May 26, 2009 at 11:16 pm (Food for Thought, traveling)

Driving into the sunset yesterday from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, I realized just how beautiful California really is.  I’ve always lived in the suburbs of the Bay Area, close to the City.  I’m accustomed to developed land, with no real open space.  I prided Mountain View for having one of the few remaining farms in the area where I could enjoy old fashioned pumpkin patches, corn mazes, animal pens, and christmas festivities (the owners just sold their land a few years ago when their father passed away).  I also prided that I knew what the “countryside” of California looked like, since I was partially brought up by my grandparents in West Sacramento.  My Ojiichan (grandfather) had been a tomato farmer, among other things, and there still was plenty of farmland and undeveloped land for me to see and play on.  Recently, housing developments and new shopping centers have reshaped the West Sacramento I grew up in, and it’s been quite disappointing to watch as they expanded the width of the roads and bought out homes owned by residents that’d lived there for decades that were in the midst of where the construction plans would run.

But nothing can describe the scenery of California’s middle valleys.  As I marvelled in its beauty and serene openness, I realized that all of the out-of-state students at SCU (and all other Cali schools) would never see and experience the peacefulness of the Central Valley if they never chanced to embark on a road trip through California.  They’d never see the rolling hills, the vineyards and other farmland, the desrt-like flatlands, the hazy stretch of I-5 that you travel on for over 250 miles. It’s not much to see if you’re mind is focused only on appreciating developed cities.  We tend to forget that California is not just cities, but has much more depth to it.  Depth that exploits what California used to be.  I’m glad that I can say I’ve seen and appreciated California’s beauty. Can you?

Pictures from my camera phone on the drive home (sorry, my windshield is a bit buggy):

Red Hot Chili Peppers know what’s happening: Californication

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers


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