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Road Trip! Suggested eats and roadside attractions?

It appears as though my wife and I will be driving from Toronto, Canada to San Diego between Christmas and New Year's because that's what life presents you with sometimes. We're on a timetable so we can't stop at every cool thing, but it would be nice to find some scenic spots and local chow that isn't Denny's. Route and other details inside. [more inside]
posted by dry white toast on Dec 16, 2013 - 9 answers

The job market in LA

I'm making plans to move to Los Angeles and I very likely will have someone else accompanying me who is also feeling the desire to move to Los Angeles with me as well (he went with me on a week long vacation - please note the previous AskMeFi for better reference [more inside]
posted by antgly on Dec 12, 2013 - 7 answers

Sourcing Spanish language materials in California

I am traveling to California for the holidays, and I am slowly learning Spanish. I'd like to use this trip to motivate my learning. [more inside]
posted by wingless_angel on Dec 9, 2013 - 5 answers

Moving to LA

I've just recently come back from a week-long vacation to Los Angeles where I got to stay with my aunt and we had a great time seeing things and visiting places. The weather was amazing and I realistically thought it was the best vacation I have ever been on. She really wants me to move there. [more inside]
posted by antgly on Dec 4, 2013 - 27 answers

Nerdy field guides for California/Baja?

I am a biologist moving to San Diego. My work will take me all over the state, including SoCal deserts and Baja California. There are a million natural history books out there - which ones are worth the money? I want a good plant book for sure. But I would also love recommendations for geology, herps, birds, general natural history and anything else an outdoorsy gal might find interesting.
posted by intoxicate on Nov 27, 2013 - 11 answers

California / Southwest road trip itinerary advice

Boyfriend and I are planning a round trip (by rental car) through California and the Southwest and we'd love some input on the first rough draft of the route. We're going for 23 days in September next year and would like to stay in fairly affordable hotels and motels (no camping). [more inside]
posted by Skybly on Nov 23, 2013 - 34 answers

Tennants rights re: storm broken window.

Yesterday I left 2 apartment windows cranked partially open and, in the heavy winds later that evening, they broke. There is a possibility my landlord could try and charge us for replacing them (~$175 ea). Help me prep in case it goes that way. Oakland, CA. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 22, 2013 - 7 answers

Fall in California - how does it work?

I'm writing a little thing set in fall in California, and I'd like to get a sense of what the weather is like in the Alameda/Contra Costa area in October and November. I lived nearby - in Santa Cruz - for about a year, a long time ago, but my only memory is that it did eventually get cold - just not very. (Comparatively - I live in New England now, my cold scale now goes right on up to 11.) [more inside]
posted by kythuen on Oct 29, 2013 - 19 answers

Best Area for Small Press and Tech Jobs?

In February/March 2014, my roommate and I will be free to move almost anywhere within California. She graduated last year with a BFA in Writing. I write code. Where should we move in order to find a job for her, preferably in small press? [more inside]
posted by WasabiFlux on Oct 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Where should I live?

Looking for a home in a gay marriage state. [more inside]
posted by ohsnapdragon on Oct 14, 2013 - 50 answers

Please help save our road trip!

So, the National Parks are shut and husband and I are on a US road trip of a lifetime, during which we were due to visit/camp at many of those National Parks. Boo! Please help us salvage our trip and tell us about your favorite State Parks/hikes/non-NPS camping spots in OR, CA, AZ and southern UT! [more inside]
posted by atlantica on Oct 1, 2013 - 27 answers

Would it be legally feasible to open a Japanese-style love hotel in SF?

Would it be legally feasible to open a Japanese-style love hotel in San Francisco? [more inside]
posted by evil otto on Sep 24, 2013 - 25 answers

Need lawyer recommendation for employment law in California

My employer, a large multinational based in CA, is letting me go under very dubious circumstances. I need a lawyer to help me understand my options. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 20, 2013 - 8 answers

Where to see the stars (the space ones) +/- 2 hours from LA?

Good news: After a long period of being broke as a joke, I fell into a little bit of cash. I'd like to take the lady friend on a trip. She recently mentioned that she'd never seen a real night sky. I'd like to change that. Where, say, plus/minus 2 hours from Los Angeles can two young folk go see a sky full of starts? More inside. [more inside]
posted by GilloD on Sep 13, 2013 - 19 answers

Surprise Weekend Trip - West Edition

I want to treat my lovely bf to a weekend getaway somewhere within a few hours flying distance from the PNW. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by DuckGirl on Sep 12, 2013 - 12 answers

Camping + swimming in northern California?

