Impressions of Southern California

Well, I meant to post this while I was still on vacation so that my impressions would be fresh and whatnot. Now, I forget all the terribly deep things that I was going to say, so bother.


Okay, now that we've got that out of the way. I absolutely adore Southern California. I love all of California, but I'm really a heat and beaches kind of girl at heart. I really feel that California is the prettiest place I've ever been or seen. It just takes my breath away from top to bottom. (Well, the middle part up I-5 takes it away for bad reasons--ugh, cows and urine smell.)
I was so happy to see the beaches and all the mountains- I've learned that I'm a BIG FAN of mountains. Well, seeing them, not driving in them. I could take a picture of every mountain I see. I won't show them to you, I promise.

I asked God to never take away my child-like enthusiasm and wonder with the ocean and all of His creation. I cried, I clapped, I was giddy. I just love the ocean. Of course, mofo is COLD! Not Lake Superior cold, but not too far.

While still on the freeway, I announced to my husband that I was going to find a job and stay there and he could mosey on down with our things whenever he felt like it. Needless to say, this did not happen. I can't live away from my man. And I don't want to work full-time. Together, those add up to one residence and one zip code.

2) The San Diego Zoo is a big rip-off. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I went there with very high expectations. Pretty much everyone knows that it has the reputation as the best zoo in the world, blah blah blah. I've gotta tell you that I won't be going there again. Especially not for the price. We paid $32 each to get in and have access to the bus tours, so I was expecting a spectacular experience. No such luck.
It is a nice zoo, don't get me wrong, but I'm telling you that the price really weighs into my opinion. I have been to zoos that I'm much more fond of and cost a LOT less. I adore the Houston zoo- small, awesome children's zoo, just the perfect size- and I think that the price was raised to a whopping $5 when it went private. It was $2.50 the first time I went.
We went to the St. Louis Zoo last summer and had a lot of fun- free. Free!!

3) Seriously, I had commentary and observations all ready to go while we were down there. Gone! And to whom do I owe the honor of this inane entry? The hotel we were in. Nice hotel, lovely, upscale, total cheapskates. We drive around the country a lot, and I can tell you that most of the seediest, bottom-rung motels out there advertise free high-speed internet access and free local calls. Did our lovely, citified, three-star, business popular hotel have these things? Nope.
One time we used their "business center" because we needed to get online and look at our bank, look up a map, etc. That cost $5 for about 3 minutes. My husband had to go online to send in some paperwork so we dialed up a few times using the phone (high-speed was $10 for not even 24 hours). Cost of 4 local phone calls over the course of our vacation? $11.

4) We did Mexico all wrong. I can now say that I've been, but I don't feel that it really counts.
We walked across the bridge to Tijuana and stayed for 4 or 5 hours. I didn't have a map, we didn't take taxis, so we just plodded around looking for the museums I had heard about and anything off of Avenida Revolucion. Argh. Prostitutes. Broken-down buildings. Pharmacies. Guys yelling at us to go into their stores. It was bad, but I know that it a lot our own fault.

We did happen upon a very nice park/square once we got out of the touristy part. It was a lovely, shady place with a big grandstand in the middle. Old people and families covered the playground and the benches. We sat for a while to rest our weary feet and watched some kids play with these zoomy, squealy balloons that zipped all around when you let them go. It was fun.

I was also glad to speak Spanish. Of course, I was stupid and shy sometimes about it, but mostly I stepped up to the plate. I just don't understand the times when I got shy about it. My brain shut down and I just stood there, while my husband tried to figure out something in English. I'm weird sometimes. Luckily, my man is, too, so he has to put up with me.

What number is this? 5?
5) I can totally live as a surf bum/skater-type. I loved all the skater boys of all ages. I loved the little beach towns and the surf shops. We both plan on learning to surf next time we're down there- my husband is under the impression that he will have no trouble at all being good at it. We'll just have to wait and see.
I loved all the tattoos (I was REALLY jonesing to get one), the clothes, the vibes. I would be perfectly happy dressing like a little surfer girl, and my husband wearing shorts and t-shirts and sandals all the time.

I know that the fact that it was sunny down there and rained for, like, 3,000 days straight up here has a lot to do with my opinion, but I could really be happy down there. I have learned over the years how much weather has to do with my happiness, and it is just awesome in SoCal.
I will say this, though- San Diego is often said to have the perfect weather- hot sun, cool breeze.
Well, I'm not really down with breeze, especially cold. So, it has that marked against it. Of course, it was only in the high 60's last week, so I may change my tune in July.
Also, the tap water is pretty bad. Not horrible, but not good. Water is a big deal to me, so we may have to do bottled, which I hate, were we to move there.
So there!! Two strikes against San Diego! (sort of)

I'm done for now. I'm sure that I'll have more later. Lucky you!