Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wave as you Walk

Let's say you are going for a walk one evening. A car comes down the road heading in the direction that you can see the driver's face. What do you do?

Or, let's say you are the driver of a car and see a pedestrian coming towards you on the road. What do you do?

You wave of course!

I must clarify the "wave" though. It is not an all out "Hey! I'm over here!" wave, but a nice little hand wave. The driver waves too. Do you have to know the person you just waved at? No, probably not, but it's just something you do when you walk around your neighborhood.

At least in the South. :-)

I've noticed this does not happen in California. In fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen any where else in the USA based off of the comments I have had from my dear Northern friends about this topic.

I think that a walk is a whole lot more pleasant when everyone is friendly.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Commuting Delights

With a 30 minute commute to work each morning and a 30 minute commute back home at night, I quickly came to discover some differences between California drivers and Southern drivers.

1) Faster driving: the speed limit is only 65 mph on the highways in CA but for some reason cars go much faster than that on an average basis. ;-)

2) Lane changing: this can happen either very quickly or very slowly. There are apparently only these two options for lane shifting.

The slow version goes something like this:
"I am a driver in the far left fast lane of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in  a quarter mile or less. Oh no, how can I ever get to my exit in time with all these cars? I know, I will stop in the fast lane and wait for a space in the right lanes to open up not caring that there are lots of cars behind me that I am now holding up with my complete stop." 

Or, you have the fast version:
"I am a driver in the far left fast lane of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in a quarter mile or less. No worries, I will zoom across all five lanes of traffic without signaling or looking over my shoulder in order to catch the exit."

Which option do I choose? The safe, Southern lane changing option:
"I am a Southern driver in the far left fast lane (for some reason) of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in less than 2 miles. I begin my lane changing process by signaling, looking over my shoulder, and changing lanes one at a time when it is safe to do so, keeping in mind that there are other people around me."

Hehehe...well....I do confess....This is my normal way of changing lanes and it happens about 98% of the time I change lines. However, I have in that scare 2% not covered above, tried the fast version and the slow version.....Whenever I tried to be a "Californian lane changer" though it was way too nerve wracking for me and I prefer the the option much better.

3) Motorcycles: there are no rules for motorcycles as far as I can tell. If you have a motorcycle, you can zip and zoom and weave through traffic at your choice. You can ride on the white lane divider lines. You can drive in the carpool lane. You can park anywhere your heart desires. And, the worse part yet, you can pass cars in the same lane as you. In fact, you expect car drivers to move over a little on to the shoulder of the road so you can pass them in their lane. *shudder* I am still not use to the reckless abandon that motorcyclists can drive with. Although, on some days when traffic is at a standstill on the way home I often wish I had a motorcycle so I too could zip and zoom home. 

Those are the main differences that I have experienced after being a Southern driver in Northern California. I am slowly making adjustments but I don't think I will ever become a true Californian driver. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Umm...Where are the trees??

I absolutely love mountains. If I could choose between a day at the beach and a day in the mountains, mountains would win every time. Give me a nice windy mountain road to drive on, a pleasant trail to walk, and beautiful trees to look at and I am happy. So naturally, one of the very first things I noticed when I moved to California was the mountains. As everyone knows there are, of course, mountains in California. However what some people might not realize is how bare they are....Where are all the trees?! In the South, trees cover the mountain sides but in California the mountains seem to be dotted with little bushes.....Yes, I do know about the Redwood Forests, and I have been to several tree covered mountain places in Nor. Cal. but in general the majority of the mountains look very odd.

To prove my point:

Here are some typical mountains in Tennessee:

Here are some typical mountains in Northern California:

See what I mean? Very different....Both are pretty in their own ways (the CA beauty is growing on me) but they are very different indeed. Needless to say, I love finding places like this in California to get my tree covered mountain fix:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who and What

I am a Southern girl. Born in Texas, raised in Alabama, and went to college in Tennessee. I absolutely love the South and think it is the best place to live.

However, I recently moved to California because of a job opportunity I believed the Lord was calling me to. So, I packed my bags and drove across the country with a U-Haul trailer to take up residence in Northern California.

Northern California is a beautiful place, don't get me wrong. It has wonderful mountains, beaches, farm land, vineyards, cities, etc. I haven't explored all of it yet, but I have seen quite a few breath taking sights so far.  But, it is very different from the good ol' South. 

This blog will document my journey as a Southerner living in the Bay Area of Northern California. I'll post pictures of sight seeing I do and talk about the differences I see and experience between the South and Northern California.