Just when you thought I was finally done with California posts :)
This is my last one! I just couldn't resist writing about some of the things that were so different from my everyday life on the East Coast.
Weather. We stayed close to the coast for our entire trip so we woke up to fog every morning. It burned off by about 10 or 11am, followed by clear blue skies for the afternoon, but I didn't like it. I'm a morning person, and being greeted by overcast skies when I woke up was a bummer. But I guess that's the trade off for having pleasant temperatures year round. :)
Driving/traffic. Traffic where I live is minimal because it's a rural area (the population just broke 2,000 in 2010). But we've experienced big city traffic in our travels. California traffic was different. We weren't in any dense city traffic, more like lots of stop-and-go highway driving. The carpool lane was new to us and thankfully saved us many times. Also surprising was the fact that motorcycles frequently drove between the lanes of traffic. Those drivers definitely made good time compared to the rest of us, but I wouldn't have the stomach for it!
Restaurants. Sometimes eating out can be difficult because not many restaurants around my hometown offer vegetarian options other than a side salad. In California, we were able to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants without a problem, and even traditional restaurants offered at least one vegetarian dish. We were also given a glass of water with almost every meal (without asking for one). This used to be commonplace here too, but it was outlawed when we had a terrible drought about ten years ago . . I wonder if that law continues to be in effect?
Bugs. We encountered bugs exactly ONCE during our entire 9 days in California. It was marvelous. Many shops and restaurants propped their doors open, or had entire rows of French doors along one side. Even with all that good food around, there were no flies, wasps, bees - everything that would be attracted immediately to outdoor dining around here. The one time we saw bugs was while hiking in the redwood forest. Once we got sweaty, some little black bugs were very happy to hang out with us.
I'd love to hear if anything surprised you about my trip or somewhere you've visited. :)