Sometimes I think of California.
Anaheim. Downtown Disney and parts of Disneyland.
Buena Park. The Buena Park Downtown mall, and the sadly long-defunct Po Folks restaurant, which was one of the very few saving graces of existing in Southern California.
Burbank. IKEA and the Swedish meatballs I fervently wish I could have back, if only the company would build here in Las Vegas, probably on the empty lot near Fry's Electronics in Town Square Las Vegas.
Ventura. Ventura Harbor Village.
And San Juan Capistrano. That small main street drag that once made me think I could live there, especially one or two historical houses with museum components located right next to the railroad track.
Yet, I don't ever want to go back to California. After those nine years, I don't ever want to see it again. I don't want to reconnect to it ever again, not that there ever was a lasting connection, save for the occasional piece of writing, like this one.
But even with that declaration, there still are two connections, though I can ignore the first one as much as possible.
Las Vegas is a weekend playground for many Southern Californians, by dint of us being next door to that region, and the money they spend and lose here is always appreciated, though that's all I choose to know about that. As long as they leave at the end of each weekend, I'm ok with them.
The second connection can't be brushed off so easily, but I don't mind it.
Back in my 19 years in Florida, depending on where you went or lived, there was Deer Park water. Zephyrhills. Names you'd only know in Florida. We have such a thing here in Southern Nevada, but to a more minor extent, alkalized bottled water called Real Water, based in Las Vegas and drawn from the Las Vegas Valley Water District. It's your basic tap water, but alkalized. I tried it once, and it's ok, but not as a regular supply.
Ever since our first year in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California, in Valencia, we've drunk Arrowhead Water, which, according to the bottle label I have in front of me, is owned by Nestle Waters North America Inc., based in Stamford, Connecticut. Neither the water in our apartment in Valencia nor our condo in Saugus was ever suitably drinkable to us, and I know we could have gotten a filter, but it was easier this way, rather than the whole matter of buying the filter system, using the filter, changing the filter. And who knows how much the water would have taxed the filter two or three times over? We wanted something reliable and we found it in Arrowhead.
Now that we live in Henderson, we still drink Arrowhead. It's here, since Southern California is next door. It was reliable there and it's reliable here. Same thing with the filter. Easier to do it this way since we know what we're getting with this water. And even with being relatively far away from the parts of Southern California I know, we are still connected to it, though more in a minor sense. Also on the Arrowhead label is this:
"Sources: Southern Pacific Spring, Riverside County, CA; Arrowhead Springs, San Bernardino, CA; Long Point Ranch, Running Springs, CA; Palomar Mountain Granite Springs (PMGS), Palomar, CA; Deer Canyon Springs, San Bernardino, CA and/or Coyote Springs, Inyo County, CA."
I've never been to Palomar. In San Bernardino County, we went to incorporated Hesperia once, for the Golden Corral buffet found there (we're all big fans of Golden Corral, my sister and I having been to it since we were very young in Florida), and to incorporated Victorville, to drive through it on our way to various trips to Las Vegas. Fortunately, that's all over with now since we're here.
We never went to Inyo County. No reason to. Ditto Running Springs, in San Bernardino County.
This is the only daily connection to California that remains. Sometimes I notice it. Sometimes I don't. It's the same way that I sometimes think about the few places in California that I liked. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. And they may end up further in my writing, or they may not. I don't know yet, and I much prefer being this removed from California. The water's better.