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Things to be thankful for ~ California


Although my job is usually to criticize public policy in this state, there are actually many things to be grateful for in California in 2022. Some of them:

The weather. Just look at Buffalo buried in seven feet of snow. I grew up in Michigan where we experienced blizzards like this on a regular basis. I remember hearing “California Dreamin'” from the Mamas & the Papas on the radio and dreaming of moving to the coast, frolicking in the sun and surfing with the “California Girls.” I’ve been here for 35 years now and have no intention of leaving.

The beach. Other areas have beaches. Michigan has thousands of miles of it, on the Great Lakes and smaller inland lakes. But when people say Beach, Capital B, they mean the beautiful California coast. I haven’t done it in over a decade, but a ride on the PCH up the coast to Monterey is the best in the world. And oh, those sunsets.

technical universities. Forget the university humanities departments, most of which have been corrupted beyond benefit by the PC. But so far at least Cal Tech, Stanford, the UC and Cal State systems and other schools offer the world’s best STEM science, technology, engineering, math education.

Epoch Times photo
Cyclists ride the Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California on March 12, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Medical supplies. Despite problems, it’s really excellent. The hospitals are among the best in the world. And some of my doctors are so good that I’ve had them for 22 years in one case and 35 years in another.

Silicon Valley. I’m hesitant to put this one on my list because the companies there have become so monolithic and PC yet the tech world is still focused on it. And if you are a young hot programmer or engineer it’s still the right place.

restaurants. Almost anything you want is here and it’s delicious. Unfortunately some of my favorites have closed during the COVID lockdown hysteria. But new ones have opened up and many old ones remain. Recently diagnosed with diabetes, I have to stick to a low carb diet. It’s a lot easier in a place like California than in a backwoods.

In-N-Out Burger. Their protein-style double-double with cheese is amazing and my top fast food choice.

Epoch Times photo
An In-N-Out burger restaurant in Alhambra, California on August 30, 2018. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Orchestra. I don’t go as often as I used to, but the Pacific Symphony here in Orange County is a top notch orchestra. And the LA Philharmonic is world famous.

national parks. The natural beauty here is unmatched in the Redwoods, Sequoia and other parks. If you are a veteran you can get a free lifetime pass to the national parks.

State parks and beaches. If you are a senior, you can get a state parks pass for $20 at one of their stations. You have free admission from the day after Labor Day to the day before Memorial Day weekend (not summer).

Used bookstores. We had a lot more before the internet and Amazon took over. But there are still some, like the Bookman in Orange, where I’ve been shopping for 35 years.

wineries. Those in Napa and Sonoma are best known. But in Southern California, Temecula and Paso Robles are more accessible and excellent.

cafes. Except Starbucks and similar chains of course. In Orange County, my favorites are Bread in Orange and Kean in Costa Mesa.

Epoch Times photo
Customers enter Night Owl Coffeeshop on August 12, 2021 in Fullerton, California. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Discover Hollywood stars. Movies have gotten so PC-centric these days that I don’t watch many of them, although the recent Top Gun: Maverick was fun. But if you live here, every now and then you will see one of the stars. Around 1995 I saw Donna Douglas (Elly May on The Beverly Hillbillies). And I interviewed Charlton Heston once.

Hollywood locations. So many movies have been shot out here it’s like stepping onto a movie set. One near me is the Orange Plaza Circle, location for That Thing You Do and other movies. Numerous websites are dedicated to listing film locations.

Museums. The two Getty Museums, the LA County Museum of Art and many others are world class.

amusement parks. They’ve gotten too expensive, and sometimes PC, but Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Universal Studios are still fun and great places to visit steppe relatives. Knott’s serves great Thanksgiving dinners to go. Unfortunately they are sold out this year. Plan for 2023.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

John Seiler


John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. He has been an editorial writer for The Orange County Register for nearly 30 years. He is a US Army veteran and former press secretary for California Senator John Moorlach. He blogs at