Several summers ago my entire family – mum, dad, brother, and small yappy dog – piled into our old Volvo station wagon with nothing but our tent, enough food to feed a small army, and a battered Rand McNally road map of the American Southwest. Our end point was Denver, Colorado, where my grandmother lived; our starting point was my home town of Oceanside, California. In between lay the true focus of our journey – the great, sprawling, empty, glorious, otherworldly, and wild, swathes of land that make up the great American Southwest.
If you're going to San Francisco… you could follow Scott McKenzie’s advice and wear some flowers in your hair. But more importantly, be sure to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes because this city, built on over 40 hills, guarantees a day of challenging exercise combined with a view of some of America’s most beloved landmarks.
California is renowned for its beaches, palm trees, suburban sprawl, and endlessly sunny days, but in reality California can’t be accurately embodied by any of these conceptions. The main reason being that the beaches and palm trees are fake, but the second reason being that once you move away from the coast California is actually a state of vast, uninhabited tracts, and such wild tracts of land that there’s a reason not many people have made such places their home.
Whenever I say to anyone that I'm from California, they either reply with a nonchalant semi-rhetorical “Oh, LA?” or raise their eyebrows slightly jealously with a look on their face that assumes exactly the same.
Every girl knows what she wants her dream wedding to look like – from the type of flower in the bouquet to perfect location to the colour scheme of the bridesmaid’s dresses. For Max Wanger, his job is to attend weddings. He’s not a wedding planner nor a priest, but a Californian-based photographer with an eye for beauty.
Southern Californian locals tend to fulfil their stereotypes. We do spend a great deal of time at the beach; we do generally like to shop; and yes, we do drive our cars very badly and very fast. In fact, Southern Californians are renowned for driving everywhere, probably because we are always on the look-out for activities that will at least somewhat separate us from our stereotypes.