California vs. New Jersey

Since moving to California from New Jersey, I have noticed some differences with many things.  I will always be a Jersey Girl but I’m in love with Cali.  Check out the list I compiled for your enjoyment!


  • I have to pump my own gas.  I honestly don’t mind because it’s not like, “Oh, it’s too cold to get out of the car”, but it is nice having someone do it for you.  I was friendly with the guy who pumped my gas in NJ so that relationship is lost in CA.
  • Road rage isn’t bad in CA.  There will always be asshats on the road but the % is definitely less on the West Coast.
  • There are many more electric and hybrid vehicles in CA which is great!  Gas prices here are not for the faint of heart but be careful when crossing the road or parking lot because you can’t hear electric cars!
  • HOV lanes are great!
  • If you’ve seen The Californian’s on SNL, it is so accurate with directions!  Check it out here!
  • Ramp meter.  Never heard of it?  Me either before moving here!  During rush hour, the on ramp has lights to control merging vehicles.  It’s kind of a great thing!


  • Unless you go to Little Italy in San Diego, all the Italian food is terrible in CA! It’s gotta be the water on the East Coast that makes it all taste so good!


  • CA definitely makes up for the lack of tasty Italian food with the Mexican food.  Everyone makes homemade tortillas, so many different type of salsas, elote is common (and one of my favorite things), the carnitas are very yummy and they have drive-thrus!  That’s right – drive-thru for homemade burritos, tacos – and I’m not talking about Taco Bell!  Also, I’m a huge tamale lover and they have them in some delis in the food store!
  • Donuts – there are tons of donut shops in CA.  Homemade donuts are the best BUT Dunkin’ Donuts is very scarce and sometimes you just want Dunkin’!
  • There is no Wegman’s in CA.  This makes me very sad. In fact, the closes Wegman’s to me is in Erie, PA!
  • It’s not easy to find a good Italian deli in my area.  Luckily, we found Pronto’s in our town but they don’t even have prosciutto, roasted red pepper and fresh mozz sandwiches on the menu.  Like, WHAT!?  I have to order it as a make your own sandwich.
  • I miss a good salty pizza.  After a night out, you can’t just go and get a slice.  I’m sure you could in San Diego or LA but it’s either fast food or Mexican.  I know when I visit NJ I’m going right to Pete & Elda’s and Molinari’s!
  • Tons of breweries!  So far my favorite is the Belching Beaver.
  • There is no Wawa 😦
  • Taylor Ham isn’t as good as in NJ


  • THE BEACH IS FREE!  That’s right – you don’t need a badge, there are no badge checkers or badge police.  It’s a beautiful thing.
  • The beach goers clean up after themselves.  There is no loud music.  No one sits on top of you.  Surfers everywhere.  The lifeguards are just like on Baywatch.
  • When you go to the store, you have two bag choices:  Pay 10 cents per bag or bring your own.  I prefer my own bags!
  • You get money back on recycling your bottles.
  • People are actually NICE in stores!
  • No hurricanes but there are earthquakes.  No hurricanes = no dunes therefore you can always see the ocean.  If you are a couple miles in-land, you can actually see the ocean because we’re at a high elevation than the ocean.  It’s gorgeous!
  • Dogs are everywhere!  CA is a very dog friendly place.  Most stores, restaurants and coffee shops allow our little 4-legged family members and it’s awesome!  Don’t be surprised to find a dog in Walmart either!  In fact, one of our favorite spots has a doggie menu!
  • The weather is incredible and it’s so good for my hair!
  • Last but not least, the sunsets in California are incredible!  It is truly an event with everyone flocking to the coast line right before the big ball of fire settles for the night.  I do miss my sunrises though!

If you’d like to check out pics of our adventures, check me out on Insta @liz11379!


How I Got Here: Part IX

Finding my name on the Oceanside Pier was not the only sign I had during my short visit to Cali.  As I was driving around I saw a vanity plate that said, “Go Liz” and also another plate frame said, “Moore” which is my Grandmother’s last name.  It just felt right.

Brian stayed in CA to work while I went home to pack my apartment I had lived in for nine years.  I had met with a couple of moving companies to get quotes for my personal stuff and to ship my car.  Things were really lining up pretty easily.  I enjoy organizing and packing so packing up my place was fun for me.

The only worry I had was my dog and how he would be during our flight.  He’s very well mannered but he’s a momma’s boy and requires to be on my lap!  Per airline guidelines, they requires a health certificate showing the dog is healthy enough to fly so I took him to the vet and they also gave me a prescription for anxiety meds – for HIM not me.  😉

After my belongings and car were picked up and on their way to CA, I stayed with my parents for two nights.  It’s really strange staying in your childhood home before you’re off to another coast far away from what you’re familiar with.  But, I was feeling good and excited.  No worries at all.

The morning of my flight, I woke up and walked right into a wall.  I didn’t know what was going on but I just didn’t feel well and felt very dizzy.  I went downstairs to take the dog out and get the day started and I walked into another wall.

I was suddenly out of control dizzy and felt extremely nauseous.  I got down on the floor and grabbed onto the carpet as if the entire world was spinning.  I was in tears because any move I made and I thought I would be sick.  And for the first time in my life, I asked my parents to get me an ambulance.

After about 20 minutes of staying on the floor and trying to focus, I was able to get up.  Still in my PJ’s and glasses, I was walked out to the car and taken to urgent care.  Imagine this: a 39 year old woman getting walked into an urgent care by her parents in the K-Mart Shopping Center in her PJ’s, sans bra, messy hair and glasses.  Honestly, I was so sick I didn’t care one second.

I got in pretty quickly and I explained to him what was going on while he put the table down so I would lie flat.  If laying on the floor of my parents house crying my eyes out wasn’t bad enough, being laid out like that was pure torture.  Everything was spinning and I felt like I was just going to slide off the back head first.

Despite all my excitement and confidence that this move was going to be amazing, the stress that I never noticed caught up with me and triggered my vertigo.  The worst case of vertigo I have ever had.  The doctor wrote me a note for the airlines not allowing me to fly and prescribed some pain killer.  I went home, took the meds and passed out.

A few hours later I woke up and felt like nothing had happened.  I no longer felt dizzy or nauseous.  Kind of a miracle!  I tried to convince my parents I was ok and could fly and they were dead set against me flying and I don’t blame them.  What if I got dizzy again on the airplane?  But after begging them to let me go, they caved. I know I know, I’m a grown woman but they were my ride to the airport!

I’ve always been very stubborn.  And maybe I needed my parents to take care of me one last time before I left the nest for my 2,000 mile journey to a new chapter.

Reilly and I made it with plenty of time at the airport.  We were escorted through security because he was with me and they couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating.  Reilly and I slipped into our first class seats and off we were to the West Coast.  Reilly was an angel the whole way.  He just slept in his carrier under the seat in front of me and luckily the man next to me was a dog lover and took pics of Reilly to show his wife.

We landed a bit early and I ran through the airport to meet Brian.  I was so relieved to have finally arrived after that stressful day.  In fact, this pic of us at the airport shows how pale I was.

SAN Airport June 2018

I write this on the eve of what would have been my Grandma Anne’s 98th birthday.  It’s always been a special day because it was hers.  So, I end this story of my re-birth of new adventures and a new chapter.  I am sure there will more to come as I share our adventures with you.