Movin On–Indy to Dallas

We’ve been in Dallas almost three months now. That’s crazy to think about sometimes. I grew up in Indiana, and while I moved gradually from the north down to Indy, I never left the state. And now, we are living so far from home that sometimes it feels like a whole other planet.

There are a bunch of differences between Indiana and Texas, and a lot of similarities too. I meant to write this post sooner, and just kept putting it off. I don’t know why. It just never felt right. Still doesn’t, really.

Here’s some differences:

1. The tap water is never ever cold. This is a huge annoyance to me. I can’t just go get a drink from the faucet, I have to let the pitcher get cold in the fridge before it’s drinkable. I guess because the ground (and in turn the pipes) is warmer?

2. The roads don’t have potholes…just ridges. And mannnnn are they bumpy. They don’t use salt here from what I understand, so they don’t get the big gouges in the asphalt like Indiana does. Over time it just kind of shifts and creases into itself.

3. And speaking of roads….all of the sudden….SEMIs!!!! Funny story with this one. The freeways here are insane. They just build roads on top of roads on top of roads. So when you go on an onramp, you might have another on ramp crossing next to you, with cars coming the opposite direction. If you aren’t expecting it, it can be pretty jarring. One night, we were coming back from the movies, and hit one of these. R was driving, and all of the sudden, there was this semi coming RIGHT AT US. It looked like it was on our bridge. We thought we were going to die. But no, it was on the bridge next to us, but it was so scary. Driving here is taking a bit to get used to.

 

4. Children in bars. This has got to be one of my biggest annoyances. Until 9, children are allowed in bars. So all my favorite hangouts, where I go to be an adult, become family restaurants essentially. Which, on one hand, is great because our best friends have a 1 year old (who is an absolute joy when we go out), so they are able to come out with us more often. On the other, it means that there are 8 year olds running around being idiots while I’m trying to have a peaceful adult evening. For me, there’s a difference between Bar and Family Restaurant.

5. SPEED BUMPS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. There are these things called Frontage Roads that make entering and exiting highways so much easier. Thank you Texas for Frontage Roads.

7. I have trucker arm from sitting by my window in my office. Not even kidding. One of my arms is noticeably frecklier/tanner/sunburnt than the other.

8. Clouds are rare. It may be a little overcast in the morning, but by 10-11 am, it will be completely blue sky. And when it rains, it will rain straight down with very little wind. We had one really big storm with 90 MPH winds, but the air is just so still here.

 

My favorite thing about living in Dallas so far is that there is always something to do. There is always a festival going on–really just about every weekend. R is out of town this weekend, but Untappd is having a beer festival that we would have gone to probably if he was here. We’ve been to a Chipotle festival, there’s a big whiskey tasting coming up. There’s certainly no shortage of restaurants for us to check out. We also live right next door to the Dallas Arboretum, which is a big garden architecture place. I’ve even joined a yoga studio, which is something I’ve never considered doing until we moved here. We live right on a big lake with a walking path all the way around, and though we haven’t researched it yet, I think there are canoe/kayak rentals and stuff like that. There’s also a much bigger reservoir not too far from us.

Also, the people here are super friendly. You can’t go to a grocery store or sit at a bar without someone striking up a conversation with you. For someone who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone…that’s my honey. I may be an introvert, but I also feel more awkward in social situations if I just sit at a bar and DON’T talk to the bartender, or the person sitting alone next to me. That’s just so weird to me. Because back home…I probably KNEW that bartender or that person sitting next to me. So when the girl in line behind me the other day at Target started laughing because she had a stack full of freezer meals and made fun of herself for being single, of course I chimed in about how not too long ago I was buying exactly the same thing! We were so distracted, the cashier had to cough to get my attention when it was my turn in line! Whoops!

It still doesn’t completely feel like home yet. My apartment does. I love our townhouse, with my office and the porch overlooking the neighborhood. But I’m still getting used to living in Texas. I’m trying to get out more often on my own, and I think once R’s store opens, that will help–we’ll get into a real routine, and I’ll stop by the store on my way back from yoga, like I used to do on my way home from work. We’re getting there. It was a bigger adjustment than I expected it to be, but it hasn’t necessarily been a bad one, just different.

I do really love that there is a taco stand on every block. Thank you lord for TexMex.

Goodbye Indianapolis

This morning is finally here. We are all packed (I’m prewriting this blog so the me that is writing this sincerely HOPES that everything gets done in time…) and are pulling out of our parking spots in Fishers IN, next destination Dallas–with a quick stop in Memphis for the night. My cat is most likely crying at the top of her lungs, and my radio is turned up full blast to drown her out.

I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks. How do I say goodbye to Indy? As much as I have been looking forward to our next chapter, Naptown has become my home for so many wonderful reasons. I couldn’t leave without a tribute post.

For those who follow solely for book reviews…this is not one of those posts. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. For those of you who know me personally…this one is for you.

Indiana has always been my home. I was born here, raised here, and I moved to NE Indianapolis three years ago. Has it really been that long? Hard to believe. As a small town girl, the move to the “big” city was a little overwhelming at first. I had no idea how quickly this city would change my life forever.

Indy is the place where I got my first out of college job. My first foray into the corporate world. No more 20 people businesses. This is a battle through real bureaucracy, constantly changing goals and bosses and coworkers. It’s been both a curse and a blessing, and I have grown so much from working here. I’ve met so many interesting and wonderful people, and thankfully I am able to keep my job as we move across the country.

Living here blessed with me with some of the best friends I have ever had. We are so close we are like sisters sometimes–and if you have to sit next to us at a restaurant on girls night…I’m sorry…we are LOUDDDDDD. Our group has been through hell and back and we fight for each other constantly. Moving away doesn’t change a thing, and I’m so glad I have these girls at my back.

