When you think about it, California could really be at least five states: Los Angeles and environs; Orange County and South; the central valley; San Francisco and environs and Northern California.
And there are Californians who'd like to see the state divided either like this or in some similar configuration.
But that's not likely to happen.
Let's just say that California remains huge, diverse and often confounding. And it's hardly the barometer of trends or the nation's mood as it once was.
Still, no matter what you're looking for you can probably find it in one part of California or another. And it remains a popular vacation destination for that reason and many others.
For a long time we've been wanting to visit a California gem -- Mendocino, a tiny village on the northern coast that's often been the setting for popular TV series (such as Murder, She Wrote) and movies.
Today, we finally got there. And, as part of our journey we traveled through spectacular redwood forests and rugged, majestic coastal areas.
Here are some photos from our journey (starting with the giant redwoods, then the coast, then Mendocino and the coast that it fronts) that we're happy to share with you. If you ever get a chance to explore this part of the country, don;t pass it up!
All photos copyright 2015 by Dan Cirucci.