Wow...has it really been so long since I last blogged?
Pacific Grove is beautiful, but did I mention ExPENSIVE? When we first moved to this side of the ocean, we had sticker shock. Granted, our apartment lease was reasonable, considering the area- one of the least expensive out here. But surrounding us are homes in the upper 2-4 millions (+) ...homes that back in our hometown would cost between $500,000-$900,000 ballpark figure. Typically families come out here to have a good time, but live in other surrounding cities for reasonable prices. We're one of those families who prefers to live like a typical family with children in a modest neighborhood-not shell out big bucks for a zip code. It can get kinda posh around here.
One thing I do like about this side of town,though, is that it is quiet and laid back with beauty beyond words. Elderly people (so it's quiet), rarely any crime... and with the surrounding beaches and tourism down on Cannery Row, plus a true recreational community (bike trails, hiking,etc.)-- I am so intrigued that I can call this place Home #2. Pretty cool.
But it's expensive.
So...off we go to look for other options in the surrounding area. We won't be going far, so this time it should go lots quicker.
Anyhow, with the pending move on my mind, you can see why I haven't blogged as much. And with so much to do here in this town, we also haven't been home much! Which is a good thing. More on that in a minute...
but for now, here's our weather report :-)
Most of our days here by the coast are chilly. Here in the middle of May, we are in the low-mid 50's and can pretty much expect this type of weather year-round. With no distinct seasonal changes, I've had to come to terms with this is how it's going to be here-- depressing or no. So, while my friends in Alabama are in shorts and tanks and heading to the pool, we are out here wrapped in typical Monterey gear- the "layered look": pants and a top (or a skirt with leggings and top), a sweater, and a scarf. Drive out inland toward the valley and within 15 minutes the temperature increases by 10 degrees or more. Drive up north of here to the mountains and they have snow. If I really want to get warm, I'll need to drive down to Carmel Valley. Temperatures there may reach to the 80's or 90's depending on the day. But here in Monterey/Pacific Grove? The average is in the 50's.
And why am I writing about our weather?
Because that's one of the BIGGEST shockers (besides home prices) we've encountered since living here...but it's also revealing of how easy it is to have an expectation that just isn't realistic. Not all of California is Beverly Hills, and I think that human nature demands a blanket statement on all experiences. Even out here, I've met several Californians who, when finding out I've moved from Alabama, immediately raise eyebrows of concern about our "bad weather" and "racism". Right away I want to jump to defend good ol' Alabama, but then I realize... unless people are wise enough to understand that depending on where you live in a state (rural vs. urban, small town vs. large city) progress will fluctuate from one end to the next...and a southern tornado is no more or less devastating than a western earthquake. So we all have a lot more in common than we think.
Anyway...I've been thinking about these things a lot, and getting out in the town a good bit with the kids.
Speaking of my kids...we are considering several different options for our homeschool next year. California offers an array of options for homeschooling families- filing an affidavit, enrolling in an "umbrella school" which they call "private satellite schools" (PSP's), being a tutor (an educator with a teaching certificate), or enrolling in a local charter school. Currently we are in a PSP, but for next year we are strongly considering the charter option. It's not for everyone- and I'm not so sure it's for us - yet. But it looks attractive and I think it would offer Ny opportunities to be involved in enrichment classes that have been too expensive for us... so we'll see. Right now we're in the application process for the upcoming school year. We'll have a meeting with an educational specialist and then we'll determine if it's right for us or not.
Okay, so I have a TON of pictures from things we've been up to around town- from Farmer's Market weekly outings to...well, just all kinds of things. Pictures galore. And seeing that this post has already stretched its limit, I'll just start a new post for the picture updates. Maybe tonight. Maybe this weekend. But I'll get around to it soon!