So many things to love about California...(part 1)

There are so many things to love about California. I spent a week there recently with my dear friend Jen, her hubby Marshall, and their new baby Ava. Having not stepped on a beach in almost 2 years, it was a wonderful retreat for me, and I soaked up every minute...from the gorgeous sunsets to the sweet California beach life, to traipsing around town with Jen and daydreaming about what it would be like to live in Beverly Hills (decided I'd rather have my life), and eating the best Cobb salad in the luscious sunshine. Here are my favorite moments from the trip...split into parts, of course, because I took way too many pictures!

Favorite #1: Sunday in Manhattan Beach. What a day. I wore a flowy skirt, a tank top, and flip flops, an outfit which makes any day great. Then we set off in the perfect 75 degree weather for "the MB," which is the quintessential California beach town. We found a lovely cafe for lunch - Le Pain Quotidien - and ate al fresco. Here is where I had the best Cobb salad of my life, and they even had homemade organic lemonade with mint leaves and agave nectar. Only in California!

After a leisurely lunch, we strolled Ava around and went out on the pier to enjoy all the happenings of the perfect beach day - surfers, lifeguards, families, and even fishermen. We thought Marshall was just playing around with his HD camera but he was secretly getting footage to create this amazing video for me to send back home to my husband!

We just happened upon these unattended fishing rods at the end of the pier. I can't even tell you how sparkly that water looked in person - I actually drew in my breath.

For a peaceful closing to our day, we went to Manhattan Beach's "Strand" which is down by the sand, and we enjoyed one of the most gorgeous sunsets. You know how I feel about "the perfect time of day" too. This day could not have been any better.

Here's Jen's hubby holding baby Ava in the sunset...

A message for my hubby in the sand...

Next is Part 2: Malibu!