Wednesday, January 02, 2008


At this time of year when the weather is grim and miserable, I always enjoy the holiday ads on t.v. One that particularly caught my eye is the ad for California, featuring Terminator star and Governor of California Arnie Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver. Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams also features in the ad. It’s very impressive. The sun is shining and everybody is happy and smiling. They all look like they’re having a good time. Everyone looks like they've just stepped off the set of a daytime soap. (Wonder how they all get their teeth so white? They obviously don't drink as much tea and coffee as we do here in England! Or maybe they're all jobbing actors "resting" between jobs!) It looks like life is a 24 hour vacation over there, no deadlines, no demanding bosses, just sunshine and smiles and lots of time for rest and recreation! California Dreaming as the song goes! A great life and just the place you want to be! Well they’ve sold it to me. Expect a mass exodus of Brits coming over to California this Summer! (especially if we have a rainy wet Summer like last year!) I’m heading off on the next plane!

To see the ad for yourself, click on the link shown below and go to Play video on the right hand side of the page:-

Visit California Com

Happy surfing!

P.S. I get quite a lot of American visitors to my blog. I would be interested to hear your thoughts and views on the Visit California advertisement. Is California really a wonderful land of milk and honey, where everyone basks in the sunshine (glass of Chardonnay in hand!) or plays sports all day long or is this really a facade? Is it all too good to be true? I would be interested to hear your comments on this post. As always, please keep it clean - no bad language or profanity! Thanks.


Sank said...

Hi Naomi-
I'm surprised they're running those ads in the UK, they're all over tv here in Minnesota, but with the currency exchange where it is makes sense. My take on 35 years of residency in California is that it is indeed a very special place. From a natural perspective they have it all, fantastic mountains, great beaches, stunning deserts.. you can ski can hit the beach the same day, really! If you're a wine enthusiast California is on the top of the list of places to visit. There are fantastic restaurants,in interesting cities. The list of things to do there is endless, as matter of fact with the exception of the middle of the state (where I grew up) you can't beat a trip there.
On the downside, and their always is one.. it's a pretty crowded hectic place where just getting around can be difficult. There isn't the transportation infrastructure Europeans enjoy, there's cars, a few buses and maybe three trains. Remember too that if you're thinking a San Francisco/Los Angeles trip you do need to fly between them, it's a 6-7 hour drive otherwise.
As a place to visit it's fantastic. As a place to live.. Schools there have serious issues to the tax legislation which left them with out any incoming revenues going back to the 70's, in many place crime is serious issue. Real estate is nearly unobtainable and the politics of the place are dysfunctional. But for vacation.. can't be beat.

Naomi said...

Your comments made an interesting read Sank. I learnt something too as I never realised that San Francisco and Los Angeles were so far away from each other. We hear a lot here about rising crime rates in some American cities. However violent crime is a growing problem over here in England too. I didn't realise you lived in California for sucb a long time Sank. Sounds like a great vacation spot, with so much to see and do there. You've convinced me! I'm on my way over!

Sank said...

Actually I'm a native. Moved to Minneapolis when I was 34. If you coming over and find yourself in Minneapolis, let me know. Actually the only way that would happen is if you take a cheap Iceland Air flight. They stop in Minneapolis.

Rising Rainbow said...

I lived in southern California for three years and I hated it. I got heat stroke on the beach in February (obviously I didn't go near the beach in July if I couldn't even handle the heat radiating off that sand in winter)

It was just too hectic for me. It took driving the freeways to get anywhere and they were really intimidating.

But if you are star struck it's a great place to be. That's just not my thing.

Now that I'm into horses, I would like to go back and visit some of the big Arabian horse farms though. lol

Jackie said...

The recent fires there must have destroyed so much of their beautiful countryside. Apart from that it must be great in California as so many South Africans emigrate there.

Of course you can take a look at our great sunny South Africa as well, now it's Summer...but not today as it has been pelting down with rain since 4am and is rather chilly LOL

Congrats at being at the top of the board at Blog Village.

Sandy Carlson said...

