Ever wonder what it would be like to arrive in Southern California for the first time? Not in these days, with national geographic and google maps. But as some sort of sturdy Irish immigrant who pioneered their way across the country in a covered wagon. They arrived to the promise land of milk and honey and while the sun does always shine, it also looks like this.
Quite the culture shock I'd imagine if you're used to heather covered hills and bagpipes. Or something.
Then they probably got closer to the coast and thought "oh whew, it really is paradise after all"... plus man eating sharks, scalp hungry Indians and no Hollywood sign gracing the valley. (just kidding... cept about the sign)
But despite the fact that most of us crowd in as close to the beach as financially possible. The desert is beautiful. A study in contrasts. And only a short drive away (well, reasonably short-ish).
This people, is as green as it gets. The advantages of hiking through the desert with two small children?
The flowers and succulents are absolutely stunning. Has anyone ever seen a wedding done with cactus flowers? For coming out of a dull colored and prickly plant, they sure are whimsical and fairyish looking.