The upper valley region sucks. While it is nice to be near family again, we have no friends here, and family can get overwhelming sometimes. (Gasp! Shocking, I know.) And everything is so...stuck in it's redneck, naive, unworldly ways. Sure, it is beautiful here, and there are some gems and not everyone is redneck and naive and unworldly. But in general, the sense I get when I drive down 12A in West Lebanon is...horrible. I hate looking at our "bursting metropolis" and seeing BK Lounge and McDonalds. And PizzaHut. And a mall with 9 stores in it.
And living out west, though there was very little in my town, we were a short drive away from lovely Reno, Nevada (sarcasm) where there were movie theaters, Sacs Off 5th, Old Navy, Sephora, etc. And I miss it. (Somewhere in downtown Reno, an Elvis impersonator is laughing at my expense right now.)
The other day, I received a text from my dear friend Bryony, mother to my goddaughter Olive, who is in the process of moving to Boone, North Carolina. This is what the text read:
"Come live in the mountains in Boone! Super awesome town, tons of rural farm land with cheap houses right outside, and ski resorts all over! Plus, Olive lives there!"
I quickly brushed it off and just shook my head. Me? North Carolina? Never.
But she kept texting. And finally I mentioned to Mr. G that Bryony and Joe and Olive said we should move to Boone, NC. Mr. G gave me a death stare that said "hell no." And then he said, "Hell no."
But now I have Boone on the brain. So I started doing some research, and this is what I found:
The Town of Boone is a university town in Watauga County, atop the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and serves as the county seat and market town.
The Town of Boone was incorporated in 1872 and its current population is 14,813. Boone has the highest elevation (3,300 feet) of any town of its size (over 10,000 population) east of the Mississippi River. During summer, high temperatures in Boone are typically 76°F. Winters are colder with snowfall common.
Located off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone offers its residents and visitors a four-season playground for sports and outdoor activities. Boone is recognized by travel journalists as an "ultimate outdoor adventure destination" in the Southeast. It is also home to Appalachian State University, the Appalachian Regional Medical Center, scores of businesses, large and small as well as tourist attractions and a progressive school system consistently ranked for its excellence.
I have fallen in love.
There are tons of restaurants and shops. There are shopping malls and outlets near by. There is skiing in the winter (hello, job security for Mr. G!) and mountain biking, hiking, and fishing in the summer.
And there are houses like this that are dirt cheap:
(So cute. 1 acre of land. $179,000. What the what?!?!)
And it is beautiful, with mountains, farm land, and rural goodness all around:
AND there is a cute little downtown area too:
All in all, now I want to move to Boone. There is a cute, historic downtown area. There are colleges there. There is rural farmland and woods to explore. There is also shopping and restaurants. There are ski areas to employ Mr. G and likely something for me to do there as well. People are outdoorsy and seem cool (this is a fact I state from the extensive research I have done and from the pictures I have seen on Google). There is a great music scene. And it is so affordable! There is the hope that this will be the place I fall in love with and want to spend the rest of my life in. That we will have friends. That everything about this town will just be perfect and will complete me.
Now I just need to convince Mr. G. And wait another year since we just renewed our lease.
Ready to hit the road,