Confession: this NorCal girl loves SoCal.
Yup, I said it.
There’s always been a little friendly rivalry between Northern California (Norcal) and Southern California (SoCal).
LA loves to shit on San Francisco, with it’s dreary weather and nerdy tech vibe, and the Bay Area loves to down on SoCal for it’s unashamed embracing of the “superficial”–like juicing and “hiking” Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood scene…+ the traffic.
Being born and raised in Oakland, which I consider the better, quainter version of San Francisco, I have my qualms with SoCal. It is more superficial, and I do think people are more inclusive and welcoming up North.
And yes, the traffic down here definitely sucks.
But with that said, having been in LA for the past 6 years since I came down to attend USC (go Trojans!), it’s really grown on me.
Mostly because I LOVE THE BEACH!
One downside of living in the Bay Area is that, in general, once you get ocean-side the temperatures majorly drop.
I’ll always remember one hot summer day growing up when my family tried to go to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. It was a hot 90 degree day in SF, which is extremely rare, so we thought it might be warm enough to get in the water.
How about the minute we got within two blocks of the beach, a thick layer of fog came out of nowhere.
Needless to say I always kind of resented the fact that I lived so close to water (which I love) but not water I could get in :(
Another reason I love SoCal is because I’m much more of a day person–specifically a sunny day person–than a night owl, so I can’t even put into words what living in a place that’s almost always sunny does for my mood. Every day just feels brighter here, literally and figuratively.
My obsession with the beach has totally grown since I’ve moved down here; it is absolutely my happy place, and one of my favorite things to do is explore the manymany beaches SoCal has to offer.
This past weekend I went to Thousand Steps Beach in Laguna Beach, CA. Laguna Beach is one of my favorite coastal towns; it really is hard not to fall in love with it. From the ocean views to the jaw-dropping houses, it’s something out of a storybook.
There’s also free parking all along PCH. Angelenos live for free parking.
I know it’s called “Thousand Steps Beach” but there aren’t actually 1000 steps. I didn’t count them myself (too busy trying to stay alive) but I think I read somewhere there are really around 230. They’re really steep though, so it’s a good workout on the way back up, and you definitely earn your lazy day at the beach!!
One of my favorite parts about this beach is the rock formations, both in the water and on the cliffs. They make beautiful tide pools, which I think is the most unique part of this particular beach.
Tide pools are awesome for those super hot days when the sun is really coming down and lying out on a towel would be comparable to roasting a chicken :)
A common problem on the California coast is big waves, which can be too dangerous to swim in unless you’re an expert surfer or swimmer. On this day, lifeguards were actually going up and down the beach forbidding people from going any further than waist-deep because the tide was so strong.
Luckily, I had the tide pools ;)
There’s something so relaxing about sitting in your own little pool, protected from the crashing waves, and surrounded by little sea life.
The way back up is a little brutal. But I’m also not much of a worker-outer ;) I stopped 3 times to catch my breath on the way up the stairs! #embarrassing
But the scenery on the way up is just as nice, and you get some inside peeks on how those lucky enough to live there get to live.
Overall, I’ll always be a Bay Area girl at heart–the sense of community and care for your fellow man is just inescapable there (the “tree-hugger” label isn’t just a stereotype–it’s rooted in Oakland/SF/Berkeley being major epicenters for a lot of historical socio-political movements…but that’s a lesson for another day :)
But I think these photos speak for themselves as to why this Oakland girl moved south and has yet to leave ♥