HELP! I'm California Dreamin' and this little Brit needs advice :-)

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Globrix

I haven't blogged on ActiveRain for a long time, why? Because Twitter has sucked my soul and now if it's more than 140 characters my brain melts into an oozey puddle!

But I need some advice and ya know what? ActiveRain seems like the best place to ask.

Those of you who know me will know that I may be a Featured Member in Anaheim but I am actually an impostor, being in fact a British lady living in London. When I signed up for AR I couldn't put an international city so I chose Anaheim, a place I've fond holiday memories of and home of my (almost) namesake ;-)

So here's the story, in Spring 2010 I'm coming to 'live' in California for three months. You folks don't make it very easy to get a visa so three months is the most I can stay without jumping through lots of hoops/tricking someone into marrying me etc!

Now I need some advice on WHERE to lay my head during this three month period. My shortlist of places is as follows:

  • San Francisco (Mission District)
  • Laguna Beach
  • Santa Monica
  • Newport Beach

I have vacationed in all of these places so know them in a very loose sense, but I can't figure out where I should stay for the three month period. Or, if I should stay six weeks in SF and six weeks in the OC, or one month in three different locations....or what!

The biggest thing that will affect my decision is that I won't have a car, I'm too young to hire and the idea of driving in America is terrifying to me if I'm perfectly honest.

So where would you recommend I made my temporary Californian home, bearing in mind I will be car-less, looking to meet lots of new people, looking to have fun, need great bars and restaurants but want to relax too? I really adore the idea of a beach, as I live in grotty central London and want a real change of scenery. I'm very happy to take public transport, but I want to be able to walk to cafes etc. And I want to feel safe wherever I am. Cost isn't so much of an issue, I'm coming from London for goodness sake!

I'm spending Christmas and New Year in Orange County so that will help me check out my options also before coming out for the three months in March/April but any advice is greatly appreciated :-D

Thank you in advance.

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Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
California
Groups:
International Real Estate
Club Chaos
Tags:
orange county
newport beach
santa monica
laguna beach
san francisco
california

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Ambassador
4,204,562
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Poppy, I live in South Florida, so can't help you but did have to wish you a warm welcome to the US!! San Francisco for the food, though!

Sep 09, 2009 03:11 PM #36
Ambassador
283,411
Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation
Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC - Port Coquitlam, BC
Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team

Definitely Newport Beach! Have great memories of Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntingdon Beach area.  Close to everything!

Sep 09, 2009 03:30 PM #37
Ambassador
283,411
Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation
Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC - Port Coquitlam, BC
Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team

Definitely Newport Beach! Have great memories of Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntingdon Beach area.  Close to everything!

Sep 09, 2009 03:30 PM #38
Ambassador
591,056
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Poppy, my girlfriend Susana said if you pick San Fran, driving to SoCal is pretty quick and you can enjoy the best of both worlds (warmer weather at the beach, minor transportation issues, great food, lots to do...)

Sep 09, 2009 03:33 PM #39
Rainmaker
595,547
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I think you should make any Active Rainer you can find in California drive you everywhere you want to go, and give you the full tour, for your entire stay! =D  They won't mind ;-)

Sep 09, 2009 04:41 PM #40
Ambassador
591,056
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Lisa, you are my kinda gal. Seriously. I would be very happy to drive you about NYC when you get here. :-)

Sep 09, 2009 05:10 PM #41
Rainer
34,860
Poppy Dinsey
Globrix - Anaheim, CA
London, UK

WOW! So many responses :) You're all too kind!

Erica - I do like the idea of being on the TV!

Brad - ActveRain sure looks prettier! SF gets a lot of votes, know a lot of people in the area which makes it seem less scary too :)

Chris - SF does seem the easiest without a car.

Elizabeth - I think I may have to split my time...Newport certainly is lovely!

Mara - HIRED! ;-)

Derek -  I know you're right, dammit.

CT - I hear what everyone's saying!

Robert - Thx anyway :D

Michael - It's great to hear Laguna is possible without a car. I think we're used to walking more in the UK anyway, I walk six miles to and from work every day here in London.

Lisa - Thanks :)

Anna - I love SF, but would love to have SoCal weather! Tricky I know!

Janna - Grotty means kinda horrible/grimey/dirty/not nice :)

Judi - I work for a real estate search engine in the UK, like a Trulia or a Zillow.I work with agents from all across the UK but don't sell houses myself.

Candice - You're not the first to say that :)

Mitchell - It's the weather that puts me off SF, but I *adore* it as a city. May have to split my time.

Lori - I was in Napa in May and the wine was out of this world!

Sheldon - Mmmmmm Hawaii :)

Linsey - Laguna is truly lovely, can't wait to be back at Xmas.

Matt - Great to hear an insightful vote for Santa Monica, thank you kindly :-D

Margaret - Thanks :)

Gary - California certainly is unique.

Virginia - Yes, yes...hot guys are a factor LOL!

Wanda - You're right, that's what I can hopefully do over Xmas.

Sarah - That's what many seem to be saying, they must be right!

John - Thanks, I'll check ut Santa Barbara.

Ginger - See, I'm worried about being chilly...that's why I'm leaving London after all! And another vote for Hawaii, hehe!

Carla - LOL, I'm terrified to ski! :-s

Roland - I wish Mickey would!

John - I'm definitely heading to Vegas :-D

Patricia - House sitting? Perfect :-D

Claudette - San Fran does seem to be getting a lot of votes! I <3 Napa, Sonoma and surrounding areas. Lovely.

