See California Through the Eyes of a Child in 2011

As our family stood on the beach reflecting on the year 2010, we watched five kids stand hand-in-hand with wide-eyed wonderment and glee. Many adults stopped to look at these happy children, and most smiled-perhaps wishing they could travel through life with the energy and optimism that children have.

One energizing force that helps you get back your smile is travel, and you don't have to hop on a flight to explore. Museums, restaurants, road trips, and even visits to a places nearby can be like traveling to another land, especially when you set out to see the sights & sounds of California.

Just a few miles from my home, I can explore Little Saigon where different languages, foods, and customs introduce me to something foreign. Shop windows filled with the long, silk ao dai dresses, and delicious, iced Ca phe sua nong (strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk) served in nearly every cafe make me feel like I've departed the U.S.

Along the same road just a few miles distance I arrive in Santa Ana, the heart of Hispanic culture where shop windows are filled with long, silk charmeuse quinceanera dresses, and pushcarts on the sidewalks sell turquoise or pink colored snacks that don't look like anything I've ever eaten. I walk past a man who seems to take great pride in shining shoes at his outdoor stand-kind of a lost art missing from the beach a few miles away where Havaianas (flip flops) from Brazil are the latest craze.

These simple, close-to-home experiences help me get back those eyes of a child. And the road may not lead to Saigon or Mexicali just yet, but California is sure keeping me busy-all 1,000 miles of it. Happy New Year in California!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info