There’s no place like home for the holidays

Moving across the country has taught me a few valuable lessons about myself. The first thing I learned is that the east coast is no place for a girl like me. It’s not horrible or anything, in fact I love it sometimes… but only sometimes. I love the southern vibe and old buildings in our local downtown area. I love the fall foliage and greenery everywhere and I especially love the skies. The skies here are free of pollution and endless strands of telephone wires and the clouds are so beautiful. I guess another good thing is the lack of traffic, but with nowhere to go, that doesn’t really benefit me.

Regardless of the beauty and clean air, I have learned that it’s not so much the place we live, but rather the distance from home that gets to me. It’s been almost 5 months that we have lived here now and it seems like it’s been forever, the first 3 months were the most difficult. It’s easy to make everything seem great on social media, and it’s not my intention to create an appealing facade to make everyone think that it’s the best thing to ever happen to me. But I obviously wouldn’t be posting pictures of myself crying or feeling lonely and bored. I wouldn’t be posting statuses saying how hard it is to be away from home with no friends and a husband who works long hours and when he’s not working he’s either studying his butt off or sleeping. I wouldn’t be complaining about not being able to find a job after applying to multiple places, or telling everyone about the sketchy house cleaning job that I had for a whole 5 hours (although it does make for a pretty good story). I wouldn’t be sharing those things because I wouldn’t want people to think of me as a weak complainer. I am not either of those things…. ok maybe I’m a bit of a complainer but only to my friends and family.

The truth is, it’s hard. I’m not sharing this information to get sympathy, I’m just trying to be real because if anything, this information could be useful or relatable to someone else. Being so far from family for big occasions like Birthdays, Halloween and Thanksgiving has been hard. But by far, the crappiest part was not being able to attend the funerals of friends who passed away. It was such a horrible feeling to not be able to rush over to my friend’s houses to comfort the ones who were affected the most after getting word of the devastating news.

Things have started to get a little easier within the past couple of months. I’ve made some really nice friends plus my mom and my best friend visited me last month. I’ve grown accustomed to the area and I’ve gotten used to seeing pictures and videos of my friends hanging out and doing the things I wish I could be doing (like eating In N Out).

Even though I can never imagine myself wanting to live anywhere other than California ever again, I am thankful for the experience. You see, this chapter of my life has taught me that I am not an east coast person, but more importantly is has made me a more grateful and appreciative person for the people in my life. It’s not like I wasn’t grateful for them before but as I’ve stated in a previous post, whoever said that distance makes the heart grow fonder really knew what they were talking about. I’ve also grown to really appreciate where I come from. The song “There’s no place like home for the Holiday’s” holds a new meaning for me because now I know that the holidays just don’t feel the same unless you spend them at home with your favorite people.

We’re going home for Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited. At my lowest point I would have begged Blake to let me stay in California and fly back here by himself… I know that makes me sound like a horrible wife… but I’ve changed my perspective. Once we come back from Christmas vacation we won’t live here much longer anyway. Might as well try to appreciate it for the few months we have left. I may be lonely but I’d rather be here supporting my husband by cooking and cleaning so that he can focus on studying rather than staying home with family, friends and a job.

In conclusion, I just want to remind everyone that anything you want for Christmas this year is absolutely nothing in comparison to quality time with loved ones.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

 

 

5 things I’ve learned since I moved from California to North Carolina

As a girl who was born and raised on the west coast, it has been somewhat difficult adjusting to life on the east coast/south. In the two and a half months that we have been here so far, I’ve noticed a few differences. The following are my personal opinionated speculations on the differences between life on one side of the country versus the other.

1. NOTHING compares to In N Out

Only west coasters have the privilege of being able to enjoy an In N Out burger whenever they want. I knew before I left that I would miss it, but something that I didn’t realize was how many of my friends are constantly posting pictures of their In N Out burgers on Instagram and Snapchat. My mouth waters when I come across these pictures and I get the sudden urge to buy a plane ticket just so I can go home and devour a double double. I grew up eating In n Out burgers and as I got older and started cleaning up my bad eating habits, In n out was the only fast food place that I would still allow myself to occasionally enjoy. One of our friends out here says that he doesn’t think In N Out is very good….  but this is coming from the guy who wants to try that BK burger with the black bun. His opinion on burgers clearly has no credibility here.

