Monday, June 23, 2014

Midwest Musings


Being from California, many people have recently asked me "how do you like Michigan and living in the Midwest?" Maybe instead of answering each individual person, I'll just write it all here in a blog post and direct them to read it ;) So…here you have it; some things I've noticed, be it things I love, don't love, or just things that are plain different than back home in California.

1. The weather. I really had no clue how much it rained and stormed here. I thought Seattle was bad…boy, was I ever wrong! ;) In between the beautiful sunshine we do get here in Michigan, there are some crazy storms. In California, I can't even remember the last time we had thunder and lightning, so needless to say I'm a little scared of it. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend's family thinks I'm a big baby, but I'm not used to it, so I can't sleep if there's loud thunder or lightning. Please tell me I will get used to this!

Maybe I'm just spoiled by living in California most of my life, but I'm wondering when Summer weather is here to stay? Last time I checked, it's late June and we've had thunderstorms all week. I can't take it anymore! And that humidity…I. Just. Can't. My hair has never looked….worse. Perhaps it will just take a bit of getting used to.

2. The people. They're so nice! Sometimes a little too nice ;) I can't go anywhere without having a full-on, meaningful conversation with at least one clerk, salesperson or random shopper. Everyone is so kind and talkative here, and this California girl is certainly not used to that. What I AM used to is rushing around, not saying more than "please" or "thank you" to the clerks at the checkout stands, so this is very refreshing. The men here are gentlemen, opening doors and letting women walk in front of them (my boyfriend included! He has the best manners!) It's also more conservative here, which I also welcome.

3. The food. While there's every chain restaurant known to man (all located on one street, too!) I haven't found there to be very many "hole in the walls" or family owned eateries. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but it seems to me that this part of the country is satisfied with all their fast food (yuck!) and chain restaurants. I have been super impressed with a few restaurants located in the down town areas, but around my own neighborhood, there's not much.

4. The accent and speech. Yes, it's the Midwestern's who have the accent, not me ;) Their long "A's" crack me up! I also think their informality of speech is funny. My mom and I both noticed that instead of answering "yes", "sure", or "I understand" to a question or in agreement with someone's statement, the majority of people say "yep" and nod their head. I think I'm starting to do it now, too. Ah! Also, instead of saying "June twenty third", most will say "June twenty three". This is just plain lazy in my opinion…ha! There are so many other words that we pronounce differently, too, so you will often catch my boyfriend and I laughing at each other when that happens.

5. The land. It's flat as can be out here, with not a mountain or hill in sight! California is filled with rolling hills (all probably brown right now because of our lack of rain. Hey, I have an idea! Let's send some Michigan rain over West:)) I never knew how much I'd miss those mountains. To make up for it, the lakes and beaches here are gorgeous. If I could go to the lake everyday, I sure would!

6. The style. In California I'd be worried about how I looked going to the grocery store. I definitely don't have to worry about that here, as the style and fashion is much more laid back. While I love fashion and trying my best to look cute, this is actually kind of refreshing. Except when people wear their PJ's to the market (true story, I've seen this more than a couple of times). That's where I draw the line, people!

If you have moved across the country before, what differences have YOU noticed?!

Happy Monday!
xoxo
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22 comments:

  1. Michaela, I love this. :) it's making my anticipate my move, and all the differences between the west coast and mid west. I love that the style is more relaxed and the pace is different. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Haha! This list cracks me up as I have lived in WI my whole life so pretty close to MI and your list is spot on! Summer, yeah not sure when that will show up....the people are nice....and the style, well let me tell you that you are probably one of the best dressed people in the Midwest, ha! PJ's to the store is not uncommon, I do not do that but yes some things people wear out of their homes, eeek! Hehe!

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  3. Your thoughts about the Midwest are fun to read! I grew up and live in Minnesota still and agree with some of these thoughts. We are totally friendly in the midwest and can meet and become friends so fast here and the PJ comment is very true; I wish more people would discontinue that look out in public though :) The restaurant chains is a bit more sad though - not sure where you live in MI but maybe closer to a big city there would be more unique dinning; I know the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul have their fair share of chains but still a good variety of unique & varied restaurants.

    Hopefully summer and sunshine will arrive in Michigan for you soon; it has in MN!

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  4. Your comments were so fun to read, Michaela and oh so true! The weather is the big one. Being from Minnesota I grew up on the big lake - Lake Superior. And while the scenery is spectacular, along with the beauty comes the cold, rain, wind and fog (just ask the participants in the Grandma's Marathon this past Saturday up in Duluth). It's all a trade-off. I do love the California weather, drought and all, but I have always missed the midwest manners and politeness which is sorely missing out here at times. Whenever I go back to visit it still feels like "home" even though I've been gone for many years. (It snowed when I was in Duluth the end of April this year). I also lived in Mpls for 6 years and I agree with "Becca at One Girl" - the Twin Cities has great restaurants and fun places to dine, but Mpls is pretty upscale over all. So, hang in there, it will take about 2 years to adjust and feel like home. Hugs.

