Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am back!

So many things going around in my head!

First, I LOVED old town Alexandria, which is where I was staying. I loved the history, the old houses, the restaurants, having everything within easy reach. Definitely my sort of place! I think that is my ideal living environment - an urban setting with plenty of townhomes, but with tree-lined shady streets and little gardens, with shops and restaurants within a few blocks walking distance, cultural activities, a metro or train station for easy access to a city, and preferably lots of architectural interest. There's just something about those Georgian townhomes that really makes me catch my breath. I mean, I love Victorian townhomes too. In fact, some of my earliest thinking about what constitutes a "cool" house comes from visiting my great uncle Trevellyan and great aunt Râré (yes, those were there names, though Râré - pronounced rah-ray was actually called Florence) in their Victorian townhouse in London. There's always been something about that house layout, with its foyer and black and white checked tile, and the long kitchen at the back, that really gets to me. But Victorian townhomes are just, well, neater, with nicer brickwork, and sturdier looks about them. It's the ramshackle agedness of the older buildings that really appeals to me. I guess it goes along with my personality, which is definitely more tumble-down than high maintenance. God, I would love to live somewhere like that. I used to wander around neighborhoods in London and Manchester dreaming about the day I would own my own Victorian or Georgian townhouse, but it was not to be. I never thought there could be the option of having the same thing in the States, so it's exciting to imagine that sort of life over here, but where I can also have a properly functioning shower and air conditioning. Yes, I have officially been spoiled by the creature comforts that are available in the U.S.!

And another thing about Alexandria is that you could get good vegetarian options in every restaurant. No problem. And they were delicious! There was no fabricating a meal out of nasty fried mozarella sticks and a side salad. And there were lots of cool looking couples with their kids in Bugaboo Frog strollers living this type of lifestyle that I would love to have - going to the green market on Saturdays, strolling to the local coffee house on Sunday mornings, eating at the cute little Greek restaurant. I was so jealous.

So, that got me thinking about Florida, as usual. It is summer, after all, when Florida is not at its best. I often start thinking about moving to Colorado or Oregon when it's so hot and sticky here, and the hurricanes start to threaten. By the time winter comes around and Florida is at its best, I shove aside the unhapiness, and try to make the most of it. But I am not very happy in my current job, either. OK, not happy at all, really. I work in a big law firm, and let's face it, big law firms think your loyalty lies with the office, not with any other aspect of your life. I think all around, I would be better off living somewhere else a bit more in tune with the way I envision my life being. The fly in the ointment, well, there are two flies really, are that a) I am stuck here until my green card comes through and cannot change jobs at the moment, and b) I moved here to be close to my family. I don't know if my aunt would want to move, or if I could bear to be so far away from her, and I don't know how to politely say "hey, when your husband dies, would you ever think of moving somewhere else?" Oh yeah, and I'm not a big fan of cold weather, but maybe I could find somewhere that wasn't too bone chillingly cold in winter.

But if the baby thing doesn't work out, I definitely want to start travelling to various cities to check them out and think about living there once the green card comes through. I need to get away more often anyway, so a few long weekends will be a great opportunity to see the country. And if the baby thing does work out, who knows, maybe I'll be happier here, but then again there's always the internet for researching new places to live.

So, that's where my head's at. In other news, my flight home was nearly 2 hours late, so I got in after midnight, and my cat Lulu decided she had to wake me up to check up on me every hour or so, to make sure I was really there. Or maybe it was just to punish me for leaving her alone for a few days. In other words, I've had very little sleep. I'm tired, my feet hurt from walking around with them swollen up from the heat (did I mention that it was HOT!), and I really don't feel like working. Hey, if I make this blog post long enough, maybe I can spin this out to lunch time and start work in the afternoon. I'll catch up another day, right?


Calliope said...

glad you are back ,gal!
& very cool that you connected so well to Alexandria. You should go up there in the fall- it is stunning!

there is also a fun site on line that I play with when I am having a "I hate where I live moment" (which you know is all the effing time!)

(it is kind of ad heavy- put very fun!)

margieinaz said...

Sarah, glad you had a good trip. My sister lives in Falls Church, Virginia and I just love it there too. So much to do, great restaurants, and many many cultural activities in the area. It does get cold in the winter, but not all winter long. They have many spells of good weather, even in the middle of the winter, so it's not so bad.
Welcome back, we missed you in cyberspace.