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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Social Butterfly

So time for another update. No photos this time.

It was last Tuesday I updated last on what we have been up to I mean.

Wednesday we went and had a meal at a place call Elephant bar ( You see I was really wanting to go check out some non chain restaurants. Eating in chain restaurants is all well and good when you are a tourist but once you live somewhere you have to start eating in local restaurants and discovering what there is to offer.

Of course. This restaurant was not a local, it was a chain. Often it is difficult to tell. Prior to moving out here I could probably name about 20-30 restaurant/takeaway chains (Taco Bell, KFC, McDonalds, Rubios, Burger King, Denny's, Wendy's, TGI Friday's, Claim Jumper, Applebees, Chilis, Dairy Queen, Cold Stone Creamery, Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, Subway, Dominoes, Carls JR, In N Out and Outback were the ones which immediately came into my mind when I think of chains). However, I was wrong, there are hundreds of chain restaurants.

The food was ok. It had a different choice to that of many other American chain restaurants. Thing is I when we have friends or family visiting I want to be able to recommend or take people to places which are one of a kind and not just some chain which you can get anywhere.

I had hoped afterwards to try out the little cupcake place which is near to the Target we go to. Except it was shut. So we ended up in Starbuck's. A day where trying to escape the chains failed completely.

Hubby and I went for another meal on Thursday with his work colleague which was over from the UK doing training. This time we checked out Urge. Urge is not a chain! woo!( ). The food there was slightly different to the norm in that they had twists to the items on the menu. Pretty good food and plenty of beer too! Could well become a regular spot for drinks if not for food. Shame that someone will always have to drive!

Friday we had a meet up with the Temecula Brits Meet-up. No, we dont live in Temecula but it is only 40 minutes drive away from where we live. Downtown San Diego is between 20-30 minutes depending where we want to go. Yes, we live right in the suburbs.

The meet-up was in the house of two of the people who attended, it was actually in Murrieta and not Temecula but close enough. The house was enormous. Three car garage, 4-5 bedrooms. You couldnt help but feel amazed about the size! Of course when I got home I had to google the cost of renting. Unbelievably we could rent a house similar size for what we are paying for our two bedroom apartment in the suburbs of San Diego. However, the drive would be equivalent to what hubby was doing in the UK to work and we had always planned NOT to have the commute.

The meet-up was fantastic. The person who organises the events works for a company called Fresh &Easy ( She had come over here as a contractor for Tesco (yes, that Tesco) to set up a supermarket for the USA which is based on the Tesco model but rebranded for the US Market. We chatted to so many people. There was a lot more people there than at the San Diego Brit meetup and all had come out here for different reasons! Some have been out here 25 years, some married and moved here. It was so interesting to hear about their experiences! Some were quite shocked that we were already out and socialising given that we had only been here 10 weeks (11 tomorrow).

Saturday after a lazy morning we headed into Hillcrest to meet a couple that we had met through Yelp. Actually let me rephrase that. I started talking to her, I arranged it all with her and then the men just attended! We hadnt been to Hillcrest before but I really liked it! I am actually about to head back there to meet the same lady again (now that I know she is not some serial killer) for a proper exploration of the neighbourhood and possibly to explore another neighbourhood if we feel inclined.

We met them for Brunch. The place we went was The Local Habit (, we had a good chat, had some drinks and also had food. Unfortunately it would seem the chef was either off or having a bad day as the food was not spectacular! I have been informed that usually it is good so perhaps a return is required.

Saturday evening was in Hillcrest too. Something tells me we moved to the wrong area of San Diego. Saying that if we lived in that area the trip would be a 20-30 minute commute for hubby. So many things to think about. At least we have another 11 months to decide where to live if we are still wanting to live out here. Decisions, decisions...

The evening was a housewarming party, it was for two of the people we had met on the two San Diego Brit meets we had been on at the beginning of November. We had a great time and got to speak to people from all over the place, some Brits, some from California and others from other places in the USA!

I enjoyed being extremely social. Anyone who knows me well knows that being a social butterfly is what I enjoy best. Getting out there and speaking to people. Needless to say it would seem that we are indeed finding our feet pretty well.

Sunday was a wet day, there seems to be one each weekend lately. Hopefully this wont be the trend forever! Not really anything to note other than we visited a Fresh and Easy Supermarket and discovered they sold Custard Powder! YUM!

Yesterday I passed my written driving test! This means I now have a learner's permit which means I can indeed start learning to drive. I shall start in the next few weeks. I dont think I will be saying much about that when I do!!

So the week ahead? I am off out today then hubby has a 4 day weekend and we will be experiencing our very first thanksgiving! woo!

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