I'd like to go somewhere in northern California where I can camp--either tent camping or cabin-type camping--on or very near a lake that I can also swim in. Any suggestions? Pretty much anywhere from the central valley to the CA/OR border is fair game. I'd also be OK with less-rustic accommodations on or very near a swim-in-able lake.
posted by rhiannonstone on Sep 7, 2013 - 12 answers

Labor Day Weekend first come, first served camping in California?

What are the best first come, first served camping sites within a five hour drive of Los Angeles? Sites preferably for car camping, but a mile or two of hike is also fine. Keeping in mind that this would be for this coming Labor Day weekend, i.e. tomorrow. [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on Aug 29, 2013 - 4 answers

Prisoners as firefighters?

I am looking for information on how the California Department of Corrections' use of prisoners to fight fires works. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Aug 29, 2013 - 7 answers

What is a certified kitchen?

I live in California and cannot, for the life of me, find any documentation, web site, or book that defines this. I know that foods for public consumption (for the most part) have to be produced in a certified kitchen. Are there certain fixtures or appliances REQUIRED in a certified kitchen? [more inside]
posted by rybreadmed on Aug 26, 2013 - 13 answers

Do you know any California vacation rental spots in modest locations?

My large family (it's going to be between 10 and 14 people - not sure yet) wants to gather for a few days at Christmastime. Money is an issue for some of us and so we can't do more than three nights. Understandably, most of the available rentals that would accommodate a group our size are in high demand areas, and they want a longer holiday stay than we can afford (and in many cases more money per night.) The thing is, we can be totally flexible with location. Anywhere in California between, say, Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo would be fine, as long as it isn't snowy in December (ruling out the Tahoe area.) [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes on Aug 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Let me tell you how it will be: there's one for you, nineteen for me

SO has job offer 1800 miles away in beautiful California. Yesterday we were told by friends to expect over 50% of his salary to be taxed, leaving us with net income not far from what we make now in landlocked midwestern state. Should we be concerned about being destitute if we take this job and make the move to Ventura County? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 19, 2013 - 27 answers

Free/Low Cost Therapists in Berkeley/Oakland?

A friend is in a bit of a tough spot right now and needs to talk to a therapist as soon as he possibly can. Money is a bit tight right now. I'm looking for all free/low cost therapy options in the Berkeley/Oakland area, who are familiar with depression and burnout.
posted by melodykramer on Aug 19, 2013 - 3 answers

Dealing with future earthquakes in California

What do Californians think and feel about the possibility of future big earthquakes in that region, especially the so-called "Big One"? I'm looking for articles which really get into how those who dwell there handle that knowledge, respond to it, and so on. Articles about building standards or government response are fine, but I would like to know about individuals, groups, businesses and the like. [more inside]
posted by Thing on Aug 7, 2013 - 10 answers

Where to Stay in Northern CA

My son and I are heading out next week to California so he can visit UC-Berkeley and UC-Santa Cruz. What city is the best to pick a hotel in as a base point? [more inside]
posted by jazon on Aug 5, 2013 - 17 answers

California Housing - why spend $750K on a starter home?

I live in Southern California, and the housing market in my area is insane. "Starter" homes here cost between $600K-1M, and these are mostly old tract homes that have 2 bedrooms, are less than 1000 square feet, are on less than 1/6 of an acre, and need ample renovations. I'm having a hard time seeing how buying one of these at that price could ever be a good investment, or something to feel good about - even though I know this is where the market is, I can't help but think that is a huge ripoff. But people are buying, and even bidding above asking price. My question is - why does anyone think it's a good idea to spend so much to get so little? Am I just out of touch and is $750K not that much money anymore?
posted by emily37 on Aug 4, 2013 - 35 answers

Californication: A post-college year in the Golden State

Having spent my entire life doing what was expected of me when and where I was supposed to do it and clinging fairly tightly to my parents and home life, I'd like to take the next year or so to inject some vigor and excitement into my young years before I settle for the rat race to the picket fence with my . I'm thinking the most drastic and simultaneously safest way to do this would be to spend time in California. I've been there twice and loved it each time. Trouble is that, given my unique set of circumstances, that's starting to look more like a pipe dream than a feasible reality. Is there any hope of finding a good, well-developed reason to move out there own my own, at least for a year? [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Jul 30, 2013 - 8 answers

"Congress created dust bowl"? What gives?

