28 February 2011

California Dreamin'

Ya can't deny it's a beautiful place.
I just walked to the convenience store to buy a newspaper. Fifteen seconds walk to Main Street, Santa Ana, California, and your breath is taken away by the view of mountains to the East and North. Those to the North are snow capped.
We now find ourselves in the condition so many of our CA friends brag about...
We drove ten minutes Saturday and walked through the receding waves of Newport Beach.
I have no idea how long it would take us to drive to those snow covered peaks, (the distance to a visible mountain will fool us flatlanders), but it's obvious we could be sticking our hands in the snow in relatively short order. Folks who enjoy living here have a right to brag...
The beauty of California is undeniable.

After buying the newspaper I decided donuts would be an easy way to insure my inflated waistline doesn't precipitously shrink. The donut shop is also convenient... about half a block away across the Main Street. I walked to the crosswalk and pressed the button to get the light to change, and waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Traffic zipped by on six lanes, and I mean ZIPPED. Jaywalking across this street would be like a game of "Frogger".
I have no intention of being a frog frisbee.
While I waited I was thinking, "Why would anyone want to live like this?"
And the answer sorta came to me...
If you are born and raised here, this way of life is normal. You have access to the beach. You have access to the mountains. The enormous population in itself is a draw to anyone wanting a few $$$ from each of the residents...
Want to sell an item or a service? More folks means more chances to sell your wares.

But a boy raised in smalltown America has questions...
When we walked on the beach we were alone. It was MAYBE fifty-two degrees and the wind was blowing 20 mph. We were alone for a reason. We needed coats designed for Alaska to be comfortable that day. (We shoulda gone to the mountains, right?)

Nothing is easy here. The cheapest place we saw to buy gasoline was offering it for $3.639 per gallon. My son's 960 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment costs more than the 1300' three-bedroom he had in Mesa, AZ.
Driving anywhere requires a GPS, and be prepared to hear Carmen say "RECALCULATING!" more than once until you get comfortable with landmarks and can navigate on your own.

We went to Disneyland yesterday. It was cold most of the day, warming to comfortable for a couple hours in mid-afternoon, then getting chilly again as the sun got low in the sky. Still, the park was full enough that 30-minute waits for rides was the norm. (And I was reminded once again that in some places English is not the primary language of this great country of ours. Soon, I fear, that will be the case for the Nation as a whole.) Me? I'm getting prepared...
"Cerveza, por favor."

If you're born and raised in this environment, I can see where trying to live in flyover country would seem mighty boring. And I guess those of us who love peace and quiet should be glad so many folks are willing to live in these population centers. If they all migrated outward, things in our part of the world wouldn't be so peaceful...
But that's a chapter from my "predictions" book that I really don't want to consider right now.
I'm on vacation. The cerveza is excellent. I can see snow covered mountains.
Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett.


CnC said...

G.B. I think the old saying applies here, "it's a nice place to visit". I hear that the wage earners/people that support the dead beats are leaving that state in droves. Getting taxed to death i guess is not worth the trade off.

Old NFO said...

Nice to visit, don't EVEN want to live there again... nope, no way...

Anonymous said...

Did you ever get your donut, kid?
Just askin'


Greybeard said...

Interesting, Bo.
They make great donuts at this shop.
I went in and told the attractive asian girl I wanted a dozen assorted pastries. I got cakes, long-johns, and jelly filled. At that point she said "You have seven". So I said, "Just give me yeast donuts for the rest".
She looked puzzled and responded, "You have seven".
"Yes, just give me five yeast donuts, please."
"You have seven."
"Uhh... I'll take five of these", and I point to the yeast donuts.
She smiled and filled the box.
So far as pastries are concerned, we MidWesterners don't speak the same language as Californians!

Anonymous said...

Just for fun ask for a "Baker's Dozen" next time!


CJ said...

Ya know, 'fly-over country' was once an insult.

Now, it's a good thing.

I want those people to fly on over and leave us alone.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Again, you are your environment. And your environment normalizes you. When you don't know different, you don't know different.

When you don't know there really IS quiet, and the sky can be actually DARK, it can be shocking to the system.

Which is why I work 95 miles away from where I live, in Fornicalia.