Please head on over to become a destination!
I was born and raised in Chicago with loving parents. In 1972 I married the love of my life. But as you know life doesn't always turn out the way we plan it. My mother passed away when I was 31 years old and then 9 months later my husband left me. I played the role of a single parent for six years. It's exhausting! We actually lived right off of Route 66 in Western Springs, IL.
Then my husband (x) came back into my life and that is how I ended up in Southern California. In 1988 I packed up our two children and headed West. We lived in the San Diego/La Jolla area for 8 months before heading North. Not North as in Northern California but around two hours North of San Diego. I loved San Diego, it's a town with so many wonderful things to do and see. Then it was back to Route 66 for 17 years when we moved into our home in Fontana, CA. (when I was 8 years old my family made the trip to California driving the whole way on Route 66 from Chicago)
La Jolla Coves
We purchased a home in Fontana, CA the next year since my husbands work brought us into Los Angeles. 1989 was the peek of the housing market in California. We ended up being about 45 East of Los Angeles where new houses were somewhat affordable and many builders had to hold a lottery drawing because of demand. We were lucky enough to walk into a sales office on the day they opened a new street up for sale. We lived in that home for 17 years before moving to Riverside, CA which is about 25 miles South of our home in Fontana. We also got remarried in 1989 in Las Vegas on our original wedding date only 17 years later.
California Speedway Fontana, CA
We were lucky enough to sell our home at the peek however that meant that we bought our new home at the peek too. Our new home has a large kitchen, large family room, 3 bedrooms, two offices, living room, dining room and is on a hilltop, we love it. Our children just don't understand why we waited until they were all grown up and out of the house to buy the big house but let me tell you that we all enjoy it and it's a great place to gather. Actually our daughter and son-in-law moved in with us last March so having extra rooms is a plus. Of course we don't have room for company now but we had just about everyone out to visit with us the year before! We have no other family in California. (we did have my aunt & uncle here for many years until they passed away)
Home in Riverside
So here I am living in a new home (well it was new 4 years ago) that is on a hilltop with a gorgeous view. My husband now works only 9 miles from work and that is a huge blessing with California traffic. I am pretty much a homebody these days (severe asthma/COPD) so I actually don't have a lot to share with you about Riverside per say. We do have the Mission Inn which is a Historical Landmark and really fun to visit in the winter when the building is decorated with lights that go on forever. Our daughter actually got married in the chapel 8 years ago and it was the perfect dream wedding that we actually planned in a three week period of time. Her future husband was home on leave from the Marines and they had decided that after 9/11 they didn't want to wait until he was out of the service to tie the knot. We also have several Casinos not too far away which I like to go to.
City view of lightsDaytime view in winter w/snow in the mountains
I still seem to gravitate back to our stomping grounds in the Rancho Cucamonga area, especially because I bowl out that way on Tuesday mornings so I just stay in the area and run my errands. One thing about living where we do now and even where we lived for 17 years is the fact that you can be almost anywhere within a short period of time. We are only 3 1/2 hours from Las Vegas, 45 minutes away from the snow in the Winter, about 1 or 2 hours from the beach depending on which one you go to and the same with going into Los Angeles. We are only 40 minutes from Disneyland which we visited twice last year. For those of you with young children I want you to know that it's a lot of fun with your adult children too!
Living in the Inland Empire does have it's downfalls, especially during the winter months when we have Santa Ana winds. It took me years to get use to them coming from Chicago. Winds always meant a storm was coming, I was always waiting for the rain and tornadoes. There are times when these winds can be very damaging. Of course getting use the earthquakes is a whole other story! It is an incredible feeling to feel the earth move under you that's for sure!
Of course one of the best things about Southern California is the weather. I can't complain, although I have been know to do that. I never need more then a sweater and the heat is a dry one. Unless it gets into the upper 90's or over 100 degrees you really don't feel any humidity and that's a good thing. I pretty much wear capri pants and Birkenstock shoes 24/7/365. (of course a blouse too) If you read my blog you will see that I had to get a pair of closed toe shoes for an upcoming trip to Chicago at the end of October.
I know that many people say they would miss the weather changes but after living here for 22 years I can tell you that we do have changes. We even have trees whose leaves change color. Sure it's a little different when Christmas comes but if we want to be in the snow we can and if we don't we can sit in the hot tub! (and my husband is not outside in the freezing weather hanging Christmas lights) After 31 years of living in a suburb outside Chicago with the cold of Winter and the Summer storms I can truly say that I don't want to go back but I do love to visit.
Now if you want a post on the FOODS I miss from Chicago I could fill a whole page for you and that is why I am looking forward to my trip back in October and some great eats along Route 66!
Thank you for stopping over. If you are ever in town come on over for a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine and enjoy the view.