What I Miss About California

And just like that, we’ve been living in Seattle for 6 months. How did that happen? Overall, I love it here but there are a few things that I miss about living in California. PS, this post is best if read to the soundtrack provided in this post.
California Love Songs

What I Miss About California

California Adventure sign

The food.

Primarily, delicious Mexican food and yummy Salvadorian pupusas. And In-N-Out. Oh my goodness, I miss it all.

Sunshine.

I had a feeling that this would be a big one for me but I was actually surprised at how much I miss the sun. So much so that I noticed that I might be getting a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder and I ended up buying myself a happy light to use in the morning and after lunch.

The Ocean and Beaches!

Seattle is the furthest I’ve ever lived from an Ocean. In California, I lived between 30 to 90 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. In Australia, I lived a 10-minute walk from the Pacific (well, Tasman Sea / The Ditch). In South Africa, I lived 15 minutes driving from the Atlantic. Now, I’m hours from the Ocean. HOURS. That being said, Seattle is surrounded by water one two sides, but still – it isn’t the warm, sandy beaches of (southern) California.
Laguna Beach Treasure Tromp

City driving.

As much as I hated Los Angeles traffic (which is consistently rated the worst traffic in the US), I didn’t hate driving in the actual city. The roads made sense, people weren’t horrible drivers, and pedestrians usually looked before stepping into the street. Driving in downtown Seattle gives me incredible anxiety. I hate it. I can’t figure out how to navigate the roads, everyone uses their horn way too much, pedestrians never look before stepping into the street, and the bikers except to follow both road and sidewalk traffic laws depending on what benefits them most at the time. I hate it. 156

Diversity.

Seattle is one of the least diverse cities in the US, especially compared to the previous cities I’ve lived in or around like Los Angeles and Oakland. I miss more ethnically diverse neighborhoods and seeing people from different backgrounds interact.

Disneyland.

I’m actually surprised at how much I miss going Disneyland and California Adventure. Although I wasn’t able to visit too often in the previous couple of years, I loved the ability to go whenever I felt the urge. And I’ll be honest – I miss it right now. disneyland bride and groom

Palm Trees.

This is such a silly one, but there is something about seeing the palm trees that are reassuring to me and I miss seeing every day.

Vineyards.

I know that there are a ton of vineyards here in Washington, but I miss the vineyards and wineries in Sonoma and Temecula. vineyard in the fall treasure tromp

The Sunsets.

I’m convinced that southern California is home to the best sunsets in the world. And I’m pretty sure it is because of all of the smog.
10 Reasons To Love The Desert (4)

Our friends.

I could go on and on about this but it is pretty self-explanatory.

The desert.

I really love the forest, I do. But I miss the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree. I know that there are deserts out in eastern WA but since I haven’t had the chance to make it out there yet I assume that it isn’t quite as good. Ocotillo in the Colorado Desert; Joshua Tree (13)CALIFORNIAMovaje Desert

mojave desert camping

Earthquakes.

Because the baby ones are kind of fun so long as nothing is damaged.

Playing Hollywood tourist.

Every time a friend from out of the area would come to visit me in southern CA, we would go to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and possibly see the taping of a show.

The stigma of being from California.

It seems as though Seattleites cannot stand Californians. I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve overheard people talking bad about Californians. I understand that people are worried that Seattle is turning into San Francisco but the California hate is strong.

Even though there are a ton of things that I really miss about living in California, I’m really happy up here in Seattle. It is a gorgeous and kind city and it really started to feel like home within weeks of moving. So I guess I’ll stick around for a bit longer.

What do you miss about an old home?

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Goodbye, California!

Well, it’s official – we’re moving! In 11 days we’ll be on the road and moving out of California.

Moving!

Truthfully, this move has been in the works for some time, but I wanted to wait until we secured an apartment before saying anything. Matt and I have been talking about moving for about two years now. When we first moved to South Africa, we weren’t sure if we’d move back to California. But since we didn’t really have a place or reason to move, we decided to stick it out in southern CA for 18 additional (and long) months. A few months after we moved back to CA from SA, Matt started working remotely for a company based out-of-state. After working for them for over a year, it is time for him to start working in the company headquarters, meaning we’re crossing state lines.
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Travel Tromp: Seattle, Washington

travel tromp- Seattle, Washington

Original photo via Anupam_ts.

