This weekend, I was reminded again of how much I love California. My friend Becky was in Laguna Beach — significantly closer to Los Angeles than her current digs in San Jose. Benton and I packed some sandwiches, chips and diet root beer and drove down to visit her for the day. We ended up in Emerald Bay, a new-to-me spot. One of her friends lives in this gated community, which has an underground tunnel connecting the hillside homes to a private beach. A group of us spent the whole day sunbathing, snacking, playing cards, paddle boarding, and drinking rose wine. Around six, we stuck all our beach gear in the car before hitting the hot tub, showering, and going out to dinner. Laguna can be a bit of a zoo on the weekends, so we skipped the downtown area and got upscale counter service at La Sirena Grill. I ordered a gingerita, or margarita with ginger and house-made pineapple-infused tequila. Usually margaritas are too sweet for me, but since this one used all fresh ingredients, no mixes, it was perfect. The whole day, I felt effortlessly carefree. It reminded me of growing up, when my sisters and I would literally live in our swimsuits. Really, is there anything better than summertime?