I've decided to participate in a Happiness Project started by Minivan Mom (one of my absolute favorite reads). The first challenge she created for us is to come up with 1o reasons why we love where we live. Here goes:
10 Reasons Why I Love Living in Olney, MD
10. The house itself When we were looking to move, we decided that we needed a house that was just a smidge bigger than what we had with an extra bedroom. We wanted a house that you could walk out to the back yard. We needed a 2 car garage and would love for it to be on a family friendly street. when I saw this house online, I knew it was the perfect house. We actually only looked at about 2 other houses and none seriously...this house was perfect.
9. The neighborhood We live on a cul-de-sac with very little traffic and great neighbors who will invite us over for blizzard parties, play dates and have awesome block parties.
8. Living close to family When we moved, we only moved about 10 miles from our previous house, but that also made us 10 miles closer to my parents (who are only 10 miles away now), and only .7 miles away from one of Pat's older brother's and his family. Our kids all go to the same school and they get to see each other often. plus we get to swap babysitting.
7. off the beaten path Our previous neighborhood was just off a major commuting route through Montgomery & Howard Counties and went straight to DC. While it got us to places easily, it was often traffic laden and noisy. Now, the town we live in is no where near any major city or large commuter routes. Now, there are roads we can take to get us places, but we are not in such an urban-like environment.
6. more suburban we are more suburban than we were, but not so cookie cutter and Stepford Wives like. There is a horse farm across the street from the kids elementary school, but we are by no means in the country. It is a good mix.
5. No beltway tie-ups I never have to get on the highway on any of my weekly/daily errands. I love not having to traverse the DC Beltway. The more time I can stay off that death trap, the better.
4. sidewalks There are sidewalks on every street, at least in my part of town. makes walking with the kids so much easier.
3. small town feel It never fails, I can always see someone I know at the grocery store, Starbucks, the gym. there is a general feeling that everyone knows everyone. I remember going out to dinner before we even thought to move here and we felt out of place because so many people at the restaurant were stopping at tables to talk to other patrons. It was nice to see and a definite change from the "don't look at me" feeling you often get.
2. Access We are not too far from cultural centers and activities in DC and Baltimore.
1. no big box stores around This one can also be a hate, but what I have found is that when you live close to a target/walmart there are a lot of people that flock to your general area-increasing traffic, crime, etc. I love that there is no major reason to bring hoards of people to town other than the locals...it keeps things nice and calm. We do have everything else you would need (3 grocery stores, library, post office, different places of worship, liqueur store, restaurants, 2 Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and a gym).
In short, I don't think I could ever regret our decision to move to Olney. It cost quite a bit to buy our house, but it will always be worth it. Our kids are in a better environment, making great friends, going to a great school and are happy. Totally worth it.