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.


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!!


The Parkers said...

I agree with almost all of that! We want to come on one of your adventures!

Maren said...

Wow! It is crazy that it has been a year since the MBA program! If you get the chance (and have not already) you have to get to Newport Rhode Island!

Natalie said...

Every place has its pros and cons, for sure. It looks like you are taking advantage of the best things while you are there and making fun memories, too!

Kristen and Shawn said...

it is definitely a love hate relationship.

Chad and Sara said...

Time Flies! I think you can like any place you live except Russia or China but its so fun to see what else is out there. I am getting so excited to see where Chad and I end up(mabey back there by all of you). Less than a year, yeah!

Galo Fab 5 said...

You almost, I repeat, almost, make me wanna move across the country just to experience somewhere other than Utah. If only my parents were in tow, I'd do it. You always are doing something fun and exciting!

jennifer woodbury said...

Your traffic comment had me laughing out loud. I mean, I know I moved here from California where the drivers are crazy, but why is everyone going so SLOW here? And it's not even the slowness itself that drives me nuts - it's the people slamming on their brakes for no reason whatsoever.