Friday Five: DC Things I'm Looking Forward To

Let's lighten things up a bit around here, shall we? With our DC move just over 2 weeks away, things have been pretty hectic lately. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that in 16 days I'll be completely finished with school (3rd time's the charm, right?) and we'll be driving away from Blacksburg for the last time. For real this time.

It's been a busy month full of travels every weekend, and we've spent two of those looking for and beginning to set up our new home. As we've started to explore our new neighborhood in our new city, I've actually lost count of how many cool things are in store for us. I'm so excited for so many things coming our way soon.


Groceries
When Ben and I purchased our condo in 2011, we were thisclose to buying a place with a really nice Harris Teeter right around the corner. Instead, we bought a place in a nice historic district that's right in the middle of some not-so-nice neighborhoods, and we found ourselves in a food desert (we actually ended up doing our shopping at that Harris Teeter 20 minutes away). Our current town isn't a lot better - we have a works-in-a-pinch Food Lion less than a mile away, a decent Kroger a couple miles away, and a nicer Kroger 4 or 5 miles away. 

Now, I'm not saying that the grocery situation was a driving factor in choosing our new location, but when we saw that there was a natural/organic market directly across the street, that was a definitely check in the plus column. There's also a Trader Joes a few blocks away and a Whole Foods a few more blocks from that. I've never been able to drive to a TJ's or a WF in under 30 minutes, let alone walk there in half that time.

Actually now that I think about it, I'm totally kidding myself with the grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store is the bane of my existence, and the one thing I loved about the Harris Teeter was that they offered online shopping. I could order everything I needed while I was at work, then someone would do all the actual wandering through the store for me, and all I had to do was go pick it up on my way home. I didn't even have to get out of the car - they brought it right out. So I think the more likely scenario will be that I'll be utilizing some of DC's grocery delivery services, which ain't a bad option either.

Pro Sports
We got a little taste of what it was like to live in a city with professional sports when we lived in Tampa. While we lived there we caught a few hockey games and baseball games - we even went to Opening Day the year we lived Living in Florida was extra fun for us as baseball fans because we also got to go to spring training! Now, a baseball team is better than no baseball team at all, but I always hated Tropicana Field because it's indoors (it's a dome) and the atmosphere that normally accompanies baseball games just didn't convey in there. And I'm still a little on the losing end with DC since their team (the Nationals) is in the same division as my team (the Braves), but I do like the stadium at least, and the bright side of them being in the same division is that I'll get the chance to see the Braves fairly frequently. As for the other sports, I do really enjoy hockey, and even though I'm not an NBA fan, I also really like basketball and have never been to a pro game so I'm looking forward to that. I'm not an NFL fan at all, but Ben is and he's never been to a pro game, and obviously neither have I so I imagine we'll go at some point. Even though I'm not interested in the game, I'm curious about what the experience is like. (I know they also have a soccer team but I could not possibly care less about soccer).

Transit
I've always wanted to live somewhere with mass transit. Well actually, not always, but ever since I started visiting cities that had it and realized wait a minute, people don't have to drive everywhere?!  We downsized to one car a few years ago and even though we only use our car a couple times a week, we aren't quite ready to go carless yet (we still want the convenience for out-of-town travel). Our current town has a pretty good bus system, and if I'm not riding my bike to school then I'm taking the bus, so I've gotten used to having public transportation available and am really happy that's only going to improve when we move. My office will be close enough to our apartment that I plan to bike/walk as often as I can, but I'm I know plenty of people complain about the Metro (everything is amazing and nobody is happy, right?) and for that reason I'm glad that it's not something I'll have to rely on, but  I've used it numerous times when I've visited DC and I think it's pretty awesome that it exists as an option for me to get around.

Cityscapes
We've spent the last few years in the mountains with some incredible views. When we moved here I really wasn't expecting to like it at all (since I didn't the first time I lived here), and it surprised me how much I ended up taking to it. There are some days that I look out across the wide open spaces, at the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I instantly feel better. We have farms just behind our apartment with horses and sheep and cows that we can see from our window. I never have and never will be a country kind of girl, but I do love seeing all those animal faces on a daily basis.  But after a couple years, the novelty of it all has started to wear off, and I'm excited to trade that in for tall buildings and city expanses. I don't know if it's just the civil engineer in me, but I love and am fascinated by all kinds of buildings and architecture, and I don't know if I'll ever get tired of staring at all that DC has to offer.

#nofilter
True story: I was telling Ben the other day how I keep envisioning myself going up to the roof after a long or hard day and he goes, "Why, so you can jump off?" This is the person I am married to.

