The natural disasters out here are pretty wimpy.  Sure we have our occassional earthquakes but I think they're fun.  I mean I paid good money at the Myrtle Beach amusement park to ride a roller coaster, and out here they're free.  Sure, occassionally the quakes cause your doors to get just a tad off kilter, so the locks don't fit the holes just right.  And there is a need to use your chewed up Bubble Yum as adhesive under your finest Flintstone glassware, but I figure that is helping save the environment.  That gum doesn't have to be recycled.

And it is a little bit disconcerting when you're watching a Dukes of Hazzard rerun and the walls start to shake. It's not really scary until you suddenly realize that you didn't buy that sensaround sound system for the trailer.

But I'm tellin' ya. You people in Texas, Florida and Louisianna have got to be gettin' sick of the hurricanes, floods, high winds and the like that keep making your homeland targets.  I'm just letting y'all know, there are oceans that don't involve hurricanes and even though you might have to live in a tiny little one room shanty out here, it's a lot safer.  But bring your own grits, fried okra, and hushpuppies - it's slim pickin's out here in that regard.

 
 

Every small town in the south has an amazing main street. They reflect the history of the place. Some of them are filled with discount shops that offer great deals on polyester pant suits and pleather shoes.  But here it's a whole new ballgame. There are designer boutiques on every corner. Talented artisans selling amazing works of art. Lots of weird hangy crystally things to help you hypnotize your chakras into a blissful state. I think Dawn detergent is the only thing powerful enough to find its way through the greasy coating that has my chakras covered. But I digress.

There are great restaurants with quaint outdoor seating. I love that downtown feel.  My hometown of Greenville, SC has done a great job of revitalizing their little downtown. You feel safe when you're there. And there are some great stores and restaurants too -even artists selling their wares.  

But I am amazed that the feeling exists here in California.  I don't know what I expected.  Maybe I thought palm trees wouldn't work in a small downtown. Or maybe I thought front porches only existed in the South. Or maybe I thought people moved faster here, that strolling down a tree lined street didn't fit with the high-tech coffee drinking atmosphere.

But that's where I was wrong.  No matter where you are and what you do, it is always nice to take a leisurely stroll and to just appreciate the view, and to stop and admire those small business people who still manage to thrive in unique shops in small towns everywhere.