Hello from D.C.!!!

Wow, what a trip! This has been a crazy, eye-opening adventure for all of us, but we've survived and have learned a lot! We actually looked at 9 or 10 places in our three days, and we found 4 that we have agreed on will work.

The number one place we liked was Avalon at Arlington Square. We love the three bedroom condos. It's in Pentagon City and would only be a 5 minute metro bus ride for Norman to the Pentagon. We like that we would have all the floors; it is definitely the most homey feel of all the places we found.

Our second place is Carlyle Mill. It's on a metro stop, but it is a bit farther out of the city, so the commute would be about a half an hour. It's more like a traditional apartment community, but it is just so cute and has tons of personality.

The third one we liked was Crystal Towers. Our friends, Jeff and Adrienn lived there, and although they experienced some issues there, we can get a lot of space for our money, and we would be right in Crystal City, just one or two metro stops down from the Pentagon. I LOOOOVED being so close to the shopping in Crystal City. Although a lot of people there do NOT speaka da English, and apparently in some countries, chocolate donuts actually look JUST LIKE the glazed kinds. Hmmmm...but there are a LOT of great positives about it...especially that the metro stop is literally right across the street. I had a great feeling being there. Plus, it's all newly renovated with new granite designer kitchens , etc. It could definitely work.

And our fourth and final one that we agreed we could all live in was Springfield Station. It was absolutely fantastic - very gorgeous with a lot of great amenities. The only issue we had with it was that it was on the Springfield metro stop, which is FAR outside of D.C. and the commute would be crazy long. At least an hour each way. I don't want that for Norman, and I don't want to have to take that long to get the kids and myself into the city. So if the previous three places aren't an option for us when it's time to decide, then this would definitely be livable.

I have gone thru many emotions on this trip. I've gone from being elated that we will be so close to a friend of mine whom I've known for years, but just met. (Thru the parenting board I am on). I'm thrilled at the opportunities my children will have for learning and exploring. I'm excited that on "date nights" we actually have choices and tons of happening places to go. And not only am I thrilled that Norman gets to have this opportunity, I am so looking forward to getting back in the working world here too. But the negatives kind of hit me all of a sudden, and in true Stacey style, when I am overcome with feelings I cannot hide them, so I bawled like a baby on the Metro and didn't even care when the homeless people looked startled at my outburst. But Norman is good to know that once the craziness dies down, my level head returns and I was able to return to apartment shopping. I had to just come to the point of realizing that just because I love Dayton doesn't mean that this move is bad...it's just different. All change is difficult in some aspects, so it is okay to freak out occasionally! ;)

I am so thrilled for this chance. I'm so ready to get out and explore...And I know it will take time to figure things out, but we have four years. And the countdown to moving day is on!!!

We are heading home in the morning, and I will be soooo happy to get back in my own bed, and take a shower in my own bathroom. This bathroom is questionable and I've been hesitant to even walk in there. Thank GOD I brought my Crocs with me - they have been crucial. Oh, and the only reason I can sleep half comfortably is because I brought my own sheets and comforters for the bed. I have seen too many 20/20's on hotel cleanliness (or lack thereof) and am so uncomfortable at hotels of any rating. The drive isn't too bad...only 8 hours, so it could definitely be worse! Well, that's all for now! Time to hit the sack so we can get up early in the morning and get to driving. Adios!

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