Monday, January 12, 2009

The Late, Great Golden State

I am a born and bred California Girl. I've lived happily in three major California cities (San Diego, San Francisco & Los Angeles). I've enjoyed the Mexican food and beaches immensely. I will have a helluva time buying a house here one day. I don't own a down jacket and have very little wool. I have a job working with music that I love. I wear sunglasses almost every day. The weather makes me joyous at times. I don't notice earthquakes unless they register above a 5 on the Richter scale. I say "Dude" far more than necessary (but I really do try to tone it down).

I always joke around that it usually takes an earthquake to clear the California landscape. And by that, I mean make people move away so it's just a little less crowded. Well, now the economy is helping out with that.

Go East, young man? Californians look for the exit

Mike Reilly spent his lifetime chasing the California dream. This year he's going to look for it in Colorado.

With a house purchase near Denver in the works, the 38-year-old engineering contractor plans to move his family 1,200 miles away from his home state's lemon groves, sunshine and beaches. For him, years of rising taxes, dead-end schools, unchecked illegal immigration and clogged traffic have robbed the Golden State of its allure.

Is there something left of the California dream?

"If you are a Hollywood actor," Reilly says, "but not for us.

It's not that I dislike all the people who come from all over the place to live here - 1/3 of my friends did not originate in this state. But sometimes, I just wish there were a few less chasing the dream here. It does get a bit crowded. So good luck out there, y'all. I'm staying right here.