Common Mis-Conceptions Mid-Westerners Have about California!

I was recently thinking about some of the things I thought about California before I ended up moving here, and realized how VERY wrong some of those misconceptions were to me. So I thought I’d write out a list of common misconceptions, we, as Mid-westerners, often have about California. (Keep in mind I’ve been in California for over 4 years now so my views may have changed a bit since then!)


EarthQuakes will make you never want to visit California:

I get this one a lot.  My mom often told me she was afraid to visit here because when she finally would, the BIG one would hit.  After experiencing my first Earthquake this past summer (a 6.1 ya’ll) I understand the misconceptions that are centered around Earthquakes.

Especially how the media portrays the damage of an Earthquake after.  Although, if you are in the heart of the epicenter, there is a ton of DAMAGE and it is very scary and life-threatening, but for many, an Earthquake happens, and you were like, ‘EARTHQUAKE.”

It’s funny being in California now because when one happens, my facebook lights up with status updates now.

What did my first Earthquake actually feel like?  I was lying in bed, and I felt the ground slide left to right underneath me.  Since it woke me up in the middle of the night it took me a bit to realize what was happening, but yes, it’s exactly that, the ground shaking beneath you.


San Francisco’s Right Next Door to Los Angeles, right?

When Friends and Family come to Visit, I hear this a lot.  Reality?  California is as large as the majority of the entire Eastern Coast of the United States.  So, how many states are on the East coast?  Exactly.

A typical drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes 6 hours, and folks, this is without any traffic involved.  Now, add traffic, and we’re talking 8 to 9 hours often.  Los Angeles to San Diego? 2 Hours.  Los Angeles to Santa Barbara? 2 hours.  San Francisco to Napa Valley? 1 1/2.

Things take time to get too.  With that being said, The BAY AREA is huge, and there’s not always an easy way to get from Point A to Point B because guess what?  There’s this entire BAY of Water in between things.  So plan out things if you’re planning on driving places around the BAY.

Everyone’s a Surfer:


Have you seen me?


This, my folks, is a girl residing in California, who is, indeed, not a surfer!  Thanks Beverly Hills 90210 for this misconception.  Yes, there are people out there that LOVE to surf.  Yes, as Californians, we love our beach, but for many, we forget to get out to the beach except for a few times of the year.

Life gets in the way.  It is not always our way of life. There are people who work, drive, sell things, create, write, manage people, and more.  And people, guess what? That even avoid the beach too!

Everyone Comes to California With a Dream and Ends Up Staying:

I have to admit I thought this one for a very long time.  Even my first year out here I met a ton of people who were coming in from different US States across the country to reside in California.  I’ve met writers, potential actors/actresses, and filmmakers.  I even made a list of all the different license plates I’d see driving around Los Angeles. To this day, there’s just one state I have not seen: Delaware.  People from Delaware do not come to California (kidding!)

But then, I started to meet people that, omg, GREW up in California too.  One thing I can TELL YOU about the people of California is that they are motivated, hard working, and Entrepreneurs. They have an idea, they aren’t afraid of putting that idea into action, etc. But a lot of people that live in California love this state, and if they leave, find they really, really miss it.

But there’s also people that come here, end up hating it, and head back home again.  When I moved here, I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of California.  I thought I’d end up hating it, actually.  But, instead, I fell in love with it.

It’s Just About the Movies or the Beach:


So, so, so wrong! Although, the BEACH is a big draw along with the movies.  People are honestly surprised how much California has to offer.  There is so much more to California than Hollywood.

For those that like small towns?  There’s tons of those, and lots of towns that keep that small time in mind.  Even in the city of Los Angeles, there’s places like Alhambra, Arcadia, Sierra Madre to explore.

Or the beautiful Coastal Towns along the California Coastline: Cambria, Pismo Beach, Big Sur, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey, Bodega Bay, Mendocino, La Jolla, and more.

For those that have a love of the arts? Omg, California is the place for you.  Just check out Venice Boardwalk, a Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, or Laguna Beach.  Head to San Jose’ Silicon Valley for their 1st Fridays Art Walk and array of Galleries, or local beach towns and see the local artists at work.  Californians love their art, and the artists that create.

For those that love the outdoors?  Yosemite? Sierra Nevadas? Redwoods? Sequoia National Parks, anyone? There’s a little something for everyone, and plenty of parks and hiking trails throughout this beautiful state.

If you have an interest, I bet you will find it in California.

So, tell me, if you lived out of California, what were some of your misconceptions about this State before moving here, coming to visit, or perhaps you still have them back home?





Categories: Around the US, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Get in Touch with the Outdoors on Tybee Island!

The East Coast caught my heart nearly 6 years ago when I took my first trip to Washington DC, I soon traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Rhode Island after, and every part I’ve visited I’ve fallen in love with.

A part of the East I’ve always wanted to visit is Georgia, but more than anything, the beautiful coastline that resides there, as well.  To get myself inspired, and you, I’ve come up with a list of Outdoor Adventures to experience on Tybee Island, Georgia.


