So this is my first Christmas in Southern California, and what can I say, it’s very different from what I’m used to. First of all, the weather is just not the way it should be. We had around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (around 20-something degrees Celsius) and the sun was shining. So I decided to spend a good part of the day reading at the beach in Oceanside. Here are some pictures I took with my mobile phone:
Mind you, this isn’t the first time I have a Christmas in the sun. During my time in Australia in 2001 we spent Christmas Eve at the beach in Surfers Paradise at the Sunshine Coast. It was even hotter then, because in Australia it’s really summer now, whereas here in San Diego it’s winter…at least, officially. For me, it’s still kind of warm considering the season.
So the weather doesn’t really help in getting into a Christmas mood. Another difference from Austria is the food. In Austria nobody I know of ever has Turkey for dinner on Christmas Day. What’s up with that? Wasn’t turkey supposed to be the thing to have on Thanksgiving. Christmas is just a month later and apparently people here in the US use that as an excuse to stuff themselves with turkey again. Poor turkeys. They get chased down, killed and eaten twice a year. Must be tough being a turkey 😉
Anyway, wherever you are in the world, have a happy Christmas. Oh, and don’t forget to check out my new Christmas Medley that I recorded over the last few days.
There are some things on this earth that will forever remain a mystery to me: the difference between Persil and Ariel washing powder and this…
…the Christmas decorations that Americans put on their houses during this time of the year.
You see electric light chains on the entire house, lit reindeers, Santa Clauses, snowmen, other weird animals of which I fail to see the relevance for Christmas, and many other things that you would usually not expect to see in a European front garden.
On the other hand, you have to look on the bright side (no pun intended) of all these lights: they do provide quite a bit of light in the dark, even in the street our house is in where there are not many street lights. So it has become much easier to find my way back to the house in the dark…not that I would ever have the need to do that.
Still, one has to wonder how much electricity all these lights use. I’m guessing the electricity bills of some of our neighbors are going to be a Christmasy surprise.
But then again, there are even crazier people…
Two weeks ago over Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of going on a 6 day hiking tour through some of the most beautiful national parks the USA has to offer. The tour was organized by Aztec Adventures and we were a group of 9 people from all over the world. There was Noel Llopis, a coworker originally from Spain, someone from Italy, Taiwan, California, and of course me from Austria. The parks we visited in order were: Joshua Tree, Zion, Cedar Breaks, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon. We spent Thanksgiving in a town called Kanab at a nice mom-and-pop-type restaurant called Grandmother Tina’s (and yes, there really was a Tina there :))
Since the others took so many pictures, and because the batteries of my camera died after I had taken two pictures, I didn’t really take any pictures. But do not fret, there are many pictures available online already, so I don’t have to go through the trouble of putting them up. So please feel free to browse the following picture galleries:
On October 9, 2006 I moved to California in the US from my home country Austria, accepting a job offer from a video game developer in Carlsbad, California. This blog is intended for my family and friends and anyone else interested to see what I’m doing here. I’m going to post thoughts on life here in the US from an Austrian perspective, writing about things that are different, things that are the same, and anything else that comes to mind. There will also be the occasional picture here and there to spice things up. Enjoy!