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Monday, May 15, 2017

California, here we come! Part One

I've had two intense, exciting, and joyful weeks with my relatives from Switzerland who visited California. They were my nephew, Rico, my niece, Claudia, and her husband Alberto as well as their two children, Risayra and Muriel. For three of them it was the second visit to the United States, but two of them came here for the first time.

The week before their arrival, I was a nervous wreck, afraid they might have problems with the U.S. customs. I read and heard of people, even US citizens, being held back at the border for no valid reason at all. Luckily, they had no problems and arrived after a long flight from Zürich via Düsseldorf to Los Angeles. Here they are, and Auntie Christa is very relieved!

From left to right: Rico, Risayra, Muriel, Alberto, Claudia

The first few days we spent in Santa Monica, then drove up the coast past Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo to Cambria, one of my favorite spots along the coast.

In the small town of Cambria we stayed at the Cambria Pines Lodge on the hill above the actual town. I love this rustic place with the gorgeous gardens.

A "Place to Dream" indeed!

During our stay in Cambria, we explored the rugged coast, in particular Piedras Blancas in San Simeon, the place where the elephant seals come to rest, molt, give birth, raise their young and go back out to sea to gather food. It's a fascinating stretch of coast where you can watch the development of these amazing animals all through the seasons.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit Big Sur, another one of my favorite spots along the Californian coast, because of the damaged bridge and other obstacles. We did make it to Ragged Point though, the beginning of the mountain road to Big Sur. I've driven past this place many times when heading to Big Sur but never stopped and consequently missed a gorgeous area. This time, however, we took a break and admired the landscape, the cliffs, and the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.

Risayra was so inspired that she greeted the location with a yoga pose.

Relaxing after sightseeing!

The next day, we went to San Francisco. Stay tuned, more to follow!


  1. I am sure they had a fabulous time. The pictures are stunning. Always great to see things from the eyes of a first time visitor. My aunt from Arizona and a long time mutual friend from Alberta are coming to visit me in Spain next month. Like you, I want to be sure they get to see all the wonderful sites nearby. My aunt has never been outside of North America so it will be fun to see her reaction to some very new and different places. I look forward to more!

    1. Thank you, Darlene! Yes, it was so exciting to show my family around. Since there were different age groups and interests, I tried to include something for everybody. It worked out very well, they were grateful and kind guests and truly enjoyed themselves. I feel a little lonely without them now! I hope you're going to have a great time with your aunt and friend in Spain!