Tuesday, January 17, 2012

California vs. Kentucky part I

There's no debating that this move has been and will continue to be challenging for me. Other than the 9 months I lived with my Dad in Utah when I was 9, I've never lived outside of Southern California. Ever. This also means I own just three pairs of close-toed shoes. Over the past 3months as I've slowly expanded wardrobe (I am the proud owner of 4 pairs of rain boots), I started noticing some of the diferences between these two states. I've decided I will try to document the aftershocks of moving my family across the country. Yes, I will use an earthquake analogy because I have lived through several so I can. How fierce is that? If you don't get my sense of humor yet, I suggest you stop reading now. :)

1. Weather: California has the absolute best weather in the country. Don't try to fight me on this one. All of you who say they like to "experience all the seasons" are talking out of k├╣pcha (that's a Native American word, but I'm sure you can figure it out). Waking up to sunshine almost every day is glorious. You would never prefer waking up to gray skies and torrential down pour or scraping frost off your windshield before work. Puh-lease, rent a cabin in Big Bear if you're jonesing to see the snow then go back home to the warm sunshine. The rain was coming down so hard today I was convinced I would see little dents on the hood of my car! Curiously, after taking G2 to gymnastics and picking up G1 from school it was 55 degrees and sunny. I had to peel off my layers. Yes, this was all in one day. I must say I do love it when I stop, stand still and can see the clouds moving across the sky. Literally watching a storm pass is pretty neat. 

2. People: This is a tough one for me to admit, but after I held up traffic 3 separate times today by looking at my smart phone/kids/strangers I realized that nobody honked at me, I say that's a Kentucky win. I totally got an anxious feeling when I realized the light was green and I was still stopped. At home if you didn't get off that line immediately somebody was laying on their horn. There are evil awful and extremely kind people everywhere. I will say that many people chat me up when I'm out and about and because there is less rush, there's more time to talk. Ok, the people are nice. I'm still adjusting because I think being so trusting is strange, but I will agree with Mr. G who has always talked about how friendly other states are. You win (so glad he doesn't read this). I've spent time in both Utah and Missouri and people are equally as friendly there for what it's worth.

3. Driving: Sorry Kentucky, but you can't drive. There is just one "freeway" here and it's not even a freeway. A freeway is defined as "an express highway with no intersections". New Circle Road or KY 4, is exactly that...a circle. If you miss your exit or get lost, just keep going because eventually you will end up where you started. Also, if you stay on long enough you will suddenly be on a regular street with intersections, businesses, and cross streets. Definitely not the 5, 15, 210, or 101. One might think that without the 405 freeway, gridlock and 6 lane highways, there might be less accidents. WRONG! I have seen an accident almost every single day for the last 3 months. I'm convinced people can't drive here because they just don't need to drive well. In Southern California defensive driving is vital to your survival! Either learn to drive-and drive well-or get off the road because you'll be dead! Here there is little to no motivation here. Just mosey on by sippin' your Ale-8-One. 

4. Cost of living: This is a tricky one. I haven't even touched on my home owning woes, but don't worry I'll get there eventually. Quick summary: Mr G & I bought at the height of the market and almost immediately after moving in, that growing bubble burst and the value of our home dropped vastly. We were sick about it and our family was out growing our starter home (G2!) so we decided to buy again. We thought the market had fallen far enough and would either settle or start rising once again. Moved in to newer, larger home and felt we got a deal! Then the prices kept dropping so now we were paying off 2 houses completely underwater. I know Kentucky has seen changes in the real estate market and job availability, but nothing quite compares to the severity California experienced. This is refreshing, but also means we can't really "snag" a home here for super cheap like we could in California (it's relative, really). It is comforting to know things are more stable here and I do look forward to buying again someday. Renting after owning for 7 years isn't much fun other than not owing property taxes. Other than home owning, things are reasonably priced here. Some things I find are comparable or similarly priced. I have no idea how one particular estheticians who specializes in waxing can charge $65 for a brazilian bikini wax and survive! The famous "Pink Cheeks" in Hollywood doesn't even charge that, but there are also many things that are cheaper here. We have eaten out a lot lately and almost every time we get the bill, Mr. G is grinning. We play a little game where he asks me what I think it costs or what it would have costed in CA compared to what we really owe. Dinner for this family of 5 G's isn't always cheap and it's fun to be able to go out now and again with all the G-girls. Of course there are nice or trendy places that charge more, but for the most part it's affordable in my opinion. I think the most we've paid for a meal was at the "Table 310" restaurant in downtown Lexington. Again, I'm sure many here might not agree that things are cheap, but coming from SoCal I disagree. So this is a win for Kentucky.  

