Thursday, February 28, 2013

West Coast Girl in an East Coast World...

We've been on the East Coast now for almost one month.  I lived out in Brooklyn for about half a year when I was a just out of college, but ran away as soon as the weather started to cool down.  Yes, I am wimpy like that. Ever a Californian, I like my sunshine regular and my beaches close so being here in Winter was kind of a big thing for me. However, after spending close to 8 years in LA, I was ready to move out of California, possibly for good.  I was burnt out, ready to see less plastic surgery and have less of a compulsion to check TMZ.  Lindsay Lohan can go about her life without me examining her every move...It's not that we've escaped all that just yet, but I'm more dazzled by the experience of watching snow accumulate as opposed to seeing David Duchovony at my local Starbucks.  We are less than a week away from our one way flight out to PR so I thought I'd sum up my East Coast experience.  Here are some of my observations:

Yous Guys Talk Funny
Being out in Jersery, there were a few instances that I had to make a real effort not to laugh because the accent was so stereotypical.  It was AWESOME but comical and well, hilarious.  It's amazing I didn't pee my pants in Atlantic City.

In PA, yous guys use "yous guys" regularly to refer to a group of two or more.  I had never heard this before I came here.  They also say water as "Wood-er" as opposed to what I am used to "Wah-ter".  It's not NY, Jersey or Boston.  The PA accent is it's own thing.  

In Maryland, the accent was sooo different even within the same state.  Baltimore is undeniably urban but outside of Baltimore, you hear a real Southern type drawl.  My mind=blown.  

Real Winters are Pretty
So many of the everyday sights I see out here are gorgeous.  There has been a lot of snow and I couldn't shake the feeling that it was Christmas.  I have a very distint feeling I get around the holidays-it makes me want to eat cookies and pies and drink hot drinks (hence tight pants, arrgh!).  I noticed I had that feeling early into this trip and I wondered why my brain was not computing that Christmas had come and gone.  Then it dawned on me, everything looked like a Christmas card.  I was living inside a Christmas card!  It's snowing outside right now and I feel a sense of glee.  It takes a lot of effort not to propose making a batch of Hot Buttered Rum daily.

Here is a link to a recipe for it:

One day, I'ma marry you HBR....xo

But I digress...and a month in, the novelty has certainly started to wear off and I'll admit growing a bit weary of wearing three layers of clothes that don't fit right, cold feet, chapped lips and the fact that I seem to lose one of my gloves every other day.

Good thing that we are moving to a tropical island in the CARRIBEAN!!!! Yee-haw!

Yous Guys Got BIRDS
I cannot believe how many cool birds I have seen here.  Bright red cardinals, tons of  Blue Jays, Red Breasted Robins,Woodpeckers up the wazoo and the Tufted Titmouse.  I have included the following photo of the Titmouse here, just in case you were mistakenly picturing Mighty Mouse wearing a push-up bra:

Zorra has really enjoyed watching the birds from the windows.  It's her favorite reality show on Nature's TV.

Strange Meat Products
Every region has their own particular food stuffs and the East Coast is traditionally known for things such as Cheesesteaks (called "a steak"), NY Pizza (a "slice"), and soft Pretzels.   There are also some other things that any East Coaster would know but that I had never heard of.  You've got your Creamed Chipped Beef, which is a dried beef product that is shredded and cooked up with a creamy type of gravy and likely served on top of toast.  I've seen this item on just about every diner menu in PA and eaten it numerous times for breakfast cooked by Tommy's sweet grandmother.
Pork Roll is some kind of spam, ham, bologna, salami hybrid.  It's also commonly eaten for breakfast, sliced and pan fried.   It may also be eaten on a sandwich, known here as a "Hoagie" and pronounced "Hou-gie".

I have saved the best (or worst maybe?) for last when I present to you, Scrapple. If the Scottish have Haggis, well then East Coasters have Scrapple.  It would be great to pretend that Scrapple was a spicy blend of chopped Granny Smith apples and nuts and served on top of delicious hard cheeses but dear friend, that is not the case.  I'm trying to open my mind to eating more organ meats for health reasons but I have still not been able to bring myself to try any of this strange and sometimes gelatinous substance.  Originally of Pennsylvania Dutch origin, Scrapple is made of bits of pieces of pork not suitable for anything else.  It is then blended with things like cornmeal or wheat flour and turned into something of a pork mush.  The stuff I see at the store looks really gross but apparently, there is a woman in Freeland (the Pocono Mountain town where we are currently staying with Tommy's dad) who makes it without any of the weird fillers.  I would try her scrapple.  Maybe.

I think that's all of the observations that come to mind for now.  It's been a great trip and we still have a lot going on these next few days.  We took the early part of this week to get all of our stuff packed and now, we are really just spending a few more days of quality time with family.  We head out to Redding, PA (home of Jon & Kate Plus Eight) tomorrow to visit the other side of Tommy's family (his mom, stepdad, brother and sister) until Sunday.  

We are looking forward to that and know that before we know it, we'll be on a plane flying to this:
We've logged a ton of miles (over 3000 from LA to here and at least 1000 since we've been here) but it was certainly worth it to enjoy true quality time with family and friends.  Thanks to everyone for their incredible hospitality and warmth.  This West Coast girl has enjoyed all that you have to offer.  
We are so excited to get our new life going and can't wait to share it with everyone!  
Tommy is going to do a post on the Pig Butchering experience---very interesting!--and I will probably write next after we get to PR.  

Hasta Luego Amigos and thanks for reading.  xo, Juni


  1. Would love to hear more about the whole "eating more organ meats for health reasons" thing (a future blog post, perhaps?) I've been avoiding them for years, but am always willing to be enlightened.

    (Just don't ask me to eat liver the way mu mother used to cook it! Ackkk!!!!!)

    1. Will do, Carroll! Unfortunately, liver is the one I'm trying to eat more of in particular because of the high vitamin A content. Will certainly expand on this in a later post though!

  2. Correction/Edit: It's READING, PA not Redding. :)