California dreamin’: the left coast is awesome

But you need to know a few things before moving there…

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTKellyColumn copyMy family and I just returned from the most amazing vacation to southern California. It was SO good that none of us wanted to come back to Pennsylvania. And, that is saying something when you have two teenagers.

What made it so spectacular? The weather. How could you not love low (to no) humidity, wall to wall sunshine and temps in the 80’s EVERY DAY! Really. Yes, they are in the midst of a crippling drought…but, it was all good in my book.

Here are my TOP TEN “If You Want to Live in Cali” suggestions:

1. Exercise. A lot. The people there are very, VERY fit. I noticed that the women, no matter the age, were slim and muscular. Again, the weather is such that there are no excuses not to get outside and workout!


You can’t beat the views on the West Coast.

2. Stock up on sunscreen. We went through about $50 worth of spray in a week.

3. Buy a dog. Everyone had a dog. Everyone. There were water bowls all along the Strand (a stretch of paved walkway that runs the length of the beach) and “doggy bagels” in the cafes.

4. Pick a team. You’re either a Dodgers fan or an Angels fan. You can’t be on the fence. They are serious about it.

5. Buy a wet suit. Whether you are surfing or just boogie boarding, it was the fashionable accessory to own. Plus, if you wear a wet suit to the beach, you are going to look like a native…especially if you carry your board over your head. Dude.

6. If you are male and over the age of 50, you fist bump the barista when you get your coffee. No lie. We saw it over and over again. Weird.

7. Shoes are optional at Starbucks. Ewww.

8. Be ready to sloooooooow down. Things are chill, man. No hurry. (This was difficult for my East Coast personality to handle)

9. Except when it comes to the TRAFFIC. Then, you go at death defying speeds and cut people off….until you come to a screeching halt and sit for 45 minutes.

10. Save your pennies. Real estate is expensive. Our “cozy” 3 bedroom (albeit a few blocks from the beach and beautifully updated) sold for a mere 1.5 million last year.

Ready to go? I’ll be your tour guide! Call me.

Happy Weekend!

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  1. Ellen Good says:

    I want as many people as possible to move to California. I am from California, grew up there, elementary school through SDSU graduating with a Masters’s, lived there most of my life. I moved to Pennsylvania a few years ago, live in Unionville, and love it. I wouldn’t move back to California if my life depended on it, even though all my relatives are there.

    But I am encouraging everyone to move there, and I tell everyone how awful the weather is here in PA so nobody will move here and ruin my bucolic existence.

    • Mike McGann says:

      Ellen, as a fellow California native (Orange Co.), I totally agree. In a previous magazine editing career, I had to spend a lot of time in So. Cal. and was always happy when I got off the plane to come home….to Chester County.

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