First impressions

We arrived in Ann Arbor Thursday night after a minimally stressful 10 hours in the car. Everyone seems to be settling in well, though Mina is still pretty skittish and frequently takes refuge in the cabinet under the bathroom sink. We’ve spent the last two days getting acclimated to our new digs (sans furniture, which will arrive mid next week) and figuring out how to get around. Some first impressions while Shane puts a second coat of paint on the NAVY BLUE CEILING in one of the bedrooms:

  1. It’s very dark here at night! We’re used to well-lit – or at least kind of lit – city streets, so driving around at night in what is arguably a suburban neighborhood can be tricky, especially if it’s raining.
  2. The farmers’ market is great, cheaper than any of the ones in DC (even when I was getting a sweet discount), and full of life on a Saturday morning.  It reminded me of going to the market in Urbana and seeing at least a handful of friends every weekend – except without the friends part.  I kept wanting to buy things and then realizing that I had nothing with which to prepare them.
  3. I’ve realized over the last two days the extent to which I take my kitchen for granted.  I went to make pasta for lunch yesterday, except that I had nothing in which to boil the pasta, and no can opener with which to open the tuna.  I made the former work, but not the latter.
  4. Running in a suburban neighborhood is different than running in a city that is on a grid and/or that has excellent rails-to-trails trails available.  My 3.5K run today included a park “trail”, a stop by a “tomato free-for-all” garden, and a bout of thankfulness for noticing street names.  Tomorrow I’ll stick to clearer routes and will not think about running by the river.
  5. Hard wood floors are much noisier than carpet. Prior to our apt in Alex, we were die-hard hard wood fans, but both the comfort and sound insulation of that apt spoiled us. Shane is downstairs rinsing out the paint tray, which I know because I saw him go down there, but also because I can hear him clanging around right below me.  We will be investing in rugs soon.
  6. On a similar note, I didn’t notice how quiet our apt complex in Alex was – even though we were right off the GW Parkway – until we moved into an apt on a semi-busy residential street.  I think it’s partially that we haven’t been able to sleep with our windows open in a looong time.  Did I mention it’s been in the 70s with lows in the 50s?
  7. Oh hello, Midwest seasonal allergies.  I’d forgotten about you guys.  It’s always seemed like a cruel joke to me that my favorite season – fall – also gives me the worst sneezes.

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