Monday, September 27, 2004

Searching for Utopia

O.k., well maybe not Utopia, but somewhere different than where we are right now. So I need help from you, dear readers. M. and I spent some time outlining what is important to us, and here's what we've come up with:

My requirements:

- must have long gardening/growing season

[Reasoning: I love having flowers and a lush garden, but I miss being able to grow things that I truly love, like tulips, daffodils, roses & irises]

- needs to have seasonal weather

[As I’ve mentioned before, I love fall & spring, and while the weather here is amazing, all year long, there’s not really any ‘seasons’. And I’d like to be able to see leaves change colors, and even snow on occasion. My first year here, when I went to pick up a Christmas tree, there was someone there picking one out in a bikini top and cut offs.]

- want older neighborhoods with “character”

[I like big, old houses, with quirky features and giant porches]

- must have cultural/arts opportunities

[Museums, art galleries, music festivals, something]

- must have reasonable access to airport (either in city, or within 1-2 hour driving distance)

M’s requirements:

- no more than occasional temperature dips below 20 degrees.

[M. hates cold weather with a passion, and he literally gets respiratory illnesses all the time when it’s cold – so we’d like to avoid it as much as possible.]

- not so much horrible traffic.

[the traffic here is unbelievable. It routinely takes me 1 ½ hours to drive to work – ONE WAY]

- must have some sort of sports (be it major/minor leagues or NCAA)

[He loves baseball (major & minor league), football (I like hockey) and he would watch college sports if there was nothing else, but he’s pretty adamant that there is some sort of sports activity)]

- somewhat “nice” people

[While I realize that there are nice (& not so nice) people everywhere, we’ve had a number of unbelievably horrific experiences here.]

- needs to either be coastal town or have large lake/river system nearby

[He loves to fish, and really loves the ocean, but would settle for a lake]

- no mountains

[He’s not terribly fond of mountains (sigh – I love them), but the whole cold factor is also an issue, and we’re used to living at sea level].

Both of us:

- must have reasonable/low crime rate
- must have good schools (whether private or public)
- must have reasonable career/job opportunities
- must have reasonable home costs.

So with our "demands" does anyone have any suggestions as to what city we should start sending out resumes?


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Dee said...

Hey Sugarblossom--glad you weathered Jeanne okay.

About the relocation angle, and this is shocking coming from my mouth (given how homesick I was while there) but Birmingham, Alabama has a lot of what you indicated was important to you both. A change of seasons, good summer/fall growing season, reasonably priced housing, good employment scene, pretty good cultural/arty scene with older characterized neighborhoods (Little 5 Points, Bluff Park, Homewood), very little traffic, good fishing nearby (lake/river system), cool festivals, oldest minor league baseball team in nation with a great new stadium (Hoover met), extremely nice people, no real mountains to speak off (only a few hundred feet above sea level), crime is about average, etc. I could go on but thought I'd throw that out there.

We were only there for 9 months before we took a relocation back home to south Florida but it really was a charming place to live and work.

Hope you find/decide on some place great!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Except for the colder weather, Chicago is the place to be. It can get cold - but we've had really nice weather the last couple of years.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area? It has most of what you are seeking-- seasons, some snow, but mostly warm weather and lots of growing time. No mtns, but mtns are reached via 3 hour car trip. 3 hrs in other direction equals ocean. In the area, Lake Jordan is a large lake with boating, fishing, the works, and Lake Gaston is nearby as well, as are a bunch of smaller lakes. NC Museum of Art, Museum of History, Museum of Science, IMAX, lots of lectures/classes/speakers because of the 3 major universities (Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC State). Reasonable prices, depending on where you want to live (Durham is cheapest; Raleigh has all price ranges; Chapel Hill is somewhat expensive but nearby Carrboro is quirky and more affordable. Good schools (Raleigh and Chapel Hill/Carrboro, not Durham). Pretty good job market here for lawyers as Raleigh is the state capital, and there are many "mid-sized" firms here (20 to 75 lawyers or so). Some old neighborhoods as well, though the prices tend to be a little more there.....

Yellowgirlnc at

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I almost forgot: RDU airport is here for easy travel, and there is sports galore (ACC College teams-- esp UNC and Duke basketball; Hurricaines hockey team; Durham Bulls baseball; Mudcats baseball; and Carolina Panthers only a few hrs drive in Charlotte.....

Yellowgirl again

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the west coast? You have the pullmanWA/Moscow ID area, two college teams, Lewiston is 30 min away and has the NCAA championships alot, um, Big city big airport is less than 2 hours away, on the snake river, definite seasons. College town. No mountains, lol.


I don't regret my move here from Seattle. I can get pretty much anywhere in 15 minutes around town.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger April said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the input... we're mulling over your suggestions, and a few of our own. But if you have any more - feel free to add!


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