Last weekend, we drove to northern California to visit with Charlie's family.
On the way home, we stopped by San Francisco to visit the sites and then opted to take the beautiful Highway 1 through Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur all the way to Morro Bay.
I've done this drive before, but it never ceases to take my breath away.
(Especially this place.)
(We stuck around for a while. Ghiradelli is the Patron Saint of ... me.)
The California coastline is absolutely spectacular. Hopefully, these photos which were taken through an open window as we zipped along, convey the awe inspiring majesty of this region.
I know Virginia will be beautiful, too. But I've got this tiny little feeling that every so often manifests in to this great big booming voice that screams, "DON'T LEAVE CALIFORNIA!"
The weather is definitely cooler in northern California than southern California. So when we stopped for lunch in Big Sur, and a light rain began to fall and the temperatures dipped in to the 50's, I could feel myself start to get chilled and then almost instantly, my fingers turned that corpse-like Raynaud's white.
How will I ever manage in Virginia?
When the temperature in January falls sub-freezing?!
And there is snow and ice for as far as the eye can see?!
I'll be a human popsicle!!
I'll never survive!!
Nonetheless, we're going. So every spare moment of our time is absorbed with looking online at real estate in Virginia. We're currently looking in Fairfax County and if our current house hadn't lost 60% of it's value over the past three years, I might not be suffering quite so much sticker shock.
But it has. And if that wish to retire before the age of 90 is still on the table, I'll need a bigger dandelion.
If we move outside of the "Beltway" it seems that we'd get a lot more house (and garage) for our money, but then, I'd be stuck with a 45+ minute commute each way and that doesn't fit in very well with my plan of being in the car as little as possible.
(Unless this was my drive.)
Add to that, a large portion of the pictures we've seen show the homes BURIED under snow. Yes, I know this past winter was a harsh one ... but even if those "harsh winters" only come along once every few years, I'm seriously doubting my body's ability to self regulate it's temperature and not instantaneously freeze.
From what I can see, it's highly unlikely we'll be doing this next Ground Hog Day. Unless, we're visiting California on vacation. Or back out at the absolute last minute and never leave in the first place. While I am genuinely excited about the prospect of change, I can't stop thinking about ice, snow, falling down and breaking my hip, huge mortgage payments and lack of garages with so many homes.
Which begs the question, where do people put their strollers and bicycles if they don't have a garage?
It may not seem it, but I'm really trying not to second guess our decision. I'm really trying to not let the fear of the unknown creep in. I'm really trying to resist the temptation to call the whole thing off. I'm really trying to be strong, courageous, go forth and LIVE!!!
To do that ... I've got to stay focused.
I've got to take this one step at a time.
I've got to keep my eyes and chin UP.
Provided we find a suitable home that doesn't force us to live off rice so we can make the mortgage. And provided the working in an office every day schedule doesn't turn me in to pulp. And provided I acquire some good cold weather gear that can withstand temperatures to minus zero Fahrenheit, I'm certain ...
This move will be a good thing.
If I repeat that 22 times, while blocking out all reasoning and turning clockwise in a circle chewing a clove of garlic, I actually start to believe it.