May? Really? Wow…where did the first five months of the year go?
On that note…where did the last 6 years go?
Six years ago, this week, we packed up and left all we had ever known and left Southern California to be Northern California residents.
Now, while I am still a So Cal girl at heart…I LOVE living here. So today’s version of my 12 on the 12th is all about our (new) hometown. (It’s light on pictures since I’ve been reflecting a lot and not photographing!)
1. All of my favorite amenities are literally right down the street! While I live in what I might consider a medium sized town, the next town over is much bigger and has everything we need. Costco is 5 minutes away, a huge mall is 6 minutes away. The freeway onramp is right in between the two. I have four grocery stores to choose from within minutes of my house. And Starbucks? Oh, I can count 6 off hand…4 of them have drivethrus. It’s crazy. I love it…but it has also contributed to my lack of planning on the homefront. I am constantly forgetting things on my list and I think it’s because I know I can go back tomorrow if I forget it. What a waste of time. I will say that I really miss having a local scrapbooking store right down the street…but rumor has it that good things are coming this fall…
2. Trails: in our town there are several multi-use trails (read paved bike and walking trails) that weave through the neighborhoods. I can walk, run or ride my bike from my house and be on a trail in 5 minutes. This picture is not of the most scenic ones…but you get the idea. There are ones that follow the river and others that span acres of natural preserve. I can go for a short ride or a long run and feel like I’m somewhere other than a city because…
3. Preserves: the cities around here have planned nature preserves. Those trails weave through them or along side them. My parents are lucky enough to live ON on…meaning their backyard butts up to the preserve so it looks like the live on acres and acres of open space. If we ever move, my next house must back up to the preserve because I think it is so cool.
4. With the preserves come the need to maintain them. Because they are in their natural state, you can't exactly hire a landscaper to come in and mow the grass. So the cities hire goat and sheep ranchers who bring their animals to tame the grasses, bushes, trees and weeds naturally. It’s so cool for the kids to see. Now, those of you who live in areas where this is no big deal…sorry…I’m a So Cal girl, remember? You’d have to drive miles to get to a farm to see stuff like that!
5. Our school: where we moved from I was slightly concerned about the school district. Being a former teacher, I know how hard teachers and schools work for our kids. But I wasn’t exactly in love with our district. J was only 3 when we moved, but we were already having the discussion of whether we went private or tried to transfer schools in the district. It was so nice to move here and have no qualms at all. In fact, with J’s issues, we have been privy to the ins and outs of the district very intimately and I have to say I am sooooo happy. We love our school. And now that we have two kiddos there, I’m there even more and love it and the teachers more everyday! Today they spoiled the volunteers of the school with an afternoon tea.
6. Population…like I said…I consider it to be a medium sized city. It’s the same size of the town I grew up in. I love that it is so close to larger cities with more amenities. But…having grown up in the craziness of overpopulation in So Cal it is so nice to have a third of the people in and around our area. Things are growing here so if you are native, you are probably annoyed…but this So Cal girl loves how spread out it seems.
7. Weather…I’ll say it again, I’m a So Cal girl. Enough said, right? The weather is pretty much gorgeous 90% of the time. That is nice, but I have to say I love Northern Cal’s weather too. The actual change of seasons is so fun. Yes, it rains too much sometimes…but I kind of like the rain. I love how it’s the perfect mix between rain, cold and heat.
8. Parks…when the weather is as gorgeous as it is today, we get to enjoy the many parks in and around our city. My kiddos have their favorites: ones shaped like a pirate ship and one that is several levels high. Don’t even get me started on the water parks. And I don’t mean water slides and stuff. I mean a place where water fountains squirt out at the kids in lots of fun directions…it’s our favorite place to be on hot summer days!
9. Our church. It took us several months to find a church that we love…and wow, do we love it. Bayside in Granite Bay is so perfect for us. Great kids programs. Loving staff…especially in the special kiddos room. Great teaching. Unmatchable worship (Lincoln, Brewster…hello?). We love Bayside for many reasons but the number one reason is…
10. Friends. Most of our closest friends are people we have met through various programs at Bayside. Of course we had friends in So Cal (and still do…miss you guys!) but I have to say we are so connected to our friends up here. It’s fun that the hubby has friends that are married to my friends. :)
11. Family. When we moved up here 6 years ago, we had NO ONE we knew. Our closest family was 2 hours away with most of them being at least 6-12 hours away. In the last several years my parents, my grandfather and my brother in law and family have moved here. Everyone is within a 7 mile radius. It’s so cool!
12. Trees. Wow, there are so many trees here. It sounds weird, but even after 6 years, the number of trees I see on a daily basis still blows my mind. I’ll have to remember to take a picture of the scene I see each time we drive to church. We come down a long hill and over look a part of the next town over that just looks like it’s acres upon acres of trees. It’s so cool. And I know there are tons of houses under the trees…but all you see are the tree tops. I love it. From my living room as I look out to my own backyard, there is a canopy of green leaves right now…I love it!
So there are 12 reasons I love my hometown right now…how about you? What do you love about YOUR hometown?
I think I need to take a few more pictures and do a layout about this, huh?