But you really know you're in California when you're passed by a biker decked in full reflective gear, skin-tight racing togs, clip-shoes, streamlined helmet, and look up to realize she's a 70-something year old, and there's a group out for a training ride together, all with grey hair. Or when you're passed by a 20-something running male, shirtless, designer sunglasses, discreet tattoo, glistening in probably organic sunscreen, wearing a personal training heart-rate monitor . . and he's pushing an inhabited baby-jogger. This is the land of the healthy lifestyle, the gender-neutral role, the environmentally-aware consciousness, the impeccable image, where it's probably easier to find a tofu-based fair-trade free-range all-organic anything than an ounce of fat. A land of spectacular views and climate, and thoughtful people and meaningful community, still some opportunity and a good bit of wealth.
It is also the land of half our family, so we know we're in California when we're eating gourmet meals every night, when we're cared for and rested, when we have access to all their toys and time. Jack and Julia are loving boogey-boarding, riding in the foamy crash of waves up onto the sand, in wet-suits to protect from the frigid ocean temps. We've accompanied granddad on his bike rides, sat around the table with papers and coffee, walked on the beach, and cheered the cousins on in roller hockey and volleyball games. So, to close, we know we're in California when we hear the question that haunts our hearts: "Mom and Dad, why don't we live here?"