This past weekend, the kids and I (sans Ayren) went for a weekend trip to my 'hometown' of Raleigh, NC. I put hometown in quotations only because I was actually raised in a bunch of cities, so I don't actually have a hometown. As I mentioned previously, my father was in the military so we moved around a bunch. Anyway, after he retired, we moved back there. While I have actually lived in other places longer.....like NYC and the DMV.....Raleigh was the place where I lived during my formative years of college. I really enjoyed my time there and have nothing but fond memories of it. I met my future wife there, I had some pretty good jobs during the summers, and the outdoor bball courts were all pretty good. Really, the only reason Ayren and I left it was to take a shot at NYC (that was a good call on our part) but it wasn't like we were tired of the place and was really to leave. I know I maybe cherry picking only the good memories and not remembering the bad ones....but I truly didn't have many.
I'm writing this post because Ayren and I from time to time discuss moving back to the Triangle (for those not in the know....the Triangle refers to Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill because they are all very close, awesome cities that form....well...a triangle on the map). She really thinks Durham is interesting while I'm more inclined to the Raleigh/Cary/Wake Forest side of things. Raleigh would offer us a lot of positives:
1.) My parents live there and they LOVE LOVE LOVE their grandkids. They have a total of four (my sister has two kids and I have my two munchkins). Ayren and I would be able to utilize them more often and we could go on dates, explore different things in the city with just us two, or maybe just get some well needed rest! We also wouldn't be that far from Ayren's parents in Jacksonville, NC and the same goes for them with Trey and Eliet....they LOVE LOVE LOVE them. And when we visit, we could drop in anytime and not have to worry about beating traffic getting back home.
2.) The vibe in Raleigh is a lot more 'chill' than it is here in the DMV.....traffic might play a part in that. The Raleigh metro area is a lot smaller than the DC metro area so you don't have to plan to do something super early to beat crowds, have good parking, etc. For example, we all know NEVER to try to go to any of the DC museums after 11 on the weekends, but you could stroll in downtown Raleigh and just casually drop in any of the museums there at a moments notice.
3.) While we would like to think that we all are going to be around forever.....sad truth is....we're not. (Stay with me! I promise I won't go dark like that too often on here!) But both of our parents are getting older and we would like to be around when they need us for anything. I'm not saying that we are too far away to come at a moments notice here in VA, its just that I could stop in and help my dad 'in the yards....that's his way of saying yardwork' or Ayren stopping in to surprise her mom and taking her somewhere for a Saturday adventure. I would also be able to see my older sister Jacinta a lot more. When we were younger, I think for me anyway, the big thing was too try and have fun and be in a glamorous setting while doing so and NYC was definitely that and a lot more. I'm a little sad that we lived there largely before smart phones with good cameras because while we have some photos, we didn't really capture our time there properly. But now that we are older with kids....that kind of stuff is less and less important to me. I really just want to be happy with my family and be able to enjoy everyone while we can.
4.) I would be able to check out some of my college, Fayetteville State (BRONCO PRIDE!) activities like homecoming weekend and basketball games plus ....I would be able to go see the Tarheels play more often! #UNC2017NationalChamps
I will say that we LOVE it here in the DMV area. We now have a pretty big circle of friends, we are both pretty involved in an awesome church, plus Wizards season tickets! Ok, that one is my splurge. And probably most importantly.....the schools in this area are AWESOME. Also, my favorite city hands down is NYC (by a mile) and if something awesome came up there work-wise....Ayren and I would seriously consider making the move back to NYC. It would take some smooth talking by me....but I think I could convince Ayren :) It just keeps getting harder and harder to visit Raleigh and North Carolina now without day dreaming about how our life would be there closer to our families.
Remember to take care of yourselves.