Week Two! It is starting to feel a lot more like home and a lot less like we are living on a movie set (except for when you take a photo in front of the Los Alamos 1880 Union Hotel and Saloon with your husband. Then it feels like a movie set). I am starting to get the hang of things around here too but I am certainly learning.
A few things I have learned this week:
- When you go to Trader Joe’s in Santa Barbara you will feel the need to explain that you live “over the hill” to the checker so as to not look like you are stockpiling for the end of the world.
- Amazon Prime’s 2 day free shipping has actually become Amazon Prime’s “it should take somewhere between 3-5 days but we can’t really tell you so keep an eye out and learn to plan ahead a bit more”.
- Amazon Fresh is a distant memory which has caused me to visit the market EVERY SINGLE DAY since we got here.
- The local car wash is actually a self car wash so you should one, learn how to use the equipment and two, bring towels or, if you forget them, you can jump on the 101 going 70 mph until the car is dry.
- Right after your car is cleaned, it will get immediately dusty again.
- When you sign up to go on a field trip, you automatically get to go without the need for a raffle so make sure you show up and don’t miss the field trip because you were sitting around waiting for an email to confirm that you won the raffle because remember, there isn’t one.
- Your OC voice may or may not have been the loudest voice at the baseball game….people don’t seem to yell like maniacs around here.
- You cannot eat like you are on vacation just because your new home feels like you are on vacation. Solvang pastries will catch up with you.
- When you walk into a local boutique you may find that the owner is not only the daughter of the woman you are renting your house from but she is also friends with a friend of yours from Orange County. This world is SO SMALL.
- People are incredibly kind and welcoming here.
Saturday was Opening Day for the Santa Ynez Pony League and it felt like I was walking into a movie. An American Flag flying, all the teams lined up on the field, baseball songs playing over the loud speaker, families surrounding the field and the Santa Ynez High School Varsity Baseball Team out there to support. It felt so small town and cozy that I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. Don’t worry though. Some things will never change. Baby Girl’s constant complaints that these games are too long followed us from Orange County along with the weird fixation on snack bar food. She was not feeling it like I was.
I know I keep saying this but the FOOD! Oh the food! We had heard so many good things about Bell Street Farm in Los Alamos that after church on Sunday we jumped on the road for the 10 minute drive for some Farm to Table goodness. Not only was the food delicious but I could have sat and chatted with the Owner for hours about food, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Valley, life. Really anything. He was so welcoming that it felt like dining at a friend’s home. Was I there again Monday? Yes, yes I was.
This is just a picture to let you all know that my daughter has decided to dress like me now and unfortunately pulls it off way better than I do. Already trying to make me feel old and “less than” at the age of 6. This should be fun.
I am fortunate enough to have two of my college favorites live so close to me now. One is only roughly 4 miles from my house and the other in San Luis Obispo, a little under an hour away. We met up this week to go on a hike and the local friend introduced me to Midland School Trails. What a gem of a trail system. They are everywhere! Tucked in the hills you can spend your entire day hiking through absolute beauty.
On Thursday morning Loren and I set off to hike Grass Mountain and see the Poppies in bloom. Not only is it suppose to be beautiful at the top but the views are suppose to be insane. The hike was not for the faint of heart (our watch said it was 120 flights of stairs up and I have heard it is between 3-4 miles to the top) but 100% worth it. Breathtaking is the only way to describe it.
There are so many trails in the valley to hike, run or horseback and I know this is just the beginning of discovering them. Outdoors is my favorite way to workout and it seems like I am never going to have a shortage of where to go.
Our family time has really increased since moving and is one of my favorite parts of this transition. With less obligations to other people and things, we are having more dinners together, more afternoons chatting, more adventures to dream about and our family unit has gotten closer. The kids are fighting less (still fighting…just less…this isn’t utopia!) and spending more time entertaining each other. Priorities have shifted and it feels right. Sure we still have things going on but when we don’t, it is the 5 of us. I know that as we become more acclimated to the environment (and each make a social circle) we will be challenged to keep these moments but I really want to try. They are the moments that make my heart full and I don’t want to see them leave.