California Dreamin’ on a winter’s day…

April 5, 2010

It’s that time again…the wind is calling us.  When we returned from Argentina we had a few ideas in mind where we would go next.  Joe still wants to start school in Chicago in the fall, but that left us with 8-9 months of time beforehand.  Did we REALLY want to move to Chicago during the harsh winter?  Um, no.  We were already freezing just being in Kentucky.  We tried to think of the most economical options…where can we get work, fast? 


Joe contacted his old boss at Noresco (his employer in Hawaii) and asked if they had any 6-7 month contract jobs for him.  They responded that they did indeed, in Monterey Bay, California!  We were thrilled to get California, as we were both afraid it would be nowhere, South Dakota.  We jumped at the chance to move somewhere warmer and to live by the beloved ocean again.  Monterey is right on the coast, about 1.5 hours from San Francisco.  The best part is, Noresco will be picking up the tab for our stay…car, housing and food.  I don’t think we could find a better deal!  After being on FUNemployment for the last 6 months, we needed something like this!  I will be working too, though it’s such a small town that I am trying not to get my hopes up that there will be something in my field.  Joe will be working on environmental upgrades for the Naval Academy in town.  Before we head on to Monterey, however, we will be in Victorville, CA for about a month.  This is just a temporary gig for Joe until the Monterey project is ready to begin. 


Sooooo we’ve been in Victorville for about a week now.  What can I say?  It’s not very impressive…basically, it’s one long strip mall.  A concrete jungle.  It’s in what is considered to be the “high desert” meaning it is dry and sunny but we are at a high altitude so it can get pretty chilly.  There are mountains surrounding us that are dry and covered with cacti and some are snow-covered. It’s so strange. I saw my first Joshua Tree…yes, like the U2 album…for some reason that was very thrilling, which shows you just how exciting my life is right now!  Victorville is an airforce town – lots of fast food and chain restaurants but with a Mexican flair! The hotel workers are all Spanish speaking and I got to practice my Spanish today with a maid who was super kind and patient with me while I butchered her language. When I spoke to her she said, “Your Spanish is very strange…who taught you?” When I told her we had studied it in Argentina she shook her head and said, “Ohhhhhhh yes, they have no idea how to speak.” Hahaha!  We are excited to do some fun things on the weekends while here in Victorville…Venice Beach, Death Valley,  LA, perhaps Las Vegas and some visiting with friends and family in the area.  We are staying in a suite at the Hilton Garden Inn which is very nice and comfy, but it is a little odd to live in a hotel.  We are hoping to get a little beach house or condo while in Monterey Bay.  I can’t wait!


Here’s what I’ve learned about Monterey thus far:  the weather is similar to San Francisco, in that it never gets very cold, OR very warm.  We can expect it to be in the 60s when we move there and only 70-75 in the summertime.  That was a bit of a downer, as I am quite a beach bum…but just being near the ocean will feed my soul!  There is a great bike path that runs throughout the city, so I fully intend to skip getting a car and bike it, just like I did in Hawaii.  Everyone I know that has been there has told me that I will LOVE it, so that’s always a good sign.  It’s a small town, which of course isn’t my first choice, but it looks so beautiful and interesting that I’m excited, anyway!  Even though it is small, it has many restaurants, shops, bars and museums because it is a huge tourist spot. As with Victorville, we hope to do some fun things on the weekends here as well: Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Sequoia National Forest, to name a few.  Super excited to run along the coast and possibly complete another marathon this summer (I injured myself recently and will not be able to complete the marathon that I was preparing for in April)  😦 


 So that’s the update for the nomadic Caldwells!  I’m trying to be better about updating this blog…we’ll see how long that lasts.

2 Responses to “California Dreamin’ on a winter’s day…”

  1. Sarah said

    I love ready about your adventures. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in the world. Plus the rock climbing isn’t too shabby either. I may be heading to San Diego at the end of May. If I do, will you be around? I’d love to see you. I’ll keep you posted. Keep up the blog, these are great. xoxo


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