2 Adults, 3 boys, 365 Days of Adventure
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We’re Moving to Boulder!

[sorry – having trouble posting photos from the cruise  but here’s the text anyway]

Yes – it’s true – but a bit of background first: Jennifer has long struggled with Los Angeles, and has never really felt at home there. As a girl she, like me, she grew up in the same beautiful city of Boulder, Colorado. We both enjoyed Boulder’s great schools, fantastic weather, intellectual college town vibe and easily navigable distances. Jennifer then moved to NYC and had the experience of living in a midst of a thriving metropolis full of culture and life. I think she is equally at home in either of those places, but the more laid back, yet very image focused, beach culture of MB and the vast urban sprawl of greater Los Angeles has never really suited her.

I’ve always loved Colorado and was crushed when my mom uprooted me from that paradise and planted us in rural Nova Scotia just as I was entering high school (no mom – I haven’t quite forgiven you for that one <<grin>>). I enjoyed living in NYC, and had a blast during the three years I was there, but it was never really me. No mountains, no beaches, no rivers – I just need more outside time. Los Angeles, and especially Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach, suit me very well. A near perfect combination of weather, outside activates and thriving business community. It’s the only other place besides Boulder that has ever felt like home.

For the year before we left on our adventure we were commuting Keeks and Cracker up to school on Mulholland Drive. The commute took us 45 minutes to well over an hour both ways. The school was a great fit for them and they were really happy there so it was definitely worth the commute. That said we were all spending so much time in the car that we felt that a move to the westside would be necessary if we were going to stay in Los Angeles. Thus the decision to sell our house before we left.

So given this background Jennifer and I fully planned on returning to LA after our year was over – but we also agreed to be open to other opportunities if they should arise. The world is a very big place.

When we visited my mom in Colorado in June, as we started our trip, we were reminded of what a great place her town really is: Beautiful scenery, 300 days of sunshine a year, rarely hot, rarely very cold, amazing restaurants, compact and accessible, hip and alternative intellectual community, hiking and biking trails everywhere, 35 minutes to good skiing an hour twenty to the world class stuff, and the list goes on. We also discovered that they still have a great school system as well as some amazing private schools to choose from. We began to feel that Colorado would be a real option for us and decided to check it out more completely when we returned in December for Christmas.

When we arrived back in December we made a concentrated effort to get to know the area as fast as we could. We ate out for every meal to discover what the restaurants had to offer. We took the kids to the local playgrounds. We enrolled Keeks and Cracker in the local ski racing club (a humbling experience for them). We even left the kids with my mom (many times), which ended up being a fantastic experience for all of us (if a bit overwhelming for her – thanks mom!).

But the most important thing we did was that we started working with a realtor team to help us figure out where we might live and what kind of home we could afford. The agents we chose were fantastic. They worked tirelessly to show us every area of town and fought to get us into houses that had been taken off the market for the holidays. Within a week we felt we had a good feel for the real estate market and neighborhoods and, based on what we saw, we began to relish the idea of living there. Still the decision did not come easy. Ultimately, I left the decision to Jen. I would have been very happy to return to LA but also felt that our quality of life would be better in Colorado. So for me all that mattered was that my wife was happy (happy wife = happy life, right?). Even as it seemed more and more likely that Jen was going to decide to make the move – committing was difficult. After about three weeks, and after seeing countless houses, we found ourselves compelled to make an offer on a beautiful property about six blocks from my childhood home. It is a new “modern farmhouse” (Jen’s favorite style) that is more than twice the size of our previous house, has a big back yard, is a two blocks from the trails and was a great value. After Jen and I signed the paperwork for the first offer I turned to her and said, “I guess we’re moving to Boulder eh?” “I guess so” she replied and that was that.

1 comment

1 Ellen Wesel { 02.09.10 at 9:45 pm }

Wow, Boulder sounds like a fantastic city. It clearly has a special place in both of your hearts, so you will be very happy there. Best of luck, and please keep in touch.
Ellen and Rick Wesel

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