I often find myself thinking about life here in the Carlsbad area as compared to my former life in Cambridge (across the Charles River from Boston) where I lived for about 20 years (well, all total in the New England area). I've been here 27 months so things are much more familiar, but there are still times when I reflect on how different it is.
This post is some of my musings on life here compared to back East (here's my East coast photo). I grew up in the East and lived most of my life there, except for about 7 years in the midwest at different time, so that persona is still strong.
But this post is also intended to be educational, albeit a bit tongue-in-cheek, mostly for those readers who are not from this area and are thinking about moving here. I'm not going to explain my feeling, my opinions, nor my reasoning.
It's my blog and I can do what I want...and nobody wants to hear that stuff any way.
Californian's are pretty polite drivers, all in all (remember, I'm from Boston, home of some of the rudest drivers in the world...well, Paris, Rome and Sao Paulo might be worse). Yeah, they drive fast, there is at least 1 car per person here, many cars are new and expensive and huge (Mercedes, Beemers, Volvos, Hummers, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches, Escalades and other SUVs) mobile detailing is very popular, and they have the biggest roads anywhere (21 lanes wide at the 805/5 interchange in La Jolla). And they pre-empt national TV for police chases on the freeways. How cool is that?
Mello Roos are just a funny name for an additional tax some poor suckers have to pay. I remember looking for "no mello roos" in listings when I was house hunting. So we have property taxes, supplemental taxes, transfer taxes when we sell, HOA fees, and Mello Roos. What a state!
Basements are non-existent. At least I have seen never one here. I forget what they look like. What the H*** do I do with all my crap? Oh, that's why everyone has 2 or 3 (or more) garages.
The laundry in the garage totally mystifies me. Yeah, it's warmer here so you don't freeze your tail off cleaning your underwear in January, but give me a break. Who thought that one up? I'm glad some homes are civilized enough to have their laundry in the house. But many are not.
I eat well here (I love to eat, BTW). Fresh produce - vegetables, fruits, etc. - are in abundance all year. This is a vegetarians dream come true, and the prices are great (if you avoid the big name grocery stores...sorry, Alberton's and Vons. Your prices suck!).
I really am in the minority with regard to my piercings and tattoos...I don't have any and I feel left out. Maybe it's because it's warmer and more body parts are showing, but I have never seen so much body adornment. And most of the bodies here are in great shape (well, that's due to the food, an abundance of health clubs, and a liposuction/cosmetic surgery industry that is beyond belief.
Water features, fountains, spas, spools, pools, koi ponds, irrigation systems...for a state that always seems to have a drought there is more water flowing in PVC pipes that anywhere else in the world, except perhaps the desert. Which, by the way, is only 2 hours away.
Most cities have a weather report - we have 4. The coast, inland, the mountains and the desert. Who can possibly keep it all straight? And what the heck is a marine layer? And May Gray and June Gloom? And those Santa Anas - they're hot!
We are very car friendly when it comes to our beaches. There is generally lots of parking (free...unlike back East) and everyone gets to enjoy them, not just the folks rich enough to live next to them. Dining al fresco at the beach to watch the sunset is another fave activity.
Surfing is perhaps the most popular pastime, and there is evidence of it everywhere - surf shops, signs, restaurants and bars showing surfing competitions, surfers running across 4 lane roads with their surfboards tucked under their arms, a unique lingo, and more. You can teach surfing, take surfing classes, compete in surfing competitions, and there is a new surfing sculpture in Cardiff that is very controversial. Surfing is everywhere!
Earthquakes are more common but most people don't seem to think to much about them. Yep, there have bee a few larger ones but much of it is small tremors you hardly notice, or sleep right through. Well, yes, there are forest fires, but they happen elsewhere too.
I could go on but you are probably bored by now. Nuff said. You don't want me to get started on Hollywood and the entertainment industry.
It's a great place to be and I have no regrets. Come join me!
Don't I look more relaxed now?
Hmm, maybe I WILL try surfing...