Appreciating Daily Life In SoCal

Newport Beach Pier

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world yet I rarely share my daily life when I’m home. SoCal is still a dream for me. I can’t believe I get to wake up in the morning and go to the beach, swim in the pool, relax in the sunshine and take in the majesty of the Saddleback mountains and that’s not even a vacation; it’s my daily life. 

Athena and I at Newport Beach, California

Today, I spent the day at Newport Beach with Athena. We built sandcastles in the fine, powdery sand and soaked up the fresh, salty air. We were both completely happy and we could have stayed all day long.

Waves at Newport Beach, California

We only left to have lunch with a good friend and returned for a swim in the gently cresting waves. Athena is learning to swim and she doesn’t mind bobbing in the water. It gives me a new freedom to relax in the ocean, especially when she’s wearing her Puddle Jumper life vest.

We stayed all day not even realizing the time. The sun was setting before we packed up our beach gear and headed home. We had no schedule and no agenda; just time and the ocean as our playground.

Newport Beach lifeguard station

I took the coastal route home and watched the sun over the ocean during the drive. I felt mellow and at ease. It was better than a day at the spa. It was one of the best days this year and I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Extraordinary has become my ordinary in California and I appreciate every minute of it. I am grateful for every moment of my time here.

Tomorrow, we have a pool date planned with our neighbors. I don’t need to check the weather forecast or worry about rain. I love traveling and exploring new countries and cultures, but it’s never really that bad coming home. How could I complain about this?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”~Harold Whitman

46 thoughts on “Appreciating Daily Life In SoCal

    • I recently moved from a boring suburban town called Two-Mountains (30minute drive away from Montreal in Quebec) to New Brunswick in a 9 day hitchhike with a friend. Then I met my other and we took a train here to downtown Halifax. We are staying at a youth shelter till we have enough to to move out (which is actually coming soon! + We got bus passes today) but — despite our low economic state, We are both thankful for the waterfront. It may not be a clear blue sandy beach, but neither of us have had the opportunity to see the ocean. I gathered some seashells from a shore just outside a very large forest for runners & tourists. They lay by my bedroom window. I also especially adore foggy days for the view of the horizon past shores. If you are at the right night in town, which isn’t hard to come by, you have a view of the pale white foggy ocean. It feels like any residual thoughts are invited to be lifted away in a stream of milky haze. I identify with this post too, this is my every day vacation. Back at home, they can’t believe I made it this far. (And the journey has only just begun)

      I have an aunt in Cali. When my sister and mom visited, she made them weird fruit smoothies, including cactus juice. I really wonder what a cactus tastes like!

      – Gabrielle, of

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      • I love Halifax. I went to Dalhousie University for my first degree and spent four fantastic years living in the heart of the city. You certainly picked a beautiful spot. What made you decide on Halifax?


        • It was the next destination farthest from Montreal. I had hitchiked from MTL to New-Brunswick a month back – via rails had a Halifax stop past the town I was in (Moncton) – it was a 5 hour train ride.

          I don’t know yet if I’ll get to live near the city, it might end up being in Dartmouth that Raven & I will move. As it is now, we are staying at a Phoenix Youth shelter till welfare kicks in. Raven will be getting a job straight away, that’s the way he always liked it. He is helping me launch my career as an independent visual artist. Every day we work on my YouTube, WordPress, Twitter account & my Facebook page to keep networking at a constant. Our goal is that I may support myself by selling my paintings, prints or other products online! As well as making a little bit through YouTube’s monetisation system. He’s had online popularity before, so he is directing me a tad.

          We are both traveller’s and will be staying here till December, when I’ll be bringing him back to Montreal where I came from, to visit family for Christmas. This is my first time being away from home so long, at age 23. After that, we will keep going and going. He’s been doing this since he was young. Taking off from town to town & building a new life every time. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life!

          We don’t know what the destination will be after December. We’re leaving it to then to figure it out. After all, we decided to go to Halifax just 2 weeks prior to our getting rid of half our stuff and taking off with 2 school bags & a tool box. It seems we might go south, but we will eventually get over seas.

          My favorite thing to’ve discovered lately is that transportation very much exists & that the money for it can be made or accumulated. Mobility feels like a myth until you try it for yourself! I look forward to trips like England, where he’s had a job in the past. Or Thailand, where you can live like a king/queen with barely any money at all. (I’ve been poor my entire life) Being familiar with 3 Canadian provinces is interesting, especially discovering the maritimes and seeing the sea. (I however wish I could afford to taste the environment’s foods, too)(not complaining though, I am here and I am very thankful) – My little brother for example can’t believe I am excused from the French dictatorship back at home. Apparently now they’re resorting to cutting bills in half to forcefully create their own economy. I know nothing of politics, so I am not one to judge the movement. Having lived there however, I am familiar with the pressure for french language assimilation left and right. The French are not happy with the English there, even if it is a part of Canada. But if you’ve been in Canada, then surely you must be at least a little familiar with that situation.

          It certainly is fun being considered special for speaking French around here! No one understands me when I speak it. (Hahahaha)


      • On Lake Chapala, about an hour from Guadalajara and a two day drive down from the border. If you Google it you’ll see lots written about it and some great videos as well. It was time for my husband, who was 16 years older than me, to retire and Mexico had been on the back burner with me for a long time. I strongarmed him into coming (ha) and once down here, he was the one dying to buy a house. We did, and sure enough–he died before we could move into it. (I hadn’t intended that pun, but since it just sorta happened, I’ll let it lie.) This was 14 years ago. I went ahead and moved down without him and have been here ever since.


  1. I totally get where you’re coming from Lesley. Although our weather here in Southend in the UK is not so obliging. I watched the start of the RTW Cipper Race from the end of my pier yesterday and it was misty and we were soaked. But I still went and we had fish and chips for dinner and curled up and watched the disaster movie San Andreas. I would like the sunshine everyday. I’ve just learnt that on some days – I have to make my own.
    Athena has such a wide open happy smile. Spending days at the beach with Mum is priceless! 🙂

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  2. Your photo of Athena reminds me of a song by Damian Horne called “She Can Play.” It’s the theme song of ACC women’s basketball. Check it out. It has a pleasant surprise inside.


  3. I remember your posts when you were pregnant with Athena! She is a beautiful little girl and lucky to have a mom who spends time with her…and you are living the good life. I’m glad you know it…an exceptional quote today, too – I plan to steal it! 🙂


  4. Thank you for this inspiring post. It reminds me of how we take the things around us for granted and go traveling all over the world in search of amazing things…when we have a few right here in our own backyard! I also live near a beach community but on the East Coast. I remind myself that people pay good money to come here;) And there’s nothing like sharing it with our loved ones.


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