Thursday, September 30, 2010

CHICAGO TO CALIFORNIA ON ROUTE 66


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 lights

Daytime view in winter w/snow in the mountains

Mission Inn Riverside, CA

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.



31 comments:

Ann Nichols said...

Hi Debby,
What a lovely life you lead! How wonderful that you and your husband got back together after being separated for so many years! A real love story... happy ending and all! And your house...is that the view from your house on the hill! Fabulous...I will stop over for a cup of coffee next time I'm in the area (just have to cross the continent of Europe, the Atlantic Ocean and North America to get there...) so it might be a while but with God...all things are possible! And if you are ever in my area... we can sit on my veranda and look out over the mountains surrounding my city and enjoy that cup of coffee!
Ann

Mara said...

Your current home sounds huge! I don't know whether I could get used to not having a proper winter (even though I have been complaining about the cold here recently. But that might just have something to do with the fact that I am fed up with work. Only one more day left and then I'm on holiday!)

Heather said...

Thanks for a great tour, Debby! Sounds like California has been good to you and your family :)

Joyce said...

Thanks for the tour. I know for sure I'd love that San Diego weather! We have good friends in Rancho Cucamonga but I've never been. We really hope to get out there for a visit but not sure when that will happen.

Enjoy your day, and your trip!

kyooty said...

Oh oh oh! I can't wait to hear the Food post. This post was fabulous. It's so much fun getting to know you better.

gigi said...

I would love to hear about the foods too.

This was a wonderful post and I feel like I really got to know you even better. Smiles.
Blessings on your day!

Christina Lee said...

wowee what an adventure (esp. the re-marriage)!!!

xinex said...

Hi Debby, we moved from a suburb of Chicago in 1981 so I am familiar with Chicago too, don't miss it cause it gets too cold. Sounds like you really have a good life. You have a beautiful home with a breathtaking view...Christine

That corgi :) said...

loved reading about how you ended up where you are at now Debby. can't beat La Jolla, I'm sure it was fun when you lived down in that area; the cove is truly beautiful. your house seems perfect for your needs right now and so convenient for hubby and his work. those commutes can wear a body down soon. wow wonderful story with how quick your daughter's marriage came together! I do need to head up to see the Mission Inn sometime. Sometime we do need to meet in person too :)

I think you described living in Southern California very accurately, it does have its pitfalls but there are lots of wonderful things here too!

betty

Katherine said...

I remember the santa ana's. I miss, miss, miss the weather. Right now, we're having fall temperatures, and I love it, but it also means we'll soon have the freezing temps....

I always loved that you could go to any season you wanted..

jayayceeblog said...

Love your story and your beautiful house. Sounds like a wonderful area to live in. We were in Irvine for a year-and-a-half and enjoyed it immensely, although I do remember the Santa Ana's blowing through. We used to go to Corona Del Mar beach every weekend with a group of people, BBQ and watch the sun go down over the water while the kids played in the sand. I do miss that!

Brandy@YDK said...

you did a great blog trotting post! I really enjoyed reading all about you. I LOVE your house. All that room to spread out.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

I love love the city view of lights!
Have a happy Thursday and a great start to the month of Octobe, Debby xxx

Lora said...

My dad and his wife bought a big house after the 4 of us were grown up and moved out. I know he envisions all of us and our children meeting there one day. Sadly, none of us live within 500 miles of him.

I'm really glad you get to live out the dream. It's perfect!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Ahh Debby I love the remarriage pic :). Just gorgeous!

Sounds like a lot of great places, can't wait to see the food pics when you go back to Chicago :)

Amy said...

I will be out someday for sure.. I can't wait.. I hope you are having a great day.. I enjoyed reading this and getting to you know you more..

croleyc69 said...

What a great tour and I loved the view of the city in lights. It was all wonderful and the snow capped mountains !!!

Caroline

Holly said...

It'll be a fun trip back to Chicago for you. We're taking a trip too in Oct to Chattanooga.

blueviolet said...

You really do live in a gorgeous area! I love your view!

Dena E's Blog said...

Oh Debby,, thanks for sahring alll this,, it does cause me to miss home though.. I sooo love the missions we went to the San Gaberil Mission last summer too and it is soooo gorgeous inside.
As a child grwing up there in So. Cali we never went inside of it,, but last yr. Super~Hubb's wanted to.. And the cove area is breathtaking !!!
I love to see the beach areas decorate the Plams with the whit Christmas lights,,do they still do that??? Its also very beautiful,, and some days I miss the Santa Ana winds,,, weird huh???
I miss my growing up yrs,,that must come with getting older,,I will be very soon in fact...
May you feel wrapped in the Presence of Jesus as you look to Him~~~Hugs Dena

CaraBee said...

What an interesting journey your life has been. I love that you got remarried on the anniversary of your first marriage. So romantic!

The view from your house is absolutely amazing. What a paradise to look out on that every day!

Great tour! Thanks so much for being a part of BlogTrotting!

Technodoll said...

I don't think I'd ever seen a photo of you before, Debby - you are gorgeous! What a beautiful family, so glad it worked out in the end.

Ah, romance ;-)

You almost make me want to move out there.

Almost.

But I do love the snow, no matter how much I moan about it. Perhaps that will change in a decade or two when shoveling becomes a chore my old bones can't take anymore.

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

Your home is beautiful! We bought ours right before the market crashed too. I am sure we will be here a while.

Your husband is lucky with a 9 mile commute. My husband drives into LA everyday and it takes minimum an hour. He has to give himself 2 hours to get there, just in case and that is with a carpool partner.

Goose Hill Farm said...

Hi, Debby~

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. How WONDERFUL that you and your husband got back together. GOD IS GOOD!

You have made me want to visit CA right NOW!

Get the coffee ready.......I'm on my way! :> )

Blessings~
Laura

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

The weather I could live with nicely but not the earthquakes....would be nice to head out on route 66...hope you have a good trip. Trish

Amy said...

Happy Friday my friend.. Hope you have an amazing weekend..

ModernMom said...

What an incredible tale:) I have to say your view is like one from a postcard...Oh and this Canadian girl is INCREDIBLY jealous that you never have to deal with snow. Sigh. I love that you appreciate all your blessings.

Noelle said...

How nice to read about your current life and what brought you there. I'm a California Girl in my heart and hope someday we end up out there for good!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Great tour and even better story of true love!

Lori said...

Great tour and a beautiful love story...both yours and your daughter's!

S said...

My husband and I loved our two years in California. Thanks BlogTrotting, for taking me to visit (and revisit) special places through special stories. Sarah@afterhood

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