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Old 07-17-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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One year ago, as I was preparing to move away from my long time home in Silicon Valley and out of California for good, I wrote some of my thoughts I would and would not expect to miss.

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//www.city-data.com/forum/san-j...iss-about.html

Now, one year later, I would like to record a few more thoughts about the reality of what I miss (or don't) after actually being away for a while. This is not in any meant to be a bash on the valley or on CA in general, but hopefully some of you who find yourselves thinking of moving away at times may glean a little insight from my experience.

Things I miss about SV (and CA)
1) Swimming - The South Bay Area was not exactly a swimmer's paradise (like say, the Big Is. of Hawaii), but there are so many out door pools around and they can really be used year round. In my new home I would not even know where to find an outdoor pool and even if I could, it's only really swimmable for a few months out of the year, and would probably be completely packed with kiddies. No thanks.
2) The Coast - Even though I never really went out there more than a few times a year, and it was often fogged in when I did, it was still just nice knowing that there was an ocean there and that I could go visit when I wanted without having to book an airline ticket.
3) Paddling - I am a (flatwater) kayaker and the Bay Area is fantastic for that as long as you don't mind driving a bit. Especially Monterey Bay where, conditions permitting, you could always see seals, seal lions and otters from a few feet away. (are you sensing a water theme here?)
4) The rest of the state - Further afield... Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Napa, Sonoma, Redwoods, Big Sur, and so on... Need I say more?
5) San Francisco - I'm not a huge SF fan and I had no interest in living there, even when my job opened an office right in downtown. BUT, liek the coast, it was just nice to know it was there. Also, seeing Bonds hit balls into the coves is one of the greatest things in sports. But those days are over anyways nd Coors Field is pretty nice too.
6) The Food - Mainly of the ethnic variety. Most of it we have here in CO if you don;t mind driving a ways, but it's just not the same. (on the upside i save a lot of money by eating at home a lot more)
7) The diversity - It is good to get to see other cultures right in your own area and to appreciate the differences but also see that we're all essentially the same. CO does not seem like a racist place to me, but many folks have limited excperience in dealing with neighbors from so many different backgrounds.

Things I DON'T miss about SV (and CA)
1) Housing - In CA, I had a mobile home and a driveway which (including space rent) cost me over two thousand a month. The nearest of my 1000+ immediate neighbors was about 30 feet away. In CO, I have a beautiful lakefront home on 1/4 acre with the nearest neighbor 300 feet away and it costs me just over $1000 for everything. (part of the reason it's so cheap for me here is I was able to put my CA equity to good use, if you know what I mean, but you get the point...)
2) Mountain Access - The Bay Area is nice, but even to go on the simplest hike I usually had to drive between 20 minutes to an hours, and in the summertime it was often was hard to find parking at the trailhead. Now I have Open Spaces, Regional Parks, National Forests and su much more, located between 100 feet and 5 miles from my front door.
3) The Weather - Don't get me wrong, I had no complaints about CA weather when I lived there, and there are days that I wish I did not have to worry whether my BBQ might be interrupted by a thundering hailstorm or not. However, now that I've experienced some real seasons, I'm really not missing that yellow dot inside a blue square that you see in the Bay Area forecast EVERY SINGLE DAY for months on end.
4) Hustle and Bustle - That goes without saying. We have our own urban sprawl along the front range, which I fortunately manage to avoid 90% of the time, but even when i do have to go to the city, it seems tame compared to the bay Area.
5) The Diversity - Didn't I say I missed that? Yes, I did, and I do. Yet, even though I'm white and whites are never really recognized a minority, in the Bay Area, or at least in my neighborhood, I was a minority there. And like any real minority would say, it has certain challenges. Mainly what was difficult at times for me was sharing public spaces - stores, transit, the sidewalk, or whatever, with many people from other cultures who don't really have the same sense of etiquette or other social rules as i was raised with. FOR EXAMPLE, trying to check out at a store and someone is standing like one foot away from you with smelly curry breath because they just don't understand that that is not polite here. Did that sound racist? Possibly. Perhaps it's just a mater of overcrowding and race should have nothing to do with it, but I just don't experience the same thing here, even in the city.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:52 AM
 
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Default Agree

As a fellow SV resident who moved out of CA a year ago, I completely agree with your post. I agree with everything, including not frequenting SF, but still missing it simply because it isn't close enough anymore. Missing Monterey, Napa and all the other places which are within an hour or so's drive. I am also NOT missing our home there and love the homes here. I am an Indian and do not miss the curry breath - and no I do not believe that it makes you racist. Its just something that I wish more of my countrymen would try to get rid of
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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The only quibble I have is with the idea of using pools year round. Swimming when it's 55 (maybe 60 on a nice day) in December & January? I don't think so...not even in a heated pool.