Kathy - Thanks :)

Scott - I love Huntington, Newport does seem the perfect base...it's just the problem of no car :(

Lisa - I like you're thinking!!!

 

 

Sep 09, 2009 07:08 PM #42
Rainer
138,335
Melody Botting
Broker Associate PenFed Realty - San Antonio, TX
You Deserve The Best

Looks like you got many good tips and advice.  It would be hard for me to choose because you have great options!!!  But my heart is really in Santa Monica.  It is a lot of fun and I enjoy the 'colorful' characters there.  You are going to love it so much you will never want to leave, promise!

Sep 10, 2009 12:00 AM #43
Rainmaker
159,109
Kari Battaglia, PA
RE/MAX Platinum Realty - Venice, FL
Love Where You Live

Poppy,

I currently live in on the west coast of Sunny Florida but am originally from New York.  I have visited CA only once, and have relatives that live in San Francisco and they LOVE it there.  So I would have to encourage you to choose San Francisco!

Sep 10, 2009 01:21 AM #44
Ambassador
557,430
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Poppy...

After reading all the comments all I can offer you is a song :)

TLW...ROAR!

Sep 10, 2009 01:58 AM #45
Ambassador
591,056
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Mama, loved the song (LOL) ;-)

Sep 10, 2009 08:02 AM #46
Rainmaker
144,517
Teresa K. Nelson
Windermere Real Estate/HLC - Woodinville, WA

My hubby and I spent our anniversary in San Francisco and all I could think of was going back. If I was looking to hang somewhere for 3 months that would be my choice! Where ever you go, you will let us all know, right?

Sep 10, 2009 11:09 AM #47
Rainer
295,611
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Sheldon may have the best advice ... and who says we in the states can drive?

Sep 10, 2009 02:56 PM #48
Ambassador
591,056
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

LOL @ Steve. You do realize she will have to get used to driving on the "wrong side of the road" to be on the right side of the road over here, right? Just sayin... ;-)

BTW, Poppy, you are going to have to give me great hotel advice before you go, just in case I'm over there while you're over here (LMAO). Never saw that one coming, eh? Rats. That's what I get for having such a crazy schedule (LOL). I have to check in with my NY Soho gallery and see what's cooking about those dates. Maybe I should just ship the paintings and hang out at home with the wee people. I'm a bit nervous about driving in your neck of the woods as well. Rumor has it I'll be starting off on the passenger side of the seat... which side is that anyway? (LOL)  ;-)

Sep 11, 2009 12:47 AM #49
Rainer
26,570
DriveBuy Technologies
DriveBuy Technologies - Austin, TX

I think somewhere like Santa Barbara is the ideal place, but I'm from up north (Marin County / SF). SB is sunny, lively, beach-y, awesome-y.

Sep 11, 2009 05:02 AM #50
Rainer
42,917
Brian Griffis
Realty Choice - Springfield, MO

Hi Poppy.  If you are going to be without a car, southern CA. would be a no-no.  San Francisco has great public transportation, is a great walking city, and is easily navigable.  In So-Cal, everything is is spread out and if you can't drive on the freeway, you aren't going to get to do much.  Hope you have a great time wherever you end up.

Sep 12, 2009 02:03 AM #51
Ambassador
591,056
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Brian, I was wondering about that because my friends were saying Poppy is definitely going to have to learn how to drive if she does do SoCal. Thank you. :-)

Sep 12, 2009 12:02 PM #52
Rainer
34,860
Poppy Dinsey
Globrix - Anaheim, CA
London, UK

Melody - I know you're right...I'll never want to leave!

Kari - Thanks :) I've started thinking about FL too but that will have to be another trip!

TLW - Love it!!!

Teresa - I certainly will!

Steve - It's the whole 'other side of the road' thing. And I don't think I could drive an automatic, it's all manual here!

Ian - I like awesome-y :)

Brian - That seems to be the running theme from what I'm hearing, I think SF will have to be the main base with a trip or two South thrown in....with someone to drive me ;-)

CT - I can drive, I just think you have to be 25 to hire a car on an international license :(

Sep 12, 2009 10:13 PM #53
Rainer
15,199
Thomas Hernandez
STL Buy & Sell Real Estate Services - Saint Peters, MO

Poppy,

I am originally from the OC but now reside in Missouri. (Boy goes to college, meets girl, gets married, etc.) Anyway, I go home often and find that nowhere I go in CA is a refreshing and great as the OC. It is a world of its own and just seems to inspire me. That is my suggestion but CA is just the greatest state in my opinion so you are good in the north or south.

Sep 21, 2009 06:15 AM #54
Rainmaker
179,216
Alan Langstone
Mount Pleasant, SC

Hey Poppy,

It's been both a long time since you posted and that I have been on AR (for any amount of time).

So you final made a part time move to the USA. When are you going to come full time? Is it still on the cards as far as "if the opportunity arose".

I think you would enjoy San Fransisco, it seam to me to reflect your personality (in a which city am I?) I would put you as San Fransisco.

I liked Laguna Beach but there was not much there reaaly apart from traveling to LA.

As far as hire cars go. You can't hire one. But with the three months of hire costs you could buy one possibly and sell it again or come to some agreement with a garage.

Anyway have fun, I'm sure you will.

Oct 16, 2009 02:13 AM #55
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