Sunday, October 19, 2008

You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take California out of the girl!

Sometimes, you just need to get back to your roots. This weekend, for me, that meant heading home to California--at least in my imagination. Here's how it turned out...

Yes, that is a 30 foot long pin up mural of a beach on the wall of my dining room! The rest of my California adventure was complete with a dinner of steak sandwiches, sourdough bread, orange juice with little umbrellas in the glasses, potatoes and salad. I decorated with sea shells, colorful paper lanterns, beach blankets, and stars on the ceiling to gaze at while lying on the "beach".

It was quite the adventure to plan, and I had SOOOO much fun! There were a few moments when I could almost hear waves crashing on the cliffs and smell the fresh sea air.

I love California! Even after seven years in Utah (which I have loved), I still consider California home. It has so much personality. Here are a few of the things I miss about the Golden State:

STRAWBERRY SEASON - There's nothing better than eating juicy perfection fresh out of the fields, still warm from the sunshine.

FARMERS' MARKETS - Not only did I love the fresh nectarines, white peaches, plums, etc. that we got from the market, I love the ambiance there as well. It was fun to wander down the streets of Old Town Clovis during the summer months listening to folksy music and meeting people from the community as you shopped for tasty food.

GRAPE PICKING - Every August is grape picking season in the valley. While the smell of the winery was nauseating, I loved going to the welfare farm run by the church and picking grapes. It was dusty, sticky, spidery, tiring work, but it was so satisfying to work down a row side by side with other ward members, knowing that you were doing your share to help out. Plus, the Slurpees from 7Eleven afterwards weren't too bad either.

NO SNOW - Try as I do to enjoy it, I still don't like the winters in Utah. I love being able to go outside year-round in California without worrying about losing appendages to the cold. Brrrr. I'm trying not to think about winter yet.

DIVERSITY - I love how different everyone is in California. Not to say that there isn't a fair amount of diversity in Utah, but it's completely different. I loved going to school with people of all different religions, races, and backgrounds. It was fun to talk to people with such different life experiences than mine. I need to look for it a little more here in Utah.

SUNSHINE - I am addicted to sunshine, and it seems to abound in California. That's all there is to it!

What do you love about California?



Carol said...

I love being in the mountains camping with five rambunctious kids and melting my sneakers by the campfire. Love it!

Ashley Taylor said...

I love the air in California! My skin always feels so much better after being there for a day. Utah is just too dry.

By the way, I am so impressed with you! You are the only person I know who could take a normal kitchen and turn it into a beautiful beach! Looks like fun!

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyn said...

I miss the foggy mornings. I know that driving in the fog is no fun, but I lonve the smell and the quiet look as the mist hangs in the air.

I also miss the smell of the mountains. California mountains just smell and look so different from Utah mountains. I like them both, but the Sierra Nevada Mountains have a special place in my heart.

By the way, sorry about the one above from Jeff. I didn't know I was logged on as him.

Ann said...

Oh, where do I start? I love being close to both mountains and beach at the same time. I love that half the stores have names in another language. I love that it's the end of October and it was 85 degrees today. (Just don't talk to me about the traffic!)

Paul and Susan said...

I love your California picnic. You are very creative. If I had a choice, I would return to the California sunshine, but instead I have t try and enjoy the"liquid sunshine" we have here in Washington.

Jeff said...

This time it is actually me and not Robyn impersonating me. I liked your little California setup. Interestingly enough, the night I met Robyn I was throwing a Hawaiian party at my house. I had put 2 30 foot long pin ups of the beach along the fence in my backyard and we had set up inflatable palm trees and other festivities. It was much like your California adventure.