Saturday, May 06, 2006

California Trip

Just got back from California! Destinations: Long Beach, Seal Beach, Glendale, Loma Linda, and Los Angeles. Overall my trip was good -- really no major problems except my group was delayed on the first leg of the trip (we had to stay overnight in Minnesota because we missed a connecting flight).

Los Angeles International Airport or LAX seems to be a lot better than what I experienced in the past. Good landing, quick luggage checkout, and it was easy for me to find the shuttle bus for the rental cars. Once I hopped onto the rental cars and referenced maps, I was able to find my way to my destinations. I'm happy to say that it was easy to navigate California's highways, despite the fact they don't have mile markers like Florida does. I saw a few traffic mishaps where four lane highways were a dead stop due to an accident -- thankfully I was on the other side.

What I like about California
The weather in California is comfortable. There are some stunning views to be seen through the Pacific Coast Highway, especially near the U.S. navy depots. The boating activity there reminded me of Southwest Florida. The business activity in the area is also great -- commerce is California's biggest strengths along with a higher wage average.

What I don't like about California
As we were driving through some upscale neighborhoods, we were surprised to find $800,000 homes that were not very attractive. In fact, our friends that live in the area said a lot of the homes are 2-3 bedrooms and are 10+ years old. Some of the homes didn't even have driveways. But hey, to each his own right?

Loma Linda University
We also drove to Loma Linda University. It's about an hour and a half drive east from Los Angeles. The university is one of the most famous universities in the world in relation to health sciences. It's associated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and is a leading provider of doctorate and professional degrees in the nation.

To think the entire organization was started with a single vision from one lady by the name of Ellen G. White. She didn't even have a high school education! But through her guidance, she started not only the church but the organizations and health system that formed Loma Linda to what it is today.

It was encouraging to see that a Christian organization like Loma Linda has been blessed with so much, and is recognized for its achievements in science. Many scientists believe Christianity and science do not mix -- but in Loma Linda, they make it happen. And according to the National Geographic, the people that live by the health principles provided in the Bible live longer than most people in the world. In fact, Loma Linda's population has a good number of people that live over 90+ years old (and they're still active!).

Nothing Like Home
I have to say though, despite having an oceanfront hotel room in Long Beach, I still prefer my bed. Once I got home, I instantly fell asleep. Florida might not have the population or economic clout like California, but it has relatively affordable housing, boating, and it is home sweet home.

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