The Differences

A few of my Southern California friends have asked on occasion what is it like in our new city, I am on the other side of country so it has to be a little different, right?  To be honest it has a lot more in common with San Diego than you would believe.  People are friendlier and occasionally you’ll hear an accent but like San Diego, Charlotte has become a town of newcomers from all around so I hear as many different accents here as I did back home.

But there are some differences and here they are, in no particular order. =)

The water is soft here, it makes our skin and hair feel softer which is awesome.  The tap water tastes funny to us, but it’s good when it goes through a filter.

It has rained at least once a week since we got here so I haven’t had to water until the landlord just had the lawn treated and now I have to water everyday for two weeks (blah).  Apparently during the summer you have mow at least twice a week to keep your lawn in line, this is totally new to my chaparral yard techniques.

It is amusing that people outside of California are so scared of earthquakes when the thunder here rattles buildings more than most quakes I have felt.  (On a side note… I am still very scared at the prospect of tornados, which do happen here).

You can’t buy spirits in the same place as beer and wine.  I can buy a bottle of wine or a six pack at Target or a grocery store, but I have to go to a state run store to by the hard stuff.   Also you cannot buy alcohol before noon on a Sunday, so if you want a mimosa for Sunday brunch, you better plan ahead.

Sunday, before noon

And the city is significantly emptier on Sunday mornings.

The gas nozzles don’t have vapor guards.

Paper seat covers are not always provided in public restrooms.

Most commuters use surface streets to get to work and brag about their newly discovered faster route, but never share the details.

The major freeway is circular here so the 485 can be North, South, East, West all at the same time and on the same trip.  The Garmin gets tripped on this all of the time.

Having deer in our backyard is so common that I hardly notice them anymore.


I go out state every week to go see my cousin, it is only 15 minutes away.  To get to another state from San Diego you better have a at least a half full tank of gas and make sure you take a potty break before you leave.

The trash service does not provide bins for yard waste, you can buy your own or just leave bags or even loose branches out and they will pick it up.  The recycling bins are only picked up every other week.

They mostly use pine needles as mulch here instead of wood chips.

Chick-Fil-A’s are everywhere.

There are occasionally posted signs that read “concealed weapons are not allowed on premise” on business doors.  I am not used to that be an option.

Sunrise happens much later here, even before the time change.

The dirt stains your clothes from the iron in it.

You best not confuse the term BBQ with Grilling, that is a whole other ball game.

People are very into having those banners outside their house with either a big letter of their last name or a seasonal display that I swear changes every fortnight.  This might just be a ‘burbs thing, but it’ new to me.

People always wave and smile at you when you’re walking, even if it’s not your neighborhood and you are a complete stranger! Weird, huh?


All joking aside, it is a great town.  I hope at some point all of our friends will come out and visit so we can show off our new city …though hopefully not all on the same weekend.


2 thoughts on “The Differences

  1. This all sounds so familiar. I found the same kinds of things (including the “State Store”) the first time we went to visit Hubby’s folks in rural PA. It’s a far cry from So. California. Even the groceries are different. I went to buy tortillas to make tacos, and they didn’t know what I was talking about! I hope you love yor new place.

    • I was going to mention how different the groceries are here. Luckily have some good mexican markets so our SoCal cravings are kept in check, but I find that the vegetables are in horrible condition by the time they get to the stores here. I hope this is just a seasonal thing, but we have stepped up our vegetable garden just in case. So far we love our new town, but we are still adjusting to our new surroundings. Thanks for your comment!

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