Holiday in California
#two in a series on first time
Should any of you have been wondering why I haven’t been posting, I have a good excuse. My husband and I spent 15 days in California. This was the first time for me. The distance from Denmark and the vast difference in nature and size overwhelmed me even from before the departure. Mentally preparing I convinced myself that once I was there, I would feel entirely at home and I did.
The reason for the travel
I “met” the author and blogger Paula Pederson three years ago on the internet via one of my first posts on my father’s uncle Waldemar, who immigrated to Seattle in 1912. Our friendship developed and my husband helped to search for her father Hans Pederson Danish background. (There is a Google translation button on Henry’s posts.)
Hans Pederson showed up through her research to have been a famous builder of Seattle until his death in 1933 leaving Paula 27 days old. In her book, she tells her story of finding her father, all hidden from her, and trying to understand her mother, who never wanted to talk about her past. You can see more about her book here. We got a Thanksgiving invitation to meet her at her daughter’s home in Oxnard in the LA area. When do I get such a chance again? I plan to blog some details of our travel on following issues
6 days in San Francisco
Transported by Amtrak
Two days in Monterey
Seven days in Oxnard
We finally met, and it was as we felt that we knew each other from the start. I highly recommend seeing some of your blogging friends. It was hard to say goodbye.
Things that strike a foreigner
We met people who greeted us on our walks. Getting in contact with Americans was easy. It hit me though that many people didn’t speak English. Some didn’t have a clue if we asked about how to find something we knew was nearby. Could it be that many in small jobs know how to run their jobs but are not engaged in what is in the surroundings?
We had porcelain dishes and steel cutlery a few places in a hotel and a restaurant. Everywhere else you have to use disposable plates and cutlery. Vast amounts of cardboard and plastic are thrown out. Water supplies are waining so I found it a good thing that the water in restrooms is reused.
I really enjoyed that smoking was not practised much. I am highly sensitive to passive smoking. I was thinking of the high risk of wildfires in California, and maybe that plays a role in the way smoking seems to have become unpopular.
We were amazed by the friendly way people were driving. We didn’t rent a car, so we had to walk or find a bus or be taken around by our new friends. As soon as we approached a crossing, the drivers slowed down and stopped. Sometimes even before we knew ourselves that we wanted to cross a street. I am sorry to say that in Europe you have to be patient to be able to pass a busy street.
Once we wanted to walk to a big shopping centre 1,1 miles up the hill from the centre of Monterey. There was a bus stop, but it only ran at Christmas and Thanksgiving. We finally got to the vast parking area and found that there were no sidewalks for pedestrians. We felt like a pair of trams. Next time in the United States we will make the Uber work before we leave Denmark. In Denmark, the unions have so much political power that it’s forbidden to operate Uber. We couldn’t make the App work as we needed to have it confirmed with our mobile number which wasn’t active in the U.S.A.
A short video of the traffic during our stay in the LA
Our kind hosts knew how to use all the backways to avoid that mass of traffic during the Thanksgiving days.
Now we are back in November humid and dark Denmark. Last night I finally slept well, and when I woke up I was confused a few seconds, trying to figure out which hotel I was on? Then the familiar things showed up, and I was home. Like when I still worked, after a holiday I couldn’t remember how to do specific routine stuff on the computer, so I had indeed been far away.
I hope you would like to get more posts on details from this exciting first experience on a few places in California