While in quarantine, I've noticed a lot about the state I grew up in, even though I haven't left my house. While doing little to nothing, I've noticed aspects of Northern California I never fully grasped I was so lucky to have.
I also have thought about the things I miss doing and places I miss going. I am so thankful for where I live and miss being able to explore it more.
1. The Redwoods
Giant redwood trees are what surround my house. I always knew I had them, believe me, they leave sap on my car when their branches fall. They cause a street to be blocked off, and their small acorns and pines get caught in my dog's fur. I've known they were there, but I never sat down and looked at them.
It's crazy to have them on your property, especially when I don't live in an area with acres of land for a backyard. Redwoods make home feel like a beautiful hidden forest, and I'm so thankful to see them after spending years at college with nothing but cacti.
2. The Golden Gate
I miss the Golden Gate Bridge. Something about the beautiful tourist attraction gives me peace and happiness. I think it's so beautiful to walk on and admire the water. It also has a beautiful view of the city and a glimpse of Sausalito.
Now that I'm stuck in my house, I crave going to the bridge even more so. It's one of my favorite things to do in the city and places to take photos.
3. How a city can turn into a ghost town
The streets are empty in all of California. The multiple cities we have in this state that embrace nightlife, interaction and a fast pace life are a quiet as a ghost town.
It is strange to sit in my house, in Sacramento, CA, during this time of year and not hear the traffic on the streets or the kids riding their bikes home from school. It's so quiet, and I'm not used to it. It makes time pass even slower during these locked up days.
4. Spring flowers
I've really began to abbreviate how many flowers I have at my house. Every corner you turn there is either a new assortment of flowers or a giant redwood tree. I've taken plenty of photos and really started to admire this time of year. The allergies, however, are killing me, but at least I have a pretty view and pop of color during these times.
5. Rapid change of weather
I noticed the abrupt change of weather my friends and I used to complain about in high school. During the spring, it's 30 degrees in the morning and 80 by noon. It's a struggle when you can go outside.
This year, I experienced it a lot differently as I am not at school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day anymore. However, it seemed like one day it was raining and cold and now all of a sudden it's in the 90s. It almost feels like I didn't leave Arizona.
I always remember what amazing food California has when I am away, but I especially remember now as I miss going to them. Getting takeout is not as satisfying, especially when local businesses put in such work to create an amazing experience for the customers. I miss the social interaction, the ambiance, and the fresh food!
Although I cannot go to these restaurants, for the time being, I am making sure that I support them in any way I can.
7. Being able to leave the house
I miss being able to walk around and experiencing everyday life. It is crazy how we take the little things granted such as walking around a city you love with friends on a warm day. Saying hi to the friendly strangers passing by and taking pictures of the scenery you walk by.
I'm always missing my friends. Since starting college, I've met so many people and kept in contact with so many people from home. Whether I am at home or at school, I am always missing friends and family. It feels especially lonely during the pandemic but being able to text and FaceTime makes everything better.
I miss concerts, and I am so grateful to be from a state with such beautiful venues! I keep replaying old concert videos that bring me nostalgia. It brings me joy, and having this break has really made me appreciate some of the things I have gotten to do in my 20 years.
One thing I have noticed about Northern California, and California as a whole, is how well we have handled the pandemic. We have stayed strong together. As boring or solemn as it is, we know what we have to do to protect the lives of ourselves and others. I am proud to be a Californian, and I hope other states take as much precaution as we have.