Well, Naomi,
My father had an aunt who went out to California in the 1950s and never came back. When she restored contact with the rest of the family, it was found that she was THE happy member. There's something about California that is marvelous. As a provincial Yankee who thinks of the Hudson River as West, all I can say is wow, man.

Happy New Year.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Naomi- Ok, here's my perspective. As someone who is not a native Californian, I chose to live here. I grew up in Rhode Island, have lived in Boston, New York, London and Chicago before moving first to San Diego, and then settling down in Palm Springs. I've had the good fortune to travel to many other countries that are wonderful for a variety of reasons, so I draw my perspective against that backdrop.

Initially, I resisted moving here. I was happy in Chicago and thought California was full of nutters. I agreed to a transfer for one year. 11 years later I still have not left!

I love living in Southern California! It has a little bit of everything, within a short distance. Beaches, Mountains,Desert, Wine Country, Farmland, great cities, wonderful food and generally decent weather. Particularly in Southern California, people try to life as much of their life outdoors. It's all about dining outside, cooking outside on the grill, etc.

Major downside is the cost of living. It costs a fortune to buy a house, and things just cost a lot to live.

But for visitors, if you like a holiday with a wide range of options, this is a great state to visit. You need to be prepared to drive. Californians drive everywhere, because its a big state and public transit isn't great.

I don't personally care for LA, but there is so much more to CA that Los Angeles.

For me, I have the best of both worlds. My office is in San Diego, where I go a few days a week, and my home is in Palm Springs, so I enjoy the seaside and the desert.

Granimore said...

All of the sunshine and beaches can be found in Southern California. Central and Northern California aren't quite as tropical. The one thing I remember most about my time in California (I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for a couple of years) was the high, very high, cost of living. It's still expensive.
My wife and enjoy watching all those "Flip this House" shows and in Southern California, a two bedroom, one bath house can go for $300,000. The same property in other parts of the states are usually less than half the price.

Naomi said...

Sank if ever I find myself in Minneapolis, I'll be sure to give you a call. Not even sure what state that's in or is that a state itself? My geography isn't very good I'm afraid and the U.S. is so big!

Naomi said...

Hi Rising Rainbow

I'm with you. I don't think that hectic pace of life, especially on the roads, would suit me either. Also too much sunshine would be a problem (laugh!) as I'm very fair skinned and don't tan at all! I just go red and burn and it gets very sore! I love horses and I'm sure it would be good to see the Arabian horse farms.

Naomi said...

I heard about the fires in California Jackie. It was all over the news here. That must have done so much damage. Didn't realise so many South Africans went over the California. South Africa is a popular holiday destination for a lot of Brits. Many of them like to go on safari holidays. Didn't know you got chilly weather there Jackie. Always imagined it to be year round sunshine.

Naomi said...

I must say California is always sold as "the land of milk and honey" to us Brits and the people do look very happy there! Maybe it's all that sunshine Sandy! Happy New Year to you!

Naomi said...

Whenever I visit your blog, it always seems like you have a great life over there Rick. It's nice that you have the best of both worlds, living in Palm Springs and working in San Diego. I'm surprised that the public transport system isn't better though. The appeal of being able to spend lots of time outdoors because of great weather must be a big draw for people Rick.

Gosh Granimore that's a lot to pay for a house! Maybe it's the "dream" lifestyle that they're trying to sell to people that makes the cost of living so expensive in California. I definitely couldn't afford to live there!

Naomi said...

P.S. Do people get paid higher salaries in California to compensate for the higher cost of living Granimore? Sounds like they need it to meet the extra living costs!

Sheila said...

I've only visited once and it was a wonderful visit to San Francisco, Muir Woods and Napa Valley. My husband spent some time growing up in the L.A. area but I don't think either of us would want to live there permanently because of the costs, earthquake threats and fire/mudslide problems. I do think the state is smart to advertise to you Brits who might be in need of the sunshine.

Naomi said...

Yes it's funny how they're advertising this time of year too Sheila when the weather here is really cold and miserable. The sunshine is very tempting! However the majority of Brits who visit the States tend to head for Florida. I work with someone who owns a holiday villa there. Not many tend to go to California. The earthquakes must be a big worry and also the fire and mudslide problems for the people who live there.