Friday, August 2, 2013

From Carson to Costa Mesa

This post is part of my first-ever link-up! I got this idea from one of the groups I'm part of, the SoCal Lady Bloggers. It's been great being part of this group with these women from all over Southern California because I get to meet people who are from the area and are familiar with some of the same things I'm familiar with. [:

So this link-up is called #citylove. The whole point of this is to brag about wherever you come from! I couldn't just pick one city (because I kinda do live in two), so I'll be talking about living in both Carson and Costa Mesa! 

If you didn't know already, Carson, California is the city where I grew up and spent my whole life in up until college. If you don't know where it is, it is in between Long Beach and Torrance, and is home to the Home Depot Center, home of the LA Galaxy soccer team. For the most part, when people hear about HDC, they know exactly what I'm talking about.

Carson is a suburb. It's not a big city like Long Beach but it's not a small town where there's only like 2,000 people or something. There's still relatively a lot of people, but it's small enough that there isn't a movie theater (you have to go a city or two over to find the nearest ones) and there is only one museum that I know of, which is the International Printing Museum.

My high school's motto/mascot: Colt Love
To be honest, when I come back home to visit, I don't visit to go to a specific place. I love visiting my old high school, but really, I come back for the people. I visit my old high school because friends and old high school teachers are there. I go home to see family and hang out with the few friends from high school that I do still keep in touch with.

One of the key aspects about Carson for me is the large Filipino community. Being Filipino-American and being raised in the culture was largely because of the fact that I was surrounded by it not only at home, but even when I went out. At school, at the grocery stores, you see Filipinos everywhere. You hear the language, see the food, smell the smells, even watch the soap operas on tv (if you're my mom). We have a couple plazas filled with Filipino fast food, a Filipino supermarket, Filipino specialty stores, and other things like that. I didn't care for it much growing up, but now that I live in a community that lacks all of this, I appreciate it so much more.

Carson isn't spectacular, but I think the people are what make it a community worth coming back to. The people you meet in Carson are an interesting breed indeed, but that's what I love about it. I love coming home to my friends here because it's such a different change from the people I'm with at school in Orange County. It's a little bit like my security blanket, and I'm okay with that. I don't know if I'll ever live in Carson again, but I will always keep coming back, that's for sure.

So,  from LA to Orange County, here I am, now in Costa Mesa, California, just a half-hour drive south of Carson (when there's no traffic). I moved here about a year ago for school, and I am now living across the street from the OC Fairgrounds at Vanguard University. I'm still getting to know the Costa Mesa area, but I'm loving every bit of it. This is my first time living away from my parents and living in a completely unfamiliar area, but that mysterious aspect of it is exciting to me.

So probably the two most notable places to go in Costa Mesa: the OC Fair and South Coast Plaza, the largest mall in California. The OC Fair happens around the second half of July to the first half of August. I haven't been while living in Costa Mesa, but I've been there so many times throughout the years. I don't know why, but there's something about county fairs that make you want to come back year after year... maybe it's all the deep fried food. Yum.

The other famous part of Costa Mesa: the beautiful and expensive South Coast Plaza. It has every designer boutique you can think of, on top of stores like Saks and a few cheaper ones I can afford, like Forever 21 and H&M. There's a bridge to connect two parts of the mall, plus another part of it called Metro Pointe, which has stores like Nordstrom Rack, David's Bridal, and Color Me Mine. It is definitely a huge tourist destination. You can tell the tourists from the regulars there just by how they dress and how many pictures they're taking of the mall. It's pretty fun, but it's a nice place for me to go when I'm super bored and am okay with just window shopping, because on my college student budget, I obviously cannot afford 98 percent of the clothes there! It just makes me wish I could afford the stuff there, haha.

Other than those two places, I love that Costa Mesa has lots of food places within a five-minute drive from my school. There's a street called Harbor Blvd, where for about a mile or so stretch, it's just food. You can find anything from Denny's to Yogurtland to McDonald's to even a cute Japanese place I have yet to try called Eon's. There's also Triangle Square, a popular place for broke college students on Tuesdays and Thursdays where all movies are just four dollars, and they're all current movies as well! There are also a couple more pricey food places there like Yard House.

Another plus: I also have access to some beautiful and picturesque beaches! Huntington, Newport, Corona Del Mar, and Balboa are the most well-known beaches to me (I hope I didn't forget anything). I just love that I'm really close to a lot of things for me to do in Costa Mesa.

So those are my two homes: Carson and Costa Mesa. I've always been a "C-house" type of girl I guess, haha. I love where I live and where I come from. I have lots of pride for it! Hope you enjoyed reading about my first ever link-up! Shout out to the #SCLB ladies!

Chau for now ♥

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