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Why I Love California

by Penny Sadler

Santa Monica Pier ©pennysadler 2012

A talented writer who happens to be a friend once told me, people have a natural inclination to return to the place where they lived as teenagers. He believes our memories of those years are the most clear and true and compelling. I have been considering this after a recent visit to California, and I believe he may be on to something.

I am a native Texan, but I spent my early teen years in California. Without a doubt, who I am today is largely due to the influence of growing up in the San Fernando Valley. The truth is out now. I’m a Valley Girl. Totally.

I travel to California as often as possible, not only to the Los Angeles area, but to visit friends from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. I love California; the climate, the topography, the food and the outdoor culture.

Recently I was in Los Angeles to celebrate my birthday with friends, and thought it would be fun to revisit all the usual tourist traps like, Hollywood Blvd., Grauman’s Chinese Theater, (now called just The Chinese Theater) and the Farmer’s Market. Those are the places I remember going first, when my family relocated to the California. Even though I go to California at least once a year, I had not been to Hollywood in over ten years. So I brought my camera along and documented my trip down memory lane.

Hollywood Blvd. ©pennysadler 2012


I still enjoy looking for my favorite stars names in the cement at the Chinese Theater and the spectacle on Hollywood Blvd. There was a rather aged Marilyn Monroe with her skirt billowing, a sexy Cat Woman and I think I saw Spiderman and Batman on a cigarette break.

©pennysadler 2012 Los Angeles 

I was happy to find the Farmers Market just as I remembered it, a great place to roam and sample new foods. Of course the stores have changed, but the overall vibe is the same, with more tourists now. There’s also The Grove a new, upscale, outdoor shopping area with anchors like Barneys and Nordstroms.

I had a head buzzing cappuccino complete with foam art at a charming place called, Short Cake. It was the perfect place for people watching and starting up a conversation with locals. I had a nice chat with the girl behind the counter who happens to have the same camera I use. I also talked with a musician who had a 1950’s bad boy look, and didn’t mind me snapping away while talking with him. He even asked me if I could photograph his band. Unfortunately not, but nice to be asked. Photography is a great conversation starter.

Where have you lived that made a big impression on you? Do you ever go back ? How old were you when you lived there? Do you live there now?

cappuccino ©pennysadler 2012

All materials ©pennysadler 2012

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5 comments

Why I Love the Getty Museum - Adventures of a Carry-On September 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

[…] spent my teenage years in the San Fernando Valley, and earlier this year I wrote about it in Why I Love California. The Getty has now been consciously added to my list of reasons to love California and, Richard […]

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Why I Love the Getty Museum | Adventures of a Carry-on November 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

[…] spent my teenage years in the San Fernando Valley, and earlier this year I wrote about it in Why I Love California. The Getty has now been consciously added to my list of reasons to love California and, Richard […]

Reply
The Color and Culture of Olvera Street | Adventures of a Carry-on August 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

[…] February, I wrote a short travel memoir, Why I Love California. The story was inspired by a comment a writer friend had made, that the place where we lived as […]

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Penny Sadler March 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

Thanks for the kind words.

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Wandering Educators March 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

oh! i so want that capuccino. YUM. the stunning photos – the sky! perfect for the end of winter blahs we have here in the midwest. i love when we can go back, and see where our happiest memories are. lovely article!

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