After a long absence of 16 years, I finally set foot upon native soil. And what did I find? Lots of surprises!
My son, who is just shy of 16 years himself (I was pregnant with him on my last visit – which was also, coincidentally, in late October of 2000), has also changed a lot in 16 years. So that goes without saying.
I spent only 10 days or so abroad, and here is what I found. Washington State is a lot like Croatia. Lots of green, lots of maritime culture (fresh fish, tourism, wood heating, and healthy eating). I almost felt like I hadn’t gone anywhere – until I stepped into a WAL-MART. A Walmart virgin till then, I got what I expected – lots of good quality items for a very competitive price – and very interesting looking shoppers to boot!
Next stop – Orange County. Tell me, someone, when did rural, redneck turned cultural pearl Orange County turn into the South of France? I mean – as I rubbed my eyes in disbelief – this is CANNES!!
So many lush and reasonably priced restaurants, makes a person think three times before whipping up a meal. I grew up in Fullerton, just next door to its famous neighbor Anaheim, home of Disneyland. Damn, this place is full of colorful lights, immaculately landscaped highways and parking lots where the Car is King.
I also took my first Uber ride. Not that Croatia doesn’t have UBER – in Zagreb yes and in other key cities “coming soon”. Just didn’t have the need, till now.
UBER and its copycat competitor LYFT rock. About half the price to the airport than a shuttle or 1/4 the price of a taxi.
In the land where little old ladies drive late model automobiles, yes, we are not in Kansas anymore. I know – because I am related to two of them. My own mother, aged 81 who uses a walker, drives a sexy burgundy Hyundai that used to be a rental car. Honestly, I didn’t recognize her when I saw her.
Yes – America rocks – and no I didn’t go for the election – I have an absentee ballot for that.
Seeing my whole family was a treat – and I have to say, I think they thought the same about me.