A New Place (3)

Remember I talked about some of the things I looked for when moving to a new place? In case you missed it, I always try to find out about: running paths, grocery stores, burritos and libraries. I already talked a little about some of the great places to run that I have found. I will also have a list for you pretty soon regarding burritos and grocery stores.

But right now, I want to say that although those staples were and are important to me, here are a few others that I forgot about or have found as well. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's gone and sometimes you don't know what you are missing until you find it! In this case we have some examples of both!

Thrift Stores: I am an avid thrift store shopper. NOT a vintage store shopper. This time especially, since we are only living here for a couple of months. We did not want to move stuff from my storage, which is 200 miles away, to then have to just move it back in 10 weeks. Mr. Lovely lives 3000 miles away, so of course there is no point in moving his stuff! So we decided to get by on the bare minimum. With a few trips to the thrift store, we pretty much had all that we needed! Also, not only are the thrift stores plentiful here, but the prices are awesome! (A few to try if you are in the area: Thrift Center, Salvation Army, Bargain Barn) If you are willing to dig a bit, you will find gold. I found a pair of Anne Taylor slacks for $2. (FYI. Other places with good thrift stores? Kansas City and New Orleans.)

Yard Sales: Who knew I would also be a yard sale person. I guess really it's just a step above (or below?) the thrift store. I am sure what doesn't sell at the yard sale will end up at the thrift store, so it's really just cutting out the middle man (and getting a better price to boot!) Mr. Lovely has decided he is an art connoisseur and has gone on a painting buying spree and I picked up four of these seal-able glass jars for $5!

People Watching: I have seen many a beard, deadlock, tattoo, and backpack. I have seen people playing trumpets, saxophones, guitars and a violin while walking down the street (not to mention the percussion groups and bands on the sidewalk). There are 90 year old surfer dudes and 5 year old ones. There are a plethora of Westfalias and Subarus. There are painted vans and motor-homes. There is a guy selling fish tacos from his truck near the beach. There are skateboarders, bikers, surfers, runners, walkers, paddle boarders, unicycle riders and mini motorcycles. There are punk kids and yuppies and everything in between. It's a beach town. It's great. I love it.

Fish tacos and surfing accidents

People Power: Their mission: "We promote the use of bicycles, utility tricycles, bike-trailers, skateboards, walking, and other non-motorized transit. We are committed to helping government, cititzens, and businesses overcome their dependence on the automobile. Our goal is to demonstrate that better alternatives to the car exist, while improving conditions for bicyclists in Santa Cruz County." A little bit hippie? Sure. Do I love it? Yup.

The Weather: I love the weather. On average, it's between 50 and 70. This is great for running and just being outside in general. Also, plants barely need water, as there is plenty of moisture in the air. If I get lazy and don't feel like running in the morning, I can wait. It's awesome!

Farmer's Markets: I am not talking about the froo-froo ones where everything is 3x more than you would normally pay and there are specialty cheeses and oils and other froo-froo stuff and it's filled with a bunch of stiff white people wearing Ferragamos who are feeling all superior because they are buying cherries for $5.99 a pound. I am talking about the ones who picked the fruit are there, letting you taste everything and selling you the stuff mere minutes after it's come from the ground. I am talking about the place where the peaches are still warm, and the whole family is tending the stall and where you can get a bunch of beets or a couple of fat tomatoes for less than a dollar.

These also go hand in hand with Roadside Fruit Stalls. I saw them in New Orleans (Oranges, shrimp. Yes, shrimp) and in Missouri (Watermelon), but I think California is where I have seen the most. Usually you can stop at the actual farm and buy whatever they are growing. You can also stop at the roadside stall where the food is always cheaper than at the market. Oranges, Cherries, Peaches, Kiwis, Pluots (a cross between a plum and an apricot), Olives, Artichokes...the list goes on. They are all grown locally (in most cases mere feet from the seller) and are fresh, cheap and delicious.

Anyway, there are so many more things that I am loving and am finding and am forgetting that I even needed, wanted or loved! But I am remembering the old ones and finding more new things I love!

What do you love about where you live? Have you found something new that you didn't even realize was there and now it's your new favorite thing? Do you have road side fruit stands in your area?


  1. LOL at your description of the froo froo farmer's markets. You know we can all picture it!

    Sounds like a great spot with a great vibe. I love a little bit of granola in a town.

    I love my town b/c it has so much to offer those of us seeking a healthy lifestyle.

  2. it took me over 6 months to find the Italian gellateria around the corner, best little hang out!
    sounds like a cool place you have moved to!

  3. I'm totally a fan of the ppl power movement! :) and I try to live that way most days!!

    I love being close to running trails. I used to have to drive 20 min. Now I walk out my front door.

    I am envious of your temperatures!! :)

  4. When I moved from San Diego to Pensacola, I was hoping for a big farmers market with lots of sample tables. Going to the farmers market in SD, for me, was (at a minimum) a weekly ritual... Not so in Pensacola... I was heartily disappointed until I found the roadside fruit/veg stands. Problem solved!!! :)

  5. Oh, you're making me miss Ithaca... it had many of those characteristics, other than the perfect weather. Enjoy it for me!

  6. I love how you are making the most of being in a new place. Even though I'm not able to enjoy certain things as much as I'd like, I do love that Chicago has so many local/neighborhoody farmer's markets and meat markets. Yummy!

  7. Now I feel guilty about loving the uptight yuppy white people's farmer's markets. I do love the ones that you describe, though, too. But I'm all about getting a weekly CSA once we move.

  8. Dang you talking about the weather, we really want to move to that area so you are torching me!

  9. We do have plenty of roadside fruit stands around here and they are pretty cool. Tons of small farmers markets as well, it's really nice.


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