Tuesday, February 4, 2014

California Dreamin'

Encinitas, CA. In January (which isn't even fair).
No matter how long I've been away from California, whenever I go back I feel like I've gone home. So what if I've now lived half my life in Utah? Nope, California feels like home. To the point that I teared up while driving on the freeway, just because the trees looked right and all the license plates said California. I didn't even grow up in Southern CA—I lived in the Bay Area—and still. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

So many of my stories have taken place in California, probably because I can never seem to get the state off my mind. Writing about it only makes me more connected to it, since as I create characters that live there I make more ties in my mind to the place. More meaningful connections, as fictional as they may be.
Two of my favorite people, being all adorable and stuff.
Then there's the problem of having so many dang friends who live in the state. Every day of my vacation/work tip I got to see people who mean a lot to me (And they kept feeding me yummy things!). Signing with Kiersten and Shannon was kind of a dream come true and all that—it was the first time I got to sit on the same side of the author table with two of my friends who have helped me wade through tough publishing waters.

Cindy Pon and me, eating some awesome Japanese ice cream.
After she'd fed me an incredible Chinese beef soup with hand pulled noodles.
One of my oldest friends (from Jr. High!) and now
librarian, Lynn, who took us out to
Korean BBQ at the Honey Pig in LA. Yum.
 With so many wonderful people to see, it really felt like I was at home. I wanted to hang out for another week because it felt too short. And then there was the food, but I'll spare you more pictures of that. You can see my Instagram for all my food pics.

The best part of all? I got to spend the entire time with this awesome guy. I took him all around Southern California (from San Diego to Newport Beach to LA to Encinitas), and he was there to support me through my work events and was happy to meet all my friends. Marrying him nine years ago was probably one of my best decisions.

And I think I've convinced him that if we ever get rich enough, we should totally move to California. Mwahaha.



    *looks at home prices* *weeps*


    *looks at weather in Utah* *weeps*


    1. I just have to become a filthy rich bestseller like JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. SO EASY RIGHT? Haha.

      I will have to settle for visits and my vivid imagination. *sigh*

  2. it was SO great see you and catch up and eat yummy
    food! i loved meeting your hub too. what a sweetie!
    i hope there are more SD trips in your future! <3

  3. Love your beach pictures! My husband grew up in CA, we used to lived in the Bay Area, and now we road trip down there every other summer (from WA state) and would totally live there again if a) we could afford it and b) our kids wouldn't hate us forever for moving them away from there friends. :-)

  4. I especially like your and your friends' dresses in the first picture! And seeing as how I'm in snowy, freezing Chicago right now, I wouldn't mind being in California either.

  5. California's a state I haven't been to yet, but I have to see it for myself. Terrific shots, Natalie!

  6. It looks like such a fun trip, Natalie! I love that you got to sign with two old friends. That's wonderful:)

  7. Yes indeed. California does have its unique charm that makes it feel like you’re always home when you're there. Everywhere else in USA seems to be a bit too cold, but in California, it’s always warm and happy. California really gets into your heart, huh?

    Ronnie Hogan