When all is said and done, these United States, the populated areas anyway, all seem rather similar, eh? I was both relieved and a little bummed by this fact. But let's just say, I am not AS scared about moving to Maryland as I thought I might be. No, it's not Vermont. No place is. I will surely miss these green mountains. Once we are settled however, and I have the time to get out to the Eastern shores and Assateague Island to see the wild horses, I am sure I will discover everything that is beautiful about the mid-Atlantic region. It's a whole new part of the country to explore, and let's face it, I've DONE the New England thing. I will miss it and I am by no means done exploring all of it, but I ought to give another part of the country a try.
That said, I explored much of the Baltimore area yesterday! It was a long day, leaving in the cover of night at 4am to get to the airport in New Hampshire for my 7:30am plane. The aim of the day was to get my bearings. A wonderful realtor that I found online and who has live in the Baltimore area her entire life (she was in her 50s) picked me up at the airport at 9am and took me on a day-long tour of the areas, specifically the neighborhoods where we are thinking about purchasing a home. (Which neighborhoods primarily governed by affordability, schools, safety, and overall neighborhood aesthetics, as well as length of commute to various other areas.)
She kept her map out at all times and always made sure I knew where we were. It was wild to me when I realized I actually NEEDED to pay attention to the maps...I was going to LIVE there and where things are is one day very soon going to be incredibly important to me! No time like the present to start figuring that our. Needless to say, I really liked our realtor, she devoted her entire Saturday to me, picking me up, driving me around, showing me potential houses (like the ones we may make an offer on in the not-to-distant future), even taking me on a couple touristy side trips, buying me lunch and dropping me back at the airport around 4:30pm (I finally got home about 10:15pm)!! Granted, she wants our business, but she went above and beyond the call of duty in my book. On the phone, I immediately liked her...she had said something along the lines of "We'll get you down here and into a nice neighborhood and start to get you some Maryland family," when I told her all our family is in New England. She was also a school teacher for 10 years before becoming a realtor, so she knows the inside scoop on the system and special ed as well. So without breaking any ethical barriers she was able to relay some great information so that I could research more specifically in what school district we may want to reside.
When she picked me up we took a quick drive around some neighborhoods, and then she drove us across the Bay Bridge to see the Chesapeake and over to and through Annapolis. She took me through the city and pointed out landmarks and tourist attractions, (along with the neighborhoods that we would generally like to avoid), and honestly we had a fun (though exhausting) day. We laughed towards the end of the day about what we would have done if we hadn't liked each other!
Anyhow. There's certainly more work to be done. But I am feeling more optimistic. One thing I know now for certain (more or less): I don't think we'll move to the actual city. Unfortunately the schools are just too terrible. I know we have some options in terms of homeschooling etc, but I want to be somewhere where public school is an option. So, it looks like just outside the city will be the place for us. Still hustly bustly, but more trees and green space. I like that. Most-likely still inside the beltway, so for all intents and purposes, Baltimore. But...a little greener, a little safer. And luckily, somewhat affordable--although it KILLS me the house we could get here for the same amount of money!!!
Well. So that's that. For now. Although with every can of worms polished off it seems we open new ones. So much to do and think about. And the holidays. And our trip to Ireland. We won't be bored, that's for sure! Is it possible to be not bored and sane? That would be nice.
And if there are gods who govern the timing of things? You know, like, the timing of buying a house, breaking a lease, ending a job, starting a new one, packing your stuff up, and having a place to put it? Can he or she sprinkle a little godly goodness on us?