What a Wonderful World

view from the plane

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I headed to the west coast for a weekend adventure.

Hello Kitty aside, I saw some truly wondrous things. Above was my view from the plane. It made my breath catch. Over and over, I heard Louis Armstrong on repeat as the soundtrack in my head:

What a wonderful world.

santa monica

First stop after Hello Kitty Con was Santa Monica beach.

Loved sitting on the beach, watching the surfers wrestle with the tides. I stayed my first night at a loft rental above the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Wasn’t THAT an interesting place to be on Halloween. I saw a young woman with a Lord of the Rings beard that was not a costume. A big tattooed man with a nose ring hurling countless profanities at a folk guitarist because of his music selection. Career homeless who looked straight through me. I felt like I’d visited the freak show tent at an old-time circus. I wasn’t sorry to leave that behind the next day. But hey, I figure you have to visit new places to figure out where you do and don’t belong. But the beach was beautiful.

Get this — it hasn’t rained since something like April in LA. It rained while I was there. I didn’t mind one bit. Because look at the sendoff it gave me before heading out-of-town the next morning.

morning rainbow


Nicely played, LA.

butterfly sign2

Here’s where my bucket list comes into play. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to visit the wintering habitat of the monarch butterfly. I’m fairly certain I’ll never make it to Mexico, but I’ve been eyeing some California sites for years. So this weekend, I visited some areas right outside of Santa Barbara.


It’s early in the season, so there weren’t a lot around. Plus, I picked the wrong time of day because they weren’t clustering. But I did see a number fluttering about — and I even managed to snag a few photos of them. This was NOT an easy task. I was just so happy to be there. The eucalyptus trees had the most gorgeous scent. I could’ve stayed there for hours.

Even this tree loved it.

heart in the tree


The path around the groves took me up this hill. I had no idea where I was going, but I knew from the sounds what was coming…



ocean from bluffs

What a wonderful world.

rain in the distance

Then I headed into Santa Barbara and enjoyed the ocean at ground level.

And had lunch at a seaside cafe. This was my view through the window. Isn’t that pair the cutest thing? It was a mom and daughter.

couple at the dock

And everything is still colorful and blooming in Santa Barbara.


mountains at sunset

I wandered around the harbor through sunset.

sailboats at sunset3

sailboats at sunset2

bike at sunset

And got up the next day for the sunrise.

waiting for sunrise

sailboats at sunrise

waves at sunrise


What a wonderful world.

beach on way home

Finally, I loaded up the car and headed back to LAX. But not before stopping at a few state beaches along the way.


Aaaaand….my view on the way home.

I cannot begin to describe the satisfaction I have from this trip. I’m a single female and I navigated Los Angeles and the highways of California by myself. There were things I wanted to see, so I saw them. I didn’t write off the idea for lack of a travel companion. In fact, I found it to be liberating. I’m of the firm belief that you have to enjoy your own company before you can truly appreciate the company of someone else. One of these days, sure, I’d like to travel to new places with someone other than my children. But until then, I’m happy to fly solo. Life is too short and the world is too wonderful to miss.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    I think you are the coolest person I know!


    1. Right back atcha, Amy!!! 😊


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