I arrived back in Houston yesterday. To sum it up: California was excellent!
I decided that I would spend a day in San Diego during my trip to California this week. I headed down the 405 from L.A., which is a nice drive (when the traffic is light). If you're not from California or haven't visited you wouldn't believe how beautiful even the freeways are there. Imagine green rolling hills with big houses lodged in them on one side of the road, and the blue Pacific ocean on the other side of the road.
Houstonians, think West U on the beach.
On the road, I spent my time enjoying God's presence, the scenery and the music on the radio. There are lots of songs in heavy rotation on radio on the West Coast that I haven't even heard in Texas. Specifically, there's a song called "Someday" by a group named LaRue that's getting played a lot out there. I heard it numerous times in Los Angeles and again in San Diego. I like it a lot. It's a "Princess thoughts" type of song. The Mat Kearney song "Nothing Left to Lose" is awesome (I did hear this one on KSBJ in Houston yesterday).
My San Diego visit was actually a trip down memory lane for me in a sense, because I lived there for two or three years in the mid-1990s. The 405 takes you through Camp Pendelton as well. I got a little emotional as I approached my old apartment and as I visited some of the old stomping grounds. It never fails that when I visit an old residence I experience a flood of emotions. This was the case in San Diego. I really enjoyed living there, and it was a pivotal season in my life.
Lots of good memories. That's where I was for the second Rockets championship in 1995. We like to talk about how we Texans are friendly and hospitable (and we are), but one memory that will always stick with me was my whole office of Californians taking me out the evening of game four against Orlando. They watched that entire game and celebrated with me -- just because they knew how important that championship was to me and my city and how excited I was about it. Good people.
I didn't have a lot of time this trip to S.D., so I went down to Mission Beach and grabbed chow in Old Town, some sightseeing and then north on the 405 back to Los Angeles.
Well, no question, L.A. is a wonderful place, and I enjoyed hanging out there. I eagerly look forward to my next trip west.