I was sifting through photos from last year when I came across our Mendocino trip. It's a charming suburban town north of San Francisco that had an old-fashioned feel to it. Despite not having grown up in this country, I was overcome with a feeling of nostalgia. I must've read about it in books or saw scenes in films, I don't know.
We rented a canoe and paddled our way up the Mendocino river. We've never been in a canoe before but it was easy to get the hang of it. As long as we synchronized our movements and agreed on a direction, we were pretty much on our way. Give it a few minutes, and it will feel like second nature.
When our arms became too tired, we'd draw our paddles in and let the slow current carry us. Snacking on a box of fresh strawberries, we sat in silence for the next few minutes. This gave us a chance to appreciate the plants growing on the edges of the river and say hi to other folks floating in their kayaks.
I think about California and this is what I always imagine. A coastal town with an easy vibe; of pastel orange and yellow skies and sunsets so beautiful, it's hard to keep your eyes off it.