Hello hello! Those who know us personally already know of our big life change, effective June 2015: I accepted a marketing position right outside of Philadelphia and we packed up and moved our entire lives into one U-Haul & one Camry (packed to the gills with our possessions and our two dogs, Roxy and Cora).
It has been an absolute whirlwind over the last six weeks. First, I can tell you that it's a lot easier to promise to keep in touch than to actually find the time to balance an old life and a new one. In fact, the only moments that I feel sad about the life we left behind is when I think about all of the moments that I am missing back home: my best friend's pregnancy, weekend game nights with my friends, driving to see my mom in the moments when I really need her.
But I do want to keep in touch- the easiest way to do this is to chronicle our lives using our blog- by sharing our quirky adventures as two Midwesterners transplanted on the East coast. To call it culture shock is a massive understatement.
We chose to live in a vibrant town outside of Philadelphia called Phoenixville, which is where the cult classic The Blob was filmed in 1958. It's a charming little town filled with lots to do and a diverse group of people- a lot of entrepreneurs here. We live in a renovated twin style home that was built in 1900; it does not have central air conditioning and it is four complete floors: basement, main level, bedroom level, and a refinished attic. The homes on our block are packed together like beautiful puzzle pieces- the quintessential city landscape.
We are in such a central location that we are less than half a mile to Bridge Street, the PA version of Warrensburg's Pine street... lined with shops featuring local delicacies (my favorite so far: sea salt caramels at Bridge Street Chocolates and parma pizza from Iron Hill Brewery), restaurants with ample outside seating, the historic Colonial theater, and on Saturday mornings, a farmer's market unlike any I've ever experienced. Adam and I love to trek down in the morning and come back with bags full of local produce, our bellies full from the food trucks and iced coffee vendors.
One of the biggest culture shocks for us is the ease and access to everything- several grocery stores... massive ones with so many choices that I leave with a headache! There are several movie theaters and Targets within 15 minutes of home, yet you have to seek out a Wal-Mart! The area itself is a lush green landscape of hundreds-year old trees that line the highway I drive to work, and the city sits atop the Schuylkill River, (pronounced Skoo-kull) and French Creek, both of which are filled with kayaks and canoes. There are big, green mountains (or hills- everything's a mountain when you come from Missouri).
The little towns all run together, and there are each filled with tons of things to do, but my oh my, does this area love to shop. We are 15 minutes from the King of Prussia mall, the largest mall in America (2 million square feet), packed with stores such as Tiffany, Bloomingdales, Hermes, Gucci. In the other direction, we have the Exton Square Mall, and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets. Near my workplace, we have the QVC headquarters and the QVC outlet mall, where I will be taking my mom when she visits in September!
The best thing about the area, in my opinion- is the access to a part of the country we've only started to explore. We have been to New York City twice, and Buffalo a handful of times- but now we are within two hours of Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, New Jersey, New York City, and many other places! We are putting together a list of daytrips of places to go and things to see.
Making this move was a giant leap of faith, and Adam and I loaded the car without hesitation and made the jump. We have always sought adventure in our lives- and this is just the beginning of this journey. Just the very beginning.
Coming up soon: (my observations on the "people" differences here vs home)