SoCal- we spent the month of November getting to know the southern region of the state we formerly called home. California is so large and diverse that the regions may as well be separate states. We have only scratched the surface and still have so much more to see, but here are a few things we noticed about SoCal along the way:
SoCal has some of the best weather in the U.S. Unless you like snowy winters, then maybe not for you. Also, in the summer, you can swim in the ocean without a wetsuit!
Oh, so crowded! Not that this is so different from NorCal up by San Francisco, but having been away from California for a few months, we were immediately reminded of all the congestion we hadn’t missed. Which means, slow commutes, crowded parking lots, and an oversaturated / overpriced housing market.
Best fish tacos outside of Mexico
SoCal’s close proximity to the border, and to the ocean for that matter, lends to a delicious influence of both Mexican cuisine and fresh seafood. And, though not exactly authentic, the “California Burrito” is a tasty twist on a classic and a must try amongst Cal-Mex cuisine!
As soon as we ventured away from San Diego and into suburbs, like Bonita and Santee, we became distinctly aware of the equestrian influence within many of the communities. Houses with built-in ranches, designated horse trails, and a plethora of horse related services were very prevalent in areas around San Diego.
How a community treats public spaces says a lot about its ethos and politics. The public toilets in 90% of the public parks we encountered were unwelcoming and down-right scary. Cinder block construction, little lighting, and seatless metal toilets aside, shockingly, almost all did not have any doors on the stalls to offer privacy. Curious why, we did a little online research, and articles highlighted various controversial reasons, all loosely veiled under the premise of “safety”. Whatever the misguided justification, the main activity deterred by removing stall doors is doing one’s business.
From most vantage points, you can catch a sunset over the ocean, hills, happy-go-lucky palm trees, or all of the above! The sun shines in SoCal nearly every day of the year with scattered clouds that illuminate the setting sun in a spectrum of pinks, blues, and purples. By far, some of the most consistently jaw-dropping sunsets we have seen throughout our travels. Enjoy!