I�ve been trying to wrap my head around California.� We returned a couple weeks ago from ten days visiting the state that is more populous than the country we live in.�2015 January 49

It has been hard to decide what to write about the experience.� Mostly if I try to sum it up I think what I felt much of the time while in California was awe.2015 January 125

Awe at the enormous and magnificent redwood trees of the northern coast.

big trees

Awe at the incredible beauty of San Francisco and its bay.

san francisco bay

Awe at the endless coastline and gorgeous beaches.

2015 January 69

Awe at the incomprehensibly vast central valley of farms and orchards.

lemon lime

And finally awe at the raw splendor of Yosemite.

2015 January 187

In between all of these experiences was time spent with wonderful friends and family.� Our boys were great travelers in spite of many hours in the car and at least eight different places slept.

2015 January 47

We ate lots of incredible meals and an equal number of PBJs.� Probably our favorite thing was all of the fresh, local�picked in the backyard�oranges and other citruses.

A highlight for me was picking my own lemons and limes for a fresh glass of lemonade.� Later that day we arrived at my uncle�s house and he treated us to his own fresh-squeezed orange juice from oranges from his backyard.� We were in locavore heaven since this is a treat we can�t enjoy at home.

2015 January 152

And yet I was left with a feeling of uneasiness about California and its future.� Even though I can�t really say that I know much about the state, it�s hard not to feel like it�s all founded on a precarious dependence on water.� Seeing the sky of the central valley filled with dust and endless signs along the road blaming politicians for their water crisis �I was only more strengthened in my resolve to avoid buying long-distance fruits and vegetables.

2015 January 105

California seems like paradise, and maybe it really is.� I just hope that it can last, because we loved it and hope to visit again.