Here am I in Santa Barbara, city of sunshine and wealth.
The weather is perfect, the citizens (mostly) beautiful, the food abundant and delicious, the shops decked out with luxury goods.
I am in Lotus Land.
By day the streets are abuzz: gleaming vehicles fill the tree-lined streets, sidewalk cafes fill with summer visitors.
On the foreshore, bronze-limbed youths on skateboards weave between strolling tourists, and blinding sunshine glitters on the waves.
By night the streets are transformed. Restaurants and cafes spill light onto the sidewalk. Everywhere the sound of music, cheerful conversation; a pod of motorbikes roars past, echoes bouncing off the walls.
We walk along the beach at sunset, watching as the sun sinks westwards and sea mist blurs the darkening horizon.
A half moon rides the indigo sky and we turn our heads for home.
Another day in Paradise, land of dreams.