From the moment we entered California, we knew it wasn't like the other states. I think every other state has a "Welcome to (wherever)" sign. California? At their border, they've got about 10 signs, packed with walls of text telling you all the rules you have to follow. The residents say "In California, if it works, it's illegal". After a few weeks here, we found it to be true.
Of course, California isn't all bad. It's just that everything is an uncomfortable mix of nice and pain-in-the-ass.
So, there's the roads. California has some of the highest taxes in the country, and one of the worst road systems. You can't get anywhere in a short time, because there is too much traffic on bad roads. The signs are inadequate unless you know where you are going (fortunately, Google knows), and lanes come and go randomly without warning -- which, if you've ever driven an RV, is a major problem. Despite no freeze-thaw cycle to eat the roads up, a greater percentage of roads are under construction than in Minnesota.
The highlights of our visit are Napa Valley (beautiful but too expensive to live there), San Francisco (too expensive AND too crowded, but a fun crazy place), Muir Woods (beautiful, but parking is a disaster), Monterey (yep, expensive), and Yosemite (under construction, no parking). We also had a blast visiting relatives, but even that was marred by bureaucracy about where we could park our RV, how to get a prescription filled, and trying to use a bank.
California also has great wine everywhere, I guess that's so people can forget what state they are in.
Tonight is our last night in California, and I don't think I will miss it. Yeah, you've got some touristy stuff, but so do most other states, without all the bureaucracy and bad drivers. (Yes, did I mention the drivers are terrible, too?)
So while we love the weather and wine, unless we were multi-millionaires, I don't see how living in CA is an option.