Photo Credit:

Tybee Island, also known as Savannah Beach, is an easily accessible barrier island located just 18 miles away from the Hostess City of the South, historic Savannah, Georgia.  This island is an ideal vacation destination for those looking to get away, some place a little more peaceful, and for those wanting to get in touch with the outdoors.

A few Ways to Get in Touch with the Outdoors on Tybee Island

The Beach


Photo Credit: PhotosbyBelle.Com

Some of the best places to vacation to are off the coast.  These small beach towns are a slice of heaven, but the other part?  The beaches are what make it incredible.  You will find this on Tybee Island, and a huge reason to spend a day or week along the beach line creating sand castles, swimming in the sea, or sunbathing.  A great place to create memories with the family.

Dolphin Tours:

Tybee Island has a variety of Dolphin Tours available.  These tours are where you get out on a boat, and experience dolphins in their natural environment, doing what they do best, out in the ocean.

Captain Derek’s Tybee Dolphin Adventure

Captain Mike’s Dophin Tours

Visit a Lighthouse:

Lighthouses are some of my favorite sights especially off water.  These lighthouses help protect the fisherman out to sea, but offer so much historical value, as well.  The guiding light for so many.  Tybee Lighthouse, Ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony, in 1732, the Tybee Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years.  With over 178 stairs and first order fresnal lens.

Rent Jet Skis or a Kayak:

When on a beach vacation nothing is more fun than getting out on the water.  But, boats aren’t the only way to have fun.  Rent a Jet Ski or a Kayak to have a fun day at Sea.

Visit Fort Pulaski:

For those looking for a little history, take a trek to Fort Pulaski. Fort Pulaski is located on Cockspur Island about 15 miles away from Historic Savannah Georgia. The monument was named after the Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski and was established as a National Monument by President Calvin Coolidge in October of 1924. Today the National Park Service strives to protect restore and manage the Fort Pulaski National Monument for all people to enjoy ~Tybee Island

Take a Bike Tour:

Another favorite! Rent a bike for a tour and explore all that Tybee Island has to offer.  A bike can easily get to places that aren’t nearly as easy in a car, or sometimes, even on foot.

Rent a Vacation Home:

Tybee Island has a variety of Vacation Rentals available for rent.  The best part about having your own vacation home while on vacation, is that it has all the amenities we crave while on vacation.  A kitchen, space, and even the luxuries we sometimes forget back home.


With Natural Retreats, luxury accommodations are already made for you.  But the best part?  With each booking through Natural Retreats, an entire Xplore Team is available to help plan your vacation, guide you in getting in touch with the great outdoors, and more.

And recently, Southern Living Magazine has teamed up with Natural Retreats to showcase these gorgeous homes through their Southern Living Handpicked Homes Collection.


I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to book my vacation to Tybee Island, just in time for Spring Break.

Upcoming Festivals coming to Tybee Island:

Tybee Island Wine Festival: April 22-26, 2015

Tybee Turtle Trot: April 25

Tybee Rainbow Days: May 1

Tybee Island Tour of Homes: May 2

Beach Bum Parade: May 15

Independence Day Fireworks: July 3

Labor Day Beach Bash: September 6

Tybee Island Pirate Fest: October 8

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dress Up Your Easter Table with Gourmet Gift Baskets!

Disclosure: I was sent products for review purposes.  I loved the products and all stories are my own.


Easter always bring back such wonderful memories for me.  From times visiting my grandparents to waking up each morning in search for my Easter Basket to Easter Scavenger Hunts to spending a full morning at Church during mass to remember the reason for the season.

It was also a time that I went through communion, and even became baptized, and even as an adult went through RCIA training during college.  It is a holiday that brings such fondness to me, and always a good celebration for bringing families together.

Gourmet Gift Baskets has a GREAT selection of Easter goodies to choose from.  If you have family that is far away, you could look through their selections and send something over to those family members to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Or if you want something a little different for your Easter Brunch or Dinner table, the Easter Bunny Cookie Cakes are a great option that will guarantee a compliment from your guests.


Featured above is the Easter Gift Tower with each basket filled inside with different Easter treats from chocolate bunnies to Easter Peeps to Swedish Fish, Popcorn and more:


The Gift Tower is just 49.99, and a thoughtful gift for those far away.

For those that want a little something different for their Easter table, or want to send a fun decoration to their loved ones The Easter Bunny Cookie Cakes are also a great option.  The first photo showcased above:


The cookie cakes are incredible rich, but fresh and easy to cut through.  Decorated with fun frostings over the chocolate chip cookie.  A fun treat for any age to enjoy.

For those Grandparents or Aunts or Uncles that may want to send an Easter Basket to a young member of the family, Gourmet Gift Baskets also has some fun Easter Baskets to choose from.  For those with two young members of the family the Double Bunny Easter Basket is a great option (109.99).


Fun gifts for everyone in the family. Now the fun part. One of my lucky READERS has the chance to win an Easter Bunny Cookie Cake of their own just in time for Easter. Retail Value: 34.99


a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older and reside in the US.  All other rules can be found here.  Winner will be notified by email.  Giveaways ends at 12am EST on 3/30/2015.

Categories: Desserts, Fun Stuff, Giveaways | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments