Mr. Mint and I moved our family from the city of San Francisco to the suburbs about a year and a half ago. Before we moved I had lived in San Francisco for thirteen years, in only two different locations about three blocks apart. It is the city where I had my first apartment, the city where I had my first real job, the city where I met my husband, the city where my husband and I built our dream house, the city where my children were born, the city where I became a mother. I moved there a young, single girl fresh out of college and left a grown-up mother of three.
I loved living in the city and didn't think we would ever leave. But life happens and as they say, "having a baby [or babies] changes everything." It has been the right move for our family. Yet, a piece of my heart will always be in San Francisco, high on a hill.
People often ask me if I miss living in the city. The answer is yes... and no. So here is a list of things that I miss... and things that I don't.
Things I Miss:
- The food! Mr. Mint and I never ran out of new, exciting restaurants to try and we never tired of our favorites. Only Manhattan rivals SF as far as culinary arts goes in the US.
- Our neighbors. When you live in San Francisco it's likely that your house is only inches away from your neighbors. Luckily for us, we actually considered our neighbors our friends. We even took down the fence between our yards so our kids had two yards to play in. I miss the impromptu play dates, borrowing a cup of sugar, and chatting on the front steps.
- Walking. Before we had kids Mr. Mint and I shared one car. I took public transportation to work and sometimes weeks would go by when I wouldn't step foot in a car. We were only a few blocks away from restaurants, a grocery store, shops, etc. I spent countless afternoons pushing a double stroller around our neighborhood to music class, the drugstore, the post office, or just to get a cup of coffee.
- Shopping. Our neighborhood was full of unique shops. I loved browsing in those one of a kind stores and getting to know the owners.
- Stuff to do with kids. If ever I needed to fill a morning or afternoon there were always options. Museums, parks, the zoo, drop-in art classes, tourist attractions, the beach, Golden Gate Park, the library, or just a walk in a different part of town were just a few minutes away. If I ran out of things in the city, Marin was just a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge which opened up millions of other possibilities.
- The people. Besides our neighbors, I miss some of the friends we don't see as often now that we live in the burbs.
- My house. Mr. Mint and I picked out every fixture, faucet and appliance in that house and we were happy there. It's where we started our marriage and stayed up all night with our babies. It was painful to sell it.
- My sister. We live farther away from my sister and we don't get together as often, which sucks for us and our kids.
Things I don't miss:
- The homeless
- The school system
- Driving all the way across town, twice a day for preschool
- Grocery shopping
- The dog doo doo on the sidewalks