After our scenic journey to California, we met up with family in Newport Beach for a memorial on the coast, furnished with creamy roses and stunning magenta orchid leis.
After our quiet moment on the beach, we took a calm sunset cruise together, which was a nice chance to catch up with people and meet some new faces.
The next morning, we picked up some of our favorite vegan donuts to share from a little place in Huntington Beach, The Donuttery. We enjoyed a breezy lunch near the ocean with family, before paying a visit to The Gamble House, a lush Pasadena filming location from Back to the Future.
Nearby, we ambled down a peaceful lane under a canopy of trees to another filming location from the movies. We had a lovely chat with the homeowner, as well as another neighbor who came out just to talk to us when she saw us roaming around. She shared anecdotes of watching the movies being filmed, 35 years ago. It was a nice treat to meet the locals and have such friendly interactions with them!
We made a pit stop at Urban Light, a romantic display of vintage street lamps, and I hope to return someday after dark to see it all lit up!
Our last morning before leaving the summery beaches of California, we stopped at the Santa Monica Pier for one final send-off to our friend and family member who has been dearly missed since last October. A beautiful Snowy Egret paid us a visit as we made our way down the pier, which was fittingly quiet that day.
As we relinquished the beautiful orchids from our leis into the ocean along with a message in a bottle, we noticed that the pier's speakers were crooning an instrumental version of "Amazing Grace". What a sweet surprise from such a typically busy, chaotic place.
The blossoms floated gracefully away on the waves, and we bid our final farewells, before making the long trek back home to Wyoming.