5. Death and funerals: This is really more of an anecdote. For the first week I saw police cars escorting a train of cars obviously driving from a funeral to a burial site DAILY. It started to creep me out. Seemed like a lot of people were dying every single day and when I stopped to think about it, I couldn't remember the last time I saw a funeral precession back home, aside from the few funerals of family members I had personally attended over the past 20 years. Did people just come to Kentucky to die? Was it like the limbo-life of LOST where you didn't realize what was happening until the final episode and then you were still lost? ;) One afternoon Mr. G & I were driving and he pointed out A FUNERAL HOME within 1 mile from our home. DUH! Ok, so the reason I saw them so often is because I lived so close to a funeral home. Phew! :) I saw a funeral procession again today which is why that story is fresh in my mind, but interestingly I haven't seen one lately. Maybe a lot of people died from shock when they heard I was moving to Kentucky. Or maybe they offed themselves, like all exceptional people I know I have some Ashley-haters too. ;)

Since I am new here and enjoy learning about my new surroundings, I have a question. Is Lexington, KY considered the south? Is it the midwest? I see and hear much debate about this. Mr. G tells me it's the south, but it's definitely not the deep south. So if anyone has any opinons on this I would love to hear it.
Also, I would love to hear from you and am curious to know what you'd like to hear about from me! So be sure to visit me on Facebook here: Me & The G's. With a career in social media under my belt, I am always online. See you soon!

-Mrs. G

G1 & G2 on a visit to KY in January 2011. Never imagined we would be residents a year later!


  1. in lexington - you aren't 'south' of very many places.
    i live in springfield, mo... south of you. and people here do not think we live in the south. they say - 'mid-west'
    but that is a geographic definition...
    another could be cultural.... because i'm pretty sure kentucky was a confederate state.
    (people from california don't care to remember about that)
    because we have disneyland.
    nuff said

  2. Ugh, Lexington is NOT midwest. We're not nearly utilitarian enough to be midwestern, thank goodness. All you need to do is look around and see that every third car has a monogram on the back of it to know that this is the SOUTH!

    Oh, and to clarify, Kentucky was a BORDER state, unfortunately not truly part of the Confederacy. But we're still below the Mason-Dixon line, so it counts! :)

  3. That is kind of creepy about the funeral processions! uh! Ashley put me in the category of weirdos who prefer the rainy/overcast days to sunny ones! There is nothing better than walking in the rain, or the wonderful feeling of being inside with a grey day outside! Love it!!!

  4. I'm sure it is a HARD adjustment! I'm a friend of your husband's from a looooong time ago, by the way. I moved to eastern KY for 2 years and that was enough culture shock for me, and I can't even imagine your change! If you need help with anything, let me know. Hunter is on my fb. I also have 2 close friends from Cali who might help you adjust!

  5. We moved out near Louisville in November of 2013. We felt the same about everything you said, just about. However, we ended up moving back to So Cal 2 years later...Last November. It is now July, '16 and we are ready and planning to go back for good. Kentucky is great. So Cal is great in many ways....diversity, food (especially mexican and In N' Out, and Chinese. But all in all, you get WAY more for your money when it comes to houses. It is a straight up fact. You can buy a mansion in KY for less than half what a condo in Orange County or LA runs...with land. Can't wait till the year or so is up for us to return....

    Oh, yeah I miss those summer thunderstorms, and some of the winter snows....but NEVER the humidity!