Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Year in Review

That's right friends - I have now officially lived in CT for an entire year. A lot has changed since we pulled up in Mark Rauckhorst's driveway at 1:00 AM a year ago. For one thing, we were able to close on/move into our own house (luckily within about three days - I am not good at living in other people's houses and my kitties did not like living in the laundry room).

Some highlights of our year:

Finding/Moving In To Our House
We almost didn't get this house and if we hadn't, I honestly don't know that I could have moved here. We had a terrible experience with our realtor - she didn't want to show us anything in New London and we hated everything in our price range in Groton, Gales Ferry, Mystic, and all the other "desirable" places she showed us. I found our house online, had to fight with her to see it, had to fight with her more to get her to write up the offer, and then we almost lost it due to her stalling. A battle hard fought with a great reward.

Noe in front of our new house shortly after we closed

New York Trips
I'll never love NYC the way I love Chicago, but I'll also never complain about having it a (shorter) train ride away. The unexpected perk of moving out here was discovering that Noe's work badge got us into the major museums for free. So far we've hit the American Museum of Natural History (impressive but overwhelming), the Museum of Modern Art (adored it), and my personal favorite, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The great thing about getting in free and being so close is we can leave before we get burned out because we can always come back...although I can hardly imagine getting burned out on the Met.

Van Goh at the MOMA

Egyptian Awesomeness at the Met

Skiing in Vermont
Yes, we only went twice and yes, one of those days was completely warm and awful, but I can not possibly ignore the fact that in the same time it would take to drive to Boyne or Nub's Nob from Ypsi you can get to real mountains from New London. Noe and I were even able to take a bus from a local ski shop and get discounted tickets. Sure, it's no Colorado but I wouldn't know because I've never been out west anyway. Hopefully this year I can make Noe like skiing a little more and we can go more often.

I was trying to show Noe how to "snowplow."
He was more interested in taking pictures.

Making Awesome Friends
It was rough going here for a little while. Once the rush of moving and getting the unpacked was over, Noe and I suddenly found ourselves in a strange town with no friends, no hobbies, and it was more or less the dead of winter. Luckily, around this time we met and started hanging out with the people who would form our core group of friends here. Even better for me, my new friends got just as excited about wine, food, and books as I did. Now I had people to go to restaurants and wine tastings with and who told me where the fabulous Book Barn was located. The nights were suddenly filled with darts playing, rugby games and dinner/theme parties. Like getting the house, hooking up with this group was a real turning point.

Classing it up for the Gatsby Party (best party of the summer)

The Trifecta/Manfecta dinner party

Martha's Vineyard
This is pretty much directly related to the last item, because if we hadn't made friends with the awesome John and Katie, I am not sure that Noe and I ever would have made it out to Martha's Vineyard. But we jumped at the chance to go when Katie invited us (along with Amanda, Kevin, Mini, Doyle, Chad and Sarah) to spend a weekend at her family's house with her and John. I was absolutely enchanted by Martha's Vineyard and I only saw one small portion of it. I can't wait to go back. And although the setting (funky old house, beautiful beaches) was amazing, it was the company that really made the trip. It was our first vacation with our Connecticut friends and hopefully not the last.

The group at Katie's Vineyard house

Of course, there were many other good things about this year in addition to the ones above - great shows and movies at the Garde, for example; seeing concerts at the Dodge Music Center and the MGM Grand (yay Killers!); and volunteering at the aquarium. These are just some of the major highlights and the ones that stick out in my mind as definitive "maybe I don't hate it here" points. I'm still getting used to life on the East Coast, but I have to tell you that September 12, 2008 is gearing up to be a much better day than September 12, 2007.


Alison said...

Wow! Can't believe it's been a year already! I miss you guys, but am happy things seem to be going well for you.

Lorraine said...

And 2009 will be great.. because you will be able to add "visit to Canterbury to see Lorraine and Chet". I am looking forward to it already!!

Kristen said...

How come my coming to visit was not listed on your highlights of the year? My feelings are hurt!