Sunday, October 25, 2009

California living

After my jaunt back East, I find myself cataloguing differences between living in California vs. the Midwest or back East.  Some things I have had to get used to living in California:
  1. Wearing shorts to elementary school is perfectly acceptable, so long as they are not too short.  Bottom hem should be past the fingertips.  Shorts into October is also normal.
  2. Year 1 in California, DH and I laughed at all the wimps running around in ski jackets in February.  There was no snow in sight, and our Midwest inner temperatures told us that 60 degree weather was practically shorts weather.  We don't need no stinkin' jackets!
  3. Year 2 in California, DH and I learned that blood thins quickly, and we too donned wool and extra layers as those freezing 50's and 60's temperatures arrived
  4. You do not need your umbrella after April or before October.
  5. You only need an ice scraper if you are going to Lake Tahoe to go skiing.  I had a California friend spy the scraper in the back seat of the car that moved with us from the midwest.  She picked it up, and asked, "What's this?"  Really.
  6. No autumn leaf show.  Since the weather can be warm into December, the trees all seem to give up on summer at different times.  Many of them do change colors, and there are some bare trees in the winter, but there is no one coordinating the effect.  Kind of like the rest of West Coast culture, every tree does its own thing.
  7. The blondes are in the minority.  At least here in Northern California.  That might not be the case closer to LA, where some of the Koreans are even blonde.  Here, though, there is such a mix of Asian, Mexican, Indian, European, that most everyone in our child's school is some shade of tan/brown.  Even the Caucasian kids are darker than back East, since they get to run around in the sun all winter long.  
  8. While there are exceptions, people are more health conscious related to diet and excercise.  Restaurants don't tend to serve you 16 ounces of steak with one carrot on the side.  DH and I still need to improve our own habits, which we learned back East.
  9. GREAT restaurants.  In addition to the more easily found Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Japanese food, we have also enjoyed great Afghan, Ethiopian, Indian (North and South), Korean, Mongolian, and Mediterranean food here.  There are many others which we have not yet tried, but I am sure we will!  One thing missing from back East--Jewish delis are in short supply--and finding a good corned beef or pastrami sandwich?  Impossible.


  1. Don't get me going about food--but you left out the real glaring difference! PIZZA!!! Sadly, CA pizza is just not up to snuff for former NYers. The one bright spot is Amici's, a growing chain of self-styled "East Coast" pizzerias. I've got to say, not too bad. Unfortunately, they're not exactly to be found on every street corner, like the good pizzerias back "home." But would I trade bad pizza for sleet and icy roads? Not on your life!

  2. I'm with your DH. The pizza sucks here. But the Chinese food? I don't know how I called what I ate back east "Chinese."

  3. Agreed--I remember when La Choy canned food was the most exotic fare you could find!


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