Welcome to the fourth post in the Createyou86 Falloween Blog Series. In preparation for leaving beautiful California we wanted to recap what it has been like to live here for the past two years, and some of the things that you might want to know before you consider moving here.
From someone who has lived in 4 seasons her whole life it was a complete shock. We have been living right on the cusp of Norcal, and Socal (pretty much the desert), and boy is it HOT! While California has been in a horrible drought for several years (we will talk about that later) the weather remains consistent. It is not unusual for there to be months or 100 degree and above consecutive days. This past summer we had WEEKS where the temperature didn't get below 103 so if you love the hot weather Cali is definitely the place for you.
It is known all over the US that California is in dire need of rain, and LOTS of it! If you read the reports you will see that even if California started getting rain right this second it would take years for California to get to the water level that is needed to maintain. We have taken minimal showers, and only done laundry once a week. They are also constantly changing the water laws. As of right now in certain areas you cannot water your lawn on Monday's or you can be fined. You also aren't allowed to wash your car. For the first part of the year many car washes were shut down as well.
In most states the sales tax is the same throughout the state. However, in California the sales tax changes based on certain areas. In Central cali the sales tax is 7.5% (which is in my humble opinion absolutely ridiculous!) but California is also in a budget crisis as well. The only reason i found out about this is because i went to order from a company on Etsy, and when i went to check out the price changed even though i had added in shipping. I found out that it is because certain counties charge different sales tax if your mailing address is outside of their area. The person i happened to be ordering from was in Norcal. The increase of sales tax can be upwards of 10-15%.
Welcome to the state of inflation! Most people know that in LA gas prices can be upwards of $5.00 a gallon. The highest gas price that we have seen in central cali is somewhere around $4.90. It wasn't there for long, but on top of the crazy price there is a state tax of $.35 every time you use your debit/credit card at the pump. The usual hikes happen around the holidays as it does in most states.
You think you know how to drive?!
Until you get to California. I thought i knew how to drive growing up in the fastest growing county in the country, and around Philly (The turnpike, and Schuylkill). I got to California, and all of that changed. It would be a complete lie if i said that California traffic isn't as bad as everyone says it is. Every road you are on is either two or three lanes of traffic (I mean California is the most populated state in the US). Have you ever heard the term "flip a bitch"? This is another name for U-Turn's, and it was coined in Cali. You can U-Turn pretty much anywhere in Cali, and it is pretty nervewracking when there are three lanes of traffic 4 ways at an intersection. No one uses blinkers. This is one of the most frustrating things ever! You also have the "rolling stop" which is just as bad.
The scenery in California is beautiful. You can get mountains, and snow, and not far away you get sun, and sand. The best trip i took during our stay in California was to Cambria on the north coast of California. While driving into Cambria there are gorgeous luscious green hills, and the coastline in the distance is just as beautiful. You also have the Redwood Forest up north. Scenery is not something that California lacks.
If you know anything about California you know that it is synonymous with wine. Northern California is the most prime wine growing real estate in the entire country. There are over 400 wineries in Northern California alone. Sonoma, and Napa are the most recognized counties for wine, and you can find out more information here. If you are a wine lover, you would be in wine heaven. On our trip to Cambria we passed probably 20-30 wineries.
Overall our stay in California has been a learning experience. It has been enjoyable, hot, and something i would be open to doing again in a cooler part of California if prices came down (which i don't foresee in the future). We hope that this post has helped you learn a little bit more about California, and what you could expect from moving here.