Hello, I am starting to think more seriously about where I would like to get my phd. I am not really interested in going into an extremely competitive program. For one, I am not a competitive person by nature, secondly, I don't think I am Stanford material, third, I think I would have a better time in a close knit group that doesn't mind going out for a drink at the end of the day. I want to go to a good physics program, but not necessarily the best ranked. Ranking is not nearly as important as the ability of the school to meet my financial needs, research opportunities and etc. Also, I want to be somewhere with good weather, nothing cold, nothing snowy. Warm is good, hot is bad. I currently live in California and attend UC Davis. I love California and would have no qualms staying here if some people could share their experiences with programs in the state. Out of state would be fine as long as the area is nice. Nothing too remote, nothing too urban. I wonder if anyone will have any suggestions that would meet my picky requirements! Thanks.