I think the swim season is more like mid-April to the end of October. Pretty good, but definitely not 'year round'.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:00 PM
 
Location: yeah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The only quibble I have is with the idea of using pools year round. Swimming when it's 55 (maybe 60 on a nice day) in December & January? I don't think so...not even in a heated pool.

I think the swim season is more like mid-April to the end of October. Pretty good, but definitely not 'year round'.
Nothing wrong with swimming whenever. A pool in the winter still beats the ocean in the summer, at least with regard to temperature.

I assume you're not including hot tubs, which are no doubt a year-round luxury.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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Its funny you mentioned the weather as something you won't miss about SV, because that happens to be the number one thing that attracts me to that area. As a lifelong DC metro area resident, I've grown to hate the winters here (yeah I know, my friends from Chicago call me a wimp), and the summers are just too humid.

I find the weather in SV to be perfect for me. Comfortable temps with low humidity.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Interesting observations treedonkey. I found many similarities while I lived right down the road from you in Colorado Springs with my family. As I always say, no place is perfect, just a different set of pros/cons. You basically trade one set for another when you move to a new location.

For us the things we missed the most were:
1. The Coast - this was number one for me and the primary reason for returning.
2. Weather - this is really related to the opporunities for year round activities such as hiking, going to the beach, biking, etc...
3. Proximity to family - mostly in CA although some are still in CO
4. Cultural diversity and a general openness toward ppl from all over world - proximity to international cities have this effect I think
5. Open mindedness and friendliness toward outsiders - ppl tend to keep to themselves and their own more in CO. Its a different way of life.

Once I realized I would eventually come home to the coast at some point it was just a matter of where and when. We seriously considered Portland and even checked out neighborhoods where we might buy our next home. Alas there were some family health issues with relatives in CA and my wife wanted to be closer to home. So we said basically if we were ever return to CA we wanted to live somewhere near Monterey or Santa Cruz and Not in a crowded, smoggy, high traffic area again. After living in LA County for 40 years I had enough for one lifetime. And then not long after that discussion I was contacted by a recruiter out of the blue asking if I would consider relocating to Monterey. I about fell out of my chair. LOL...

Now that we are back I feel like we are enjoying the best of both worlds - low crowds, wide open spaces, biking and hiking in our backyard year round and beauty galore. All I can say in this case is that God is good. We are really glad to be back in CA now. Of course as I mentioned no place is perfect, although Monterey is pretty darn close. But with such a nice area COL is definately higher. That is really the only down side I guess for us now. We sold our nice big home in CO with a view of the Rockies from all floors. And we are definately living more modestly here. But that trade of is worth it for us to live here.

I think I remember when you first moved to CO. It was about the same time we were making our plans to head back West.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 07-26-2009 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Mysticaltyger - I guess it's a matter of preference, I preferred to swim in the wintertime (in a heated pool) in CA because I would almost always have it to myself. But then, I used to go swimming at midnight in half moon bay every Februrary, and I even broke the ice once in Mammoth and got in. Makes ya tough... Never could join the polar bear club though.

Novaman - yeah, I lived in NOVA myself for a few years and had a really hard time dealing with the humidity in the summertime. We don't have that problem here though, and I love the winters. I certainly didn't mind the CA weather while I was there, but it hasn't been a big source of homesickness since we left.

MtnSurfer - Yes, Monterey is very nice indeed. I lived there for a couple years as well and, as far as outdoor activities, I probably miss paddling my kayak among seals and otters there in the Bay and the slough more than anything. If we ever do move back to CA I will do everything I can to make sure it's somewhere on the central coast. But for the foreseeable future that would be pretty tough to pull off financially. In the meantime, that beautiful mountain range across the street keeps us pretty satisfied.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treedonkey View Post

MtnSurfer - Yes, Monterey is very nice indeed. I lived there for a couple years as well and, as far as outdoor activities, I probably miss paddling my kayak among seals and otters there in the Bay and the slough more than anything. If we ever do move back to CA I will do everything I can to make sure it's somewhere on the central coast. But for the foreseeable future that would be pretty tough to pull off financially. In the meantime, that beautiful mountain range across the street keeps us pretty satisfied.
Yep, the view over there is pretty awesome. I remember waking up everyday to Pike's Peak out our window. And sunsets were nice as well:





Derek
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Yep, the view over there is pretty awesome.
Indeed, as much as I loved the benefits of CA-living for all those years (except for my Long Beach days), if I ever decide to go back for any reason, it will be hard to give up this view from my front yard.
Attached Thumbnails
Things I do and don't miss about Silicon Valley-dsc02824.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treedonkey View Post
Indeed, as much as I loved the benefits of CA-living for all those years (except for my Long Beach days), if I ever decide to go back for any reason, it will be hard to give up this view from my front yard.
Nice view! You are right on the lake. I have a friend from CA who moved out there with his family ~ 15 years ago and bought a ranch right on the lake as well. Its a great area thats for sure.
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