California Dreaming

In this week’s Journal post, photographer and writer, Meta Coleman charts a road trip that we’d all love to go on, taking in the magic of endless surf, 50s retro nostalgia, a bit of Disney and the timelessness of Eames design.

Meta has us all California Dreaming.



About 18 months ago, we traded a sofa for a 1983 Jeep Brougham Wagoneer. My husband had been lovingly restoring it and getting it to a ‘drivable’ condition. Restoring this Jeep has been a huge labour of love for him and it has been fun to see his enthusiasm to fix and restore a similar car he had growing up. We recently got the Jeep back from the mechanic and decided to take it with us on our road trip to California.




On the way to California we stopped in Baker at a charming 50’s Diner. Peggy Sue’s was the first adventure of many and a fun flashback to a simpler time. At the back of the restaurant was even a dinosaur park and a cinema. The kids had a fun time running around, stretching their legs and exploring the grounds.


Going to the beach on Balboa Island was a top priority during this trip. There is something so soothing about laying in the sand and listening to the waves rising and falling. My kids had so much fun building sand castles, trying to catch crabs, and out running the waves. At one point Henrik lost to the waves and got swept up momentarily. He was a bit frightened at first, but later thought it was really cool.






We did make the trek to Disneyland. My kids had fun visiting the happiest place on earth (also the most crowded) and picked up a couple of souvenirs: Maja a pair of silver sequins mouse ears and Henrik, a Mickey Mouse tank top. The next day we had the chance to visit the beautiful grounds and home of Charles and Ray Eames. Built in 1948 the case study house number 8 was designed to be affordable for the common man and was ground breaking in modern design and architecture. It was a lifetime goal for me to visit the Eames’ home. Inside the house, there were beautiful collections of tribal art and textiles, (Kachina dolls, Japanese toys, Indian carved animals) artefacts, stones, Milagros, shells, walnuts, blue and white ceramics. It was so personal, curated, warm and inspiring and gave me a new appreciation for Charles and Ray Eames and their creative world.


While in California we also met up with a friend and had a fun time walking through Venice and the Venice canals. The canals were so charming and I loved seeing all the unique and beautiful homes along the water. I had fun fantasising which home I would live in and how I would decorate it! The kids loved running along the pavements and across the bridges.


Kale Jacket, Brick Red Kimono Print
Mizuna Trouser, Brick Red Kimono Print
Leather Clog, Aloe Vera (Shop similar here)
Edamame Jumper, Provence Blue
Mizuna Trouser, Baleine Blue


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