My husband likes to say he grew up in Shangri-La and when we visit his hometown of Carmel, California, it’s easy to see why, even with all of the changes that have happened over the last five decades. Amongst the new McMansions you can still see pockets of forest that he and his friends played in. In the early mornings, you can imagine what it would’ve been like to walk the beach before so many tourists began to visit. Have you ever been to Carmel-By-The-Sea? You may know it because of one of its famous mayors–Clint Eastwood. I’m fortunate to have married into a family that has lived there since the mid-1960’s, well before Mr. Eastwood became a resident.
This last weekend we took a weekend trip there to visit my in-laws and my stepson who is currently living with his grandparents. On on of our traditional morning beach walks, the topic of the pros and cons of living in California came up. There’s a lot of talk in the media about all of its ills (and there are quite a few), but some of those complaints are actually misrepresentations. For example, taxes. It’s always portrayed that we pay so much more in taxes, but it turns out that we may actually pay less than say…Texas. I think people who like to criticize California also underestimate its inherent beauty and the diversity we have both in people and geography.
I am a California native, born and bred. I was born in Pasadena, the home of the Rose Parade and still live only 15 minutes away from the parade route. I’ve only lived outside of the state for 6 months, when my family moved to Houston, Texas. (What a traumatic experience!) While the San Gabriel Valley is no Carmel, I can see the mountains outside my window and the beach is just a little over 30 minute drive. How could I live in another state?