Seattle is quickly becoming one of my favorite places. While I’ve only been up there a few times, I’ve fallen in love with the city. Since the company that Matt works for is based in Seattle, trips up north have been a bit more frequent for him. Not one to be left behind, I joined him for a week-long trip in September. I’ve heard that the first two weeks of September are the most beautiful time to visit Seattle. Lucky for us, we had beautiful weather (85 degrees while it was 106 in southern CA) for most of the trip. So in my mind, Seattle is always sunny and bright. Here are some of the places we went during our last trip:

Seattle, Washington

Eat / Drink

I was blown away by the fabulous food choices in Seattle! We made a point to eat almost all seafood while there. These were my favorite places:
Liberty Bar – This place specializes in two things: sushi and liquor (so it is basically perfect). They have great and fresh food, and hundreds of different types of scotch and bourbons. We loved this place so much that we made two trips within a few days.
Anchovies & Olives – Anchovies and Olives has a killer happy hour: $1 oysters. Yes please. The atmosphere of the restaurant isn’t exactly causal but it isn’t formal either. It’s a great place to stop by for a date, grab a drink with a colleague, or happy hour with friends. I suggest stopping by during happy hour, though, since the prices are more reasonable.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar – This is one of my favorite oyster places in Seattle. I’ve only been up to Seattle a few times but I always make sure to stop by this place if I can. I really love that you can pick out the oysters that you’d like to eat. They also have a nice selection of beer and wine.

Pine Box – The Pine Box has delicious pizza and an incredible selection of beer. The restaurant is housed in a former mortuary (not at all creepy) and offers a nice little beer garden / patio in the back. This is the place if you’re a beer fanatic.

Stay.

We stayed in a cute little 1 bedroom apartment that we found through AirBnB. The apartment was in the cute little neighborhood of Madison Valley, which was a great location. There were a ton of cute cafes and restaurants close by and we were within 15 minutes walking distance of Capitol Hill. Both Madison Valley and Capitol Hill are great neighborhoods to check out

Explore

Pike Place Market Yes, Pike Place Market is a complete tourist destination, but I still had a lot of fun stopping by the shops, watching them throw fish, and drinking coffee from the original Starbucks.

Nature! If I had to sum up my thoughts on Seattle, I would say “Go for the oysters / jobs, stay for the nature.” It absolutely blows my mind that the city is so close to so many state parks and gorgeous mountains. We spent most of our nature time at Snoqualmie Falls … and a few hundred other tourists.
Travel Tromp: Snoqualmie Falls

Have you been to Seattle? If so, any tips on where to eat/drink, places to stay, and where to explore?

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Makes Me Smile

Here are six things that are making me smile this Monday:

Smile #1: We recently had a friend stay with us a few nights while she was in the process of moving. As a way of saying thanks, she left us this cute salt and pepper shaker set.

Smile #2: When I arrived at my mother’s house Thursday, I found these little gifts waiting on the nightstand (minus the glasses and keys). The Pike Place cook book is perfect since we just got back from Seattle.

Smile #3: Every time I head up to the Bay Area, I make it a point to visit my favorite sushi restaurant, Shogun. In all honesty, the only sushi that I’ve had that tops their quality was in Tokyo, at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Smile #4: Seeing this dog makes me smile like no other. Roz is 15 and the most lovable dog there is.

Smile #5: This is my great grandmother. She’s 98 and wonderful, and puts the biggest smile on my face. Did I mention that she’s 98?!

Smile #6: This Monday, I’m smiling because I was able to witness my friend from high school marry the man of her dreams in the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen. Congratulations!

What’s making you smile this Monday?

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Travel Tromp: Seattle & Whidbey Island, Washington

I spent the last two weeks of May living out of a suitcase – and loved it. I started the vacation off with meeting Matt in Ohio to join him and his family in celebrating his little cousin’s graduation from college. Most of our time there was spent hanging out with family and we did little sightseeing of our own.

Whidbey Island

A few days later we (Matt and I, and his father, stepmother, and grandparents) packed up and flew to Washington state to visit Matt’s sister and nephews.

Adventure: Matt’s nephew’s kindergarten play! All of the kindergarteners put on a cute little performance called A Barnyard Moosical. Yes, Moosical. The kids were dressed as cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep. And it was just as cute as you could possibly imagine.

Seattle

Seattle! Where have you been all my life?! What a fantastic city. From the interesting shops in Pike Public Market,  to the good eats, I completely fell in love with everything Seattle. Except the lack of diversity – not a whole lot of that going on, from what I could see.

Yum: Taylor Shellfish Farms. Although I recently made the switch to a more vegetarian lifestyle, I’ve found it difficult to stay away from seafood. And I have a particularly difficult time saying no to freshly shucked oysters. Clearly, I was tempted from the moment I spotted this restaurant tucked away on a little side street. So tempted that I dragged Matt there for a second (and larger) meal the following day.

Adventure: Urban hiking! Our hotel was in downtown (a few blocks away from the Pike Public Market), but we really wanted to get out and explore different parts of the city. While we spent most of our time walking up to and around Capitol Hill (where my lovely sorority sister Sheryl played tour guide for us), it was great to adventure out and explore side streets and parks without a set plan.

After our time in Seattle we headed out to the Gorge to watch the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Here are a couple of pictures from our time on the Island and in Seattle. Excuse the photo quality – I only had my iPhone with me all trip!

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