The Lai Times

Los Angeles to Sacramento – Part 1

My entire life I have lived in sunny Southern California. The only time I ventured outside of my city was on vacation with my family. But even then, we usually stayed inside California. Some of our extended family lives in Northern California and growing up I remember the long drive from leaving home at 4 a.m. to Sacramento to visit them.

When it came to applying for colleges, Sacramento State was one of my top picks. The campus was beyond beautiful with all the different types of trees, my major was not impacted like the other California State Universities, and I had some family living there. My thoughts were… I have visited Sacramento many times for weeks at a time and the place seemed nice — going to college there might be a good change for me.

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Sacramento State is filled with trees that are great for shade during the warm months, but not so great during the rainy season.

My first semester started off with the weather so hot, I didn’t want to move. I mean… living in Los Angeles weather gets pretty warm down here, but up in Sacramento it wasn’t just warm…it was burning HOT!! The dry heat was something I expected as I usually visited during the summer time, but having to walk to school with a backpack on is very different than riding in the car with the air conditioner on. And once the summer heat left, the rain came pouring down from the sky. Very hard. I have never seen rain pour down so much at one time, so much that you could hardly see what is in front of you. The friends I made at school would laugh at my misery when it would rain. Coming from  SoCal, rain was very minimal and would sometimes only last a couple minutes. But up in Sacramento, it would rain for days! Days! And having to walk in a rainstorm was something I never imagined I would have to do. I mean you can only mentally prepare yourself for so much. This probably sounds like an exaggeration, but seriously where I grew up we would wear flip-flops when it would “rain” so our feet would be able to dry during class. But in Sacramento what I called “rain” they called a little sprinkle and wouldn’t even use an umbrella! I still think they are the crazy ones for not using an umbrella, but after having lived there for 5 years, I learned that sometimes using an umbrella is a hassle — especially as a college student.

Your feet get tanned so fast here you wouldn’t believe it!

But probably to them, I looked like the crazy person walking in flip-flops to school in the pouring rain, but in my defense when I checked the weather on my phone and it said rain, I thought rain was rain, I’m still in California how different could it be?? VERY DIFFERENT! Very different indeed! When I thought the tough job of walking to campus in the rain was over, I quickly realized that that was not the biggest obstacle. One of the reasons for picking this school for college was for the abundance of trees all over. However, during the rainy season, these trees make it very difficult to not get wet even with an umbrella. There is this pathway on campus that runs down a middle of buildings lined with trees. These trees somehow make the pathway a wind and rain tunnel during the rainy season, and it makes it impossible to stay dry as the water comes at you in every direction! Having a clear bubble umbrella was what I found the most useful when walking to and on campus. A bubble umbrella curves down lower than a standard umbrella, allowing you to lower the umbrella and shield your face, but the clear part lets you still see under the protection of the umbrella. Also, the winds were so strong during the rainy season that it would flip a standard umbrella inside out so easily, but with a bubble umbrella, I found the metal rod to be sturdier against the harsh winds.

My view under my clear bubble umbrella, literally wearing the umbrella like a mushroom to keep the wind and rain from pushing me around.

While living in SoCal, I did have rainboots, but they were more for fashion than anything. When I moved to Sacramento, I tried to use those same rainboots after realizing that flip-flops weren’t gonna cut it. But the thing is when it rains up North, it’s not just rain, but freezing cold rain. And so I had to message my older sister (who at the time was living where snow was falling) for some input for warm rainboots but were still very fashionable. Enter, the rain/snow boots lined with faux fur!!


These rain boots not only kept my feet dry but also toasty warm! These boots were also easier to walk in than the standard knee-high rubber rain boots. I don’t know about you, but for me walking in those rubber rain boots were always a hassle, they were kind of heavy and always had too much room inside them – even with thick knit socks.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass

It’s about learning how to dance in the rain

My first rainy season in Sacramento made me appreciate the nice sunny weather we get in Southern California. However, this was only the start of the weather changes in Sacramento.

After the rain cleared there would always be a giant rainbow in the sky!! So beautiful!

Stay tuned to read more about my experience with Sacramento!

Every day, Lai day! Have a good day!


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