this was not a vacation

*** FYI: this post is long and picture-heavy ***

Part 1: driving through the mountains in the snow

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Dear Pennsylvania, your bridge is crooked.

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And then it started to snow! But it’s okay, we’re from Michigan and we can handle a little snow. We managed not to fall off of any mountains and Dylan was actually really good the whole way down. Can’t say so much for the way back up though, but you know, he’s two.

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Look at those snow clouds!

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And we made it into Virginia finally, greeted by a very pretty sunset 🙂

Part 2: sometimes when you order a hotel “suite,” you don’t really get a suite

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Slumming it in our hotel room, with a toddler. This is not recommended. Our hotel “suite” did not come with a separate bedroom (this is what you get for being cheap, I suppose). Blah! But it did offer free internet.

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The blue lollipop of doom!

Part 3: Fairfax is pretty, but hubby needs the blue Metro line

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So we spent our first day looking in Fairfax, because it’s pretty and family-friendly. But ultimately, hubby needs the blue metro line. Sorry Fairfax. Dylan liked your park.

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Dylan

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My boys 🙂

Part 4: little boxes on the hillside…

So the funny thing is, all the pictures I took, and I didn’t actually take any of the place we chose to live, lol. We were exhausted from looking at apartments, and it was raining. We chose Kingstowne, VA, which is on the south side of Alexandria, near Springfeild.

It looks pretty generic, really. But nice, suburban, generic. I saw on a message board that somebody called it a “strip mall on steroids”. And it kind of is. Think Weeds, only not in California. You get your movie theater, your Panera Bread, and your pretty little overpriced box to live in. Lots of trees and hiking paths. Our apartment has a “sunroom” = oversized livingroom with a lot of windows, that overlooks the woods, which I love! And it’s within walking distance to the Metro, which was top in hubby’s book.

I’m growing on the idea though. We get to belong to this community, and have automatic membership to gyms and playgroups and chess clubs (lol), and our little town center has shopping and banks and restaurants. But I think it will be a nice, quiet, safe, generic place to get our feet in the door out there. I was honestly giving myself a headache with all the different suburbs there are to choose from. The metro DC area is HUGE!!!

So we’ll live in our pretty little box for a year, and then we’ll reevaluate. Maybe we’ll even love it there, but I’ve always favored more unique towns, which personality and character, like Old Town Alexandria 🙂

Part 5: Alexandria rocks

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Downtown Alexandria is about a five-minute Metro ride from Kingstowne.

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Downtown, where hubby will work.

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Not sure if I’m allowed to say where hubby works and all… but dude, I was just taking a picture 😉

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Maybe nobody else finds this amusing?

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Old town is my favorite 🙂

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Pretty row-house spam 🙂

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Outside some restaurant.

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This theater totally serves beer and wine with the show! How soon can we get a new babysitter?

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It was really windy. They don’t look amused!

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The Potomac River from the bottom of King Street, and the bridge to Maryland in the background.

So I’m not sure if I would actually want to live in the city, but it sure is cool. And it’s nice to be able to hop on the Metro and get there in five minutes 🙂

Part 6: Pennsylvania mountain spam (because Michigan is flat as a board)

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8 thoughts on “this was not a vacation

  1. What an exciting move to be making! It looks like a really neat place to be. Pretty, full of history, great transportation. So what if you spend a year getting to know the place from the generic suburbs. It gets you there and established while you figure out the pulse of the place. Good luck with the move, and I’m really glad y’all made the trip safely.

  2. Oooh, love the pictures! I recognize that crooked bridge! 😉 Seems like you guys had a productive visit. Hopefully the packing and moving goes well for you.

    Fiance and I do seven hour drives back and forth to my home a lot… as often as I see the same things over and over again, I always find something new. And, well, Deep Throat Park and Swallow Falls NEVER GETS OLD. NEVER.

  3. I think you are exactly right to look at the suburb as a place to get your feet wet – you can explore and retreat at your leisure. And you’ll be warmer than in MI at least. I am very excited for your next adventure…hope you are, too!

  4. Ooooh. I am jealous. Looks fantastic and full of possibilties. Really awesome. I’m happy for you. And I want to see more pictures.

  5. I’m sooooo slow on this post, but I love your pictures. And don’t you just love driving through PA. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and moved back after living in VA and MD for a few years. I never get tired of all the mountains and the hills we have here. What use burgers call hills, my husband (who is native to MD) calls mountains. I laugh at him, lol.

  6. Riverdale, lol, they’re mountains to me too! Where I grew up in MI, you could see a bump in the road and we’d call it a hill 😉

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