But you can't take the California out of the girl. After days of dark clouds and rains - the lingering effects of Ivan - the sun broke out today in a clear blue sky reminiscent of weather in the Golden State. The temperature hovers in the low 70's, and the humidity is at a bearable level. If I stepped outside and closed my eyes, it almost feels as if I'm in Newport Beach or Lake Tahoe.
Yes, I'm homesick. I grew up in Southern California, at the base of the imposing (10,000 ft. elevation) San Gabriel Mountains. I'm used to hot, dry summers, vintage VW bugs driven by college students and aging hippies, navigating LA's numerous freeways (i.e. Harbor, Ventura, Grapevine, etc.), sun-warmed fresh fruit and vegetables, surf reports on the news, tennis courts seemingly on every corner, and eclectic radio stations playing up-and-coming LA artists.
And yes, the people are more beautiful there. Of course, the myriad number of plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists and personal trainers help.
We're seriously thinking about buying a house on the west coast. Either San Diego or Tahoe. We never thought we'd miss California. I hated the traffic, the obsession with physical beauty, and the huge footprint of the entertainment industry. But that's mostly LA, and so many good things outweigh the bad in my home state. Now we just have to find a great house that won't bleed us dry. The real estate prices there are outrageous.