Category Archives: California

Logistics

So… The other day I mentioned that at the end of the month, Pippi, Squirt, and I are packing up and moving back to Florida.  What I didn’t mention is exactly how we are going to get there!

When I decided to move to California last year, I sold, donated, gave away, or threw away most of my belongings, including my car.  My remaining belongings fit into six boxes and three suitcases.  I shipped the boxes, checked the suitcases, and the cats and I got on non-stop flight from Fort Lauderdale to LAX.

The good news is that besides buying a car, I haven’t really acquired much since I moved to California.  If anything I have purged a bunch of stuff that, after shipping out here, I realized I never use or wear!

This time around though, selling my car isn’t really a viable option!  So what do I do?

Well… It looks like I am going to ship as much of my stuff as I can.  Then I am going to pack up what’s left of my clothes, my grooming tools, and the cats; shove them all in my little 2-door car; and drive 2,700 miles cross-country!  As far as I can tell it will take me four days of driving 10 to 12 hours a day!  This means four days confined to a small car with two unhappy felines; three nights of staying in strange hotels with them.

It is going to be a really long ride!  I so wish that I could afford to have my car shipped so the cats I and could just fly back!  When I took them on a plane to get them here they did much, much better than I expected… Hopefully the same will happen for driving us back to Florida!

P.S.  If you have any experience driving cats cross-country, please feel free to share any advice you may have!

Around The Bend

Heraclitus

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus was a self-taught pioneer of wisdom who is famous for his insistence on ever-present change in the universe.  He is credited with the following familiar sayings:

Everything flows, nothing stands still.

Nothing endures but change.

You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.

I can attest to the truth of his philosophy!  As I mentioned in my post Rotating Around the Sun, there have been so many changes for me in the last year.  Now another big one is coming around the bend.

When I wrote that post I mentioned that another short move was happening at the end of the month… Well it really shouldn’t be a surprise by now, but things have changed yet again.

I am both saddened and excited to say that at the end of January, after six months in California, Pippi, Squirt, and I will be packing up and moving back to the swamp-land that I call home… South Florida.

If I am being honest, I really couldn’t see myself staying here forever.  California is beautiful and interesting and I will miss the unique desert landscape and the mountains for sure… But I won’t miss the crazy temperatures and the dryness!  It will be nice to be closer to my family again, where everything is green, warm, and humid. 😛  (Also, it will be nice to go back to not having to pay any state taxes 😉 )

Two cross-country moves in the span of six months probably sounds like craziness… And it really kind of is… But trust me when I say that I have studied all the pros and cons and this is my best move for the time being.

After the big move I am not sure what will be in store for me… I am not sure that I will stay in Florida permanently or that California has seen the last of me 😛  Much like Heraclitus, the only thing that I am really certain of is that there will be change!

Winter Wonderland

As a native Floridian who has spent twenty-nine of her thirty years on this planet living in South Florida, I must admit that I don’t have a very good understanding of concepts such as “winter”, “cold”, or “snow.”

In fact, it was only this past January when I saw snow for the very first time!  Where I come from it is “freezing” out when it drops into the 50s; you can usually still wear short sleeves and sandals in January; and it is unlikely that you will be able to find things like snow boots, down jackets, or ice scrapers in most stores.

I mention this because when I moved to the desert I kind of expected the winters to be a bit like Florida; relatively warm and dry.  When I picture a desert in my mind I certainly don’t think of it as being a particularly cold place!  I was quite mistaken!

Most of this month the nightly lows have been down in the 30s!  A week or so ago it even got down into the teens.  I have a new understanding for what “freezing” really means!

What’s more, it even snows in the desert!  The other day we took a drive and headed over to the Devil’s Punchbowl where we got to play in the snow a bit.  I even threw my very first snowball! 😀

Now.. If you are reading this and you are a native Floridian like me, you are probably having a little trouble imagining what snow in the desert would even look like.  Luckily, I took some pictures. 😉

I know that this probably doesn’t look like much to those of you that have grown up with snow or lived in it for any period of time.  To someone like me though, this is quite the amazing “winter wonderland.” 🙂

 

The Desert Difference

In my Rotating Around the Sun post I mentioned that I now live in the Mojave Desert.

Things out here in the desert are so much different from where I grew up in South Florida!  I often find myself in amazement at how different the desert landscape is from my swampy home town.

For reference, here is what typical Florida scenery looks like…

Florida Scenery

Everything in Florida is wet and green.  It is hot and humid during the summer and you can expect almost daily rain storms.  There are lots of trees, clouds, and small critters and bugs, but no mountains to be seen sitting out on the horizon.

The Mojave Desert is quite hot in the summer as well, but that is where the similarities end!

Mojave Desert Landscape

The mountains on the horizon; the lack of trees, water, and small critters running around; the dry, brown earth… They are all so very different from what I saw everyday for the 29 years I lived in Florida!

Florida swamp land and California deserts are obviously vastly different. Yet, they have at least one thing in common; they are both strikingly beautiful in their own way!

I could go on, at length, about the vast differences.  For now though, I will leave you with a few more snapshots from around my new desert home.