If you called the West Coast your home for the majority of your life, you know there's nothing really like growing up there. Sure, it might take adventuring to other parts of the U.S. to realize that the West Coast truly is a unique lifestyle. But no matter where you wander to on the globe, there will always be those telltale signs you grew up on the West Coast.
I mean, I love the West Coast because I grew up in a pretty well-known place called Los Angeles. But, even if you didn't live in Cali specifically, you know there are some surefire differences between how you grew up as opposed to someone who's from the East Coast. And no, this article is not meant to further thicken that East Coast vs. West Coast beef, because both have their perks. Besides, West Coasters would rather save the beef for those yummy In-N-Out burgers. (Yeah, I went there.)
It's not easy leaving a place blessed with the most amazing weather and beaches, but life's an adventure that includes exploring new parts of the world. Cali will always be there, as will New York and other big cities on either coast. But again, if the West Coast is where your heart and childhood memories remain, these nine signs you grew up there are so accurate.
1. Your School Had Earthquake Drills
Earthquake drills were normal throughout the school year. Blame it on things like the San Andreas fault line. Honestly, earthquake drills were almost like fire drills, except you had to squat for cover under a desk. In other words, we've been doing squat reps since grade school.
2. You've Had In-N-Out At Least Once In Your Life
You can always tell an In-N-Out vet from a newbie by the way they order their burger. Anyone who has been eating In-N-Out for a long time knows all about the secret menu. They also don't hesitate to ask for extra sauce and those yummy peppers that complete a seriously fire burger. Don't even get me started on the milkshakes.
3. You've Never Been Too Far Away From The Beach
Oh, the beach. The beaches are truly a luxury on the West Coast. You're never too far away from one, and the houses that reside on the cliffs next to them are simply unreal. Once you and your friends had your licenses, no one could keep you guys from beach bumming it all throughout summer.
4. You Either Had To Drive Up To The Snow, Or You've Never Seen It Before
Snow is definitely not as present on the West Coast as it is on the East Coast. Many people on the West Coast haven't even seen snow in real life. If they have, they likely drove up to the most northern part of their state, so that they could get to the mountains.
5. You Have A Favorite Food Truck That You Frequented
Let me just say right now: I have never found a more beloved taco truck than the one tucked away in the San Fernando Valley (which is part of Los Angeles County). Food trucks are second nature on the West Coast, even before they started getting super popular. Growing up, ice cream trucks weren't your only go-to.
6. You Only Really Know Gargantuan Freeways
Imagine you are 16 years old and the only freeways you get to "practice" on are at least eight lanes. Not only that, but they are so overcrowded that they don't even have traffic peak times or slow times. There's always traffic. For Los Angeles specifically, nightmares don't even begin to explain the after affects of experiencing the 101 or the 405 freeways.
7. Rain Meant Bundling Up For Dear Life
Since many of the West Coast states aren't incredibly used to the extreme cold, the rain was the worst case scenario. Expect scarves, trench coats and the works. Hey, blame Mother Nature for only giving us a taste of how bitter her winters can truly be. I know people on the East Coast are sarcastically laughing at this.
8. Your 21st Birthday Was Likely Spent In Vegas
Viva Las Vegas! Going to Vegas for your 21st birthday was like a right of passage if you grew up on the West Coast. You and your friends wanted the full experience, so you drove there. Honestly, on a good day, Vegas is only about a four hour drive from Los Angeles.
9. Your Recess Was Cut Short More Than Once Because Of The Extremely Hot Temps
The recesses and lunches in the beginning of the school year on the West Coast are most likely spent indoors. The temps can reach up to triple digits, so kids chilled indoors instead of on the monkey bars. Trust me, I've eaten plenty of PB&J sandwiches while gazing out at a lonely playground I couldn't enjoy.
The West Coast sure has a way of sticking with you long after you leave. I will never regret the experiences of growing up there.