California Dreams - My Family Travels

Hollywood Tent City
Skyline and Horizon of Santa Monica Beach
Hollywood Suits

The sound of waves crashing paired with memories flashing behind my closed eyelids overwhelm me as I stand in front of the salty shore, and I wonder what actions in my life have led me to this one perfect moment of golden state.

The trip I took with my family to the Los Angeles region is one to never be forgotten. I tried to remain open minded, but the movies and cartoons that depict Hollywood as a perfect paradise were massively overstated. In reality, it was filthy. Maybe the cloudy skies had some kind of effect on the overall atmosphere of the place, but the talked up aura of Hollywood just isn’t capable of hiding the trash in the alleys, the cracks and potholes in the sidewalks and streets, or the abundant homeless population living in tents just outside of the building housing the infamous Hollywood Actors Awards. I wish I could help them, the homeless people I mean. They don’t deserve to be treated like ghosts by the passing population. I drift my eyes elsewhere. I will note that the palm trees were stunningly beautiful, but the tent city surrounding them kept pulling my attention away. What is beauty if its surrounded by suffering?

Transitioning from the wretched streets and corners of Hollywood to beautifully paved streets and architecture, we traveled through Beverly Hills, noticing black SUVs with blacked out windows, likely sheltering prestigious superstars. Glossed glass of Audi dealerships reflected our exuberance as we witnessed what we envisioned as the California dream. Men in black suits hustled behind green screens and display boards, while women dressed in furry animal coats and shining pearl necklaces walked award winning dogs down the sidewalks. This is what I imagined Hollywood would be like, but that let down of reality will always remain with me. Be that as it may, I refuse to look at the world as unredeemable. It’s quite interesting how we went from a horrible nightmare to a pleasant dream to a glamorous awakening.

Santa Monica is purely beautiful. Laying only miles outside of a disappointing experience, true beauty awaits. As we drove through the San Francisco styled apartments and housing, I could see it all. I will never forget the curvature of the vast ocean horizon. I’ve never seen anything quite as perfect as this location, and most likely never will. Once resided near the beach front, I took my first steps onto the cool, soft sand. It embraced me as much as I did it. I stood memorized as I stared off into the vibrant skyline of clouds and sunlight. I wiped what I thought was salty streaks of sea water off my cheeks, but now I think they were actual tears. The orange glow of the sunset blended seamlessly with the blue water of the sea. I wish I could forever stand in front of that gorgeous scenery.

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