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 Café, 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.