I will officially have been living in California for 7 weeks today. It feels great to really settle in and get back to some sort of routines. However I know it will take a while to fully adjust to the California lifestyle. Obviously there are many differences being 2000+ miles away from Boston, and I wanted to share some of them with you. These are random thoughts .... strong emphasis on random.
- Church Life - it has been different going from the Northeast where Christianity is basically assumed to be dead and your church is considered a mega church when you hit a thousand in attendance ..... for Easter. Now I have the chance to attend real MEGA churches such as Hillsong LA and Saddleback. However I have also noticed that sadly the culture of entertainment and production has a strong influence on the churches around here. There have been several messages where I felt like it was more of a motivational speech than a sermon. One of the churches (will be left nameless) also preached about an event that was not in in the Bible at all. I was truly disappointed, but now I am excited to say I believe I found a church that I can call home.
- Blizzards > Wildfires - of course I knew about the wildfires. However I never fully realized that they never stop! I found this site that shows where the current wildfires are. Now most of them are up north around San Francisco/Sacramento area, but looking right now there are 9 different wildfires in California. That's crazy! I hope it is something I never run into, but I am getting used to the red flag warnings on my weather app now instead of blizzard warnings. Red flag warning = prime wildfire weather, but I was told not to worry where I live because it has already been burned. Cause that makes me feel so much better about it. You can see some of the fire on Youtube HERE.
- Grocery Bags - so in SoCal here, you actually have to purchase your grocery bags. I was so confused when there were no bags at Target at all and that you had to request paper bags to purchase. Later I found out that California is trying to push stores from using all these paper bags for the environment so if you want the bags you got to pay for them. Weird.
- Traffic - traffic here does not make sense. Boston has its rush hours and you know when to avoid Route 3 and 93, but LA traffic is anywhere at anytime. Some days it's a breeze and the next it takes 15 minutes to get a mile down the road. This doesn't bode well for someone always running late. Also you don't say "route" when referencing a highway, I mean "freeway". Here you just say "the 3". So for me, I would say I take "the 210" to work every day. I'm getting used to that now, and I'll probably be taking "the 93" instead of "route 93" when I get back to Boston.
- Animal Life - back home my biggest worry was a skunk or stray cat. Now that has changed. I have been told by my landlord that there has been a mountain lion in my yard sooooo that's just great. I'm keeping my eyes open. I haven't seen anything yet, but Stella will protect me and just sit on the mountain lion. She's a big cat if you didn't know that. #FatCat
- Music - so far I've only seen Johhnyswim in concert which was an incredible show! Next I have Switchfoot/Relient K the week of thanksgiving. Anyways, just going to Hillsong LA when I visited last year and most recently going to Mosaic, Reality LA, and Summit Church, there is a clear boost in musical talent here. I can see why it is so tough to stand out, so I am stepping up my game on social media (more to come). There is a reason they call Hollywood Blvd the street of broken dreams. Isn't that just lovely.
- Food - In N Out Burger and Chick Fil A are just as good the 1st time to the 10th time, and the employees are the best. I have had In N Out Burger way too much being 2 miles down the road, and the same would go for Chick Fil A if it were closer to me. Both of them have gluten free, which is great! Back home I would never think to wait 20 minutes for fast food, but for In N Out. #WorthIt. It's also so much cheaper!
- Hockey - Mass is known as one of the best if not the best states for hockey in the US. So coming to Cali I didn't know what to expect when it comes to competition level. I tried out a league my first week here and man was it bad! Thankfully they put me up into a higher division but my old team back in Mass would still easily crush everyone in this new league. Either way it's still fun, and the hope is I have too many gigs in the future to play hockey anyways.