Alright I’m home now… drinking a Smirnoff Ice at 4:00 in the afternoon. Can ya tell its Monday?
Anyway, right now my husband and I live in South Florida. I’ve lived here, like I said in my OP, since I was 6. My husband moved down from New York in December. He is originally from New Jersey, but was living in Queens for a few years while in school, etc. The only places I’m really familiar with are South Florida and the New York/New Jersey area. Plus Texas because my mother was born and raised there and we used to spend every summer there, but my husband – being from New Jersey and all – won’t consider it. I guess the people there are too nice for him. Oh, almost forgot.. I’m also very familiar with Chicago. I am originally from Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) but spent a lot of time in Chicago these past few years. For a myriad of reasons though I think I have officially crossed Chicago off my list.
We really want to hear good things about Baltimore because since my mom is going to be moving there – her fiance is a doctor there with his own practice and so he won’t be relocating – I want to know the positive aspects. Of course, if we do feel that it ultimately isn’t the right place for us we will choose to move elsewhere. However, I do think it could be great for us and getting the dream of moving out of Florida PLUS having it be with my mom (we’re very, very close, as are her and my husband) would be fantastic.
As far as what people mentioned about the schools. Education is actually very important to me since I’m a teacher, as is my mother. Of course education is important to most people looking to be parents, but as an educator myself, it’s obviously a priority for both my career and my children. (Although see the Smirnoff comment above to find out how my day went today.) Growing up in Florida I’ve actually been exposed to a horrible educational system since I was a child – I don’t think it’s a secret that Florida does not have the best education department. I always went to private schools actually for religious reasons, but the private schools aren’t all that much better than the public ones. Of course, there are some fantastic schools (like university school) but overall the standards are the same across the board and that affects everything – whether private or public. It gives me hope to think I could be raising my kids in a state that actually cares a little bit more about education and where my children can be held to more rigorous standards, whether public or private.
I also love that everyone for the most part really mentioned the whole “small town in a bigger city” kind of feel, or the “all American” feel of having the mountains and ocean available, etc. That is so my type of area. You know, when you grow up in a place like Florida you kind of end up craving what you don’t have. I love charm and history and Baltimore sounds like such a mecca for both of those things. One other reason my husband and I (plus my mother, the super educator) love the idea of Baltimore is the ease to which we can take our children to see and experience different places. South Florida is actually very isolating. In Baltimore our children can experience DC from a young age, and go into NYC and NJ (to visit grandparents), and also places in Virginia, etc. I just really feel that it is so importnat, and I know my mother will relish being able to take her grandkids to DC (she’s a history teacher, totally obsessed). I also totally have this vision in my head of taking my kids to NYC when they’re old enough and not just going to the museums and the library, but also going to a Broadway show at night and really opening their eyes up to different people and places, culture and the arts.. it makes me really excited to picture it!
Sports-wise, my husband is a die-hard Yankees fan and NY Giants football fan.. so I don’t know how we’re going to do sports-wise! Can’t be worse than here though where the Marlins and Dolphins are just not worth going out to see!
One last thing, as far as the neighborhood we would choose, I’m not 100% sure yet. Silver Spring was in the list, but we’ll probably choose Baltimore because we want to be close to my mom. I know nothing about the way the city is actually laid out, but I do know we are thinking more suburban so hopefully we’ll have a chance to look things over in January for the first time. We are definitely going to be renting an apartment to begin with, but the house will follow in a few years time after that.
The one thing that I feel so relieved to hear is how down to earth Baltimore is. I come from a family with a strong work ethic, I believe in working hard to pave your own destiny, and I feel that I get that vibe from the population in Baltimore, as well.