can be really slippery.  But, you may get to see sea anemones, starfish, a variety of crabs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, fish and I’ve even spotted an octopus! 

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