California-The Trip

They bank up the shores with sand, 20 feet tall to keep out the winter storm surges

November was a blur of activities.  It started out with a trip to Anaheim California to attend the national REALTOR convention and ended at a ribbon cutting with (pet activist:)

Bailey at the doggie fountain

daughter-in-law Alicia for a fabulous new dog park in Murrieta.  The convention is an annual one but in a different great city each year.  It’s a great place to get new ideas, get excited about new industry tools and activities and network with agents from all over the world.  It’s extra special now that my son Russ (J.R.) is in the real estate and mortgage business in California so we get to trade ideas, share concerns about the market, test out new programs and share in the industry that we both love.

Of course, while on the west coast and in the mountain area, I love to check out the new fabulous wineries (BIG BUSINESS)  which are as many and as popular as the great golf courses.    I always get to try out a few new courses and maintain the mother-son ongoing challenge of low score which I have still hung on to but feel it slipping away rather quickly.  It’s only a matter of time…but the challenge is great and it is something I shared with my dad while he was alive.  My dad lived to beat me on the course which he only did once in his life but after doing so, published it in the local paper for the world to know:)  Great competitive fun which also carries over to the ping-pong table which I can no longer hold “winners title”  but am requesting a new paddle for Christmas as well as more heat in the garage for some winter practice games, the backhand really needs work.

Before leaving California on Amtrak to Oregon, (whole other blog), I toured the southern coastline which is my favorite place to be.  From Seal Beach down to Imperial Beach (near the Mexican border), I walked the open boardwalks along the shore, checked out Farmers Markets (organic peanut butter from Traverse City) talked with residents, shopkeepers and tourists and took in the salty sea air on the many ocean piers that dot the shoreline.  I looked at real estate, zoning issues, public parks public housing and transportation issues.  You can have the crazy traffic up I-5 and everywhere else but there’s nothing like those long expanses of walking paths and public spaces that allow you a front row seat on the great Pacific Ocean.  Some would spend time shopping because they sure have it here and I have, but lately, I have found shopping way overrated and would much prefer to discover somewhere new.  Other than the crazy highway traffic and it is!, there are certain things that California does really well.  Providing recreation, parks and open space is one of them.  Visiting the shore will remain the popular option for most as living or owning a piece of California waterfront is out of reach for most, (but it sure is fun to look).    Makes Michigan waterfront still an amazing and affordable option for many.  Keeping the shorelines open for the world to use and bringing in a mix of housing so people can live, shop and play and small towns can prosper is a delicate task but one that has been done effectively in many places.  Here’s hoping our communities learn by example…

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