California makes me feel whole. Which is not to say that I feel empty when in other places, but maybe a bit Swiss-cheezy sometimes. I guess there are little gaps that only California can fill. Like my need to see palm trees (even if they are not native to Northern California and were artifically imported there years ago) and a blue ocean every day. I suppose if I really wanted to, I could make it to the ocean here in Massachusetts, but it would be grey, and it would be the Atlantic, and it would probably smell like cod. More California things that I need on a regular basis-- the smell of eucalyptus trees, big Asian markets with weird fruit, caterpillar rolls, drinking wine outside, having picnics with fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, blood oranges, cable cars (except for the stupid, fake tourist ones that aren't attached to cables and freewheel around the city), pale pink houses, big cacti in pots, malls called "Gallerias," See's candy, heaping towers of frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles, twinkle lights in the summer, red-tile roofs, the Great Highway, wetsuits, gatorade hippies, actual hippies, big bridges, people wearing Stanford sweatshirts, foghorns, and on and on.
I was just back in San Francisco for my spring break. I've said it a million times but I am a West Coast girl when it comes down to it, and every time I go back to California, I internally kick myself a bit for being on the wrong side of the country, where it's cold and people wear black and navy. Then I remind myself that I specifically chose to go to law school on the East Coast, and that I am witnessing a different American culture, living a different American life, mixing it up when I'm still young enough to do so. So it's good. It's good. It's Boston. There's lobster and clam chowder and regattas and Irish pubs. It just doesn't make me feel as much of myself as California does.
Well, California will still be there when I graduate from law school -- that is, unless the Big One happens and the entire West Coast breaks off into the ocean and floats away into oblivion.