Begin Again

In light of moving to England tomorrow, I have a confession to make: I am and always will be a Californian, but I am the worst Californian you will ever meet.

For instance, I don’t fancy the sun—after all, have you seen my skin? I don’t tan; I tomato. Additionally, I am not keen on beach days—a sacrilegious statement in most Californians’ eyes! I enjoy walking on the beach, but spending all day there lying out in the sun and returning home with sand in unmentionable places? No, thank you. Furthermore, I do not own a single pair of blue jeans—the quintessential wardrobe staple of any self-respecting laid back Californian. Lastly, I have vanquished the words “like,” “totally,” “rad,” “awesome,” and “cool” from my vocabulary. Based on this evidence, I must be the worst Californian alive.

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A friend’s documentation of one of my most recent encounters with the sun aka the enemy

It’s a good thing I’m moving to London, a glorious place replete with rainy days and words like “splendid” and “brilliant” galore. It also doesn’t hurt that in England, for the first time I am not the palest person in the room 😉 Brits are clearly my people.

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As a way of wrapping up my California “One Mores” list and looking forward to the adventures that await in England, this terrible Californian and soon-to-be Londoner thought she would share a few of her favorite lesser-known places in her hometown, Los Angeles, and a few of the places she intends to visit in London.

Los Angeles

  1. La Brea Tar Pits
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The world’s only active, urban Ice Age fossil excavation site

2. The Getty Villa

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Built on a cliff overlooking the sea in Malibu, the Getty Villa museum is dedicated to exploring the cultures and arts of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria

3. Du-par’s Restaurant and Bakery

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Du-par’s has been serving the “best hotcakes in the US” since 1938. My great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and I have all relished their wonderful buttermilk pancakes

 

London

  1. Portobello Road Market
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The world’s largest antiques market. I am going to take Mom here when she visits me soon 🙂

 

2. Churchill War Rooms

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The secret underground bunker from which Winston Churchill ran his World War II command operations. The bunker has been transformed into a museum that tells the story of Churchill’s life and legacy

3. The George Inn

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Built in the medieval period, The George Inn is the last original coaching inn in London. Its majestic past includes patrons such as Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare

When I ask people about sites in their hometowns, they often report that they have not been to any because they are “too touristy.” How tragically prideful it is to not visit intriguing places solely because one does not want to appear like a tourist.

I am a strong proponent of “being a tourist” in one’s own hometown, except I call the act by a different name. I call it living one’s life. Jackie Robinson once said, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion, you’re wasting your life.”

I constantly remind myself  that someday isn’t a day of the week. If you do not do the things you always yearned to do and see the places you’ve wistfully imagined now, you may never.

I may be the worst Californian you will ever meet, but at least upon leaving California, I can say with assurance that I endeavored to do all California has to offer.

Wherever you live, I hope you do the same.

And now I am off to London for the myriad adventures that await. You are welcome to join me anytime 🙂

~Farewell, Janelle

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