My first trip to the US was in 1999. It was supposed to be a “business with pleasure” trip but mostly pleasure I must admit. My place of choice for my first US trip was California. Aside from the very famous tourist spot there, I also have a lot of friends all over that state so it was the most ideal place for me to visit. For most of my stay there, I stayed with a good friend who has a long beach apartment. She and I used to share a room when we were still teaching in the Philippines so it was like a given that I would stay with her while I was visiting. It was like old times…too bad the ‘business’ part of that trip didn’t materialize or we would have been living in the same area [if not in the same apartment] right now.
A few years after that trip, I moved here in the US. I am on the opposite side of the country from my friends but at least I’m no longer a thousand miles away from them. It's a lot easier & cheaper to visit them now. But since we both have our own families now I no longer stay in her apartment whenever we visit California. Whenever we visit California now, we make sure to check rentals in long beach ca before the trip. I just feel that it’s too much of a hassle to her family to accommodate a family of 3. Luckily, there are a lot of long beach listings I can choose from. I’m sure my friend and her husband will be willing to take us in if we choose to but I’d rather stay in a place where my family and I wouldn’t feel the pressure of being in check all the time especially now that we have a child already.