I’m going to Huntington Beach, California (my hometown), with my parents next month on vacation. They go back every year for their high school alumni picnic. I haven’t been back in four years, since my brother Neal’s funeral in 2004. So this year I decided to go with them.
We only lived in Huntington Beach until I was four years old. It’s my hometown but I’ve never felt like I know it very well, sadly. So in the ten days we’re there, I intend to get to know it and the surrounding area a little better.
I’ve been to the great H.B. pier and the beach there many times, actually, on all the short visits back over the years. But I don’t have any good pictures, so I plan to get a lot.
The Bolsa Chica Wetlands have fascinated me for a while. I’ve seen tons of pictures on Flickr of all the different kinds of birds that reside there. May sound boring to some people but, hey, I like that kind of thing. Photographing birds in flight can be a very challenging thing. North of Huntington Beach is Seal Beach, which has a National Wildlife Refuge on the Naval Weapons Station there. My dad worked at that Weapons Station in the ’70’s. Ironically, the Navy only put the Refuge there so that a highway couldn’t be built that would have divided the base. Well, the wildlife is grateful, I’m sure.
On the historical side, Mission San Juan Capistrano is down the coast. I know very little about California history, but I know the Mission is over two hundred years old so I. Must. Go. My parents probably don’t share my fascination but hopefully I can wheedle them into going.
There was an Impressionist movement among California artists in the early 20th century. So, of course, I must visit a few of the local museums to take it in. The Bowers Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, and Orange County Museum of Art are possibilities. I doubt I’ll get my parents to go to all of them, but it can’t hurt to try!
Further afield, I was hoping to get up to Griffith Observatory in LA. I went there a few times when I was at USC, but they recently did a major renovation/update and I’m dying to see it. On the lighthouse front, Point Fermin in San Pedro beckons.
So those are my plans so far. We’ll see how much of it actually happens.