My first trip to California was with my best friend Michelle in 2006. We volunteered to give up our seats on our way to Alaska, which resulted in us almost missing our connection in Chicago and our baggage not arriving until the day after we landed, but we did receive vouchers for a free flight in the continental United States, which we used to visit my aunt Barb, uncle Joe and cousin Spencer just north of San Diego in Carlsbad. We hit up all the sites – Coronado, the San Diego Zoo, Lego Land, the Oceanside pier and, of course, the beach!

Since then, I’ve been back a number of times. Brian and I visited San Francisco in February 2011, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Redwood National Park in September 2011 and Carlsbad in November 2011. I also went to Carlsbad in February of 2011 to meet my dad for a fun weekend and I’ve gone to San Francisco twice for work, once in October of 2010 and once in April of 2010.

California is a great state with so much to offer and we have plans to return again this year with friends to visit Napa for some wine tasting!