Thursday, April 28, 2011

california vs. minnesota

We are fast approaching our one year mark in Minnesota. And I have to say we've generally enjoyed it. Except for month six of snow (albeit they are flurries and don't stick, right now). It got me to thinking about the differences these two very different locations offer. So I thought I'd make a list.

California Weather:
OK, so for many, there really is no comparison. Living in Southern California you'd have a coat on if it is 60 degrees outside. And, yes, as a Southern California Native I have spent more than one Christmas at the beach. Basically, 60-90 degrees year round. And it does get some substantial rain fall in the winter months. I realize the numbers don't show it, but when it rains, it storms.

Minnesota Weather: 
I knew it would be different, but I really had no idea just how "bipolar" (for lack of a better word) the weather can be here. One day it's 70 degrees, the next it's snowing. And I had no idea that we were in tornado country, so that was an interesting finding upon our arrival. I've never experienced the constant rumble of thunder or the strobe effect that lightening can have. Plus, the snow is no joke. Period. It started in November and it's almost May and we continue to have flurries. I suppose it's a lot better than the deadly tornados that are happening in other parts of the country (and I hope everyone is keeping safe, my thoughts are with you). But when it's 60 degrees, we are in shorts and t-shirts.

California Natural Disasters:
Earthquakes. And the occasional tsunami warning that now happens since the devestating tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan. Mudslides. Fires. But really, for many of us, earthquakes are the scary one. I would lay awake at night as a kid worrying about them, because we were warned of the "big one" since, well, forever.

Minnesota Natural Disasters:
The weather. Period. Tornados. Blizzards. Tornados. Floods. Tornados. I really don't like the tornado thing. They tested our warning system a week or so a go. I was at home, alone with the girls who were fast asleep. I called a friend to see if I should be concerned about the drizzle outside and wake my sleeping kids to take them downstairs. Fortunately, it was just a test.

California Stuff to Do:
There is lots of it. Beaches, movies, sites. California is massive, so it's really easy to venture out and see a lot.

Minnesota Stuff to Do:
There is lots of it. Beaches, movies, sites. But I think Minnesota has nothing on California when it comes to festivals, apple picking, and how they do up their holidays (see below).

California Holidays:
It's often warm on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. 4th of July can be a party scene, though I really haven't sought out "kid-friendly" 4th of July events. People decorate their homes, but only for a short while.

Minnesota Holidays:
It's almost May and many are just now taking down their Christmas decorations. I love that there are tons of events surrounding the holidays here. Things are a little more wholesome and the snow certainly helps with the mood of a white Christmas.

OK, so those are just a few that stuck out to me.  What other differences am I missing?

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