chris - san martin, California
Entered on April 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: place
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While blissfully lying on a San Luis Obispo beach on a warm March afternoon, I started to think about the week that was about to come to an end. I thought about swimming with friends in my apartment’s pool, going to the gym, riding motorcycles and driving jeeps at the local sand dunes, and occasionally stopping by class to learn a thing or two about my future career. But what stuck out in my mind the most were the previous day’s activities. After attending the local farmers’ market on a Thursday night, my friends and I decided to wake up early Friday morning and make a day trip up to Sierra Summit to go snowboarding. It was then – laying on an oversized beach towel, improving my California sun tan – that it occurred to me that I believe in California. I believe in being able to do whatever it is I want to. Whether it is racing down snow covered mountains on a funny looking piece of wood, flying across water holding onto a rope behind a speeding boat, or simply enjoying some barbeque with friends and taking a nap on the beach. I believe in California in the way the Beach Boys believed that all girls should be California girls.

Being born and raised in California it is very easy to take California’s many different facets for granted. This unappreciative nature often begins at an early age, in between hiking mountains in Yosemite, trips to local lakes, and visits to the numerous landmarks like Disneyland or the San Diego Zoo, all the while soaking in the sun’s warm rays. It becomes clear that it would be relatively easy to take this pleasant atmosphere for granted. But that is beside the point; I believe every Californian should have access to a quality pair of sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen, boogey board, surf board, wake board, knee board, swimwear, snow gear, hiking boots, and anything else their heart desires. I also believe that none of the above should go unused throughout the calendar year. I believe that there is no better quality diner than In-N-Out. I believe that 65 miles per hour actually means 80 miles per hour. I believe in driving up, down, and around the coast of this natural wonderland, just to enjoy some of the world’s finest wines. I believe in occasional visits to our neighbors in Las Vega, Nevada and Mexico. I also believe that we not only have the world’s happiest cows, but we also have the world’s happiest people.

Unfortunately, it is not quite all play here in California. I believe in hard work and I understand that unfortunate things like business meetings do take place here on this phenomenal piece of land. But I believe that approximately 90% of those business meetings should take place on the golf course. On a happier note, I believe that the people in California are as diverse as the land itself. To put it simply, I believe in California. From the one of-a-kind streets of San Francisco, the celebrities in Hollywood, the warm beaches of San Diego, all the way to the great mountain ranges that border my home. I believe in California.