It’s been a little over 9 months since we landed in California.
I finally became “official” the other day when I received my CADL in the mail. It’s funny to me, it’s my 3rd state to have a DL in, and for some reason, that seems low to me.
And everything they say about this place is true. All the bad, and all the good. The weather is usually amazing. (Although today, it’s raining…again…and it’s somewhat infuriating, as it is not as much fun to surf in the rain.) And then there’s the people. “Californians.” Yes. There are plenty of douchebags and plastics out here, but have you ever been on the roof at Seven? Or been in any “Crave?” (That’s for my Minneapeeps.) So, there are dummies everywhere. But there are also tons and tons of great people I’ve met so far, and, yes, besides the traffic…I really love it out here. (Although to be fair, I like to point out…it used to take me an hour to get home from work by the Hennipen/Larpenter switch to Uptown, 10 miles…and now it takes me about that to go 30, so who’s got worse traffic?) (And drivers.)
There’s plenty I miss about Minneapolis, #1 thing being the food, they just don’t do it as well out here. Plenty of good spots, but pound for pound, Minneapolis still kicks the shit out of anywhere I’ve been here. Also, hey, California, Sea Salt…a tiny stand in a park in South Minneapolis…still has the best fish tacos in the world. I miss the city, there’s lots of great stuff here, pockets of awesome…all 30 miles from each other. It’s hard to go out, unless you only go out right where you live.
But, all that said, while I loved Minneapolis, I was never “from” there. I’m not “from” South Dakota either. Those are places I’ve lived. I’m from Montana. And since “no one is from here” in CA (Not remotely true.) everyone “becomes” Californian, right? So, just for you, I wanted to show you the typical day in the life of my California. Some of it’s silly cliché turned day to daily expectation. Some of it’s stuff that you’d expect. And maybe some if it is not.
So, for the purpose of comedy and ease, I’ll say “Californians” for this, because of course we don’t all do this stuff. But lots do.
First, Californians like to eat breakfast. There’s a donut stand every 2 blocks. If you’re making your own breakfast, it should have kale or spinach in it. You cook it with California Olive Oil, because of course there’s no better oil, from anywhere, because everything from California is better, because, duh, California.
Also, you put avocado on everything, and you also switch hot sauces. No Franks (hey Chi) or Tabasco. Tapatio or Cholula. I keep a little midwest flavor on my eggs with some smoked gouda, because frankly, I can’t eat goat cheese on everything, which most Californians CAN.
Then, it’s time to go surfing. Californian’s love to tell you that “everyone in California doesn’t surf.” That is, of course, true. But surfing is amazing, and probably one of the Top 2 reasons I moved out here, so I surf. You go when it’s shitty outside you like it so much. Or at least I do, and I feel like that’s Californian. NOT Californian is that I am still surfing a learner board, but I’ll change that soon enough.
You definitely go surfing when there’s 10ft waves at the Manhattan Beach Pier. Even though you’re still a rank amateur and only get one wave in before you come to your senses.
After surfing you get coffee. I know, everyone get’s coffee everywhere. But if you’re California, you get it at The Coffee Bean, Peets, or some little local shop. Or maybe Intelligentsia if you’re in Venice. Starbucks is for tourists.
Also you take your dog. Californian’s take their dog everywhere. Mine is the devil, but I still take him with me, because I can have him in the office and not have to worry about getting home to him when you’re living Cali style all day.
Then you get ready for work. Usually under a towel by your car, if you’ve been surfing. Then…here’s the thing that was strangest for me to get used to. You put on your funny shoes. Californians don’t wear sandals like you’d think. They wear funny shoes made of canvas or hemp or some such shit. Most Californians wear slippers called “Tøms,” or “Tóms” or something like that. These are my funny shoes. You do not wear socks.
Then you go to work in your workplace that is open air, skylights, and has fruit in the kitchen all the time. You walk to food trucks for lunch and eat tacos made with Korean Galbi. You work on a Mac. You hang cool stuff on your movable gatorboard wall. (You might think I’m joking here, but honestly, this is SO many places.)
You may also do some work. California was built for creative companies, and work environments here are extremely laid back and results focused, which is, of course, perfect for me.
Then, at the end of the day, you go out with your coworkers to a cool dive bar for craft beer and food trucks. You do this because…holy shit, you like your co-workers a bunch, because one thing about California is there’s a lot of emphasis put on being happy. So you’re often working with happy people that like their job.
Then, you drive home. Windows open because it’s 65 at 10pm. Which is Reason #1 for moving here.
I want to live all over the world. Always have. And living in California has always been on the list. Now that I’m doing/have been doing just that…I see how people come and don’t leave. The sun and the surf called me, and they’re going to do a fine job of keeping me.
So. You know. Come visit.