In the middle of our Wisconsin winters, I can think of my own name and immediately think of a warmer climate. Before I was born, my mom and dad visited California. When they were there it changed their lives. The beauty of the wonderful Pacific Ocean and sight of the breathtaking redwoods will always be a part of them. In recent years, I learned it is also part of me.
I was born in October of 1999. The day I was born, my parents named me Cali. California was such a big part of their life, and they knew I was going to be, too. Plus they thought it was a really pretty name.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010, and my family and my friend Jamie took a trip to California. I finally got to see why it was so special to my mom and dad that they would name their child after it. When I was there I had the best time of my life!
The road trip was about three weeks long. Most days were spent in our minivan. It was always crowded because we had the whole back of the van full of all our stuff, and we had all our entertainment in the back with Jamie and me. I was always uncomfortable. When you have two people in one seat who both want to lie down and sleep, you get problems.
Finding a place to stay was a problem at times because we only brought so much money and we wanted the full camping experience. We stayed in a couple hotels and a couple camp sites, but we always had a place to stay.
I got to see the gigantic redwoods. The redwoods are the main reason I was named Cali. They were beautiful and huge. But they were all different. Some of them you could walk into because they had been struck by lighting and hollowed out.
I remember getting really car sick, so I did not get to see them a second day, or at all since then. But this means I have a reason to go back some day.
On our trip we spent most of our time by the ocean, looking for cool rocks. I really will miss the ocean-just the feeling of the soft, wet sand in my toes, and the ocean spraying us with mist each time the waves hit the big rocks boldly sticking out of the water around us. It could very well been my favorite part of the trip.
I remember a particular beach we went to that was unlike anything I have ever seen before. One of the many times I was car sick we decided I needed a long break to get better, so we stopped at a beach. I don’t remember what it was called, but I remember when we got there we saw dill growing all around the parking lot and a ton of seagulls. When we got down to the beach, we were amazed to find that the sand was black and really sparkly in the beating sun. The sand was really hot too.
My absolute favorite thing was a surprise for me. We went to Forks, Wash., the place the Twilight saga took place and was filmed. I am a huge Twilight fan (Team Edward). The town is filled with stores that sell only Twilight-related items; we even saw “Twilight fire wood” that sold for a dollar more than regular fire wood. The whole town is full of advertisements for the Twilight saga. We even had a tour of the town in all the places they filmed. I saw the Cullen house, La’Push Beach, the Forks High school (go Spartans) and the police station. I took pictures of everything.
And I just love the positive energy of the place! Now that’s why California means so much to me and my family. Some day I hope to live there, but if not, I will be visiting it at every chance I get. Thank you Dad (Matt Berby), Mom (Rachel Berby) and Jamie Brivogel for the best trip of my life so far.