Friday, May 21, 2010


Since moving to California a year a half ago I have witnessed another world. I will never forget my first visit to San Diego back in spring of 2007 when I fell in love with the city, the beaches, the boardwalk, the piers… Who would have thought that a year and a half later I would be getting married on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California? I might have dreamt it, but I would have doubted it ever coming true. But it was true, and my new husband and I started our married life in a little town (I say little in the west coast, beach city sense, not the mid-west sense) next to one of the largest military bases in America.

While my romanticism for the ocean, the constant sunshine and culture remains, there are some things about southern California (or “SoCal” as I have learned the natives call it) that never cease to frustrate, confuse, and simply be odd to me. Things like the fact that every day the weather is above seventy-five degree you will not be able to find a parking spot at the beach, unless of course you feel like parking more than a mile away and walking, is one of those things. Spontaneity is difficult on the weekends if you want to eat out at restaurant of higher caliber than Denny’s or Ihop. While reservations are not always required… if you want to eat before the crowds start to die down around ten at night or later, then pre-planned dates are a must. The speed limit on the express way is sixty-five, if you’re not going at the very least seventy-five, expect there to be some very angry Californians passing, honking, flipping you off… apparently everyone who lives here is a very important person who is always late for a very important appointment.

While I am sure I could find a great deal of things to rant about, the fact is that living here has been a wonderful experience. I have been introduced to coffee that far surpasses Starbucks and Mexican food that is so good you gain five pounds with every bite but know that it is worth it. My last Thanksgiving I was here while my husband was deployed, my dad was visiting and we shared pumpkin pie on the pier at night, and it was one of the best times of my life. A typical date with my husband involves dinner at an authentic French CafĂ©, a movie, and a walk on the beach. Do I really have a right to complain about traffic, angry Californians, or sunburns? Probably not. I am sure that there are pros and cons to everywhere one lives, I miss my family and my friends. I miss cheap gas prices, going out of doors and being alone, people not telling me I sound like I’m from Canada… But I love it here. I told my husband when we were married I would follow him anywhere and I would be happy. And that has been the truth, I am enjoying these early years of my marriage, living on the West coast, soaking up the culture, the differences. I am thankful for this.

- RS

Then there is Virginia different... I have never really understood the big deal about the difference between the North and South. I mean, come on, we are all one country right?.. Haha.. Nope. For example, "Bless your heart" in the south REALLY means "You stupid retard" ... In the North, we apparently just say it like we see it. Everything moves slower down here too, the Wal-Mart greeters actually greet you... And, the cashier loves commenting on things you buy, and talking with you. In fact, here is a tip, in the South, do not bother going shopping unless you have the time to spare in the checkout lane.

Then, there is the driving. I do not know, and probably should avoid commenting on all of Virginia or South, but where I live, being polite is a way of driving for no apparent reason. Slowing down and allowing someone who does NOT have the right of way to turn in when you DO have the right of way... Common things. There are absolutely no acceleration lanes for the highways. No joke, the acceleration lanes are 30ft tops. So, you must stop at the yield. Do not even get me started on the driving when it rains or snows... Lets just say, I have driven in big cities and did not get road rage like I get here when I have to drive and the sky decides to spit a little..

But, to give you a fun little visual as to a reason I hate the road system, this picture is the same road, same direction, but please note you are actually headed West, but that is not an option in terms of the sign...

However, on a much more positive side, the views I get to see far surpass what I ever saw in mostly flat Michigan...
This view almost two years later has not grown old.. and is never taken for granted. It takes my breath away all the time at how beautiful God's creation is. And, to be clear, I swerved off the road to jump out and take this picture.. and it has not been edited.. this is exactly what it looked like in person.. It was AMAZING. :)

So, while I also hate the road system, and get annoyed at the slowness that is a culture, I too cannot complain when this is a normal occurrence in my life...


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