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I used to be a portrait painter, and then I moved to California.

I became a landscape painter overnight. How am I not supposed to paint that?

So I’ve always thought of the Pacific Coast Highway as my own Yellow Brick Road. It’s full of hopes and loves and unexpected turns, and when I’m not sure what’s next, all I have to do is follow it. Drive down the PCH on a Friday afternoon (my favorite time of week), ideally in a convertible with someone I love, sun at my back and a radio blasting rock and roll.

I drive though LA, with its pure white light that over-exposes everything down to color and form. It burns clear, hard images into your retina if you take off your Sicky sunglasses for just one minute.

Then on though the fabulous white city of Santa Monica, held in place by the mountains and the shore, with a past full of Spanish mysteries, heartbreakingly beautiful people and Raymond Chandler quotes. (The sand is gold mixed with noir this afternoon.)

And after that, it’s Malibu. I think I’ll stop at Neptune’s Net this time, order Fish and Chips and a beer. Ever get that feeling where you know you’re in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing with the right people?

I do.

Bet we can make it to Santa Barbara by sunset.