Bidding a Very Fond Farewell

We’re all sad to be leaving the Twin Cities and outlying regions. We had SUCH a wonderful time here (an odd vacation, to be sure, but a wonderful one!)

Our weather timing was exquisite – it rained when we arrived, but that cleared up in a day. We had sunny days and cool nights, perfect weather for the MN State Fair, and now – the evening before we fly home – the rain has started again. Mabel’s luck!

Thursday we had a magnificent dinner with friends, then a perfect walk to Minnehaha Falls and some DQ treats. Gerry says the best moment of the evening was the look on my face when Jennie casually mentioned that the falls are so beautiful when the weather is 20 below… She told me to start knitting NOW.

Yesterday afternoon our same friends came up to the lake house and the kids were in heaven! We were ALL so glad to see them – we’d been hurting for a nice, long visit with friends. When I think of moving away from my NJ friends I get very sad – knowing that we’re meeting wonderful new friends in MN makes it easier to contemplate a move.

We had a nice dinner, then went down by the lake and sat around the fire roasting marshmallows, making s’mores and telling endless, pointless stories about Orlando/Leonardo and Skullerita. It was silly and hysterical.

Then back up to the house for a killer game of Sorry – the duo of Jenny & Hannah won (was there any question?) and once again our children have proven to be the most effective birth control on the planet!

But now – after a very fun afternoon at the Mall of America (yes, we went back! I spoke to someone there about the rude woman and they offered us some ride tickets and aquarium tickets – which we were happy to use) the kids rode MANY rides, we marveled at the sea life and sharks! & I found a new suitcase, wallet, jeans for Hannah and souvenirs for our friends, we had a great pizza dinner.

Right now Gerry and the kids are at the pool while I sit and blog (and work on some patterns…) We leave tomorrow morning for home – it will be so great to see our house, our friends and especially ATTICUS!! However, we will really miss being in Minnesota. We’ve loved this week.

When Gerry and I planned this vacation, this is what we hoped to accomplish:

1) See enough of the Twin Cities so that we could better make a decision about moving here
2) Get a general feeling for the area (does it feel familiar? Foreign? Uncomfortable?)
3) Check out kid’s activities, parks, schools, etc., to get a sense of whether the kids would be happy here (our biggest concern!)
4) Look into jobs for Gerry (uh, didn’t get too far with that…)
5) Look at a lot of homes and get a feeling of what we can expect to get for our $$

We accomplished just about everything – as much as one can in a week – and had a wonderful time as we did so!

We’re leaving with some nice memories of fun and fun times with friends, a new “aunt” and “uncle” for Hannah and Max (surprise Joe & Jenny – you’re part of the Landy family!), a good sense of the neighborhoods that seem to offer what we’re looking for (60 – 90 year old home with a yard and bedrooms large enough for our comfort and a good floorplan in a nice, kid friendly neighborhood).

We’re also leaving with a rough strategy for moving here – it’s as definite as we can make it at this point!

We’re going home to clean out the junk in the house (it’s DUMPSTER time!), fix the back porch doors, get the ol’ termite inspection (we feel sure we’re fine, but it meant a lot to us when we were looking for a home…) and get the chimney cleaned and fixed up and make some landscape improvements to (now hideous) front of the house. Thank god Fall is coming, those mums will look excellent with the paint job ouside and inside the house!

Once that’s all done, it’s SALE TIME!

Looking at so many houses in the past week has given us a wonderful sense of what is immediately noticable when considering a house for purchase. I’ve learned that this is probably the most important thing to do when considering a house sale. In addition to our NJ Real Estate Agent (who’s pragmatic and a good friend, too!) we’re going to ask some friends to do a walk through of our home and get their feedback on what they notice right away that would be a turn-off if they were looking to buy (and figure out if we can fix or change it – )

Whether our house sells quickly and well will be the determining factor on how soon (or if) we move to MN. We’re open to the idea of renting a PODS-like unit, packing our stuff and storing it, renting a home for a bit while we wait out the market – giving the perfect property time to reveal itself.

Seeing houses that would suit us – even if not perfectly – has given us hope that there IS a house that is perfect for us. Believe me, I read your comments and appreciate the thought that goes into them (usually when someone cautions us about something, it’s a concern that Gerry and I have been discussing for a few days anyway!)

And Gerry’s job? We’ll have to go on cockeyed faith with that one. I’m thinking that his first job – when we move here – should be producing a knitting DVD for me!

I know there’s been precious little knitting lately on the blog – I’m sorry about that! Vacation is vacation, after all!

Right now I’m working through a groovy pattern I’ll be teaching at Cornwall Yarn Shop next Saturday. It’s a crocheted scarf, and it’s worked in small pieces so that the project can be VERY portable (and so that the students can take it with them on the Hudson River Cruise later in the day!) I’m really excited about it – and it’s nice to do some crochet after a few months off from that.

And I’m thrilled and terrified (in equal parts!) about the new project I’m doing for VK. It’s a very large rose intarsia pattern repeated over and over on a simple dress – it will be fun to knit, but the scary part is how well will I be able to tweak the intarsia chart so that it’s the MOST fun (and lest frustrating!) to knit up! I think I’ll be knitting this one myself, which is so great because I don’t have any other projects on my plate now, so I can eat, sleep and dream this one (intarsia takes a lot of attention!)

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