I have moved to California

Within the last two weeks, I have moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Monterey, California and am now pretty much settled in to my new home.

I drove across the country, a distance of 2,700 miles. Although that looks long, the drive was very pleasant and I managed to spend two days with very old friends in Missouri. The trip was not at all tiring, since I limited myself to about 400 miles or six hours of actual driving time each day. I enjoy driving long distances. It beats the hell out of flying.

For the first couple of days of driving, I listened to all nine Beethoven symphonies in sequence, followed by the Leonora, Egmont and Coriolan overtures, something I have wanted to do for some time. But the other five days of driving I drove in silence, without even the radio. I enjoy the silence of driving alone, allowing my thoughts full freedom to wander where they may.

The weather through the entire trip was also pretty much perfect in that it was cool and it only rained for about ten minutes. The traffic was light to moderate with no construction delays. The speed limits west of Nebraska tended to be 75 mph or 80 mph. Once you got to Wyoming, the scenery is spectacular, with Utah being particularly beautiful. I also made a slight detour to see the famous Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California (that was later named after the participants in the infamous 1846 tragedy who are now remembered as the Donner Party) and the view from the top of 7,000 feet was magnificent, with the Donner Lake far below.

Monterey is very pretty. From my living room, I have a beautiful view of the hills surrounding the area. I cannot see the sea, for which I have to drive about three miles. Locals tell me that the sea view areas, apart from being much more expensive, also tend to be foggy, whereas where I live tends to have clearer days. I will definitely not miss the Cleveland winters. As I get older, the risk of having a bad fall on ice and snow becomes much greater.


  1. blf says

    Congratulations. I used to live in Santa Cruz, at the other end of the bay, originally in a house in the redwoods and then later somewhat more in-town. The area as a whole can be quite nice, except perhaps for the farm labours (e.g., in the Watsonville area) — there were some living in caves when I was in the area — and during “tourist season”. I’ve no idea if this is still the case, but the local power station (Moss Landing) used to blow up about once a year.

    And I definitely second the suggestion to see the Aquarium !

  2. Sam N says

    I had no idea you were moving to California. Monterey sounds like a great choice, congrats! Your stop by Donner means you probably drove by within 5 miles of my current residence.

    @3, Rob, maybe not in Monterey, but redwoods are very nearby. Big Sur and Santa Cruz have them.

  3. jrkrideau says

    Monterey, California sounds very nice once I found it on google maps. I am not from the USA so my geographical knowledge of the USA is a bit limited. Best wishes.

    @ 3 Rob Grigjanis I spent a couple of years in Saudi Arabia and to be honest I did not miss the Great Lakes autumn though I have lived on or near the Great Lakes for 50 years or so and do enjoy the colours.

    We had a couple of nasty sand storms in Saudi but compared to a 30cm snow storm in Canada they really were not that bad.

  4. bmiller says

    Mano: I am shocked! The wackier side of the media assures us all that California is an utter hellscape that all Troo Americans are fleeing, fleeing, I tell you! Texas and Oklahoma and UTAH are much closer and are more worthy places!

    (Seriously…welcome to the Wacky Coast! Monterey is why I buy lottery tickets!0

  5. bmiller says

    California has its own glorious autumns as well. Nothing beats the vineyards in fall, and while Monterey is not Napa Valley, there are vineyard areas nearby.
    The other factor: One can enjoy fall without knowing that three or four or five months of frigid winter lies ahead. Heck, I like California winters! Indiana? Not so much. 🙂

  6. GenghisFaun says

    Congrats, Mano! Sounds like your move has been as minimally stressful as one could ever hope for.

  7. Callinectes says

    Congratulations on the move. I understand that California has oranges that are often on fire? Sounds like weird fun.

    I can’t imagine driving that distance. My country doesn’t even have that distance. Though I can guarantee that a long journey by UK standards would feel a lot longer than 2700 miles.

    I find my thoughts can wander all over even with the music turned up loud.

    Hell, I often turn the music up and then sing the lyrics and tune of a completely different song, because it’s the one on my mind.

  8. rockwhisperer says

    Welcome to California! Glad to add another thoughtful voter to our state.

    I live at the south end of the San Francisco Bay Area, so I get down to Monterey Bay occasionally. The Monterey area is lovely, with rugged mountains and interesting oceanside parks relatively nearby. I hope you enjoy it greatly.

    Also, go visit the aquarium.

  9. errantmoon says

    Your journey sounds like bliss. What a joy to be able to sit with your own thoughts that long (I’m well jealous).

  10. efogoto says

    I’ll chime in on rockwhisperer’s welcome to California from slightly farther north in Richmond. It won’t snow where you are, and the earthquakes under 7 are just fun. Hope you enjoy it here.

  11. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    Welcome to my state! I’m sure you will quickly settle in. Be sure to do a little reading in the area’s history, both human and natural. No great battles or megafauna, but lots to be interested in, Steinbeck, whales, Portola, earthquake faults, etc. There are many lovely scenic drives to be taken out of Monterey, especially in the spring when the hills to your east turn Kelley green for a few weeks.

  12. Ridana says

    Welcome to CA from another OH refugee! As they say, “First to fly an airplane, first (USian) to orbit the earth, first on the moon -- Ohioans will do anything to get out of Ohio!” (yes, I know the airplane thing is contested, but it’s a joke, ok?)

    I’ve done that cross country drive many times. Nothing I love more than road trips. It sounds like you drove right by me on the way. 🙂 Go see the Aquarium.

  13. LorrieAnne says

    Congratulations! Monterey is really nice. As others above have mentioned, the aquarium is the best. Have fun exploring it!

  14. springa73 says

    Congratulations! Never been there myself, but I’ve heard lots of people say that area is lovely.

  15. Timothy says

    Congratulations on your move, Mano!
    Your trip sounded wonderful.
    Cleveland is made all the poorer by your absence, though ….


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