A few weeks back,I saw an article that gave five reasons why to never move to Texas, yet of course, it was just the opposite…highlighting some great ‘hidden’ treasures enticing people to read the article by the ambiguity expressed in the headline. This idea got me thinking about our own move to Connecticut: what would the author of this article give as the five reasons to move to Connecticut? Before moving here, I would have liked to have read an article like that, because at first, we honestly didn’t know much about The Nutmeg State, or the many joys of living in Connecticut. The only thing I knew was that it was one of the small states in the northeast, it was somewhere in between Boston and New York, and Connecticut has an amazing basketball program (March Madness anyone?). I was pretty clueless having never traveled farther north than Tennessee before this move.
In every place I have ever moved, I have received the same comment, “Why would you want to move to ______?” And I have moved to some really great places, so the comment has somewhat baffled me. It was no different moving to the shoreline, I got the same comment, “Why would you want to live in Connecticut?” I get it on some level, I think I would have asked that of my own home town, because it is hard to see the beauty and wonder of a place when that is what you see everyday. So as an outsider, looking in and now as semi-long term resident of the area, I feel equipped to answer the question with a little knowledge and with some resemblance of knowing enough about the state to answer the question fairly. So why move to Connecticut? My reasons:
Connecticut: Location, Location, Location
Unbelievable opportunities arise in this location. Coming from Nebraska, where we traveled across the plains on a 7 hour drive to watch a Nebraska football game or do some Lincoln shopping was something we did because it was a necessity. Driving 3 or more hours in the opposite direction enabled us to make a plane reservation…no other choice. My former location meant tons of time on the road, in a car, driving to get to just anywhere. Even going to get groceries, took us an hour driving time only. And, once we got there, there were no other amenities offered , other than the grocery store. In contrast, let’s look at this location. Oh, my, grab a train and be on the streets of NYC in an two and a half hours. A Broadway show, dinner at a five star restaurant, memorials, sightseeing, shopping…. what more could you want?? A day in NYC is beyond my former realistic dreams. Yet, we can’t stop there… back home, sleep in our own beds, and then to Boston the next day to walk the North Street, do some Boutique shopping, see a Red Sox game, have some tea, sit at the counter of the Cheers bar… again it’s all a part of living in Connecticut. Should we stop there? Of course not. Excursions to many sites of history, even to Plymouth Rock, or to the tip of Maine… all within just a very few hours of driving. What about waking up tomorrow and deciding to hop a quick weekend trip to Washington, DC? Not beyond question and within only a couple of hours the cherry blooms will be filling our sense of smell. Ahhhhhh true bliss to have all these possibilities right at our whim.
This is the easiest of the five to write, which is surprising based on my preconceived notions I had prior to moving to the Northeast. I have always heard how Northeasterns are busier, not as nice, less inclined to slow down and get to know others–but how wrong those rumors are. We were welcomed with open arms in our community, people invited us over for dinner to welcome us to the neighborhood after just meeting us one time. The restaurants and service establishments are friendly and cordial when we walk in the door, many times the waitress or cashier will strike up conversations out of the blue. The schools are friendly and were very quick to help my kiddos adjust into the their new routine. The people we have met introduced us to their northeastern circle of friends and were willing to open their arms and hearts to us…we were welcome. From coffee chats, to art and wine parties, trips to the beach, sharing backyard pools, dinner parties, shopping excursions, family camping and skiing trips, journeys to faraway places … oh, what a wonderful time we have been blessed with as our friendships have grown. The best feeling of all is knowing they are all very special to us and have never made us feel as if we were the newcomers. Truly, Connecticutians are some of best people in the world and we couldn’t have dreamed of having any better.
Seriously, where in this nation can you go from a ski resort, back home to pick up a beach towel and then to the beach in a time of 30 minutes? What an absolute perk. Besides this, let’s look at the landscape with its millions of trees which line the roads, and fill your backyards. Coming from the treeless plains, this is remarkable. The winter reminds me of Robert Frost poems and Beatles music combined into one. The snow lying perfectly against the rock and stone fences, the trees literally blowing from root to the tips in the wind. It is from a poet’s incentive book. Truly beautiful. Each season allows us to see beauty at its finest. The landscapes, in the fall, are from an artist palettes as he carefully paints his canvases. From the reds, golds, purples, turquoise…the colors are amazing.
Summer and spring offer their own personalities. The warm days, the trips to the salt water , collecting sea shells, squishing sand in between the toes. Spring brings these promises to us as the greenery comes to life and the promise of new life brings hope and renewal. The slow drawn out changes allows us the opportunity to bask in Connecticut’s four seasons, all of which are beyond compare. We are truly enmeshed in scenarios of a picture perfect world.
Being able to relish in these seasons, we must also think about the villages you pass by as you are in the midst of these pictures. The quaint buildings, the history which literally seems to be a part of your reality, as you walk down cobblestone streets, make time stand still. Walking into places such as the Griswold Inn literally makes you ponder days of old. Did the Commander stop and give his British troops orders from this site? Imagination can make historical scenarios run rampant. Or how about in Guilford? Standing in the very spot where British troops battled our American soldiers. I hear the cannons, I see the war-clad soldiers, don’t you? Almost a page right out of the history book: synonymous with Connecticut’s scenery.
So I must stop there for now, three amazing joys of living in Connecticut, but of course there are so many more. I will finish my other two, and give you five overarching reasons to pick up and call The Nutmeg State home in next week’s Part Two: Joys of Living in Connecticut. In the meantime, list your favorite examples or motivation on why the shoreline area is an exceptional place to call home. I would love to hear from you.