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17 Mile Drive


Guest Post: Falling in Love with California

I've got another guest post lined up for today from the lovely Latrina from Of Trees and Hues. I recently stumbled across her blog and quickly added it to my reader. She's stopping by to share her incredibly beautiful story of finding herself completely at home here in Sacramento, California. Enjoy!

When Jennifer approached me with the idea of guest blogging on People + Places + Things, I quickly jumped at the chance. The topic would be travel... and being that we both reside in the lovely city of Sacramento, I knew right away that that is what I wanted to focus on -- Sacramento and how it came to be my home.

I am originally from Tennessee, and, for most of my life, I never ventured further west than Oklahoma. Three years ago, however, my husband and I made plans to visit his grandparents in L.A. I can't tell you how excited I was for this trip of ours -- it had been in the works for years and, suddenly, there I was... on a plane headed to California.

From the moment my husband and I set out to explore... my heart skipped a beat. Palm trees, gorgeous skies, warm weather that lacked the humidity I had learned to live with, the bustling cities -- it was absolutely gorgeous and unlike anything I was accustomed to.


Huntington Beach was the first time I had seen the Pacific Ocean... and I have loved it ever since. There were surfers attempting to catch waves, volley ball games being played and street performers and musicians entertaining us as the sun started to set. That was our first night in California -- and what a night it was.

We set out with no agenda. Our only plan was to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and stop whenever our hearts (or curiosity) beckoned us to.

We did all sorts of touristy stuff -- the Getty Center Museum, the Griffith Park Observatory, Morro Rock, the Monterey Aquarium, as well as the scenic 17 Mile Drive. But, when we stopped in Sacramento, we knew the city was for us. Streets were lined with towering trees. Gorgeous architecture reached the sky. Friendly people were out and about. Victorian homes welcomed us into the little neighborhoods that were tucked away within the city. My wanderlust heart was happy.


Our stay was short, however, so we tried to experience the city as much as we could. We got lost in Capitol Park, stopped in for coffee at Old Soul, and visited our first farmer's market. There was the authentic Mexican food, amazing sushi, and the hole-in-the-wall places that poured some of the best beers we've ever had -- and they were all brewed somewhere in California. Stepping out of the city, we found beautiful lakes and trees under some of the bluest skies I'd ever seen. When the time came, it was hard to get on that plane.


On the way back to Tennessee my husband and I joked about how wonderful it would be to live in Sacramento. Well, jokes became discussions and those discussion became plans. Within a few months, we were planning our trip back to Sacramento, this time -- to stay.

We sold most of our belongings and only packed what could fit into our tiny Toyota, which wasn't much, but it was enough. We set out... 2,500 miles ahead of us toward the relatively  unknown. We had no jobs nor did we have a place to live. But the strange thing is that it didn't worry me. If anything, the unknown felt freeing. Exciting, even.

We found a place to call our own the second day in Sacramento, and our jobs followed shortly behind. We still joke about how insanely easy it all was. As if it were meant to be.


Every time I set out, whether somewhere new or a place I frequent, I feel proud to call Sacramento my home. It has grown on me more than I ever thought a place marked on a map could. When I talk with my friends and family in the South, they're always quick to joke that I'm losing my trademark accent, but they also tell me that they can hear how happy I am.

And I am -- truly happy.

When Latrina's not hand-crafting coffee beverages at a local coffee shop, you can find her in the woods or at the beach capturing life's beauty with her camera. She also enjoys great design, music, and sharing inspiration; Of Trees and Hues is where all of her passions become one.

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