Sunny Skies

The 3 Biggest Adjustments to California (So Far)

By natashamiller

February 21, 2018

It has been three months since we moved to California and some adjustments have been easier than other. The fresh produce has probably been my favourite change so far! Then there have been other adjustments that are still a work in progress. Here are my top three:

  1. The Weather

I’m not going to get much sympathy on this one but hear me out. Just like a constant down pour or 8 months of cold and snow can affect a person, turns out so can constant sunshine. Who knew?! We were about 3 weeks into our California residency when I opened the blinds and the sun was shining… again!

Living in Canada, you grow taking advantage of every minute of sunshine you can because you know it won’t last long. That mentality in California could kill you! You will die of exhaustion. A rainy day is always a great excuse for a day in or hunkering down inside with a movie. So far we had one day of rain – it was 3 hours’ worth and it was fantastic! It was so refreshing. Unfortunately I park my car indoors so I’m actually going to have to take my car to a car wash. But at least I know it can rain here. We’ll revisit this topic in January when, apparently, it gets fairly cold, but for now, send some of that rain down here.

  1. Cell Phones

Everyone is permanently on their cell phones. Now this doesn’t seem much different from everywhere else but the cell phone use I’m talking about is while driving and at traffic lights. As of January 2017, California instated a distracted driving law. Apparently no one cares though. I have missed traffic lights because a bozo was sitting on their phone and not paying attention to the changing light. This makes me unbelievably angry because of my number one adjustment.

  1. Traffic Lights

 Oh man! The traffic lights! You can sit at a traffic light (without Bozo McGee sitting on their phone and causing you to miss the light), for 5 minutes. That may not seem that long but when you’re sitting there or you’re in a rush because your toddler had to try on 3 different shoes before you could leave, it’s an eternity! Our nearest public pool is a 7 minute drive – unless you hit red lights! Then you’re looking at 15 minutes – FIFTEEN! It’s hard to blame people for sitting on their phones. That’s a lot of productive time lost sitting at these time suckers. But don’t make me miss the light!

I wonder at the west coast stereotype of being laid back. I’m starting to believe that Californians aren’t necessarily that laid back but rather that they have been beaten into submission by these traffic lights!!

Honourable Mention

FreewayAn honourable mention goes out to the freeways and express ways. Cruising along at 65 miles along a 6 lane freeway is certainly a change. Add the “short” nature of the on ramps and off ramps, it definitely makes for a white knuckle, hair raising thrill ride. Especially because 65 miles is a “suggested” speed, the left “passing” lane is based on discretion, and my car doesn’t clearly show miles but kilometers instead (Canadian import), so I’m eyeballing most of it any way!



As we continue to live and explore California, this list may change – possibly grow – but change nonetheless. Maybe these traffic lights will beat me into submission and I can become that laid back Californian I know I can be… 😛

About natashamiller

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