Washingtonian Views on California

Today, I thought it would be fun to write a post that’s been lingering in a “blog post ideas” note on my iphone for a while now. And the post would be what Washington people think of California.

As most of you know, I’m from San Luis Obispo, California; a charming little sliver of beach like heaven on the central coast of California.

pismo beach, ca.

When I moved up here in the early summer of 2016, I’ll admit a lot of people didn’t know about San Luis, unless they were commonly rejected from CalPoly or obsessively remembered where Zac Efron grew up (proud to say we’re from the same area).

But what I found more interesting were people’s interpretations of California-especially for those Washingtonians who have never been to California.

shell beach, ca.

So, when I first moved up here, the first people I really knew were at my place of work, Tommy Hilfiger. I worked at the one in San Luis Obispo county, so I was able to transfer to the one in Washington fairly easily.

my last day at tommy hilfiger in pismo beach, ca.

My new boss had told my new coworkers that a new lead (me) would be joining the team soon, from California. My coworkers later told met hat they thought I would be coming from the LA area, and that I’d be one of those girls obsessed with drinking green smoothies, who always toted around their little yorkie, chihuahua, or whatever. Hand to God, they really thought this.

It was amusing to me how far off their predictions or assumptions were about me. I guess when people think of California, they automatically imagine southern California, where the beaches are hot, where Disneyland lives, and where you can ride bikes down boardwalks underneath palm trees.

christmas at disneyland, 2013.

Maybe it’s slightly ignorant of me to assume everyone up here has been to California-because surprisingly many people I’ve talked to actually haven’t been. I just thought people are always so infatuated with California (more specifically LA) because of how magical so many movies make it out to be.

infamous musso & franks restaurant in hollywood, ca.

I remember back when I was a barista, a regular customer told me he had finally gone to hollywood, and had checked out Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Stars-all the touristy things. I asked how he liked it and he said it was disgusting; it was crowded, hot, and reeked of urine.

I couldn’t help but laugh of course, because there’s hardly anything magical about the touristy side of Hollywood. But everyone has different expectations, and even different experiences so who am I to judge.

grauman’s chinese theater, spring break 2014.

I’m not bashing anyone in this article, because we’re only human, and we’ll always assume things about places whether we mean to or not.

As someone who had lived in California for 21 years, I found it very interesting to hear what people thought of it. I still find it fun to talk about if the opportunity presents itself in conversation.

I will say the most annoying thing I hear when usually having this conversation is “why would you LEAVE California?” People would legitimately be dumbfounded that I would have the audacity to leave California but you know what, it’s just what I wanted to do and I know it was the right choice.

Of course, now that I’ve been living in Washington, now I could say oh you know to move up here you’ll need to get the PNW starter package that has birckenstocks, a patagonia half zip, overpriced leggings, a carhartt beanie, and a yeti tumbler that is your unofficial uniform when you drive your subaru through the mountains searching for bigfoot.

glorious fall in washington.

Needless to say, I like Washington a whole lot.