Welcome from Wisconsin! I lived in Cali for 13 years, in San Diego & San Jose. Moved back & forth between the two in the 80's & early 90's, and was lucky enough to miss the big quakes in both locations. In 1987, almost bought a house in Santa Cruz, on stilts over a hillside; but ended up moving back to San Diego instead. It turns out the "hillside" was actually the San Andreas fault line, close to the epicenter of the 1989 quake... so good thing we moved.
I miss the gardens that were possible in California; in the moderate climates, you can grow so many things, and garden year round.