I arrived in LA on Sunday afternoon and was on the wide beach in Santa Monica within the hour, getting my feet wet in the Pacific at last. I'm here with a friend, visiting a couple of his friends and then driving up the coast on the weekend to Palo Alto. The last time I was in California was 14 years ago, in San Francisco for a few days with my sister & 2-month-old niece. I loved it, but hadn't managed to return, to SF or anywhere else in this beautiful state. So this is my first trip to LA and it will be my first drive along the Pacific Coast highway.