First impressions of redefining retirement and life on the east coast… well, let’s narrow it down a bit to first impressions of life in an
vertical community apartment and the surrounding neighborhood business district.
We are liking our apartment home and hoping we will grow to love it because the very idea of moving in a year from now makes me shutter. After 3 major downsizes in the last 5 years, and knowing how much we sold, recycled, dumped or gave away in preparation for this move, I have no idea how we still have so much stuff. Our organization skills are in overdrive, creating space where there is no space.
We are finding our complex to be a very busy place with people coming and going. We appreciate the diversity of the residents and living here is an experience in human behavior as well. For the convenience of residents, there is a room with a trash shoot and recycle bins on every floor. It staggers my mind how lazy someone must be to not open the trash shoot door and drop in one’s bag of trash. But at the same time it doesn’t surprise me at all. Live and let live.
We had hoped for a top floor apartment but no such luck, and although we have someone who is a bit heavy-footed above us, we cannot hear our neighbors; for that we are grateful. And speaking of grateful, I’m pretty sure we have the world’s smallest washer/dryer, but I am so grateful to have them in the apartment, I will learn to deal with the smallness. And since most everyone is off to work and/or school during the week, it is – knock on wood – very quiet around here during the week.
When weighing options, a non-smoking property took precedence over pet free. We have discovered the balcony to our left has a happy tail wagger who likes to pop his/her nose around the corner and give us a smile. We have not met his/her people yet, but he/she has welcomed us.
The traffic here is hellacious. What we know as freeways, are called beltways, or at least that’s my take on it. I commented to Abi that I need to remember how to drive in traffic and he reminded me I need to remember how to drive aggressively. We’ve developed a system; I drive and he monitors the GPS, and we try not to get lost. We’ve actually done pretty well thus far. This is not the calm and soothing path to retirement though!
From our complex we can walk across a large parking lot and be at a Metro station in 5 minutes. We pass through the Metro station, walk another block and we find ourselves on Rockville Pike, a 6-lane thoroughfare. Depending on which direction we head, we can find pretty much anything we need and/or want. Trader Joe’s, Target, World Market, Noodles & Co., REI, Barnes & Noble, to name just a few, and happy day we are once again living in the wonderful land of Whole Foods. It’s a longer walk to Whole Foods, but oh so worth it and we can also hop on the Metro – just 1 stop away. If you know Whole Foods, you know of what I speak.
While planning our move east, we gave a great deal of thought to either living in a house in a residential neighborhood, or living in an apartment in the heart of a business district such as Rockville Pike. In the end, we went for the urban lifestyle because being able to walk everywhere and being connected to the surrounding Washington, D.C. area by Metro, was just too appealing. And isn’t that what change is all about?!