I can't even begin to tell you how many times Yew Wai and I received questions like such:
"How's life in California?"
"What do you guys do in the weekend?"
"What are you busy with?"
"What's the weather like? How is it different from Minnesota?"
I thought it's only fair that I jot the answers down. In case anybody ask again, I will cut and paste the answers to the FAQs - if that's ethical? I think pictures would explain better what I see and what I go through here... and maybe some words to assist in explaning.
So far, life in California is quite different in our opinion. As you guys might know, although I was excited, I was not sure about moving down here. The hot weather, the super fit people, the glamz, the culture and the lifestyle... it really is all an issue of getting use to. Just a few months ago, I was enjoying weather in the low 60s and now I'm basking in the hot sun in the 90s. When in Vegas, it was 110! Tell me if this isn't any shock to my fragile full-of-lipids body? I don't mean to dislike the hot weather but sometimes, I really can't take it. I only like the warm weather when I'm under some roof.
Back in Minnesota, life was so mundane, even when we try hard to have fun, it was always difficult to get excited about living there. Fortunately some times passed by with good comapny around but one by one, they move. At times, we would meet Yew Wai's colleague but they are my parent's generation and we have different interest except for food. At times, my sister and I go shopping but there's only one mall. Or we go fishing but it's always either cold or windy outside. So it really IS difficult to be excited and not like I hate Minnesota but it just isn't a place for the both of us.
Even before we got married, we've always talked about getting a home by the beach. We love the sight of the beach, the palm trees, the casual days. The interior of our home has to be white and we have to have our own dog or cat. My bedroom would be filled with seashells on the color of the ocean spread on the bed and curtains, scented with the never stopping sea breeze and lemon sprays.
Ok enough day dreaming.
So when we got here, we immediately thought "perfect habitat!". We found ourselves open doors to the many things we can finally do. Like swimming, running and gardening... which I have to pick up the hobbies and introduce it into my lifestyle again. After so long of inactivity, it was a little challenging for me to get the balls rolling.
For one instance, we can now go scuba diving (after getting our license in the lake, we didn't have a place to go scuba). We can also start surfing or wakeboarding. I can start running again, after leaving that hobby due to cold winter storms and rainy spring and summer season. Hushby has found folks who play soccer in the company. He's ready from head to toe to go play it soon. I can plant herbs without worrying that they'll be hit by a hail storm. I've only seen rain twice in the two months I've been here... even that, it was only some heavy mist. You only need to umbrella for beach shade!
What else have we got ourselves busy with? As of lately, we have been occupied with decorating, adding and subtracting furnitures. We've been going hi-and-low for furnitures that fits the color scheme and the size, and of course, at a certain price range. Otherwise, how would we afford living here, right?
The computer desk that we used to have in St. Cloud broke into pieces, beyond recognition I tell you, during its move from there to here. I loved that $100 table so much, I knew I had to get it back. On the same time, we knew if anything better come across, we would get it too. So we search every furniture store, office furniture store, Ikea, Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Office Depot... you named it! We covered all, yet couldn't find anything we like or when we do, they are either too large or too expensive.
After so many failed attempts on trying to fall in love with another table, our last resort was to hunt the exact table I deeply missed (as if talking like an ex-boyfriend! Haha). I went online and do my research one weekend. Squealing from the top of my lungs, I found the model! It says out of stock online, so no buying online. I click to see where else carry this computer desk and again, squeal out of joy that an Office Depot branch near our resident carries one. When we went there, it wasn't even on display. Bringing along the printed model name and picture with me, we had to ask the manager for her to find it. She told us that the computer indicated that there is one in stock (for sure) but it may be on its way out back to its manufacturer to be recycled.
Let me tell you the suspense of waiting for moment she'll say they've sent it back!? She came out from the room saying "I can't find it". I was heartbroken but she said she'll try looking for it again since the computer indicate there is one in stock. So she took a big guy with her for help in finding us that desk. They went in, we waited, almost in panicky mode waiting for bad news to announce. Then they stepped out of that dark inventory room with the woman still holding to that piece of paper I printed from home. A few steps before her, came out that big guy with a cart and the box! Oh wow! Is that the desk? "Yes! It was way behind in the room" What a roller coaster ride. No other table would fit in that L-corner we have in the room as perfect as this one! I'll pay $200 if needed! But when she rang is up, the computer desk only cost $30! Double sweetness! Sugar high!
Ok enough of my excitement.
Again, it isn't an everyday thing to find something you like. Good finds are rare and good deals are even rarer. And that's just the beginning of the story of our many good finds after miles and miles put onto the car.
But the miles added are all necessary. Necessary to explore many more discovery of this strange land we now live in. Being people who really enjoy life and appreciating every sights, smells and sounds, unfolding all these good restaurants, supermarkets and even farmer markets are fun to us. What more, all the special festivals held nearby, the fairs, the wonderful world attractions. It gets more and more interesting each time.
So here's to really tell the story:
The drunken chicken, I think soak in tequila if I'm not mistaken. It was really good and a little on the expensive side but then you're paying a view of Laguna Beach and wonderful 90s alternative rock music.
If you're like me, finding good deals on vintage, classic items gives you the ecstasy, you would enjoy dropping by San Clemente for the blocks of used thrifty stores. I love looking out for really vintage side tables, mirrors or even just to get inspiration.
It gotta be some joke we share along the way walking in Dana Point Harbor. The harbor housed many shops and restaurants. Hushby and I love walking down the harbor for the sunset view and the beautiful boats parked by it.
Almost half of the time when we go for walks by the harbor, we would have our dinner/breakfast there. I know eating out is expensive, but given that we had lived in Minnesota for seven years, isn't it forgivable that we have this immense hunger for seafood?
Seriously, it's not my idea to pose by the sculpture at Fashion Island mall. Even though I was not a tourist, I had to reluctantly act like one because mom-in-law wants me in with her. Anyway, I just wanted to show that this is a shopping mall. Weather here is so predictable, and while it never rains or snows, California takes no excuse for you to stay indoor!
Merry-go-round at Irvine Spectrum... Joey being disgusting while I'm afraid of heights.
I love my UV protective hat! Here's sister-in-law and I doing some touristy street shopping slash sight seeing activity with bikini ready outfit, so that you are ready anytime to, in my case, fatty-dipping in the cold salty Pacific Ocean. Street shopping can easily take one full day if you're not ready for the many good finds, because it might leave you thinking, should I or shouldn't I? And when you're by the beach, a day is never enough.
I hope I've answered all the questions. If not, drop me more questions and I'll try to answer them with limited vocabs.