Wednesday, January 9, 2013

After London....

We have now been living in the US for a little less than three months.
I thought it might be interesting to mention some of the things that we find odd now that we live in the US.

The first one I was going to talk about was the grocery store. The average grocery store here is maybe 5 or 6 times bigger the size of the average grocery store in the UK. Maybe even more like 10 or 11 times the size. So in the beginning, it was overwhelming to go to the store. It was just so big. There were so many things, and so many options. Things that we hadn't seen in two years, and new things. Reading labels is more difficult here - they "sneak" gluten into things. There aren't strict requirements for labeling here, so under the allergy information, they don't have to put "contains gluten" like they do in the UK. And products here contain so much junk! Seriously.... reading labels here is a pain. And time consuming.

From Tescos, a grocery store in the UK: Would you like some sardines with your desserts?

Besides the stores being huge, they are also empty (of people). Shopping at grocery stores in the UK at pretty much any day or any time were like being at a Black Friday Sale. Seriously. Running into people with your cart, waiting in long "cues" for checking out, hoping that whatever you were planning on getting at the store was still there. I once went to the store in the evening and they didn't have any chicken. At all. Like rows and rows of bare shelves. I have yet to be at a store in the US when they run out of whatever you wanted to buy. In fact, I was so surprised when I went shopping right at Thanksgiving time and was able to get everything on my list and even better - it was all on sale!

Living in the UK has expanded my dinner ideas. I now get frustrated at regular grocery stores trying to find things like risotto rice (and please not just a box where you add water and microwave for 2.5 minutes), gluten-free products and Indian foods.

One thing that our family has enjoyed very much has been the weather. I am probably the first to admit it! I love the sun and warmth, and moving back to So Cal in October was just perfect. I have felt bad posting picture of us enjoying the weather (because we have a lot of friends who are not blessed with living in such a great climate), but that is one wonderful thing about living here.

The weather in So Cal (even though its the winter right now) is about as nice as our summer in London. Actually, maybe nicer - there is a ton more sun, but not as much rain. And in fairness, we had a few nice days in London. But, Georgia is accustomed to the cool weather. We are the odd ones out when we go to the park. Georgia will be in short sleeves, or maybe long sleeves and hardly ever a jacket. The people who are from So Cal will be wearing winter jackets and hats. No joke. This isn't a problem for us until it starts getting hot in June and July, and then Georgia won't know what to do with herself!

I am loosing my walking legs. We have gotten so used to driving everywhere here - the nearest grocery store is a mile away. It is just easy to hop in the car and drive, as opposed to walking. We do live in a "walkable" area - the library and park are both two blocks away.

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