How About Them Apples

So almost a month ago, something crazy happened.  I turned 30.  Gulp.  For anyone who has been following this blog, you know I was having a bit of an issue turning 30.  I had made the conscious decision to not be in town for that birthday.  I didn’t know where I wanted to be, but it was not here.  About six months ago, I decided that I wanted to turn the big 3-0 in the Big Apple.  It is and always has been one of my favorite cities.  I wanted Brad to go with me, but he was in the middle of a crazy travel schedule, so he told me to bring my sister.  Shh, she was my first choice anyway : )

I am a sucker for “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Food Network and began compiling a list of places and things that I wanted to eat for the next visit.

Boy did we ever!  We visited both a grilled cheese and mac and cheese stand, had toasted marshmallow milkshakes at Stand, tried a really yummy Italian sub and some outstanding gelato at Eataly, ate pizza at Lombardi’s.  And even ventured over to a Greek restaurant which was phenomenal!  The donuts at Donut Plant were life changing and I’m not sure I can ever eat at a Dunkin Donuts again.  After three separate attempts, we finally got a table at Serendipity 3 and the Frozen Hot Chocolate was what I had always imagined it would taste like.  Of course if there was a cupcake place nearby, we had to try a couple.  You know, for the sake of research.  We hit up Magnolia a couple of times and tried a place called The Little Cupcake Shop.  We didn’t have a bad meal/snack/sweet the entire time we were there.

Of course, we did other stuff besides eat.  We went to Happy Hour with one of my high school friends.  Had dessert with Courtney’s college roommate and her now fiancé and grabbed pizza with my college Graduate Hall Director.  We went and saw “Newsies” on Broadway which was perfect.  It is one of my favorite movies and the playwrights did it right.  We burned up SoHo and Fifth Avenue and tried to boost the economy.  We conquered the subways.  We visited the 9/11 Memorial and went to the top of the Empire State Building (totally touristy, but we hadn’t done it before).  We walked along the High Line in Chelsea and explored as many neighborhoods as we could.  It was a perfect trip.  Although it didn’t stop me from turning 30, it was the best way I can think of to celebrate a birthday.

Since then we have moved out of our house and moved in with my parents.  We will be living here for 2 months and from now until we moved out I am taking a hiatus from this blog.  I’ve started a completely different one (and trust me, I’ve got plenty of material), so visit me at www.60moredays.wordpress.com if you want to know about the adventures of moving back home in your 30s : ).

Have a great rest of April and May and I’ll be back in June!

Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House

This was the last full weekend in our current house.  I would like to think that I’m not affected by it.  I’ve never really had much of an attachment to this house because I knew it was a temporary venture.  All of the walls are still white, we never even did much decorating because this house was looked at as a tax break and an escape from renting.  It was hardly a year after as we moved in that we were trying to find a better house to move in to.  The housing “crisis” hit within months of us closing and at that time the builder slashed prices by tens of thousands of dollars to get rid of the inventory, so there has been a lot of resentment towards this house.  We overpaid even in the craziness of the mid 2000s and we will never recoop most of our losses.

I haven’t had that much negativity the whole time we’ve lived here.  This was our first house as a couple.  It was one of the first we had looked at and at that time it was out of price range.  Within a month both of us had gotten raises, so we went back and took another look.  It was new construction and only the foundation had been poured, so we could pick out the carpet, cabinet, linoleum and counter colors.  We were grownups since we were finally making grownup decisions and a GROWNUP mortgage payment.  We were 23 and buying a house with our own money and a decent down payment we had scraped together.  We had lived very frugally in college and after graduation, so this was a reward for our sacrifices.

It was a gated community which was nice considering I spent the better half of the week by myself.  We had one connecting wall with our neighbor since it was a duplex, but in the years that followed, we’ve only heard them once.  It had three bedrooms, which was enough for a guest bedroom and a study (and possibly a baby?).  A huge walk-in pantry, two walk-in closets, two and a half bathrooms and an enormous master bed and bath.  There was a fenced-in backyard that was perfect to do some gardening, but no grass to mow (and the grass in the front yard was taken care of by our home owners association).  A community pool was just an added bonus.  It was the perfect starter home.

We closed six months to the day after our wedding and we moved out of our awful apartment.  I did cartwheels in the empty family room and we spent the next couple of months adding blinds, drapes, pictures and knick knacks.

There was a bit of a learning curve.  After spending my entire childhood on the other side of town, I had to learn where things were and how to get around.  Most of the area was farmland when we moved in, and we are miles away from the closest highway and when I changed jobs after living here for a couple of years, it took weeks before I knew the best way to go to and from work.

Flash forward six and a half years.  Although I still have some issues with it, I have to admit that this has been a really good house.  A very, very fine house even.  While we lived in this house we got a dog, I found out I was pregnant, Chase was born, and we’ve had fun get togethers and dinners.  We both started new careers while we lived here.  My love for baking blossomed in that kitchen.  My little nook on our oversized couch has been my area of comfort and solace ever since we moved in.   There are too many fun and funny stories to count (most of them involve me locking myself out of the house while in the backyard and having to jump our six foot privacy fence).  It has been a perfect size for us and if we had to, we could live here for many more years.  In the past couple of years we’ve gotten to know our neighbors and I am sad that we’ll be leaving them.  We’ve put miles and miles on the asphalt around our ‘hood.  When we first moved in, Brad and I would take walks when it was nice outside, since then Foster has sniffed every single blade of grass of our usual path, my pregnant self waddled around countless times (including at 10:30pm on a rainy night when I was super uncomfortable) and Chase loves the attention the neighbors always rain on him whether he’s in his stroller, wagon or walking on his own.

We’ve fallen in love with the area so much that we are only moving a couple of miles away.  There are running paths all around.  Part of the farmland was developed into a much needed hospital and medical park, more of it was built into a huge shopping center that has a ton of stores that I love and still isn’t packed all of the time.  The biggest concert venue is a couple of miles away.  Most of my doctors’ offices opened satellite offices around the area, Chase’s doctor is nearby and the school districts are good.  Our sitter lives less than a mile from our house and neither of us have to take the interstate to get to work.  In fact, just about any way I go to work I drive through mostly farmland.  It’s unusual in this day and age.

So while I would like to think that it’s no big deal that we’re moving and that we’ve basically been searching for a new place to live ever since we moved in, I will miss this house.  When I look back and think about it, this has turned into our home.  A home that has kept us warm and safe for the longest stretch that I have lived in a home full time.  A home that saw a couple grow into a family.  A home that despite it all, I have really grown to love.  I relish the last couple of days that we are here be grateful that we are not yet selling it.

I can’t wait to start building memories in our new house very soon.