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  5. I didn't know you moved! I'm in ND now (temporarily) and I can not stand when people say "I seen". Nearly everyone uses "literally" incorrectly as well. I'm a snob... it just doesn't sound right to the ear. There's plenty more I could complain about ;)

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  6. Fun reading your comments. I grew up in the Mid West and I remember the humidity. Being near the beach or having use of a pool helps on those hot humid days. And, you will get use to those thunder storms - I think?? I love listening to thunder and try to guess how far away the lightning strikes are. You are safe in-doors. Just count, "one one thousand, two one thousand, etc." and that's how many miles away the lightning was. Make it a game, and lightning storms can make beautiful light shows. Enjoy!

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  7. Oh, you stop counting when you hear the thunder. I forgot to say that above. ☺️

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  8. This is a very interesting perspective! I live in East Lansing and have definitely noticed some of these things (for example, my kids think the best/craziest thing about college is that they'll get to wear pj's to school whenever they want ;) Message me if you ever want some MI advice. I've lived here forever :)

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  9. Too funny! PJ's grocery shopping is too much, you're right and I dont think you're even going to THE PJ Meijers. ;)
    I dont agree on the fast food, in fact, we miss out on a lot of chains being as we live on a giant peninsula that once you're in there's no way out! Not so good for trucks and mileage etc. Hence no Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Stay off 28th, Alpine, and the E Beltline, and you'll do ok. Electric Cheetah, Brewery Vivant, Marie Catribs, Pietros and Salvadores is fabulous Italian.
    You're right, we're considerably nicer here. We just are. It's so offensive to travel other places when you're used to it!
    The humidity. Someone for sure should have told you this, but then you may not have come. September will be better. Get some Aqua net! Your hair will NEVER look like your CA hair. sorry...

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  10. I actually moved from Michigan to New Mexico. I love both states :) I miss the Michigan weather and water but I love the New Mexico sun.

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  11. So many fun/funny things here...you know I grew up going to MI in the summers. I think the restaurant situation would be the hardest for me. I definitely noticed that there is not much "character" when it comes to local eats...mostly chain restaurants as you mentioned above. But I think it's refreshing too...to live in a new place and appreciate a different part of the country. I mean, even though Tahoe is still in CA, it's a FAR cry from Newport Beach! ;)

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  12. LOL...wondered how you were adjusting. We are used to it since hubby grew up there and most of his family still lives there, his mom included. I grew up in NY til the age of 10, so I've heard it all.

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  13. Girl I am right there with you on most of this list! I just moved to Canada and it's like you read my mind:)

    xo http://www.mrsjaclynleblanc.blogspot.com

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  14. As for the weather, this has honestly been the worst year (and I'm sure you've heard that!). The thunderstorms to take some getting used to, but they really don't last that long. The "bad" parts of the storms really only last 5-15 minutes I've noticed. The food is definitely a little rough. There are some awesome places for you to eat in downtown GR that are far from chain restaurants. I don't bother going to eat out much unless it's to a place that is really special and different. If you ever come over to my side of the state (for some shopping, definitely!) I'll take you to some delicious places that really are wonderful and unique. As much as I love the mitten, I still think you're crazy for moving her from CA! Love makes us all crazy though (in a wonderful and brave way!) ;)

    xoxo
    Taylor

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  15. This is a really cool post! Michigan is a beautiful place, and the people definitely have that "Midwestern Charm"! ;)

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

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  16. haha I love this! So many things you dont think about, but I will say that even here in Montana we have had some crazy thunderstorms lately that my little Washington heart isnt used to.

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  17. I can relate to all of these! I'm a NorCal native recently relocated to Missouri so I just get this post hahahaha

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  18. It's so funny learning new things about places. I know I've experience that moving from texas to oklahoma. I have family in michigan and I've been there often growing up but I've not really noticed one way or the other any of these things, I think next time I'm up there I'll pay more attention :)

    And this is totally random but I found a new blog and this lady has created a craft house that she rents out. I had fun just scrolling through her pictures of it that I just had to share with you...who knows, it could be a fun place for the next bloom workshop! http://www.megduerksen.com/rent-the-craft-house/

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  19. I am originally from the East Coast, Maryland, to be exact - talk about an accent! Everything was very rushed and fast paced. Now I live in Colorado where it isn't a paper bag but a sack and that isn't soda you are drinking but pop or a soft drink. Also coming from a climate of humidity and I mean hot and humid to crazy arid where your skin dries so quickly you can look like a snake shedding in just a few days it was hard. Though I love the weather here now, 80's during the summer with 8% humidity means no bugs and I can live outside. Also the altitude here took a bit getting use to. Just walking up the stairs I use to get out of breath! While I do miss the ocean I do love the mountains. I'm sure it will take you a while to get use to the new surroundings but I know you'll come out well!

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  20. You are spot on my dear! I am still waiting for summer as well, the rain has been crazy this year and I hope we get in a few good months before fall hits. Our summers are amongst some of the best, so fingers crossed the rain settles soon.

    I couldn't agree more with all you mentioned, from the accents to the casual attire. But the best part is that there is something to be said about the kindness of the mid-west! It is something that I always notice when I travel, and appreciate when I return home. Fingers crossed you stumble upon some good restaurants soon!

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