I might have been joking before.
Anyway, LA is fine as long as you know what you're expecting--it's easy to assume it's the size of Manhattan (if that's where you're from) or as easy to get around as [a mythical place that's actually easy to get around], when in fact it is quite fucking massive and inconvenient geography/roads/people/buildings/traffic/whatever makes traveling three miles as the Google Maps flies incomprehensibly difficult, like this 6-mile drive
I once did and certainly didn't misjudge that hairpin turn and careen very slightly off the road and directly into a ROAD ENDS sign at, thankfully, a low speed.
I don't drive any more. Not because of that, just because I'm only a disembodied brain in a tank. Long story.
Also, you were here at Peak Green Weather, as I just started calling it now. There are a few lovely verdant weeks in spring, particularly after as wet as it's been, then it all dies and we get shades of brown the rest of the year, most of which only occasionally bursts into flame. But it generally is beautiful, I'm only dourly setting expectations as only expat natives can.
San Clemente has built up a LOT lately, and although you can see the high school from the freeway (easier northbound than southbound), like most places you only get an idea of gas stations and low-end eateries if you don't actually go explore. The older parts make up a charming little town, while the newer stuff (mostly east of the freeway because duh they built by the ocean first) is Any Suburb, USA. Fun (useless) fact: this stretch of I-5
(right next to the HS) was the widest road in the world when it was built in the late 1950s until...I'm not sure when.
Also, I've been to DC (very) briefly once 4-5 years ago. You're not joking about the politics. Also, the bizarre 1986 fashion sense--every third adult male was in khaki pants, blue blazer, red tie with puffy hair. They, like, know Reagan's gone, right?
Also--and this is very slightly awkward to ask--which two are you in the pictures?