I had a couple of meetings in San Diego (I live in Northern CA) and fortunately both were fairly close to Carlsbad airport. An early winter storm had rolled through the previous evening, leaving snow on our deck and debris clouds in the sky. I took off late morning from Placerville and assumed once I negotiated my way above the clouds that it would soon clear up, but I ended up flying above a broken deck of cumulus clouds the entire way.
The LA basin had a thick marine layer above it but I was prepared for that. I had filed an IFR flight plan from the Lake Hughes VOR into Carlsbad, so I picked up that clearance shortly before reaching the VOR, and spent about 15 minutes in the clouds while doing the ILS approach into Carlsbad.
I had brought my road bike in the plane for a ride later along the ocean, but I hadn’t really th0ught through the fact that it gets dark about 5:00 pm. I got out of my meeting about 4:30, took one look at the setting sun and left my bike in the plane. Maybe next time.
I had an all day meeting the next day, and ended up taking off from Carlsbad late afternoon. I wouldn’t do this with passengers without more preparation, but I decided to take a journey out to Catalina Island on the way home. If you look at a map it really isn’t much out of the way as you travel north from San Diego, Catalina and then Pt. Magu, but it is slightly risky since I didn’t have any life vests with me. But there were a lot of ships within gliding distance so I wouldn’t have to tread water for long if something happened.