Freitag, 10. April 2015

First days in California.

You want the latest news? 
And facts?

As far as I am able to put it into writing, given the few days that I have been here, I want to keep you informed about our new life in California. 

1. The house.

... is even much more wonderful than expected. 
Looking at houses online can be tricky: everything can be embellished. 
Once you have reached your destination after traveling for thousands of miles the abode can turn out to be a complete letdown. 
And then what do you do. 

It is the exact opposite in our case:  
The house could hardly be more beautiful. 
It is the perfectly relaxed mix of select antiques and some modern elements, a lot of wood and exactly the right “American touch”. 
There is a very soft white couch in the living room, where you can cuddle up sink into with a cup of tea – in front of a fireplace that is already lit in the morning. 
Except, if you enjoy the sunrise – like I did – on ...

2. The Beach.

It is barely 2 minutes down the street from us, in a part of town that is not so touristy – there you can enjoy the sunrise in the morning all by yourself, except for some people walking their dogs. 
This afternoon Noelle went for a walk and met a seal.

The water is icy cold and rather unsuitable for swimming – but we knew this from the get-go, for if that had been my goal we would have moved to Florida ;).
But here there is a constant breeze creating the perfect conditions for surfing. 
And this takes us to the next topic…

3. Surfing.

Not much to say here. 
Since they were on spring break here until Sunday and many groups of young people came to the coast from the cities to party, I waited a little before booking surf lessons for the children.
However, the owner of the house, Allyson (someone you can’t help but like after 1.35 seconds), already recommended Barry. 
I do hope Barry looks approximately like THIS; otherwise I want my money back, because I absolutely share Noelle’s opinion: 
"We've booked the FULL CALI EXPERIENCE."

4. Everyday life.

Has not really been established yet. 
Everything is new and unfamiliar; I still have to learn hundreds of things: 
How to fill the car with gas (you have to pay FIRST and THEN you get the gas), which days are the trash collection days, what do I say when greeted with "Hi guys, how are you?" (you best answer with the same question and a thank you), how do I run the dish washer and the toaster, and above all:  
How do I find my way back home? 

My sense of orientation is usually not the best, but here I am simply and totally LOST.
And the same happens when going…

5. Grocery shopping.

I am completely overwhelmed by the huge selection of new, great and, in parts, beautifully packaged food items! 

So I stand what seems like 10 minutes in front of every shelf, until my children impatiently pull me forward – THIS is how you have to picture it. 
(Sometimes Noelle saves me by pointing to something, saying: “Eva always buys this yogurt.” Then I just buy this one, too. Thank God for Eva!)

At Whole Food’s alone there surely are 40 kinds of "organic chocolate" with the most varied flavors and the world’s prettiest packaging – and everything healthy, healthy, healthy, of course!

“Healthy", "organic" and "local" are very much valued here and I have already been to various farmers' markets in the area with the kids – it was a lot of fun, and I will report about them in more detail another time. 

I very much enjoy trying the local vegetables – I guess I have arrived in food heaven. 
Well, if I ever find my way out of the grocery store first. 

But after 30 minutes the latest I am so cold (the air condition being set to about -1500°), that I want to go somewhere else: 

6. The town.

Santa Cruz is the ideal mix: 
It is the relaxed surfer’s paradise (Noelle says: it is stoned. And she really knows what she is talking about, as she, as I found out the day before yesterday, was hanging with a group of dope dealers in school. “Mom, EVERYONE smokes weed here.” I really tried to not spit out the tea I was drinking in order to pretend to be a cool mom), and at the same time has everything a town needs. 

We already found our favorite ice-cream parlor (everything healthy, organic, the strawberry ice-cream made of local strawberries, of course, and unbelievably delicious – and I don’t even like ice-cream that much!). 
And a movie theater that is so incredibly retro-beautiful that I could not resist and watched a movie there with the kids the same afternoon. 
We also spend hours in a book store and emerged with a huge pile of books – Noelle now reads, among other things "surviving the extremes", in order to be perfectly prepared at any time in case of a possible shark attack. 
Or an earthquake.
Or an extra-terrestrial invasion.
Just the things you experience every day.

Apart from that, the two of us went thrift store shopping – as you are supposed to – and not only found 2 nice basics, but also an item that, at first sight, we couldn’t identify whether it was “high fashion” - or a sofa.
In the end we bought the sofa and decided it was high fashion. 
(When adding high heels it is actually VERY high fashion, I will definitely have to show you soon). 
High heels are, however, in short supply in Santa Cruz, because: 

7. The style.

... is very casual, relaxed and non-dramatic. 
I think I packed exactly the right things and can look effortlessly good every day with a lot of basics and a handful of highlights.

One of my favorites is a white shirt with a denim shirt (the wind is sometimes quite cold) and a sequin skirt with white sneakers. 
It is exactly the right amount of casual without being boring! 

Because a sequin skirt like this can be worn year-round, if it is a neutral color – down-styling it during the day with simple basics (grey cashmere sweater, white T-shirt, denim shirt, flats), high heels in the evening or for going out: BAAAAAM.
I love clothes like that!

Women already stopped me in the street asking me in high-pitched, excited voices about the skirt, and I answered truthfully:  
"Yes, it's because I needed to put some sparkle into my life!"

Which made them agree in high-pitched, excited voices ;).

And so that you, too, can have your share of Santa Cruz:
A very simple, very delicious breakfast recipe, inspired by a local café – ideal for anyone who likes eating a warm meal in the morning. 
Dare try it, as quinoa has a neutral flavor and is therefore wonderfully suited for breakfast – full of protein and with more fiber than most grains it is truly one of the super foods! 

Just like raw chocolate nibs: there is hardly anything healthier. 
Even, if you don’t like eating raw chocolate that much – these little pieces are hardly discernible, but they give the right kind of crunch and a lot of energy for the day. 
And of course they are: organic and healthy, healthy, healthy!

Quinoa breakfast bowl.

½ cup quinoa
1 cup yogurt 
2 Tbsp raw chocolate nibs (organic food store or at Amazon)
Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, etc. 

Prepare quinoa according to instructions on the package, stir in cold yogurt and serve topped with the rest of the ingredients. 

I always cook more quinoa than I need and either warm it up in the morning or add the leftovers into my salad in the evening. 

You will find a beautiful sequin skirt at Asos or at MyTheresa.

I hope you have a most wonderful day, while I will now throw myself onto my huge, American bed! 
Good morning, Germany!
Good night, America!



Thank you for translating this post to Eva Ginnell!

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