Angela Wilhelm

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

California Dreaming in San Diego

    Pardon me for being naive, but I thought California was hot. I mean, sunscreen galore, miles of beaches, the sun beating down upon your tan skin. As a midwestern kid growing up in overcast Ohio, I dreamed of California sunshine. I subscribed to Surfer Magazine. Yes, Surfer Magazine would find it's way to my mailbox in the middle of a cornfield once a month so I could tear out it's sea-foam green tinted, glossy pages and tape them to my walls.

    I was obsessed with all things Californian, though I didn't travel farther west than Chicago until I was 18. Even then I only went as far as Colorado. Anything with palm trees added a bit of sunshine to my small-town life. I bought the first season of Laguna Beach on DVD because "farmervision" doesn't include MTV. When the Fox television show "The O.C." premiered, I was captivated by the character's clothes, hair, homes, social life and musical interests. I purchased every soundtrack CD full of the shows beachy tunes and subconsciously purchased clothes similar to Marissa's.

    When The O.C.'s theme song, "California," by Phantom Planet, would fade into my living room, my sister and I would play our air guitars and pianos and I would get misty-eyed through a montage of waves crashing upon rocky cliffs, surfers catching swells, kisses on lifeguard stands, and silhouettes of palm trees fading with the sun.  If you think that is a little much, understand I went to a school that celebrated "tractor day" and missing school on the first day of hunting season was an excused absence.

    After years of dreaming about California, I was finally going to experience it from the beginning of Highway 1 to the end. Since the majority of the trip would be spent on the coast, I packed 5 pairs of shorts, 7 tank-tops, 2 bathing suits, 1 pair of jeans and a couple sweaters. Turns out… California is not that hot year round.

    After leaving the Mojave Desert, Matt, my co-pilot and boyfriend, couldn't wait to get to sunny San Diego. "This place has the best weather," I remember him saying. "I know," I thought, "I'm an expert on California- bring out the shorts and bikinis!"

    Instead, I wore my jeans and brought out my rain jacket because it was freezing and rained the entire time. Matt's friend's mother was kind enough to let us stay with her for a couple days and tour the city sans bathing suits, plus umbrellas. I was sad and showing signs of a cold. Yes, I caught a cold while romping through the Mojave Desert.

    Thus, overcast photos of seals and pelicans.

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Staff photographer at the Sandusky Register. Videographer at Follow me on instagram @angwilhelm and @sanduskyregister

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