I recently drove from LA to San Francisco and back along I-5 and I noticed that there's a ton of signs along the highway that simply say "Congress Created Dust Bowl." There are a few other signs that mention Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic politicians, but it was difficult to get the full picture of what the signs were talking about. Can anyone provide some context/background to what these signs are about?
posted by averageamateur on Jul 30, 2013 - 19 answers

Where to stop between San Francisco and Sea Ranch?

My partner and I will be driving from San Francisco to Sea Ranch, California one day soon. Returning a few days later. We'd love some suggestions for places to stop along the way for coffee or lunch and for my partner to take photos. Even some side trips would be possible; we have the whole day. Please tell me what you love along that route! Thank you.
posted by BibiRose on Jul 24, 2013 - 10 answers

Give me that sweet ocean view

Give me that sweet ocean view, and by "ocean view" I mean "diving board into the Pacific", not "you can see it vaguely in the background" [more inside]
posted by Calicatt on Jul 18, 2013 - 13 answers

how to plan a San Fran wedding in 30 days or less

We just decided to get married in San Francisco, in about a month. Do you have any recommendations for a wedding planner who will help with venues and food? We are thinking of an outdoor ceremony followed by a dinner at a restaurant or catered venue. Or a boat cruise with decent food. We don't need flowers, music, dancing, invitations, decorations or seating arrangements. We basically need someone to suggest an available venue (and get the requisite permits if needed) and organize the food reception afterwards. This will be for about 20-30 guests. Any suggestions on a specific location, or for a wedding planner? The goal is something like a cross between eloping and a wedding. Fast and fun! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 15, 2013 - 6 answers

Event space for a (smaller) Memorial Gathering near Orange County, SoCal

My mother recently passed away and we are looking to rent out a function space to have a gathering for 25-30 friends and relatives to get together, have a little lunch, trade stories, and generally remember her. Low-key is the general idea. Looking for recommendation for locations (hotels, inns, converted barns, restaurants) around North Orange County, California — or web resources that will have good listing of the same. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Jul 13, 2013 - 3 answers

Communities for growing older in lower Orange County, California?

I'm helping an early-older-age couple with their idea of possibly relocating from New Mexico to Southern California in the coming years. We are looking for thoughts about a region we're unfamiliar with. [more inside]
posted by methinks on Jul 3, 2013 - 8 answers

Group Health Insurance Options

I need group health insurance, but I don't know what my options are with the new potential changes in the law. I am in the East Bay, in California. Help? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 3, 2013 - 6 answers

Resources to help locate campgrounds in the PNW

You are driving through the PNW. Suddenly, you become [tired/inspired by the scenery]. You wish to find a place to camp in your vicinity. >OPEN GLOVEBOX >LOOK MAGIC CAMPING MAP [more inside]
posted by Acari on Jun 28, 2013 - 23 answers

Should we get straight-married in California this week?

We're a straight couple who has always said we wouldn't marry while our queer friends couldn't. We have other issues with marriage, but it's clear that there are a lot of practical and long-term financial advantages. We live in Wisconsin (boo) but we're in California for a week (yay). What are your political, ethical and practical insights about whether we should get married here this week? [more inside]
posted by Mngo on Jun 26, 2013 - 20 answers

South Bay Area day trip?

I have a free day in San Jose, CA tomorrow. Where should I go? Especially interested in redwoods and the coast. [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jun 22, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I unpickle my California arrest warrant?

I (think I) have an outstanding arrest warrant in California. I'm in the UK. I don't have any references, dates or details. [more inside]
posted by metaxa on Jun 20, 2013 - 17 answers

Questions about prison visiting facilities...

