Well, I've spent almost two weeks on the East Coast (in particular, the states of Virginia and North Carolina). And I can report, with a modicum of assurance, that the West Coast has officially taken over fashion - New York notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, Crocs have invaded the Southeast. I knew once I tried to eradicate them from California that they would be slithering elsewhere. Lots of folks here are sporting the reptilian rubber shoes - in every color, with or without socks!
But fortunately, hip and fashion-forward beachgoers have discovered the West Coast penchant for Reef and Rainbow flip-flops. I found a cute pair of pink Rainbows at a store called Salty's in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., right next to the kayak and parasailing brochures. (I took a pass on those activities.)
Also, John Deere continues to be the official sponsor of the most sought-after tractor apparel, including T-shirts, hats, gloves and, yes, underwear.
My best fashion find? It would have to be the "Big on the Pig" T-shirts from the Charleston, S.C.-based Piggly Wiggly supermarkets. If you see one of them on the streets of Sacramento in the next few days, you'll know where it came from.
Meanwhile, a shout-out to my blogging colleague Mike Dunne over at Appetizers: Hey Mike, ever hear of something called "Squash Pie?" Trust me, squash is the least of the ingredients. Coconut, eggs, butter, brown sugar, pecans ... you put on a pound just looking at a slice.
Anyway, heading back to Sacramento, I realize that, while my Southern drawl has returned and I've learned to appreciate the perfect chicken biscuit from Hardee's, I'm ready to come home.
I can't string another five-gallon bucket of green beans.