The waves rolled onto the beach at Crystal Cove State Park just south of Corona del Mar on the Southern California coast. Visiting communities along the Pacific Ocean always transports me mentally back to my Santa Monica childhood. As my long-time friend Penny and I sat on the outside dining area of the Beachcomber Café, adjacent to the beach, I could feel myself slowly relax.
The afternoon was tentatively warm, with a slight off-shore breeze. My binoculars rested on my lap ready to watch a strutting Willet or scavenging gull.