NJ Vs. CO, originally posted Mar. 23, 2010

Back in November I posted some things about Colorado that are different from New Jersey.  I’ve been jotting down things as I think of them and meant to post this in February at our 6 month anniversary of living here but it never happened.  So here’s my next list of differences.

Food

Something we noticed is restaurants are not ethnicity-centric.  In NJ, if you go out for sushi or to a Japanese steakhouse, everyone that works there is Japanese.  Wait staff, cooks, everyone is Japanese.  Here in Fort Collins, at the Hibachi place, only the chefs were Japanese.  At the sushi restaurant, there was not one person that was Japanese. It was odd to see Americans rolling sushi.  There just aren’t a whole lot of Asians here.  There are a lot of Mexicans though so you’ll definitely see them at a Mexican restaurant, along with many others.

Also in food, giant cinnamon rolls are huge here (no pun intended). There are at least 2 restaurants here in the Fort that are known for their cinnamon rolls, and even in Steamboat the place we had breakfast was advertising their famous cinnamon rolls.  These things are huge and we order one for all 4 of us to share.  And they are really yummy.

Cars

In New Jersey, or at least where we lived, drive-through car washes where you stayed in the car are a thing of the past.  Those type of car washes either closed down or converted to full-service, where you have to get out of the car and a guy puts the car through the wash for you.  They also dry the car with towels and will vacuum if you pay for it.  Of course these car washes are more expensive.  They do have full-service car washes here, but there are also tons of the quick type and they’re much cheaper, though they also don’t do as good of a job.  I guess with the amount of snow we get people need to wash their cars frequently and these quick places do a decent income.  They’re also open 24 hours.  Many gas stations have the car washes attached and if you pay for the wash at the pump you save a couple of bucks.  The kids love watching the machine wash the car and I love how fast it is, even if the car is still wet and not exactly as clean as it could be.  But sometimes you just need to get the grit and grime off.

Snow

Speaking of snow, houses that are north-facing have snow on the ground much longer than those that are south-facing.  The sun just melts the snow so quickly, it practically evaporates.  It’s so bizarre to drive down the street and see several inches of snow on one side and nothing on the other.  It’s party because we’re closer the sun and partly because there’s no humidity.  The lack of humidity also means the really cold days just don’t feel that cold.  In January we had a few days of sub-zero temps and while yes, it was cold, it wasn’t so cold you couldn’t move.  A day like that in NJ would mean bundling up and staying inside as much as possible.  When it hits 40 degrees people are outside without coats.  The good thing about this though is skiing is a lot more enjoyable.  One of the reasons we stopped skiing was it was so cold in the northeast, it just stopped being fun.  When we went to Steamboat I bundled up and I ended up sweating.  It was 30 degrees out but I was dying.  Sure the wind on the trails was cold, but a scarf or other neck covering was enough.

Bugs

A few weeks ago I was getting my haircut and talking to the hairdresser about being from New Jersey.  She asked if we had fireflies and I said, “yeah, there are no fireflies here?”  Nope, no fireflies.  Maybe it’s the lack of trees or something but that’s just so weird to me.  I’m going to miss seeing those little lights during the summer.  However, we also don’t have to worry about flea and tick meds for Sandy.  The ticks here are not the disease-carrying kind, and you only have to worry about fleas if you’re near horses a lot.  We don’t plan on being around horses with her so we don’t need the meds.

Road Laws

Colorado is way behind NJ when it comes to certain laws, although they’re getting there.  There are no bike helmet laws for kids, though there’s one in the works.  There’s also talk of laws to keep kids in booster seats until they’re 8.  It’s not illegal to talk on your cell phone, though texting is illegal.  I’ve become slack about keeping my Bluetooth charged, though I rarely talk on the phone when I’m driving anyway.

Well that’s all I have this time around.  I’m sure I’ll keep thinking of things that are different from where I grew up.

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