Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First impressions

We made it!!! It was a very long day not to mention a very long 11hrs cramped in a plane with a wriggling, teething baby (6 pearly whites and counting!) but we finally arrived in cold but sunny California on Sunday afternoon. Oliver cried (ok, screamed hysterically) at an opportune moment in customs and we were whisked to the front of the line which probably saved us hours - all went went well though and now we've just got to make the journey to Canada and back to activate our other visas. We've barely been here 48 hours yet but the change from Holland is well, quite a shock. My first impressions...

... Things really are BIG. Big cars, big open spaces (I'm convinced the sky looks bigger! Maybe it's just that I've forgotten what blue looks like), big bridges (spotted the golden gate bridge from the plane), big 'freeways', big pizzas, big carparks... I could go on!

... It's cold. At first it seemed colder then Nijmegen but it has been warming up during the day - a long sleeve shirt is fine. Apparently the temperature difference between where we are and the city can be quite huge (up to 20 deg - whatever that is in celsius, I'm still figuring it out) so I think we will be trying to find a rental in southern Silicon Valley where it's warmer!

... Being able to overtake on the left and right just doesn't seem safe on the aforementioned BIG freeways.

... Speaking English without having to think twice feels like such a luxury! I think it must be rubbing off on Ollie too - in the supermarket yesterday, I heard DADDY come from the pram. Seriously. It was clear as a bell, Mitch and I just looked at each other in shock! He is making more and more sounds these days, including his latest craze - he hisses at everything, funny boy!

... Living in the same town as Google is awesome... Hello free wifi!

... The trolleys are awful!!! None of the back wheels turn and it makes steering impossible. I've already nearly taken out a few unsuspecting people with my lack of skills with an American trolley...

... The supermarkets/shops at first seem pretty awesome but they quickly become overwhelming. I had to get out of Walmart in a hurry yesterday after suffering Reeces peanut butter cup variety overload.

... The light switches are just not logical. They flip the opposite way. It's confusing. I'm generally pretty adaptable but my brain just can't handle this change!

... There are in fact mountains in Mountain View! Well, they are in the distance anyway... Quite a shock seeing a more dry, hilly environment after wet Flatland!

More to come... Our USA adventure is only just beginning!


  1. Lu! so glad you got there safe and sound - good on Ollie for his scream! He knows how to hurry a line along! I love that he is hissing! You wouldn't believe it but Byron has started to whistle. So hilarious - I didn't know it was possible for a baby :)) will have to tell you all about it when we skype. Love you heaps and enjoy the mountain views for me!
    Love Martine

  2. Awesome - Glad you've arrived safely. I can relate to everything you're saying about CA from when I went there a few years ago. Enjoy the trolleys :)

    James also has 6 teeth (got 4 at once up the top!) and crawls around saying 'gad gad gad'.

    They grow up so quickly... Hope Mitch is enjoying work!

  3. Hey Lu,
    So glad to hear that you have arrived safely!! Culture shock sounds like you could produce some more funny stories.
    Enjoy your upsize ;-)

  4. Thanks everyone, it's so good to be here!

    Tia - that is so funny! You have to take a video of it for me, funny Byron!!! I can imagine him cruising around whistling!

    Simon - wow, crawling already, go James! Ollie also got his top 4 at once (in the days before we flew out), I thought he was really unusual getting that many at once so it's nice to know he's not the only one! Mitch doesn't start work til after Easter so he's enjoying a bit of a break between jobs :)

    Selina - It's funny, I didn't think you could have culture shock going to an english speaking country but you can! It's more like Qld then Holland is but it's still so, so different. We are enjoying the upsize though hehe :)


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