Today is our fifth day on the West Coast. We flew in Wednesday night, moved in Thursday morning, and were mostly unpacked by the weekend, thanks to family and a few spectacular new friends. We’re starting to feel settled, but there’s a learning curve to moving cross-country. Thankfully, I have an iPhone. “Siri: find a grocery store.” “Siri: find me doughnuts.” “Siri: is this compostable?” 

Our house is in Palo Alto, a pretty little city in its own right, about 30 miles south of The City (San Francisco). We’re in Silicon Valley, hemmed in by the Santa Cruz mountains to the west (and just beyond them, the ocean) and San Francisco Bay to the east. That means that the sun is out every day and it’s always 55 degrees in the morning/evening and 70-75 degrees with a crisp ocean breeze from over the mountain ridge in the afternoon. It also means that it’s super geek-dom, which suits us fine. There are electric car charging stations on every corner, all of the middle aged men are either Asian or look like Steve Jobs, and kids discuss things like time travel on their way to elementary school (true story–Jordan overheard the conversation from our driveway). Every day, driving around, I notice one new, quirky sight after another: a Tesla dealership, the offices for apps like Evernote and Houzz, a succulent the size of a large sea monster growing in someone’s front lawn, a triple tandem bike. It’s incredibly fun.

Our house is full of light and has a little garden in the back, along with two lime trees and two redwoods. We’re on a residential street that is also a bike boulevard, meaning that every mile or so there’s a barrier to allow only bike and foot traffic through. Our claim to fame is that The Pink Bridge is five houses down from us–it’s a tiny pink bike/pedestrian bridge that was commissioned by Pink Floyd when they lived in Palo Alto. The bridge is in pretty rough shape, but we are very proud of it. Ahem. Another thing we love about our location is that we can walk to several local, non-Starbucks coffee shops (including a Philz Coffee, which I can describe in four scrumptious words: mint mojito iced coffee), a couple of grocery stores, and a host of interesting little cafes and delicious holes-in-the-wall. We can also walk two miles to downtown Palo Alto, which has an Anthropologie, a Tibetan textiles store, and an ice cream sandwich shop (among other, less important things). There are also more Starbuckses and yoga studios than a person could ever visit in a lifetime.

Do we miss Atlanta? Yes. But it doesn’t feel like we’re 2500 miles and three time zones away, maybe because we’re just a flight away. We haven’t had time to feel sad, what with all of the to-do lists and fast action of the last few weeks, but I can sense a tiny bit of homesickness creeping in. Through this process of leaving home, the weight of the transition has hit me physically rather than emotionally, and I feel generally exhausted. But the beauty of our new surroundings, the friendliness of our new church community, the relief of finally making the long-anticipated move, and the pure fun of the crazy adventure is outweighing the challenge. I’m itching to get out, explore, and work on my two-year bucket list…but first, I’m tackling those last seven dreaded boxes. 

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