I dated here, I kissed a LOT of frogs here. And finally, I met my prince here, and we got married here. We are both gigantic goofballs, but that is completely ok with us. I could not ask for a better partner to walk through life with. R is my absolute best friend, and we will go through life holding hands walking side by side.  Dallas is just one new adventure of many we will find, I’m sure.

My nephew came into the world here two years ago, and he is one of the great loves of my life. My Little Man is the sweetest, funniest little boy and I can’t wait to watch him grow up…even if it’s from afar. And, shortly after he was born, I met R, and so I met my niece and other nephew, and my life was blessed even further. Being an aunt is one of my favorite parts of life, I gotta say.

I learned about beer here. We will miss the beer culture in Naptown terribly–don’t be surprised if we hit you up for a shipment of Indy craft at some point. You know we are going to miss it!

I learned about baseball here. We had season tickets to the Indy Indians this year and had an absolute blast. Ed and Brendan, who ran our section, were the nicest guys in the worked. And who could forget Beer Mike! There’s no other beer vendor like him. Hopefully, he’ll come visit us in Dallas soon (he has family there), and bring us some Sun King! We even got the honor of ringing the bell after an Indians Victory!

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I became HAPPY here. I learned who I was here, I learned how to be me here. Because of that, Indy is not just a city, a point on a map. Indy is the people, the culture, the environment. To all of you here who made my life what it is now, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. You can never know the size of the impact that you had on my life.

And now, because of all of this, I can move on. So, goodbye Indianapolis. Goodbye, Indiana. I will miss you. But I do not need you to hold me up anymore. I will visit soon. I love you all, so very much.

The Shining

HOOOOLY Helloooo there. Long time no blog. I did warn you though!

What I wild ride this one was! Note to self. Don’t read psychological horror while travelling. It can lead to some crazy stress dreams. I’m pretty sure my mom killed me at some point, and last night, I stalked a local baseball star until he fell in love with me. So yeah. Next trip I’ll pack some cute YA romance or something. Oops.

I haven’t read a whole lot of Stephen King. I’m way behind the times. Most of his bestsellers were coming out when I was cutting my reader’s teeth on harlequin romance, and since I grew up in a family of girls–we didn’t watch his movies either.

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The Shining has been on my list for ages, and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. And man is King a genius when it comes to psychological thrillers. This is a crazy crazy book. I absolutely loved Danny–as you’re meant to. His schizophrenic shining portrayal is just fantastic to follow. The way King shows his mind reading, without the reader catching on at first to what is happening, really shows the level of writing that is going on here. It makes me wonder how many different methods he tried before coming up with that one. Will this work? No, that looks stupid. How about this one? No, you can’t hear it that way.

I did struggle a little bit connecting images with the characters. But I don’t think that was so much King’s fault, as much as I’ve seen so many clips of the movie with Jack Nicholson going crazy, that I had a hard time seeing him as a loving father in the beginning. I’d already see him be mad and murderous. That’s the hazard with reading an older book/movie set–the spoilers are already spoiled.

My library doesn’t have Doctor Sleep, but I’ll keep an eye out after we move and will try to read that soon. I do want to find out what happens to Danny, I really liked his character framework. Wendy was a weakpoint for me and I don’t so much care what happens to her. Is that callous? Perhaps. Danny needed a guardian…otherwise she could have died IMO. *shrug*

Alright, time to go get packing. We have a LOT to do in the next few weeks! Enjoy your weekend!

July/August Update

Hey all, just wanted to send a quick thought/heads up as June is very quickly winding down.

If you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ve probably heard me mentioning moving south. That is happening in August, and we are PUMPED. However, that is going to make for two very BUSY months ahead.

So, while I love doing these fun and creative challenges, I am going to step away for a bit and give myself a break. We are going to be doing some travelling, and a whole lot of packing in July. Then we have a vacation AND the big move in August, so there is just way too much going on to try and do a structured blog every day.

Don’t worry! I will still be reading, and posting my reviews as I go. It won’t be complete radio silence. I may even post some travel updates–some non-booky things about places we’ve discovered along the way.

I’ll ramp everything back up once we get settled and our lives are back to normal. And who knows…I’ll probably miss you guys and won’t be able to help it.

Thanks for being understanding!

TBR Pile

Even though I love my Kindle, it will never be a replacement for real books. I love going in and pulling books off my shelves, and there is nothing better than reorganizing those shelves. I’m quite anal about books–everything MUST be in alphabetical order. However, now that I’ve seen how other bloggers sort their shelves, I have been thinking about reconfiguring some of mine. That may be a project after we move in August…OH YEAH…you don’t know yet. WE ARE MOVING TO DALLAS!!!!!!!! Which means I get to unpack all my books, which I’ll be honest, is my favorite thing about moving. Expect lots of blogging that day.

I did create a To Be Read shelf the other day. I had so many I couldn’t fit them all! Guess I better get to readin’. Here’s everything that’s on that shelf, plus a few.

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This pile doesn’t include all the “husband” books that I haven’t read. That list includes basically all of John Grisham’s collection, a good portion of Stephen King’s, and most of Tom Clancy’s too. He has a bunch of sports and political books, but I don’t care so much about those.

I also took a Book Haul picture for May. I was surprised at how big this stack was. Don’t get used to this…or maybe you should! I would like this trend to continue, but we’ll see. I would like to keep increasing my collection, but I’m also not the type of person to spend money on myself either.

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I can’t wait to read all of these! That Raymond Chandler book is gorgeous. The cover is sort of a squishy leather, and the pages are lined in silver. The ribbon is a little frayed, but other wise it’s in fantastic condition.

Yay books! What did you pick up this month that you are looking forward to reading?