Monday Coffee Read: Things No One Tells You When You Move From Southern California

I saw this post floating around Facebook from blogger, Michael Peckerar, of, “20 Things No One Tells You About When Moving Out of California”. Michael moved from outside of Los Angeles to North Carolina to go to college. Clearly this resonated with me so I had to bite and read it. I couldn’t help but laugh because he is 100% accurate. Now, mind you I left OC to go to school in the mountains of North Carolina in 1993 but it looks like some things just don’t change.

So this blog post is dedicated to my friends and ISP fans that live in and love SoCal no matter where you have roamed. Hope this brightens your Monday!

This countdown is from and then commented on by me:

20.  You have an accent


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Moving to NC I stuck out like a sore thumb: Petite blonde dressed in my Wet Seal get up, a VW white cabriolet with cow seat covers and California plates. I was told constantly I talk too fast (which I do) and had a “California accent”. Whatever that is….

19.  The Mexican food is terrible


Nope & no thank you. Photo from google images

1,000% valid and verified. Those that know me know that I don’t mess around with Mexican food. The first indicator of a good Mexican restaurant is salsa. If the salsa sucks, so will everything else, period. It is true that one can also screw up chips and margaritas. Now, I am not a stellar cook but everyone knows I KNOW how to cook Mexican food and have yet to find a recipe that rivals the Downey margaritas. I am quite certain that the only reason my husband’s family took a liking to me so quickly was that I brought over my homemade margaritas (no pre-made mixes allowed) to a large family gathering. See, I know my market and clientele.

18. You will become a traffic snob


photo from

Californians consider the fact that we learned to drive on SoCal freeways a reason to get out of a ticket in any other part of the country – or world for that matter. It’s just a right of passage. I cannot count the number of times I was pulled over in North Carolina my first two years in college. Although it could have possibly been because of speed I was convinced it was discrimination against my California plates, convertible and blonde hair. True story.

17. Most people have never heard of Social Distortion


Once a listener, always a listener – KROQ. Photo credit

Can’t say I am a big fan but they play them on KROQ so that’s enough for me. However I really did think the world knew of KROQ and Kevin & Bean – I mean doesn’t everyone? I missed this radio station and its’ alternative music so much I had my Dad make cassette tapes of their flashback lunch hour several times a month to mail to my dorm my freshman year of college. Yes, I said cassette tapes- don’t judge.

16. Everyone wants to know if you’ve been to Compton


Irvine, CA – suburbia at its’ finest. photo credit

Somewhat true. For me in 1993 it was “did you see the L.A. riots?” and “oh, you lived in the riots area, didn’t you?”. Um, sure. If anyone has been to Irvine before you would understand why it didn’t even seem like the same state let alone 40 miles away. For those that aren’t familiar with Irvine, it was the country’s first fully planned community equipped with so many houses per square mile, parks and shopping centers. So perfectly manicured, safe and created around a nationally known school system UCLA at one time had a course dedicated to it. We all just thought it was awful and boring. Now with kids, we all REALLY appreciate it.

15. No matter where you are from, it’s Beverly Hills


Beverly Hills 90210. Can you all tell why I call my husband, “Brandon Walsh”? Photo credit

Again, this was the 90’s. Brandon and Brenda, Kelly and Dylan – this was the environment some thought we were raised in. I can’t say Irvine was 90210, but I will say I would get homesick watching the show in NC and it made me feel a little more at home. 🙂

14. You  will never have good produce again


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True, we do have amazing produce here – hence the juicing capital of the world. Believe me if I had a personal chef I would have fresh fruit and veggie juice awaiting for me and the kids at 8:00am…I mean 6:00am (let’s be realistic with twin 4 year olds).

13. Nobody puts “the” before freeway names


THE 405 freeway. Photo credit

Let’s discuss. I never ever saw this one coming. I started with saying things like “the 77” and I distinctly remember someone saying to me, “do you really consider highways a noun?”. Yes, our freeways are evil and unforgiving – therefore they deserve their own persona. Spend one trip in rush hour on the 405 freeway on a Monday then let me know your opinion.

