It’s funny how much your hometown can mold you and stay with you forever. I am so “Long Beach” that it hurts, lol. We’ve lived in Texas for almost six years now, but my heart and soul are West Coast like nobody’s business! 😉 And in sheer nostalgic, I’m posting photos of my childhood – all stemming from the Great Long Beach, California (summertime in the LBC…).
So what was it like being raised in the least stuffy Southern California beach city? Growing up, this was my second home – literally. We walked there almost daily.
On a rare clear day when Los Angeles smog wasn’t trying to kill us all, we could stand on the beach and see mountains. This was my home – and I took way greater joy in that Wyland-painted mural than a kid probably should.
I crossed these little bridges between the houses on Naples Islands on several occasions. When my dad got into sailing, he often dressed as Santa in the Christmas Boat Parade.
Every kid went down to Shoreline Village to check out the shops, ride the carousel, and take one too many overpriced photos with their friends in the photo booths.
We’d grab the dogs for an afternoon hike through Palos Verdes – or maybe wander way down to the tide pools to check out sea urchins and star fish (or in the case of my dog, scream at the sea lions from far away).
Maybe you’d waste the day touring the always-creepy Queen Mary. They eventually began doing staged Halloween tours, but all the locals knew it was more creepy on its own, especially the since-drained pool area.
And being 15 minutes from The Happiest Place on Earth was magic in itself. It opened when my dad was 10 years old, and he caused a ruckus in it from 1955 on. I had a pass since I was a little one, so Disneyland is in my blood. You’ll never find this girl more at peace anywhere else than you would on Main Street USA.
And though Long Beach lacked snow for the winter holidays (though it was about an hour away), it didn’t matter much because we had this and could play pretend.
Or maybe you’d walk down to the marina and have a blast having a slumber party on your dad’s boat while it stayed docked in it’s slip. Maybe you once hung upside down for an entire day as you painstakingly painted the name on the side for him.
And maybe in return, he sailed you and your BFF to Avalon Harbor over on Catalina Island.
And maybe that’s why you find yourself homesick for the ocean, Disneyland, and the wonderful LBC an awful lot. 😉