I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 45 years. I knew all about and counted on the fake spring that would push all of the trees to blossom and then get destroyed with mother nature’s “just kidding” downpours. I knew the exact temperature that you could drive with the top down, wearing multiple layers, heat blasting with all fans pointed at you and seat warmers on high in order to almost be comfortable (it’s 64 degrees by the way ). I had multiple pairs of flip flops for the heat waves, and multiple umbrellas for the teeny tiny drops of water that I thought was rain too significant to do anything but run from car to building.
And then I moved to the Pacific Northwest. What a beautiful area; the evergreen state is well-named, with friendly neighbors and much to see and do. There were/are a few lessons learned however, and not any that I would have expected. For example:
- Lose the umbrella. Like a giant sign on your forehead, the easiest way to spot a tourist or part timer is to pick out the umbrellas. Nobody has umbrellas up here- actually with some of the wind events we get, watching the tourists leave restaurants in rainstorms and try to navigate with their umbrella is pure entertainment (and I can say that because I am sure that I have brought giggles and belly laughs to my neighbors in those first few months!)
- Do not wait for a perfect day to plan to be outside. First of all, the weather changes up here so fast that you will never be able to confidently forecast. It’s a great lesson to learn that weather should not dictate what you do on any particular day. The only difference between a rainy day and a sunny day is the clothes you wear to get outside and be part of it. (And please, do get outside. You will never breathe cleaner air, see bluer skies, or be more centered than when you just get out and go).
- Download at least one weather app. No I’m not kidding; I actually have quite a few on my phone covering rain, wind, tides, and of course standard forecast. Want to go for a hike along the beach? Better check a tide chart or you might be in that cove for awhile. Want to drive on the beach? DEFINITELY check that tide chart!
- Embrace new adventures. My local bucket list is long but it is also very broad. Waterfalls, rain forests, tide pools, Goonies festival, amazing craft breweries, Dark Arts Festival, foodie delights, sandcastle and kite fairs, classic car shows, rodeos, and parades are just a few of the new experiences you’ll have- and those are local! Don’t be afraid to just grab your jacket (yes, you can have one of those; just not the umbrella) and just go.
- Understand that 60 is the new 80. I would not have believed it but low 60’s and sunny is a perfect day on the peninsula. I haven’t quite cracked the code on why yet, but think it must have something to do with being further north and out from under any sort of smog layer. 60 is not cold; matter of fact it’s pretty darn warm, although I think this lesson will take me a bit longer to get used to as I’m forever over dressing…
Oh, and yes, we do have our fake spring up here as well, but I think the difference is, we are outside enjoying it.
Happy Spring everyone!