We've had a handful of bouts of homesickness since we've moved to Salinas 18 months ago, but this recent bout has been pretty bad and left us making lists of all of the things we love and miss about the Northwest. Constantly dreaming about all of the things we miss in WA has made some days pretty miserable and heart-wrenching around here. In order to maintain some level of perspective, I decided to instead make a running list of all of the things I like about living here in Salinas. Surprisingly, this list hasn't been as easy to come up with as I had anticipated, but I'll leave it open-ended and add to it as more come up. Here's what I have so far...
*The weather! It was 73 degrees today - IN JANUARY - and I worked outside in my flower beds, went for a run without a jacket on and should have put sunscreen on Jude before he went to school today.
*Being close to family. Its been great to have dinners with my sister and her family, lunches during her workday and catching my nephew's basketball or baseball games. So happy to spend some quality time with my sweet niece and nephews and I have a great time hanging out with my sister. Our kids love being near their grandparents too!
*Joel and Deana Parkins (ie: Youth Ministry Geniuses). Not only are they hilarious and fun to be around, they teach us SO incredibly much about how to love high school students and how to be good at it.
*Our car insurance went down significantly when we moved here!
*We live in a quiet street with lots of kids on it and Noelle and Jude have become friends with all of them! We love having them over and playing and walking to and from school with them.
*FRESH produce. I seriously almost took a picture of the first tomato I purchased down here. I had NEVER seen a tomato from a grocery store that red before!
*We're only 6 hours from Disneyland! :-)
*We're only a few hours drive from lots of cool places (Lake Tahoe, the Brem family cabin in Arnold, San Francisco)
*The Giants. I'm a full-blooded Mariner's fan, but my husband sure does love his Giants! We made it to quite a few games last year and loved it. Also, did you know they won the World Series?
*Gavin's family ranch. We love to go out there to hike, BBQ, relax, let the dog run around like crazy, let the kids be as loud as they want, and to let the kids ride horses. What a blessing to be near it! And don't forget the annual family cattle branding! You've got to see it to believe it...
*The Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is truly amazing.
*The Santa Cruz Boardwalk - so fun!
*AND we're only about 12 minutes from the beach!
This definitely makes me feel better! Also, come visit.