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The Places Where We Live – California

by Alisa F. (Greycat133)


Welcome to California, the third largest state in the US (and the largest if you count population).  There’s no doubt we Californians are a mixed bunch.  We’re environmentalists, computer experts, farmers, miners, scientists…not to mention we’ve elected not one, but two movie stars to be our governor.  And we’ve got the geography to match such a diverse population.  You can travel the deserts of Death Valley in the south, over to the Pacific Coast in the west, up to the Redwood Forests in the north, and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east, and still be in the same state.  And nestled in-between is the region we call the Central Valley.


I’m kind of partial to the northern valley myself, since it’s where I call my home.  A couple hours’ drive east or west and you can be crashing through waves at the beach, or skiing in the mountains.  Summers get hot (but not too hot) and it almost always cools down at night.  Winters bring rain instead of snow, and for a girl who spent a few years living in Idaho, it’s nice to live somewhere where the temperature rarely drops below freezing.


We’re farmers here in the Central Valley, with California produce being a huge share of the American food market.  Wine grapes, grain, tomatoes, and avocados are just a few of the things we’re known for. And we’re very proud of our dairy industry too.  After all, great cheese comes from happy cows, and happy cows are from California.  But we don’t just do agriculture around here.  You’ll find plenty of cities here too, including our state’s capitol in Sacramento.  Even if most of the county thinks the capitol is Los Angeles or San Francisco.



Fun places you never thought of to visit:

Everyone wants to go to the beach, Hollywood, San Francisco, Yosemite, and San Diego.  But did you ever think of visiting:

Sacramento – Not only the capitol, but home to some great historic sites and the Sacramento Jazz festival.
Coloma – In January of 1848, James Marshall discovered gold here, starting the famous California Gold Rush.  You’ll still find plenty of gold-themed activities around, including the chance to pan for your own gold.



Jelly Belly factory – Yep, you read that right.  One of Jelly Belly’s two factories is in Fairfield, California.  The tour is not to be missed, and you get free candy at the end!


Winchester Mystery House – A sprawling historic mansion built by Sarah Winchester from the day she moved there in 1884 to her death on September 5, 1922.  Rumor has it that she built the house to rid herself of vindictive ghosts, and even today the house is supposedly haunted.


Redwood forests – Home of the tallest and oldest trees, these natural wonders are a beauty.  Where else can you drive your car through a tree?


Famous people from California:

Sure, we’ve got lots of famous movie stars, directors, and musicians.  But let’s not overlook:

  • John Steinbeck, Nobel prize winning author
  • William Randolph Hearst, publisher and famous newspaper man
  • Julia Child, famous television chef
  • Jeff Gordon, NASCAR champion
  • Sally Ride, first American woman in space
  • Robert Ripley creator of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  • Ansel Adams, photographer of the American West


California is a bit of patchwork.  We hail from all over, and our culture is as diverse as our geography.  But no matter what issues make the state seemed screwed up, it’s still a great place to live.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.



Letters from the Corrugated Castle A Novel of Gold Rush California 1850-1852 by Joan W. Blos


Cannery Row by John Steinbeck


Citizen Hearst A Biography of William Randolph Hearst  by W. A. Swanberg


Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Vol 1) by Julia Child


Racing Back to the Front: My Memoir by Jeff Gordon


Mission Planet Earth by  Sally Ride, Tam O’Shaughnessy


Ripley’s Believe It or Not Encyclopedia of the Bizarre Amazing Strange Inexplicable Weird and All True


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3 Responses to “The Places Where We Live – California”

  1. Robin K. (jubead) says:

    Alisa, great post. I lived in CA for one year and then headed back east. Do not forget the 17-mile drive in Monterey (which I did when I was in CA last March and it is beautiful). I would love to see the Redwood Forest, so I am adding that to my list things I want to see the next time I visit CA.

    I think this is my favorite recurring blog.

  2. lildrafire says:

    Great post! One of these days I’m visiting Cali.

  3. Maria (SassenachD) says:

    My sister lives in Fullerton. We used to take the bus all the way to Huntington Beach….good times..I would love to go back and visit the Winchester Mystery house and Northern California. Great Post!

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