i got to spend five weeks in California. five whole weeks.
before this rotation, i spent a whole four days in California during my life. i never had a reason to visit California. it is not exactly close to my midwestern hometown. i have very few friends located out there. i have no family out there. and i never really needed to visit the beach.
all that being said, it was nice to have an excuse to visit for an extended period of time. actually get to know the area. instead of basing my perception on a quick weekend stop over.
after my five weeks, i found that California is a very polarizing place. it evokes surprisingly strong emotions in me. which i did not think a place was capable of doing.
top five things i loved about California:
1. the weather. i have mentioned that i hate being cold. i really hate it. deep, dark, fiery burning passion hate it. California is not cold. at least where i spent my five weeks at in southern Cali. i was wearing shorts while my sister whined about the snow at home.
2. the scenery. i know that sounds weird because i am not particularly fond of the beach. it is really the sand that gets me. and it gets everywhere. seriously everywhere. otherwise i like the beach. except when the water is cold. or when it is particularly windy. okay okay. i am picky about the beach. but i love the view of endless water.
3. my mini cooper. i rented a mini while i was in California. it was white. sassy. fun sized. needless to say, it fit me well.
4. the food. there is some incredible food in California. the Mexican was delicious. the fish tacos were delicious. the fruit was delicious. and much fresher than home this time of year. and i guess the sushi is delicious. if you like that sort of thing.
5. sea world. see this post. i do not need to say any more.
top five things i disliked about California
1. everything is brown. there is always a drought in southern California. always. so most of the things are brown. i am not particularly fond of brown. especially when i am missing the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of fall at home. that one killed me.
1a. the water tastes funny. due to the before mentioned drought, water has to be piped down from northern California. that is a long way for water to be piped. and then adjusted with too much water softener. it tasted funny. i was not a fan.
2. there are no seasons. it feels as if time stands still. it remains constant. unchanging. stagnant. there is no mark of the changing colors of the trees. there is no white of snow creating a Christmas blanket. there is no rebirth of spring. just summer. only summer. it feels as if no time passes. until you are suddenly twenty years older and unsure how the wrinkles appeared on your face.
3. it is expensive. gas was a dollar more expensive per gallon than in Illinois, which is not known for cheap gas. fruit is a dollar more expensive for half the quantity. i do not even want to know what the housing costs. yikes.
4. i am allergic to something there. i do not know what it is. but i must be allergic to something there. especially in LA. i am sure it was some plant i had simply not been exposed to previous. but i could not stop sneezing.
5. the culture of constant comparison. everything is compared. houses. cars. clothes. people. salaries. hobbies. possessions. preferences. it is exhausting. how do you keep up with that? do what you want because you want to. you have nothing to prove to me. you waste your time trying to please everyone.
California was polarizing, yes. but i am glad i was placed there. i got to explore someplace new. to see a different part of the country. to experience a new area. and to be warm. that was my favorite part.