- Real Mexican food. Everywhere. Cheap.
- Gay people. Everywhere. And straight people not freaking the hell out about them. How refreshing.
- Year-round fresh produce at every store, every market, every street corner, all the time. Berries, citrus, greens, grapes, olives, broccoli, avocados, and on and on and on.
- Beaches around every turn. I especially love how each one has its own particular character - a boardwalk with an amusement park, a secluded stretch of rocky shore, a forested wonderland, a surfer's paradise, a sea-glass garden, and so much more that I haven't discovered yet.
- The wide variety of natural landscapes. In addition to the plethora of beaches, there are redwood forests, eucalyptus forests, deserts (not very close to me, but they're here), mountains, and quarries.
- The surfer vibe. While I don't surf, I'm happier to spend the winter surrounded by surfers than skiers (which I also don't do) because while everyone's surfing, there are still 735 other things for me to do in this beautiful weather. In a lovely little ski town, while everyone's skiing, all there is for me to do is sit inside, try to stay warm, and wish I had a boyfriend or husband to distract me from the cold loneliness (oh wait. . .)
- Medical marijuana. I'm not saying I use it, I'm just saying it's cool that it exists here, so out in the open (there are dispensaries everywhere) and so without the back-alley taboo that it still holds in many places back east. The times are a-changin' for sure.
- The "scenery." Beards, tattoos, and surfer shoulders, oh my.
|The Monterey Bay Tuesday night market|
|Driving through a eucalyptus forest|
|Redwoods. There is magic in these trees.|
|Breakfast on the Capitola Wharf, with the otters|
|The "scenery." Yum.|