September 9 – California's Statehood Anniversary

Posted on September 9, 2016

It's easy for me to celebrate California.

  1. I live in California.
  2. We mostly enjoy wonderful weather here!
  3. We have a looooong coastline, loads of mountains, fertile valleys, and amazing forests and deserts.
  4. California is a state with a lot of diversity in people and in economic opportunity.
  5. It's also state with some fairly decent government officials and laws (of course – not perfect!).
  6. California's gorgeous.
California's history is a bit messy, of course. All the usual suspects: European people taking over lands being used by native Californians and foisting their own religion, language, and customs on those people. Revolution by one group of people against an established government – just for their own gain. Exploitation of immigrants. Racial discrimination and unrest. Internment of citizens and immigrants innocent of any wrongdoing.

And certainly California has its right-now-today problems – plenty of them. Drought. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Overcrowding. Traffic.

But...I mostly love my state, and I am proud to be a Californian.

California is considered a trendsetter. Not just in the nation, but in the world.

Back when I was growing up, California style was associated with hippies -- and it spread all over the nation and (to some extent) the world.

Now, neo-hippie styles are still associated with California.

We have a lot of diversity. That means loads of opportunities to learn about a multiplicity of cultures, religions, languages, and so forth. 

And that also means a lot of different – and yummy! – restaurants to choose from!

In my city, there is an amazing Hindu temple (above).
Back in the 80s, I lived in a town with an amazing Buddhist temple (below).

Yesterday I ate some really delicious pho, which is Vietnamese
cuisine. I am able to drive just a mile or less to get great Chinese,
Indian, Japanese, Thai, or Filipino food.

Not to mention all the bajillions of Mexican restaurants, taquerias,
and a sprinkle of Cuban eateries. I have French and Italian and
British / Scottish restaurants to choose from,
Lebanese and other Mediterranean cuisine,
Polynesian / Hawaiian restaurants - all right here in my town!

I have to drive a few miles for Ethiopian or Kenyan,
Spanish or Polish or German, Peruvian or Argentinian,
Jewish / Kosher...

We have Hollywood! It's pretty fun to be at a restaurant or toy store and see someone famous, someone from the movies. My daughter was once in a teeny shop – and the only other people there were Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

We also have the original Disneyland. And Disney's California Adventure, the Disneyland Hotel, Downtown Disney... We have Knott's Berry Farm (AND Knott's Scary Farm), Universal Studios, Raging Waters, Legoland, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. And the San Diego Zoo. And...well...a lot of family fun places!

We have Silicon Valley! We're the birthplace of the Internet and the personal computer!

If California were a country, we'd have the sixth largest economy in the world. We have the highest agricultural output of any U.S. state.

Because California is the most populous state, we have the most electoral votes and the most representatives in the House. (However, we end up with close to the smallest political-clout-per-person. That's because there are many more people per representative or delegate in California than there is in a state with very low Wyoming or Alaska.)

California is the third largest U.S. state. It has the second most populous city, Los Angeles, in the country, but it's #1 in counties – we have both the largest in area and the largest in population in the nation. (San Bernardino County is the largest in area – that's MY county! – and Los Angeles County is the largest in population.)

San Bernardino County is larger than the
four smallest states in the U.S. – put together!!

We have poppies, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Half Dome in Yosemite!

We have redwoods, giant sequoias, and bristlecone pine trees. Yep, that's right – California has the tallest, the largest, and the oldest trees in the world!

Tallest - redwoods
Largest - sequoia
Oldest - bristlecones

We have Death Valley and the Alabama Hills and Mount Whitney – all easy day trips from one small town! Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous U.S., and Death Valley includes the lowest point in the contiguous U.S.

Death Valley can be gorgeous as the photos above and below show.

We have the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen, of the Cascades, the Coast Range, and the Trinity Alps. And lakes, we got some really nice lakes!

Stream, forests, and mountains near Mammoth,
in the Sierra Nevadas.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in all of North America.
It is also the second deepest lake in the U.S.
Mount Shasta
Mount Lassen is a volcano - and
there are plenty of geysers and thermal
areas to show that it is still active!

Yosemite is one of the most visited national parks in the nation.

And, of course we have beaches, rugged coastline, and more beaches! Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff!

Also on this date:

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