Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I want to go to there. ("There" being California, of course.)

I've always said growing up in Cleveland makes you a bit more scrappy than the average American - resilient, if you will.  Personally, I can attest 65% of my scrappiness stems directly from surviving a multitude of Cleveland winters. That alongside my Catholic school education.

Forbes Magazine ranked Cleveland as Worst Winter in America, amongst the other dubious "worst city" titles that 'rag has bestowed upon us in their "rankings." This worst winter title, however, is one I may agree with Forbes.

Yes, Cleveland winter is rough.
"Cleveland snow" by smalltower
Great stuff. Here's his Etsy shop.

Thermal-clothes piercing wind, lake effect snow and a general lack of sunshine forces us to seek refuge and comfort in the simple things in life.  In the end, it makes us all a little tougher and wiser.  Genuinely, who has cat litter, a shovel, emergency blankets and power bars in their trunk as a standard by age 24?  Any Clevelander will have the aforementioned,  plus new tunes to jam out during the 3-hour "I'm going to leave early to beat the traffic" pre-storm traffic jam. (Or those like me, who have all of the above in their vehicle and still scrape ice off the car in 6" stilettos.)

Even the grittiest Clevelander and Midwesterner gets to that point by late February...near-desperation with a pang of terror each time you hear a snow truck drop its plow. When the forecast mentions another snowstorm after three months of frigid fights with Mother Nature, you cling to sanity and briefly consider how quickly you could cash in your car / house / 401K / children for a one-way ticket to Turks and Caicos.

Yes, Jim, we all agree.

Thus, I've begun an annual "I want to go to there" trip in late February and early March. Destination:  Anywhere with temperatures at or above 60 degrees, plus an above average chance for sunshine.  I highly recommend you consider a "I want to go to there" trip if you live in a state in which the weather constitutes little to no sunshine for over 90 consecutive days.  Consider it a mental health necessity.

If your budget won't allow travel, consider an overnight stay to Kalahari (America's largest indoor water park) or a spa trip that specializes in sun lamps and a heated pool. Shoot, if you have to, Jersey Shore-it one day: hit a tanning bed for 10 minutes just to get some UV rays. (I do not condone tanning beds or Jersey Shore.)

This years' "I want to go to there" trip brought me to California.  Despite a blizzard and cancelled flight out of Cleveland, along with snow in San Francisco (first time in 37 years, hurrah!) I made it to the West Coast and back. Visit with friends, laughs, lots of food and - God Bless the USA - sunshine.

Without further ado, I present the "I want to go to there" photo journey.
Turn off the lights, view in full-screen (click "show info" at the top right for locations, albeit my goofy commentary) and here's to some sunshine reaching out to you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the pics. Im envious of the sunshine.

AmberS said...

Did you know Reece Witherspoon got married in Ojai! Did you see where she got married?

cyberswirl said...

TINA FEY! lol (:

Jess said...

I want to go with you next time G!