California Girl

(This column appeared in a recent edition of the Devils Lake Journal newspaper in my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota)

I’ve always been intrigued by California – the geography, the people, the weather and more. I took my first trip – and my first airplane ride – to sunny southern CA when I was a senior at Devils Lake Central High via an organized trip through the school. All these years later I can’t be sure what time of year I went, but I believe it was early spring in ND, and I remember marveling at how warm and green it was in CA for that time of year. I’ve returned to California many times over the years, primarily on business trips and also to visit my UND college roommate in San Diego (who hails from Hoople, ND)

And now some 30 years later I am again marveling at the greenery and more in CA – as a permanent resident. Last Christmas when I was decorating my Christmas tree in my apartment in Brush CO, I wondered where I would find myself next Christmas. I hoped it would be somewhere else, as I had been looking for some time to return to my former career in public relations in a metropolitan area. Just a few short months later, I found myself on a plane to Sacramento, CA, for a job interview. Not long after that I packed up my belongings and moved to CA to start my new job as the marketing and communications director for a lobbying organization. So far I am thoroughly enjoying CA and being back to living in a city. Following are some of the things I appreciate about Sacramento and city life:

  • Restaurant choices. One thing I missed about living in small towns during the past three years was the limited number of restaurant options. In Brush, I got excited when a new gas station/convenience store opened that sold homemade sandwiches. Here there are at least 30-plus restaurants in a five-mile radius from both where I work and live and endless other options throughout the city.
  • My second day in Sacramento I had a Korean Banh Mi sandwich at a local restaurant.

    My second day in Sacramento I had a Korean Banh Mi sandwich at a local restaurant.

    Restaurant diversity. Sacramento is an ethnically diverse city which is reflected in its restaurants. You name it, it’s got it. I think even more so than the Washington, D.C. area where I lived for eight years. The grocery store shopping complex near where I live has not one, but two Indian restaurants, a Thai restaurant and more.

  • The trees. Sacramento is the city of trees, including many I don’t think I had ever seen before. My aunt who lives here seems to know the names of all of them, but I am coming up with names of
    The Walmart palm trees.

    The Walmart palm trees.

    my own, such as the tall, skinny pointy ones and the one that looks like a tree from a Dr. Seuss cartoon. And did I mention the palm trees? They are everywhere. They even line the long street at the Walmart shopping area near where I live. Oh and the fruit trees. Not only pretty but scrumptious.

  • The yard sale tree.

    The yard sale tree.

    The flowering trees and bushes. Well, they are just drop dead, colofully gorgeous. I’ve never lived anywhere where I have snapped so many pictures of trees. I went to a multi-family flowering treeyard sale a couple of weeks ago where the biggest find for me was a line of large, green bushes with the most gorgeous pink and orange flowers.

  • The snails. No worms on the sidewalk here when it rains. Instead, not-so-small snails slither across the sidewalk with their shells looking almost prehistoric. I haven’t stepped on one yet, and I don’t think I
    When it rains, it snails.

    When it rains, it snails.

    want to.

  • The Delta Breeze. It’s your friend here in the summer, coming off the Pacific Ocean from the San Francisco area. It makes the 100 plus degree days here a little more bearable and cools things off most nights.
  • The pool at my apartment complex. It’s open year round and includes its own gorgeous greenery. Small town life, at least in my experience, didn’t offer pools in apartment complexes, or apartment complexes for that matter. I love sitting by the pool at dusk and watching the stars come out. pool
  • Small town touches. My Aunt Mona, who along with my Mom hails from Oberon, ND, lives here. There also is cat living at the Home Depot Garden  Center where I bought my
    Roses and jasmine in Aunt Mona's backyard.

    Roses and jasmine in Aunt Mona’s backyard.

    flowers. Also most of the people I have met so far are small town friendly.

  • Geographical diversity. A day hike in the mountains or a dipping your toes in the ocean are both just a couple of hours away. Sacramento has mild winters and snow is very unusual. However, if I feel in need of a snow fix or want to go skiing, again just a hop, skip and a jump away.
  • Down by the River. Two large rivers flow through Sac (that’s what the locals call Sacramento) offering multiple recreational opportunities.
Discovery Park. The confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers looking toward downtown.

Discovery Park. The confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers looking toward downtown.

All in all, not a bad place to live. I think I’ll stay.

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5 Responses to California Girl

  1. Helena Schultz says:

    Sounds like you have found Paradise!

  2. Mike says:

    Hey, where did you get the Korean banh mi? What restaurant (or neighborhood)? Thanks!

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