An East Coast Boy Muses on Life in California

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE License #01490977

 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...

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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Leigh - is that as good as the cat's pajamas? Cat's meow? Thanks for the accolade!

Jeff

Aug 08, 2007 01:34 PM #46
Rainmaker
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Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
If I go read it I may never come!!!
Aug 08, 2007 01:44 PM #47
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Yes you will.
Aug 08, 2007 02:04 PM #48
Rainer
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Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
So what is a marine layer anyway? LOL  I had to laugh hard when you were describing Boston driving; do NOT even go there...I have vigilante stories that would curl your toes :-)   Love the new photo California Dude!  And I am sooo jealous!  
Aug 08, 2007 02:34 PM #49
Rainer
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Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Bloomfield Hills, MI
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Jeff, I really like your casual picture.  Every time I see those home improvement shows and they show the family converting the garage to living space in CA I wonder what the heck is going on?  Garages are for cars where I come from.
Aug 08, 2007 02:36 PM #50
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Carole - well, it's like fog, sort of. Sometimes it is very low lying, like the typical fog. Other times it is just low-lying clouds, and a feeling of dampness. It can dissipate very quickly, and blue sky and the sun will appear. It moves in off the water but disppears once it move a bit inland (say a few miles). This is NOT scientific, mind you, but my observation. There is a lot more of it in May and une so much of the morning or even the afternoon can be gray...hence May Gray and June Gloom. I would do a Google search.

Well, as a Boston Driver Survivor I can tell you some pretty good stories. The taxies are the worst however.

Jeff

Aug 08, 2007 02:55 PM #51
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hey Maureen. Thanks. Actually, you don't see much of that sort of conversion around here because so many homes (newer ones at least) have family rooms. And giving up garage space is not good for resale for obvious reasons. People take pride (well, some) in their garages and drywall them, put in elaborate cabinets, and epoxy the floors. I have seen some garages clean enough to eat off the floor!! But then there are some that are two cars wide filled with stuff and the owners park outside. Go figure.

Jeff

Aug 08, 2007 02:58 PM #52
Rainer
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Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Thanks for the explanation Jeff. As a matter of fact, on a much smaller level, I think we even have that here in the Spring because of Lake Erie. You can be driving on the highway near the Lake and voila, a big 'ol foggy cloud appears and you can't see a thing lol
Aug 08, 2007 03:05 PM #53
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Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Jeff - ok maybe it's just because I'm from  FLorida but I LOVE YOUR NEW LOOK - the other reminds me of my days at IBM and much less approachable - lets hit the beach!!! Enjoyed you post.    
Aug 08, 2007 03:20 PM #54
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Cyndee- thank you so much. I know what you mean - I did corporate for 15 years and at one company we HAD to dress like my pic until I could finally convince them to lighten up the dress code. I have gone the other direction!! :)

I'm ready for the beach ANY TIME!!

Jeff

Aug 08, 2007 04:03 PM #55
Rainmaker
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Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Hmmm - now the question will be which coast we end up on first - I'll be sure and look you up when I find myself in California. :-) 
Aug 08, 2007 04:07 PM #56
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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PLease do. No plans for Florida...yet, but we do have friends in Ft. Myers!! And I think one of the convention is in Orlando in the next year or so.
Aug 08, 2007 04:40 PM #57
Rainmaker
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Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Jeff - I think the NAR convention may be in Orlando next year if memory serves me correctly!  
Aug 08, 2007 04:43 PM #58
Rainmaker
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Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA
Jeff... I dig the new photo. You look like such the surfer boy!
Aug 08, 2007 06:42 PM #59
Rainmaker
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Jeff Turner
RealSatisfied - Santa Clarita, CA
Jeff... I dig the new photo. You look like such the surfer boy!
Aug 08, 2007 06:43 PM #60
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Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
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It's true about the surfers, Jeff.  The saying out there is "if you don't surf, don't start".  Brutal.
Aug 09, 2007 02:57 PM #61
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Jeff - thanks. But it IS an illusion. :)

Jeff

Aug 10, 2007 11:08 AM #62
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
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Jeff - LOL. Some sayings are worth paying attention to. :)

Jeff

Aug 10, 2007 11:09 AM #63
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Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes

Jeff: I'm late to the party. What a cool blog with some terrific observations!  I always warn people moving here from the east and midwest to have a big sale and make lots of donations before moving here because there are few attics and no basements. 

 Some take my advice--and some regret not taking it;-) 

I also concur with others re the photo! 

Aug 15, 2007 11:24 AM #64
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Roberta - fashionably late, right? So what - glad you came by. And I do the same thing. It was such a major change for me, that I am keenly aware of it and it is easy to remind folks about how to prepare. As you said, some do and some don't. Thanks for the note on the pic - it has been interesting. Perhaps I need to go like this to the next event!

Jeff

Aug 15, 2007 11:37 AM #65
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