And then there is…

This sign greeted visitors to Disney's California Adventure Park, July 2004

This sign greeted visitors to Disney’s California Adventure Park, July 2004

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.  And then there is California.”Edward Abbey

In case Abbey’s quote leaves anyone in doubt, I mean it as a compliment. Whatever else can be said of California, it is certainly unlike any other state in the USA.  It’s a web of contradictions; a place of unparalleled beauty that is more frequently the butt of jokes than admiring tributes.  Could there be just a bit of sour grapes flavoring some of the criticism?  Perhaps, but even those who love California will readily admit that its fiscal woes and multitude of other challenges are driving away many residents who once dreamed of living an entire lifetime there.

Even if you can’t afford to live there, I do hope you will be able to visit and get a taste of what makes this state so dear to so many hearts.  Whether you go to the breathtaking National Parks, to Disneyland and other amusement parks, or to the countless tourist destinations in every category you can name, I hope you will manage to get “off the beaten path” and explore the coast, valleys and lakes as well as the vibrant cities.  Be sure to sample some fresh fruits or veggies; almost anything you can think of is grown nearby.  You’re likely to see flowers everywhere, for the weather in most of California is so pleasant that even annuals come back perennially.  As do many people, who will never quite forget what made their years in California some of the happiest of their lives.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Chris

    Great comments seven years ago. Yes, California is unique. Growing up in NC, we went to LA twice when my brothers and I were children. We actually drove in Dad’s station wagon!! While I can’t remember much of the road trips, there are home movies of the adventures. Quite interesting to watch over 50 years later! Can you imagine 3 children, and three adults (my grandmother, Mom’s mother, accompanied) in that station wagon, for a week!
    We went to visit my uncle, Mom’s brother. He lived in Thousand Oaks. And, of course, we went to Disneyland. But, very little recollection of it.
    Semi-modern day, Jeanne and I were stationed at DLI, in Monterey from ’83 to ’84. It was a twelve month stint at language school. We lived in Pacific Grove. In my short time on active duty, it was the only place she asked, “can we extend here?” Ha! It was a nice place to call home, even for only 12 months or so. Afterward, it was off to Germany!
    Hope you’re having a good week! 😊

    • Chris, Pacific Grove was my favorite area of the gorgeous Monterey peninsula. Carmel and Monterey are justifiably famous, but that fame draws a lot of tourists which didn’t seem the case with Pacific Grove, at least during the years Jeff and I used to spend weekends in that area. I can understand why your wife didn’t want to leave! Yes, it’s interesting to recall that entire LARGE families used to occupy a single car (often the only car the family had, even with two or more drivers in the household), and our homes often had only one bathroom for families of five, six or more, even in the more upscale neighborhoods. Whenever people start talking about how families are worse off nowadays and how nobody can make ends meet, I always think (mostly silently 🙂 ) about how much higher our expectations are now, and how much of what we now think of as necessity was once viewed as luxury. No doubt about it, we have come to expect far more of life, in every sense, than our parents and grandparents did.

  2. Chris

    You know, as I think about it, you’re spot on. While my family wasn’t large (three boys, mom and dad, and grandmother), we all lived in a two bedroom, one bathroom home, during those days I referred to above. It’s quite remarkable, the lifestyle then versus now! Lot’s more here than meets the eye, so to speak. Anyway, hope you’re ok, and have a good weekend!

    • Chris, I could not help but think how wonderful it was of your parents to have your grandmother as part of their nuclear family. I’m sure it must not have been easy but I’m equally sure that it was probably the right thing to do. I’m afraid that 99% of the people I know today (probably including me) would say “We wish we could have my (or his) mother stay with us, but with only two bedrooms, it’s impossible.” Just as our expectations have evolved, so have our ideas about what is or is not possible. As you say, there is lots more than meets the eye. Probably a subject too deep to ever reach the bottom! We are OK – hope you have a good weekend too!

  3. Good morning, Julia! I am so glad that my oldest son, Erik, lives in California. It’s great to have that connection and a perfect excuse to visit!
    My mother’s family also lived in California with relatives for a few years “during the war”.

    • Yes, I once never needed any excuse to visit California. But lately, I do. 😦

      • It’s a long way, and unfortunately, across several time zones.
        Are time zones as much a problem for Matt if you go by car or train as opposed to plane?

        • On the advice of several “experts” (including physicians who have lived with mania and wrote about it), we never cross more than 2 times zones with Matt. In 2005, after two manic episodes but a long period of stability, we took him to England with us. That got us his third episode. So no long trips since then, and no manic episodes either. Though it sharply curtailed our travel, the trade off was worth it. It’s not like we really had a choice, anyway.

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