Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Peace, Love & Tallahassee

Well, we're doing it, we're moving back home to Tallahassee.

I've been "on the outside" now for over 10 years, Brian just over 7. Tallahassee is one of those wierd places with a strong gravitational pull, kind of like a black hole, and once you get in its orbit it's really hard to escape from it. That's why most people who finally do get out swear to holy heaven they will never go back - although most do at some point. They get sucked back in. It's just too easy to live there: low rents, short commute times (compared to Atlanta and most other large metro areas I've worked in or travelled to anyway), lots of family activities and good schools, close to the beaches, etc., etc., - in short, a good, medium-sized Southern-yet-still-in-Florida kind of town. Why is it such a big deal to go back then? Let me count the ways...

1) When you grow up in Tallahassee, and know every inch of the town (and every person in it, it seems) like the back of your hand, well, you just get kinda tired of looking at the back of your own hand after a while.

2) It's HOT. Real hot. And humid. And full of mosquitoes. Did I mention that it's hot?

3) People there drive S L O O O O W w w w w . . . . really slow. Compared to Atlanta, especially, where the speed limit signs may say 55 but even the cops will pass you at 70 (going 90 or more) and look at you like you're crazy for driving so slow.

4) FSU football. Now don't go gettin' all crazy on me, all you Tallahassee FSU die-hards, I like football just fine and I went to FSU myself so it's not like I'm a Gator or anything - just, come on, you have to admit, life in Tallahassee seriously revolves around this university's football team whether it is Fall or not. And the majority of the fans never went to the school anyway. Just a little overboard is all I'm saying. Now, "Go 'Noles. "

5) Very little in the way of big-time shopping experience. Again, coming from Atlanta, the shopping mecca of the South, Tallahassee is sure gonna hurt in that department. Goodbye Whole Foods Market! ;-( Goodbye discount outlet malls! ;-( Goodbye Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Lenox and Phipps, White House/Black Market... I'll miss you all terribly.

Ok now I'm over the kvetching and I'm going to look to the positives.

The Lovely Things About Tallahassee That I'm Actually Looking Forward to:

1) Fall. *Sigh.* Fall in Tallahassee is beautiful... The leaves change, but it doesn't get cold-cold until after Thanksgiving. The monarch butterflies migrate to St. Marks, the air gets dry (bye-bye humidity!), you can still enjoy the beach and you won't sweat to death, you can mow the lawn without sweating to death. Spring is glorious too of course. And the winters will be warmer than up here near the mountains as well. All good!

2) All the cool outdoorsy-type stuff there is to do like biking down the St. Marks bike trails, horseback riding, going to the beach, walking around Lake Ella, canoeing down a spring-fed river, the "Shakespeare In the Park" plays on moonlit evenings, and more.

3) Oysters. Fresh ones, at a reasonable price. You can't beat that.

4) There's actually a decent amount - it's small, to be sure - but still decent amount of good restaurants in town when a good meal out is called for. Some favorites are Osaka, Food Glorious Food and San Miguel. I'm sure we'll uncover some more as we get nested.

5) We're going to run into people we know practically everywhere we go. We might even get a little tired of explaining to people why we're back.

6) Family. We both have a solid family base here, and that sure is nice when you have kids to share that with. And grandparents to share the kids with (especially when you need a night to go out to a good restaurant, alone).

7) FSU - and not just the football because I do think that's fun, but the university as a whole. Because of FSU being in Tallahassee I've seen a gamelan concert and countless other wonderful music recitals ranging from violins to classical guitar, art fairs and galleries, operas, ballet and modern dance performances, soccer matches, bodybuilding competitions, lacrosse games, track and field events, baseball games, volleyball matches, and so much more.

8) New Leaf Market. What a cool, home-grown organization (ha - get it? I didn't even do that on purpose). I fully intend to join the co-op when we get there and shop there regularly. It will help with my Whole Foods withdrawals tremendously.

9) Funky music and arts scene - Tallahassee has always been a cool place to go see or hear (or both) an interesting, talented, up-and-coming artist or performer. All my old Tallahassee friends are musicians and artists of some kind, which makes for a very open-minded kind of vibe all around. I like that.

10) Peace of mind. I like knowing what to expect in terms of my kids' education, what neighborhoods are where, where everything is, how to navigate the best shortcuts in traffic, how long it takes to get from a to b and where to find the best deals. That means a lot.


My "pros" outweigh my "cons" by double - that's a good indicator that we're doing the right thing, I think. We'll adjust to the slower pace and smaller stomping grounds in due time too. Besides, we'll have our little bebes to think about this time around and as anyone with kids can tell you, they're kind of demanding on the old time and attention factors.

So I'm looking forward to it. :-) There are a lot of people I want to contact and hang out with. And as far as shopping goes, there's always the internet!
And who knows - going back home could be the best thing that ever happened to us. I'm open to the possibility that it can be just that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

AJ is almost 1 year old!

Mister Bubs, gettin' all big and stuff... I can't believe it's almost been a full year since he was born. It seems like a couple of months ago. Maybe that's because I only started working full time 3 months ago and when you're home with children, the time just becomes a blur, every day is the same.
I love babies this age - not completely dependent on you for every little thing, but still need Mama to cuddle them and do the big stuff. Perfect age to me really - it's when they turn 2 that all hell breaks loose.

Check out AJ with his new walker toy:

So Big!

Ok and just so I won't look like I'm choosing favorites, here's Tyler doing her Hannah Montana impression :-)

Too funny!! :-)