Bike Trails
The town we live in is fairly bike-friendly for commuting purposes, mainly because it's small and I only have to go 2 miles. It's not at all good for riding for fitness or for any sort of distance, however. We have one paved trail that's just under 6 miles long, and it's not the most conducive place to get in a ride. There are usually people walking/running on it, especially in the first couple miles close to town, technically you're not supposed to ride over 15mph on it, it's made of rolling hills, there's never more than a quarter, maybe half a mile of open space where you can just ride, and in fact, right now there's construction going on so there's a quarter mile or so section that's all graveled over, which means I would have to get off and walk my bike through that section otherwise I'd crash on the rocks. Don't get me wrong, I have ridden this trail many times since it's my only option, but it's definitely not a great option. And while there are certainly lower traffic roads I could ride on, I don't feel comfortable doing that, in part because the majority of the population is college students and driving in a car while they're driving next to you is terrifying enough. I'm not trying to get run over by a 20-year-old, thanks.

So, having a place to be able to ride without worrying about cars or stopping is something I've really missed over the last couple of years. I knew DC was going to be a much better place for me to get some decent mileage in, but the more I've read up on it, the better I feel. There are several different trail options that are up to 45 miles each way! There are plenty of trails that are off-road but some have on-road sections that are closed to traffic on some days of the week. Just in time for serious Ironman training!

11 comments :

  1. You are sooo lucky you won't have to take the metro- not to add to all of the complaining and negative energy, but it really is awful most of the time! omg, haha, at Ben's comment about the rooftop! I will probably never stop saying how much I love your view, and you guys are so lucky to have such good grocery options so close even if you hate grocery shopping, haha. We love going to Nats games, even though my husband is more of an O's fan (ben too, right?)-- basically I love this entire post and am so glad you are excited about moving here soon.

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  2. I lived in DC one summer, and it still, to this date, was my favorite summer eveeeeeer!! I'm a big fan of using everything BUT public transportation to get around, however in DC I was all about the Metro. Granted this was over ten years ago, but I'm sure the Metro hasn't changed all that much ;)

    So exciting!

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  3. I take the Metro from Arlington into Farragut area for work every day, and as long as it's running smoothly and there aren't delays, I do love the Metro. Unfortunately there's always something going on that results in delays at least once a week. Since you won't be looking to ride during rush hour you'll probably have a good experience with it! Nats games are fun even if you're not into the team. I'm not much of a baseball fan in general, but I still like to go to a few games a summer for the experience!

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  4. These are all GREAT things to look forward to, and things that someeeetimes makes me wish I lived right in the heart of our city. Sometimes ;) I love all the fun sports options you guys will have- like you said, even if you aren't a huge fan of a team/sport specifically it'll be great to check out the atmosphere surrounding them!

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  5. Bahhh your move is so soon! Time is just flying we were just talking about your new job offer!! :P I think you and Ben will really enjoy DC! The metro isn't the greatest but it is still super convenient just to have as an option! I just wish it had bathrooms on it like the trains in Chicago haha. The 45 mile trail you're talking about, I know two people that ran the whole thing! Crazies! There are definitely a lot of bikers on it during the warm months so I usually prefer to run on it in the winter when there isn't so many but it's a great trail overall! What part of town are you?! We will definitely need to start planning adventures!

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  6. hahaha this is the person i am married to. hilarious! if i was moving to a big city, public transport would be the number one thing i was excited about. but yay for pro sports!

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  7. I got excited FOR you just seeing the TJ's so close. I have a Whole Foods literally right behind my apartment but I rarely go unless it's to get something specific because hi, that's my entire monthly income gone in one trip. But TJs! I would gladly swap my WF for TJ's.
    Also, if you're going to a football game, I'm going to have to ask you, as a Giants fan myself, to not root for the Redskins please and thank you very much. But you have two pretty close stadiums to choose from, so that ain't bad!
    Dude, *I* can't wait to enjoy that rooftop view with you guys. Hello gorgeous!
    Also, #5 for this list: SO MUCH CLOSER TO NJ :D ;)

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  8. I think that DC is going to be such a fun adventure for you guys and look at all the cool places and things that you have to look forward to!!!

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  9. Eeeeeeeek! I'm so happy for you.

    Also - my husband has an interview in DC in a few weeks. If he gets the job I'll be knocking down your door for all the details. We know NOTHING of DC or the surrounding area. #TexanBornAndRaised

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  10. I would kill for grocery delivery! Or a Trader Joe's for that matter. Or an organic grocery store...lol! That's a great rooftop view!

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  11. I like seeing cityscapes too,... from over here, on the other side of the Hudson from NYC lol! I could never live in a city like NYC, but DC is beautiful! And yeah, everyone always complains about mass transportation, but it's allowed me to live car-free for several years! Hope you're loving your new place!

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