2. Humidity is horrific

To be honest I don’t even know how people can stand to live here in the summer. When we first got here it must have been the most humid time of the year. We were moving our boxes from the u-haul to the apartment and within minutes I was drenched in sweat. It was then that I realized I wouldn’t be wearing a lot of makeup or spending too much time outside. A couple of months went by and I got excited when I looked out the window and saw clouds and rain. I thought it must feel nice out there for once, however when I walked outside, I was still hit with the sticky humidity of the south. There have been maybe two weeks out of the two months that we’ve been here when the weather was actually enjoyable. Needless to say, I’m missing the California weather and really looking forward to the winer…. which is saying a lot coming from me because I do not like the cold, but it’s better than the heat when humidity is involved.

3. If you want unsweetened ice tea, be sure to make it clear.

Since I’ve stopped drinking soda, I have resorted to ordering iced tea when I go out to eat. At home I would ask for iced tea and receive it unsweetened. If the restaurant had other options the server would ask which type of tea I would like. Here in the south, if you ask for iced tea they assume you want sweet tea. And this isn’t your typical sweet tea, it’s the sweetest tea I’ve ever had in my life, basically a cup of liquid sugar and I have no idea how people drink it without throwing up their entire meal afterwards.

4. Krispy kreme doughnuts are not real doughnuts.

Ok so I’m sort of a doughnut connoisseur.. I mean what do you expect? I’m the daughter of a deputy sheriff for goodness sake! I know my doughnuts! and if you want a good one you have to go to Christy’s doughnuts on foothill boulevard in Monrovia because they always have and always will be the best. I’ll admit I was once fooled by Krispy Kreme. It was our first time at the drive-thru and we were excited to try some WARM glazed doughnuts.   The fact that they were warm is what made them so delicious, but they were overly sweet. We went back a second time but the krispy kremes were not warm, therefore they were just gross. They don’t have the fluffiness that a good doughnut should have, no sprinkles either. What the heck? We have one real doughnut shop here which I have yet to try because it’s pretty far, aside from that our only other options for doughnuts are krispy kreme and starbucks. No thank you.

5. There are 3 major changes in scenery

The first major difference in scenery is the greenery! Yes I know that rhymes. Driving on the freeway here is so different than back home. First of all, theres no traffic but then again, I don’t go anywhere so the ‘no traffic’ thing doesn’t really benefit me. At home there were lot’s of things to look at while driving along the 210 such as buildings, signs and other things. Oh and speaking of freeways, over here people think is weird to say “the” before a freeway name. Because saying “I took 210 to get here” makes so much more sense… not. Anyway, driving on the freeways here, you will see only pine trees and the occasional carls jr… wait excuse me.. I mean Hardee’s signs in your travels.

That’s right, Carls Jr. is called Hardee’s over here! Same menu and logo, just a different name. That’s the second major difference in scenery, the chain stores and restaurants. Carls Jr is an example of one large fast food chain buying out another well known fast food chain (Hardee’s) and slowly changing the menu over time to resemble that of Carls but keeping the name the same in order to keep the same loyal customers coming back (Yes I did my research, I was curious). It’s been interesting to see what major stores they have here and which ones they don’t. Instead of a Nordstrom, the major department store in our local mall is called Belk. There are no ARCO’s or Chevrons, the biggest gas stations here are called “Kangaroo’s”.

Finally, the third major difference is the old southern architecture, this is my favorite change in scenery because old buildings are always so much more detailed and beautiful than new ones. Brick buildings are the norm around here and there’s also a myriad of old churches with extra pointy steeples for that extra southern feel.

So far these are just a few of the things I’ve noticed since we’ve been here. Although we aren’t in the most exciting city and the weather has been tough to get used to, I’m still trying to make the most of the time we have here. I’m looking froward to exploring new surroundings and learning new things along the way!