California: Reality Check

I’m ecstatic to go back to California*. Really, I can’t express it in words. It’s not that sort of excitement: “Yay! Vacay!” No, it’s more soulful, more guttural. I can live in NYC the rest of my life, but I will always be a “West Coaster”. I will always have that friendly, relaxed, tell-you-everything-about-my-life sort of manner that West Coasters have. This trip to ALA and then to see friends and family will be a cleansing deep breath for my soul.

HOWEVER, I really have a love-hate relationship with California right now. Namely, the car culture there. Keep in mind that one of the Top 3 reasons I moved to NYC was because I didn’t want to drive again…ever (for more on this, check out Justine Larbalestier’s post on Non-Drivers). So I’m not renting a car at ALA. I refuse…because I’m stubborn…and scared. But remember I posted about all the fabu restaurants I was going to try while I was in Anaheim? Well, Google maps tells me that these are the actual distances from my hotel to each restaurant:

Café Casse-Croute: 4.3 miles
Café Contigo: 2.7 miles
Sarkis Pastry : 4.5 miles

Now, I’m certainly not opposed to walking 2.7 miles and back for good food – in fact, I’d welcome the opportunity. However, anyone who has attended any sort of major conference knows that there just isn’t time to do all that. I’ve got meetings and sessions and the exhibit floor and…

Additionally, I’m meeting with my Emerging Leaders group on Thursday night to prepare for our poster session, eat dinner, and drink wine. I volunteered to bring wine. I started searching for wine shops in the area and found some really fantastic possibilities. And then I looked up the distances:

Twisted Vine: 8 miles
Wine Exchange: 6 miles
Italia Wine Imports: 3.8 miles

I’m tempted to just pack a bottle in my suitcase but that could be bad… On principle, it seems ridiculous to pack a bottle from NYC when I should be exploring Anaheim’s local culture. Yeah, it’s CAR culture! So I’m not bringing a bottle with me. Instead, I’ll ask at the front desk of the hotel if there’s a wine/liquor store I can walk to. See what happens. I might be pleasantly surprised. I’m just lucky I discovered all this before I actually started walking to the specific stores and restaurants. That would have been bad and I most likely would have cried. And I would have received multiple blisters on my feet as a reward for my efforts.

Eat, drink, and create your own adventures

* For the record, I grew up in the foothills of Northern California where you really don't see palm trees. Evergreens were the norm and no celebrities were sighted there. I'm fiercely loyal to NoCal.


Unknown said...

I am confused by this "miles" you speak of. Is that anything like a block. Or is it longer, like a cross town block?

Nicole said...

Hey... you are (or were) in my neck of the woods! I travel (by car) to the areas you speak nearly daily!