12. Your NFL affiliation is completely random


One from my personal collection- NFL halftime show. Photo credit Kim Downey

True. Once upon a time we had a team called the Rams. Growing up we had season tickets and then I had cheer coaches who were Rams cheerleaders. I still remember her name, “Mischa”. She was a freak of nature for sure. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to be a Carolina Panthers fan here since we don’t have a team anyone cares about. Because let’s be honest – no one here really cares about the Chargers and we just hate the Raiders altogether.

11. You will crave In-N-Out like it’s crack


Local for us locals – In-N-Out.

Can I tell you how many visitors I have had come visit over the years that want to hit this infamous burger joint before anything else? Now when I pick up someone from LAX I just instinctively veer off the 405 (see, THE 405) to get them one at midnight. Myself I didn’t miss it too much as I don’t eat red meat but I will say even I will indulge myself in an In-N-Out burger at times.

10.  Everyone thinks you surf


Huntington Beach, OC

This is also true. Sadly, I haven’t tried but I was a dang good boogie boarder growing up. The way I see it is if you can stand swimming in the cold arctic water of SoCal and duck large waves swimming further out in the ocean that’s impressive enough.

9.  Humidity is a thing – and it sucks


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Yes, yes it does. I never really had a bad hair day until I moved to the South. Not to mention my skin had a conniption. Nothing breaks out your skin like cheering for 3 hours straight on a football field in 90% humidity in August with about 5 lbs of make-up on.

8. You will forget San Diego exists


I had to laugh at this one. At first glance I thought, “no, that’s not true”, then I read his explanation underneath and thought, “yeah, he is actually right”. I can’t explain why, San Diego is a gorgeous place but LA residents don’t care about anything south of LA and OC natives think anything outside of OC boarders is “scary”. It’s not called the “Orange Curtain” for nothing.

7. You need to know at least one famous person


“That’s what she said” -Michael Scott. Photo credit Kim Downey

I loved Michael’s explanation here, “You’re from California, do you know anyone famous?”. I did get this question a lot actually at first. I know a couple of famous people but trust me I know a lot more stories about famous people from first hand witnesses….countless stories. I know a lot of people who could make A LOT of money on the things they have seen if they chose to call reporters. Lucky for them my friends are all really decent people that care more about causing someone problems than some money for spilling the beans.

6. You will actually miss earthquakes


Carnage from the recent 2014 Napa quake. Photo credit

Yes, I would trade tornadoes for a 7.0 earthquake any day. As long as I am not at Disneyland at the bottom of Pirates of the Caribbean, I am good with shaking it up a bit while sitting at my desk as long as my kids are within reach.

5. Normal stuff is famous


Hollywood sign, Staples Center, Disneyland, Malibu…..sadly we don’t even consider this special.

4. Sublime didn’t exist before “What I got”

Again, back to KROQ. They are the trendsetters, am I right?

3. No one else cares about area codes


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WHAT? Your area code is everything. Everything. I will hold onto my 949 cell forever as pretty soon we all know Irvine alone will get its own area code growing at such an obscene rate.

2.  You have been breathing poison


Poison? What poison? Photo credit

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Okay so we can’t be perfect, right? But you have to admit that one day of the year it rains here Catalina looks pretty amazing on a clear day. Now, go buy your cleanse to rinse all this poison out of your body.

1. You will miss it everyday


My heart always was here. Photo credit

Yep. I had quite a chip on my shoulder itching to get back. Each trip back here the second my feet stepped off the plane at LAX and you get that first gust of air between the aircraft and the walkway attached was just euphoric to me. The smells, the people, the laid-back lifestyle and attitude just always felt like home. People that believe Californians are all like what they see on “Real Housewives” are so mistaken. I missed these people here so much I couldn’t wait to get back and jump right back in where I left off, and I did. I even married one – one that will never move from California. Guess I found my way back for good.


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