Things have been going well so far in California. My apartment is now partly furnished and no longer feels like a collection of empty rooms. In the past week I’ve explored the retail shops in SLO and beyond. The town has a nice mix of non-chain stores and chain establishments. I still haven’t decided which grocery store to regularly frequent.
During a recent trip to buy groceries I picked up some mayonnaise. Since many products and brands I am familiar with are not stocked out here, I was happy to see the packaging of Hellmann’s mayonnaise on the shelf, but then I noticed it wasn’t called Hellmann’s. What? The back of the bottle contained this information: “Known as Hellmann’s® East of the Rockies.” So now I am very curious, do eastern bottles of Hellmann’s mayo say “Known as Best Foods West of the Rockies” on the back? Could someone back east check this for me? Also, I must say, Hellmann’s mayonnaise by another name tastes just as good (though I think Hellmann’s sounds better than Best Foods; Best Foods sounds generic to me, like Great Value).
The buses in town have the name San Luis Obispo Transit on them, but the city name is abbreviated to a tongue-in-cheek SLO Transit. I’ve noticed numerous puns on SLO name in business names or advertising.
Last night I walked downtown to see the San Luis Obispo Thursday night Farmers’ Market. I was impressed by the festivity of the event. The market was larger than I expected, stretching over several blocks. There were five different areas with live music, which ranged from rock to classical. The selection of produce was good, especially considering that it’s all California grown and it is mid-December. The prepared food vendors were also impressive. Smoked ribs, grilled tri-tip, sausages, pulled pork, corn on a stick, noodle bowls, enchiladas, pizza, soups, chowders, cupcakes, cookies, churros, popcorn, and much more. I think there were at least five places offering smoked ribs. I wandered around taking in the sights and sounds, then bought several pumelos and several red poblano peppers. I saw Santa riding a motorized garbage can outfitted as a scooter. The market is a weekly event–I plan to be there often.
The weather has been interesting since I’ve arrived at the central coast of California. The day of my arrival was nice and warm. But I brought a chill with me, for it’s been cool ever since. I’m wondering if I should have brought more warm clothing with me, though several locals have promised me that the past week will be the high water mark for the winter chill. It’s very strange to have these chilly evening temperatures and to see everything looking so green.