Six Months on the West Coast

It’s been six months since we made the big move from Florida to California. What have I been spending my time doing?

August

Obviously, the big event in August was the actual move: the challenge of finding a place, of getting Elphie out here, the missing home.

We did some exploring: up into the mountains and down to the coast, a quick jaunt to Santa Cruz for dinner, our first trip into the city as California residents rather than tourists. We had a kind stranger take this lovely picture of us and used it on postcards to tell friends about our new address.

By the Golden Gate

September

In September, we started enjoying all the events that the Bay Area has to offer. We went to a Stanford game and I was shocked at their tiny stadium. We saw Fiona Apple in San Jose. We watched an Opera at AT&T Park. We caught Azure Ray in San Francisco (but arrived too late to see Soko). I checked out the Pier 39 seals with my mom and nephew.
With Nephew
We got a sneak preview of the Winchester House’s Fright Night (but saved the house for later). We went to a Salsa Festival in Redwood City one day and heard Alanis Morissette in Golden Gate Park while chilling in a playground with my sister-in-law and nephew the next. I discovered Meetups and rediscovered my love of the library.

October

In October, I ventured into the City on CalTrain to experience some art and attend a book reading by Gretchen Rubin. We went to beautiful Capitola to cheer on some friends doing the Mermaid Triathalon. I got my feet wet in the job marketing with a part time consulting gig. We saw Joshua Radin and A Fine Frenzy in San Francisco and due to a seat mix-up, got moved to the front row. We took a road trip to Huntington Beach to see some good friends and when we got home from that, my best friend was visiting the city so good times were had with her.

November

In November, I reconnected with old co-workers who were in town for the AAMC conference and it was great to see them. A morning doing the Mermaid Run 5K with friends turned into an all day SF outing as we headed to the Red Bull Flugtag afterwards to check out the festivities. My parents came out for Thanksgiving and I hosted dinner for my family. I took my first trip to Muir Woods with them and was awed at the massive trees. On Black Friday, we saw Andrea Bocelli in San Jose and were awed at his talent.

December

December brought the cold to the Bay Area and brought us back to the Winchester House to tour the place. It was actually really sad in a strange way. I also got to attend another NASASocial (previous NASASocial coverage) for the AGU 2012 Conference where I met some great people and attended great panels, including one with James Cameron. After an early morning meetup in the city, I spent the day sightseeing one day, finally finding the famous Painted Ladies.
Painted Ladies
We went to the Fantasy of Lights in Los Gatos, where, after a 45 minute wait to get in, we saw some delightful lights displays. I got to attend another cool event: LinkedIn ConnectYou session at the LinkedIn HQ where I listened to some recruiters talk about what they look for on LinkedIn profiles and got to work with other job seekers and LinkedIn employees sprucing up my profile. I also got a new profile picture taken which you can see on most of my social media sites (and on my About and Resume pages). After that, it was off to England for a lovely Christmas with the in-laws.

January

In January, we managed to snag some of the last tickets to one of Eddie Izzard’s Work In Progress, workshopping material for his upcoming tour. Another ticketing snafu led to us getting moved up to fifth row, center. Ticketing snafus have almost become my friend. We experienced a bit of how the other half lives thanks to my husband’s company’s Holiday Party, held at the swanky Terra Gallery in downtown San Francisco. The place looked wonderful, the food was delicious, and the cake pops for dessert were amazing. On a weekend, we took a trip out to the Blackhawk Automobile Museum in Danville and found one of the most legendary car collections imaginable. My husband was like a kid in a candy store. Who am I kidding? I kinda liked it, too… especially this lovely lavender car:
Perfect Car

Coming Up

The fun that we’ve been having doesn’t end there. On the concerts side, we’re seeing comedy music team Garfunkel and Oates this weekend and I’ve got tickets to The Package Tour to have a girls’ night out with my sister-in-law for July. Spurring on my job search even more are all the amazing concerts that are coming up in the area that I haven’t gotten tickets yet for: Lisa Loeb this month, Kate Nash and Marina and the Diamonds in May and BEYONCE in July. And those are only the ones that I need tickets for like I need air.

In activities, I’m already signed up for the Gladiator Rock N Run in June and want to commit to the Mermaid Triathlon (or at least the Duathlon) soon. There’s also a duathlon in Napa that my husband is thinking of doing with me, but we haven’t committed to that yet, either.

We still have so much to explore: husband hasn’t been to Muir Woods yet. We want to head out to Redwood park near Oakland. And we’ve got to find those trees you can drive through. Friends and family want to visit and I can’t wait to show them around places. I’m making really great progress on the job front, finally getting comfortable “selling” myself and being pushy enough to get my name to the top of the pile, so I know something great will happen there soon.

Slowly but surely we’re finding our places and making new friends. I’m hosting my first brunch soon, something I loved doing in Florida. Sometimes it still doesn’t quite feel like home, but that’s to be expected after living in Gainesville for most of my life. It’s getting there, though. Having family nearby helps, especially when your three year old nephew likes to tell you, out of the blue, that he loves you. The drive up to the city on 280, through gorgeous mountains and past the shock of blue Crystal Springs Reservoir, is always a moment of serenity to me; a feeling that this is right, I belong here, things are going the right direction.

I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring.