if you could live ANY place, where would that be?
WAIT!! don't scroll down yet.
close your eyes for a second and think of the ideal location for you and your family to live... should you choose to take them with you, of course.
did a horizon of clear water pop into your mind?
we were faced with that challenging choice recently and we chose the former. you see, my husband has a job that allows us to live pretty much wherever.... so the beach it is!!
the first real-life hit is that we need to live about a 30 minute drive to an international airport. right now it takes an hour to an hour and half from our philly suburb and that makes a crabby travelin' man.
still, there are plenty of major airports near major clear blue seas that we could choose from, right? uh, no....not when we added a few other requirements to the list:
dallas in june and august = dogs don't fly
5. slower pace, kinder people.
you can't believe everything you see on "jersey shore" or "the sopranos" but there is something to be said for the charm of the southerners and that "yes, ma'am"-thing.
yep, not much left to choose from on that map. north was not an option due to the, um, northness of it and $10,000+/year in property taxes near major airports. lived there, paid that, movin' on.
to the east is the atlantic ocean... and bermuda. yeah, right.
to the west is pittsburgh. yins must be kidding. (no lie, they say "yins" in steel city.). not that there's anything wrong with pittsburgh but.... why?
heading south toward baltimore and DC is still pricey, right, jill? further south....past the richmond area (again, why?)... left us with one choice: raleigh-durham, north carolina.
truthfully, raleigh has been on our radar for a loooooong time. we scoped it out before moving to dallas and loved the area for all it had to offer: international airport, mild weather, reasonable cost of living, accessible city life, fabulous colleges, good local schools, "southern charm" while still open to "northern folk", slower pace, two hours to beach or mountains AND have i mentioned the mitchell + gold outlet a mere 193 miles to the west?
a no-brainer it was.
decision made, schools researched, town selected, houses hunted... unsuccessfully. over the last year we have scoured the area and could not find what we wanted where we wanted it when we wanted it at the price we wanted to pay. yes, we're picky but, after SEVEN moves in 17 years, we're ready to settle in and stay.
or so we hope now that we found the neighborhood of our dreams. it's a newer neighborhood so that means we are... gulp... building. yes, in a real estate market weighed down with foreclosures and "steals", we have chosen new construction.
yes, we did explore every already-built option really hard so stop with that snarly look.
oh, have i mentioned that the neighborhood is amazing? that the people are so kind and sweet and warm and that we've been invited to more shindigs down there in the last two months than we have in our year and a half outside philly? and, yes, they have met us so shush.
these two fuzzy soon-to-be neighbors are likely to be my best friends:
no, they are not the ones sending the evites our way.
so, things... they are a-changin' and, even with my dad's current health crisis, this is a good change for our family because of an odd coincidence. after my dad's diagnosis with a brain tumor just a month ago--after we signed our contract to build a home outside raleigh-- we researched like mad and contacted a top surgical oncologist that we are lucky to know to find the BEST doctor in the brain tumor field. as luck would have it, this top doctor is at the top brain tumor center in the united states... at duke university in durham, north carolina.
no lie. weird, huh?
duke is a short drive from our new home. we won't be moving in until june so my parents will be staying at a hotel through my dad's treatment but we'll have a welcoming guest room ready and waiting for their follow-up visits.
for years and years to come.