Friday, July 25, 2014


One year ago we packed up & left on our cross-country move to California!  I was dreading that drive, but it was actually pretty fun!  By the time we got in the car, there was nothing else to worry about.  Everything was going to be packed by movers.  We had an apartment lined up.  After months of planning & a very stressful last week in Georgia, we finally just had to get in the car & drive.  

I really can't believe it's been a whole year of adventures already.  It feels like it's just been a few months really.

California Observations:
  • Central AC is not just something everyone has like in Georgia, land of humidity.
  • Grits are a luxury that California has yet to embrace.  I've only found one store that carries them & a box is about $5!
  • I always loved rain.  But when it rains here, I am borderline giddy because I can count the number of times that has happened this year on one hand.
  • Most fruits & veggies are in season pretty much year-round!
  • Unfortunately, it's pretty typical to get behind someone on the highway who is going at least 10 under the speed limit.  
  • Chick-fil-A, also a luxury.  We are lucky to live in the area where there actually are 3.  There are a couple in southern California, but other than that, I think they're just in the Bay Area.  However, not 1 of those 3 is anywhere convenient.  We only go to that area if we're going to Chick.  I'd like to be consulted before the next one is built.
  • Good reusable bags are always appreciated, because you pay for bags at any store here.  I get compliments on my big monogrammed chevron one almost every time I shop!
  • Laundry rooms, also a luxury.  When we were apartment shopping before we moved, I think we found ONE complex with a washer/dryer in unit.  So at the old apartment we had a shared laundry facility that was 68 steps from my door.  Yes, I counted.  Lugging heavy baskets of laundry up & down stairs & down the sidewalk was not my favorite.  At the new townhouse we also have a shared room, but it's close & only shared between a few people, so it's not bad.
  • You can pretty much wear all your favorite clothes year-round.  It's always cool in the morning & at night, but warm during the day.  Seasonal wardrobes are no more!  (However, this also means a lot more clothes to wash in aforementioned shared laundry room.)
  • People love Costco.  I mean, really love it.  Every time we go it's like a circus.  Parking spaces are hard to come by & I feel like I enter panic mode just walking through the doors.  We weren't thinking & went on July 3rd...big mistake.  I thought I was going to die.
  • Almost every restaurant has outdoor seating (complete with heaters & sometimes blankets!) because the weather is so nice year-round.
  • People bring their animals everywhere.  To the point where most downtown stores have water bowls for them out on the sidewalk.  I love my cat.  But I can certainly go to the grocery store without her.  I even saw a woman with her parrot at Target once.  #separationanxiety?
  • People say In-N-Out is the Chick-fil-A of the west coast.  I would not go quite that far, but it is really good...definitely not typical fast food.  The first time we went, our conclusion was this: "it's really good, but I wouldn't crave it or anything."  That has proved to be false.  Sometimes I just want an In-N-Out burger & fries.
  • Silicon Valley is first in free trials of services.  We love Google Shopping!

  • Blueline Pizza - Campbell, CA | Hands down, best pizza I've ever had.  Get the deep dish & put honey on the crust when you get there.
  • Sushi Confidential - Campbell, CA | This made me a believer in sushi.
  • Boudin SF | Sort of like a Panera or Atlanta Bread Company.  I love their butternut squash soup in a bread bowl.
  • Peet's Coffee | I was skeptical at first, but now I love their iced vanilla latte or iced coconut latte.
  • Penny Ice Creamery - Santa Cruz, CA | Best ice cream ever.  My favorites: brown butter spiced pecan, strawberry pink peppercorn, peaches & cream.
  • Big Basin Cafe - Saratoga, CA | Great homemade pies!  My favorite is strawberry rhubarb.
  • Vella Creamery - Sonoma, CA | They let you try any cheese you want & what you buy really isn't any more than you'd pay at the grocery store.  Our favorite is the dry jack.
  • Noah's Bagels | Best breakfast bagel sandwiches!


  1. I love this list! We will definitely have to try some of these places to eat! And I completely agree with all of your California Observations. The Chick Fil A is about 20 minutes from us, but thankfully it is close to the field so we get our fix.

  2. As a life-long Californian I really enjoyed reading this list because so many of these things I don't even think about since life has always been that way! Glad to hear you're enjoying CA!