I had mixed feelings about California. The Pacific Coast was stunning, the traffic was horrible, the drought was (and still is) devastating and the scenery was amazing. The California that I remembered from my youth was not the California I saw on this trip. But nothing stays the same, everything changes. Plus memories tend to soften over time. I was surprised at California, but I enjoyed my time there also. It was sad, beautiful and a wonder all in one.
Post shout out: I pray for all the brave men and women who are fighting the fires in the West (not just California). We did not see a fire, but drove through the smoke created by one and it was amazingly thick and made it hard to breathe. I cannot imagine fighting one of these fires up close. I pray for the safety and that this drought might end soon.