We chose: The Apartment near Everything!
This was the last place that I considered Friday morning. As of Thursday night, we were planning on moving into the quirky house near school. So on Friday morning when I saw the apartment, I didn't think much of it. It was pretty much what I had expected to look at originally before we found the perfect house near school. It is not excessively big and is centrally located.
What made me think twice? We went for a walk nearby. We walked across the street to the park. We walked through the park toward the Natural History Museum. We walked down the street to the grocery and shops. We bought chocolate and sugar crystalized violet petals from a chocolate shop. We went into the market. Think LA Central Market, but smaller and cleaner and more smelling of cheese. The metro and the tram to the airport were both within a short walk. It was exactly the vision of LIVING IN FRANCE.
I was not sure, so the next step was to let Dan take a look. Heather, our relocation specialist, called the agent and got a meeting at 6pm. Unfortunately, Heather couldn't make it. So Dan and I met up at our hotel and walked to the apartment. Our hotel was centrally near lots of stuff. It didn't take long. We met with the agent, Dan saw the place and properly investigated the garage bike rack. We managed to communicate the important information needed to the agent. Mainly "Nous pensons avec un bouteille du vin."
We were still not sure. The house near school was perfect for the kids. If we didn't have kids, we would not choose it. If we lived in the city, we would have to drive the kids back and forth to school, in the car nearly an hour each day.
So the next day we rented bikes and biked from the apartment out to the school. We biked over to the metro and took that back to the city. Then I drove. It had been a while since I had driven a car with manual transmission, about two years. I stalled in the parking garage. I stalled in traffic circles. I stalled at a stop light. But we successfully made the drive!
We STILL didn't know what to do. So we thought and talked.
We STILL didn't know what to do. So we thought and flew back home. On Sunday we called our parents to discuss. Dan's dad used the useful technique of taking a position and having us argue against it, then once we defeated the position, suggested that clearly the other option was the obvious solution.
So we picked the apartment near everything. The kids don't need to know there was another option that they would have preferred. Well, at least not until they are old enough to realize we talk about them on this blog and start reading it.
So we don't have all of the massive space we would have had in the house, but we do still have space for visitors. We've got 3 bedrooms. We can even make the living room into guest space if we have multiple guests at once. The kids will probably be able to walk over to the park by themselves. When it comes down to it, I don't mind driving.
We have lived in places where you can walk to stuff and places where you can't. Each time we move, we keep wanting to living near things. However, each time we move, we ultimately choose to live in exclusively residential locations. We loved living on the Redondo Pier in 2004-2005 and in our Tokyo neighborhood in 2005-2006. We have had regrets when living in exclusively residential, uninteresting situations such as Melbourne, FL and Rancho Bernardo, CA. This time, we choose to live where we can walk to things.
French Experience, here we come!