1. The weather. Duh.
2. In ‘N Out. Great burgers, floors so clean you can eat off ‘em. McDonald’s, it ain’t. See also: Mexican food, See’s candy, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
3. Three airline workers cheerfully offered to help us find our lost car seat at baggage claim. That’s right—I said offered. Cheerfully. Try getting that at Newark.
4. You can buy wine and beer right in the grocery store. Novel concept.
5. A man driving toward me in a crowded parking lot stopped, gestured to let me ahead of him, and smiled. For no reason.
6. The beach, right there, any time of day or night, for free. It’s an instant vacation for the 50 cent parking fee. Watching the sun set over the Pacific will cure whatever ails you.
7. The weather. I know it’s also #1, but a climate that perfect deserves more than a single mention. How can you not feel happy when it’s 65 and sunny every friggin’ day of the year?!
8. The lunatics. Even the bums in California are happy.
9. KROQ radio.
10. My friends. Every last one of them. You will never feel eighteen again as easily as you do when you’re with the people who knew you then.