Happy Birthday, California!

Lost CoastBlackSands
Jack Hopkins

TRUTH IS.. We're not sure of the proper and traditional gift for a 161st birthday. Does it involve wood? The birthday celebrant we have in mind already has plenty of that. Is it paper? Yeah, they've got a lot of that, too. Precious metals? Those. Fabrics? Yes. Well. Hmm. What does one get for California on its 161st birthday? The Golden State celebrates that major marker on Friday, Sept. 9 (meaning that its statehood kicked off in 1850, but then you know all about the Constitutional Convention of 1849, and every major thing that led up to it becoming a state, we're sure). So. September 9. That date is so going on the calendar for next year. But wait. How does one fit 162 candles on a cake? Best start planning now.

THE TOUGH PART... is always finding the perfect visual to symbolize and summarize this jam-packed state. Oh, every state has so much, it is true, but then. But then. But then we have the Sierra Nevada, and all those lovely beaches. We have redwoods and sequoias and Death Valley. And the cities and towns! Oh yes. They run the gamut (a compliment, for sure). We've landed on a photo of the lovely Lost Coast, pictured above, to represent all the good California-y things. It's nice to be here on California's birthday and every day (and no, we don't work for Visit California, we're just mighty grateful is all to share a state with the sequoias and Hollywood and Andersen's Pea Soup and Highway 395 and Mono Lake and the Tonga Room. But. If you do visit Visit California, they want to know where you're celebrating the state's birthday.)

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