Writing a story with a tangential character to be executed in California. I have multiple questions about the visiting facilities for such a prison. Anyone with knowledge able to help? [more inside]
posted by dobbs on Jun 14, 2013 - 13 answers

Food & Fun in Big Sur

My partner and I will be celebrating our anniversary with a weekend in Big Sur, and while the idea is mostly to just enjoy some time to ourselves, we'd also like some suggestions for stuff to do. We're particularly interested in: nice places to eat, gorgeous places to explore, and--is there swimming? Fun places to stop for food or views on the way down would be great, too, especially south of Monterey (we're familiar with the attractions up to there). We'll be staying at the Ragged Point Inn (AskMe favorite Deetjen's was booked, sadly), which on the southern edge of things, and know we'll probably have to drive a bit to get to... well, anything.
posted by rhiannonstone on Jun 6, 2013 - 20 answers

Crater Lake, Redwoods and Highway 101

Help me plan three days between Oregon and San Francisco: in particular, Crater Lake, the Redwood National/State Parks and a route down highway 101 to SF. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on May 30, 2013 - 20 answers

What is this sign, located in Venice Beach (I think?)

In Michael Palin's "Around the World in 80 Days", there's a shot of a building with an interesting sign. It says "EARTH SPACE SCIENCE ART FACT FICTION FANTASY". [more inside]
posted by dubold on May 20, 2013 - 12 answers

Paid off car, have title. Now what?

I paid off my car in December, and haven't been around. I'm now back home with the car in California, and I have the car title from the bank/company. The title says I have to notify the DMV within 10 days or something like that, but I'm obviously wayyy past that time frame now. What do I do? Google searches equally tell me to (a) transfer to my name and my name only, asap, removing the bank/company as lienholder, and (b) don't bother until I sell the car. Argh!! Which one is it? Help me, so I don't have to wait at the DMV ... and be told that I don't need to be there after all!
posted by Xere on May 17, 2013 - 12 answers

California road trip details

Please help us arrange some details for our California road trip! Questions about places to camp near Santa Barbara, Monterey, Sonoma, the Redwoods, and more. [more inside]
posted by you're a kitty! on May 13, 2013 - 24 answers

Destination request, western/northwestern US; 20th anniversary edition

We're celebrating our 20th anniversary this summer (yay!) and we're trying to find a place to stay for a week in the western/northwestern US to celebrate this milestone. The catch is that this destination needs to be some place new to us. A few other particular requirements below the fold. [more inside]
posted by mosk on Apr 24, 2013 - 9 answers

Where can I live in San Francisco for the summer?

Does anyone have any information on good deals on apartments in the Mission/Potrero/Soma neighborhoods of San Fran? I need a few months this summer for an internship. [more inside]
posted by drd on Apr 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Calculating California state income tax withholding

I feel like this should be really easy, but I'm coming up with a non-sensical result. I am considering taking a job that would involve a pay cut (long story, I promise it's worth it). I am trying to calculate what my actual paycheck would be. I'm using the paycheck calculator at Paycheckcity.com to figure this out. But the number it's giving me for California state income tax doesn't seem right. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 15, 2013 - 2 answers

California Taxes--what do they want from me??

So I am paying my California taxes using CalFile (their free online filing website at webapp.ftp.ca.gov). I get a few questions in, and then I get to the "Payments" section, with these 4 questions that make no sense to me. [more inside]
posted by brenton on Apr 12, 2013 - 10 answers

I need a lot of royalty-free pictures of California. Options?

So basically I need to swap out all the art on several websites with photos of California that we have the rights to use in perpetuity (as well as for print). I realize there's the "buy one at a time from Getty" avenue but I have neither the time or resources for that. What I need is a boatload of pics that I can use for commercial use that are all OF California (as well as some general use pics, graphics and art). A very big collection that I can hand to an intern so they can get swapping. I think in the old days you used to just be able to buy a CD-rom of images. Can you still do that? Are there full collections with hundreds of pics? Or are there any free collections that anyone knows about that are just public use for this purpose? My budget for this is not high (no more than a couple hundred bucks) so I'm open to any options possible.
posted by rileyray3000 on Apr 11, 2013 - 11 answers

I want to know the history of the city without a history

Please recommend some books about the history of Southern California. I'm specifically interested in the evolution of car culture and the L.A. area as a cultural incubator. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Apr 9, 2013 - 36 answers

Legal differences between CA and TX?

I'm moving from Berkeley, CA to Houston, TX next week, I'm wondering if there are any significant differences in the legal regime I should be aware of. [more inside]
posted by 0x006DB0 on Apr 7, 2013 - 18 answers

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