The Foreign Country of California

Before we moved here multiple people told me that moving to Cali is like moving to a foreign country. I didn’t really understand that until we got here. I knew the moment we crossed the border from Arizona (complete with border control checking for out of state fruits and veggies) that they weren’t kidding! Here are some unusual tidbits about life in SoCal from the perspective of a Midwest girl through and through.

1. We do our laundry outside. Ok, I know…that statement is slightly misleading. Before you picture us at the shore of the Pacific or some river bank beating our skivvies against the rocks, let me clarify. Our washer and dryer are outside. Strange. The nice thing is, it’s by the stinky dumpster and I don’t know about you but I absolutely prefer the smell of fresh laundry compared to rotten fish in the dumpster. Those dryer sheets help freshen the contaminated air!

2. Paying at the pump with your credit card is not the norm. Typically you have to pay at a little kiosk and we’ve encountered several stations that just take cash or debit card. We WILL find the ones that take credit – we want those miles on our credit card!

3. The people at the DMV were VERY kind! I practically had a personal tour of each stop I needed last week from a guy named Kent. I have no idea why they were so nice but I’ll take it! I’d say it’s something about the sunshine here but one trip on the LA freeways blows that theory out of the water!

4. It’s illegal to smoke in the car if there’s someone under the age of 18 in the car. We’re not smokers nor do we have any minors we drive around – just a fact learned the hard way from missing it on my driver’s test.

5. People wear whatever they want, in spite of the weather. Proof: Saturday, September 15. 102 degrees in Pasadena. Girl at Starbucks wearing Uggs. My feet sweat just thinking about it!

6. Never in my life have I seen so many Hawaiian shirts scattered across the pews at church on Sunday morning. I should probably get Than one – you know, another way to embrace the culture.

Southern California is definitely an interesting place. It’s incredibly diverse and I have yet to meet someone who is actually from here. Oh wait, I guess my husband was born here… But he didn’t live here for long! We’re settling in and starting to have a bit more of a routine. This week Than has orientation and i’m busy working away in my corner office (the corner of our living room, that is…). I’m continuing to have some Pinterest successes along with some Pinterest fails. More on those later!

And last, but not least, I’m grateful for placed called California is feeling a little bit more like home each day.


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