Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our First Year on the Gold Coast

Next week marks our official 1-yr mark since we packed up all of our worldly possessions, sold our home, packed two boys, one husband and one pregnant wife into a car and van to drive 2000 miles east.

A lot of days I miss home - mostly the relationships we left. And then I explore a New England corner or stand at the top of a beautiful vista with my little ones in tow and think I'm the luckiest woman in the world to be here.

But there are drawbacks. Here's a list of my top 5 disgruntled points of living on the Gold Coast.

THE BAD

5 - City tax. Everyone knows there's a registration state tax for your car. But here on the Gold Coast there is also a CITY tax. This is Democrat Connecticut, and they love to have your money.

4 - Attitude. People here (not everyone - but a lot) are pushy, insensitive, abrupt and snobbish.

3 - Housing. A typical 1500 sq foot house built in 1930ish with 2-3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with no AC and a heater from the dark ages will run you about $800,000.

2 - Traffic, traffic, traffic. And people slow down for no apparent, logical reason at all. There's no accident, but everyone is going 25 miles an hour on the freeway. Why?!

1 - The winters. In the winter months we see the fog blow in from the ocean around noon, so it's cloudy, cold and depressing. We go weeks without good sunshine. I consider it a remarkable blessing we all made it through our first winter here without long term depression.

But there is also THE BEAUTIFUL.

5 - The views. There aren't a lot - and you have to search/drive to find them. But when you do they move you. Like this giant, estate park on the coast up in New London county. Gorgeous, lovely, thrilling!! You stand there for moments breathing in the air, letting the added perspective wash over you.



4 - The beach. Literally just a 3-4 minute drive away **depending on traffic (see above)**. Lots of shells, crabs, and places to explore.

3 - Tender kindnesses. In spite of the 'attitude' from people here, I have witnessed and been the recipient of the most considerate kindnesses that I've never seen anywhere else in my life. It's almost startling - here in a society of rush and push, you find the sweetest strangers.

2 - Berry picking. Sure, this only applies to summer and fall months - but it's fabulous! Orchards are plentiful here and the harvest is scrumptious! I love going, I love taking my kids and I love eating the rewards.

1 - Abundance of things to do. Wow! We are never bored. There are so many places to see - things to do. If my Big Guy has a day off from school we pack up the car and hit the road. We love exploring, site-seeing, building our knowledge of New England history - love it, love it! And weekend trips are the best when Greg can come with us and we get to see amazing things like the original CT charter in Hartford (signed by King Charles II himself) - it was very cool - almost looked like an illuminated manuscript from biblical texts.



And that's just in 1 year. We have so much more to see that's coming (and it's only May). Our only enemy is gas prices - Urgh!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Quiet Grove and the Raging Falls

We had a lovely vacation weekend spent with the Davis family in up-state New York. It was beautiful!!
Can you see those bars they call a 'fence'? And do you see how close we are to the drop off? Yep - parental nightmares before your eyes. Greg and I were pretty much on maximum heightened alert parenting mode the whole time there.

The weather was spectacular - no humidity, no pageant crowds, low amount of bugs, and lots of sunshine.
The highlight for me was Palmyra - I love the Sacred Grove.


Well behaved, calm, focused - completely appropriate for the setting...

But at least some things sunk in and made an impression (in spite of the mosquitos)...

But I think the kids favorite activity was the crazy swimming time and 4 large FREE pizzas from Papa Johns (sigh!)

PS - We had the incredible luck of running into our dear friends - the Kellys - just as we pulled up to the Visitors Center. Amazing!! So good to see familiar faces from our favorite street in Utah.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vacation to San Diego

It was a 6 (yes 6!) hour plane ride with no Greg


We went crazy happy meeting new cousins


While having a few 'disagreements' with others


We played in the surf with grandma


And saw the seals with grandpa


Splashed in some fountains


Experienced a teeny, tiny taste of cotton candy


Took some time to rest


And some time to play


We loved being together (even though we missed Greg!!)


Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Time to Celebrate!

Everyone!...Put your hands together and give it up for the return of....



THE OFFICE!!!!






Thursday nights never felt soooo good

(except when The Apprentice was still on...)