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Manhattan Beach, CA

In one of my conversations with Ginger, she mentioned that REI has a year-long garage sale store in Manhattan Beach. That is undoubtedly dangerous information, since this is my favorite store. Now, I need to replace a few of my clothes. Living in my car means living a minimalist lifestyle. I could only bring a few things with me. Doing laundry happens quite often, which takes a toll on my clothes. Before I get to Virginia, a stop at REI is a must.

Back in October, when I met the women's backpacking group (Betty, Virginia, Renee, Terry, Norie, and Mirka) and was invited to join them for dinner at their campsite, I understood they were all from different places. What a pleasant surprise it is to learn that Mirka lives just a few minutes from Virginia. I am excited! While Virginia enjoys babysitting her grandson, Mirka is my tour guide for the afternoon. I enjoy getting to know Mirka as we stroll along the oceanfront path. We are heading in the direction of Hermosa Beach. It's a beautiful day with a light breeze and gorgeous blue skies. There is something special about walking and observing the different house styles lining one next to another, facing the ocean and the endless horizon. What an incredible gift is to wake up with a sunrise and end the day with a sunset outside your window!

Virginia and Don are a great team; no wonder dinner is so delicious!

I need a good night's sleep as Virginia has a whole day planned for us for tomorrow.

Our morning starts at Highridge Park in Palos Verdes. I am joining Virginia and her hiking group for their Thursday hike. I am learning that the green California I am experiencing is something South California lost in the last couple of years due to the drought. It is so beautiful being surrounded by this lush green all around me. Of course, the wildflowers that spread occasionally add a sweet spice to my vision. The group has a lovely tradition, and we stop for lunch after the hike. A call from Don got me so excited! He is calling from their boat at San Pedro marina; the water conditions are perfect, and he suggests we join him for a ride.

Here I am again with a big smile that takes over my face. Don is so kind to let me be a captain. I love speed! This is my first time piloting a boat; oh my, I am having a blast!!! (Thank you, Don, for trusting me with your treasure.) It's time to apply another coat of sunscreen. Virginia and I are heading to Abalone Cove Preserve to explore the tide pools. I am always fascinated with what the low tide exposes for us to see and experience. The only thing is I don't feel comfortable stepping in places where there is a life or a home for some creatures. So I only venture a little into the tide pools. I am sure there are many beautiful places around Manhattan Beach, but I am glad Virginia chose this as part of my day.

It's time to end the day. We walked a fun ten miles today and now it's time to head back. First, a quick stop to see the quaint Wayfarers Chapel, known also as "The Glass Church." At one point, the church bells rang three times, adding a beautiful aura of peace and love to this holy place and my happy day.

As my day ends, I find myself enjoying another wonderful time with Virginia, Don, and Mirka as we share a meal.

It is impossible for me not to be blown away by all the generosity and kindness I am experiencing throughout my journey. After all, the people I met don't really know me, but they open their hearts and home with open arms. I am beyond grateful for the beautiful souls that are entering my life. What a privilege! What amazes me is how each one of them, knowing or not, contributed in their own way to my healing journey.

It is time to pack my cooler and hit the road. Visiting Juanita was in my plans since I left home. I met Juanita in January 2022 when I visited Tampa, Florida, to see the biggest RV show (I was that serious about getting one and SO happy I didn't). We met at solo women RVing meetup group and have kept in touch since then. I will join her at her camping site in Valencia.

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1 Comment

Sue Boore Foster
Sue Boore Foster
Apr 11, 2023

Thanks for sharing and adding so much to so many people’s stories

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