Come with Me on a Virtual Vacation to California!

by Saranda Rasmusson

Ugh! More snow. More cold. More staying inside day after day. I’m sure we all have a little list of dreamy destinations we want to visit tucked away somewhere. I know I do! Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to get away to somewhere fun and relaxing, even if it’s just for a day? Duh! I think all of us would be able to answer that right away, but the true question is how are we going to get there?

Personally, I don’t have the time in my busy schedule, or the cash at the moment, to actually take a vacation and I’m sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Not to worry! I want to propose a solution. Why not take a mini virtual vacation that we can all do for free? Woah free stuff? Who doesn’t love free stuff! Now that I have you on board, let me continue my proposal. I realize physically going somewhere fun is the ideal, but I hope by doing some serious visualizing we can all at least take our mind on a vacation. You in?

The first step is choosing our destination. I’m thinking somewhere sunny, warm, and exciting, but also laid back and relaxing. Light bulb! I know the perfect place: California! Ok here we go, off to Cali! Close your eyes and –wait! Silly me, that’s not going to work. How are you going to keep reading if your eyes are closed? Scratch that, just keep your eyes open.

Your flight is on time and when you hop on the plane, you get a whole row to yourself! After you put your bag snug into the overhead compartment and sit down in your surprisingly comfy seat, you have the next two hours to relax, sit back, and jam out to all your favorite bands on WONC.org from your phone.

Once checked into your hotel, which has an amazing view of the beach, you go down to check out the local buzz and find a hip place for lunch. After getting a recommendation for a cozy little cafe by the beach from the lady at the front desk, you head out down a long strip of shops selling just about everything under the sun. You see surfboards, handmade beaded jewelry, and lots and lots of postcards. You peak through one window and find something that really piques your interest: rows upon rows of vintage albums!

With as many albums as can fit in your arms, you head out of the tiny shop with a nod of thanks to the shop owner and cross the street to the café. A quick scan of the menu was enough to know you’re going to get their delicious-looking signature burger with house made sweet potato chips and a fresh peach iced tea. Why not splurge? We’re on vacation!

As you look out onto the beach with your belly full of amazing food, you notice someone familiar emerging from the water. You take a closer look…no it couldn’t be…yes it is! It’s your favorite movie star walking directly toward you! Eager to take advantage of this opportunity, you scoop up your records and run toward them. After introducing yourself and snapping a few pictures, you walk away feeling like you’re on top of the world, so it didn’t take long for your pen to hit the paper of the registration and release form for beginner surfing lessons. You’ve never even seen a surfboard in person until today, but you’re feeling spontaneous. When you get up on a wave that feels way bigger than it actually is, with the wind in your hair and the spray of the ocean all around you, you realize this is the single most amazing thing you’ve ever experienced in your life.

When you plop on the bed of your hotel room your once soggy shorts are now thoroughly dry from your trek back in the warm California sun, you place your prized records by your suitcase so there’s no way they are getting left behind. You take a glance out the window and notice the sun is about to set. You’re not going to miss out on this opportunity, so you shake out your towel, rush downstairs, grab a packaged diner from the hotel café, and follow the sun to the nearest beach. Ah! Just in time! As you sit on your towel, you can still feel the warmth of the sand as you watch the sky turn bright pink and purple as the sun lowers beyond the horizon. Well? How did it go? Did you enjoy your vacation? I know I sure did!