I have some exciting news to share with you guys today!
Ryan, Sadie and I are packing up our things and leaving Florida. Yep, we’re moving!
Where are we going?
If you can think back to a place we visited a couple of weeks ago, you might have an idea.
We’re moving to…
I am absolutely thrilled!!!
A few weeks ago, I briefly blogged about a last-minute weekend trip Ryan and I took to Charlotte. I blamed the trip on a “surprise party” for one of Ryan’s friends which was basically a big fat lie. (I feel really bad about that so please forgive me! I just needed everything to be a secret for a little while.)
We actually drove to Charlotte because Ryan had an interview on Monday morning with a new company. We spent Saturday evening and all day Sunday exploring Charlotte, hoping to get a feel for the city just in case Ryan’s interview turned into a job offer.
We already knew we loved North Carolina. If you’ve been a PBF reader for a while now, you may remember me saying North Carolina is a place Ryan and I have always wanted to live. When Ryan’s interview turned into a job offer that very same day, we spent nearly all of the drive back to Florida weighing the pros and cons of a move.
The major con in our eyes was living far away from family. Ryan and I have both never lived more than 2.5 hours from our families, and though it will be a bit of a hike, we’ll still be within driving distance of family (6 hours from mine, 9.5 hours from Ryan’s).
The pros of moving were plentiful and Ryan accepted the offer from his new company the day after his final interview. From the research we’ve done and what we saw during our visit, I think we’re going to love calling Charlotte our new home.
What I’m looking forward to most:
- Seasons: Though I know I’ll probably miss Florida winters soon enough, I’m beyond ready to experience seasons again. I miss actually having a fall and a spring! And Sadie has never seen snow!
- Access to lots of different fitness classes: I’ve really missed living in an active community with a bunch of different fitness options. I can’t wait explore local barre, yoga, Jazzercise and boot camp classes! And they have BODYPUMP in Charlotte. Hallelujah!
- Living in a walkable community: I know that the walkability of Charlotte will depend a lot on where we decide to live, but the areas of Charlotte that really appeal to us at the moment seem very walkable. And oh my gosh, I’ve never seen so many trees along the streets! I know this is a goofy thing to get excited about, but it was so green and gorgeous in the neighborhoods we explored.
- Dining at local restaurants: Ocala has a few local restaurants we adore, but chain restaurants are definitely in the majority. I see lots of fun date nights in our future as Ryan and I check out the local dining scene. (I’ve heard great things about Luna’s Living Kitchen.)
- Living (somewhat) close to the mountains: Yes, we’ll still need to drive a few hours to get to the mountains, but a 2.5 hour car ride to gorgeous Maggie Valley is nothing! I see a handful of fall weekend hiking trips in our future!
- Outdoor activities: I can’t wait to explore parks, local hiking trails, Lake Norman and more!
- Living close to an airport: Living two hours from an airport for nearly three years will make you appreciate having an airport close by, that’s for sure!
- Shopping: 99.9 percent of the shopping I do in Ocala is online. Everyone here seems to make the 90+ minute drive to the malls and outlets in Orlando to do their shopping because the stores in Ocala are rather limited. It will be so nice to have access to stores other than TJMaxx (which I love, don’t get me wrong) to shop and look for gifts for loved ones.
- Museums, Concerts and Theatre: I’ve been peeking around CharlotteCultureGuide.com and getting awfully excited.
- Festivals: Okay, this is a ridiculous one, I know, but I LOVE outdoor festivals and have missed them like crazy ever since we moved away from Orlando. From what I’ve heard from friends who live in Charlotte, there is no shortage of fun little festivals around town. While we were there we actually stumbled upon a little food truck festival and I was in heaven!
So when will we be moving?
Ryan’s start date at his new company is June 16. We’re planning to use these next two weeks to get organized and pack and then we’ll have temporary housing set up for 30 days as we look for a place to live. (Our lease in Ocala runs through the end of August.)
I actually have quite a few blog-related trips planned during the month of June that fly in and out of the Jacksonville airport, so it will be a hectic month as we try to figure everything out! I plan on making some back-and-forth trips to Charlotte in June but will likely permanently be joining Ryan there in early July.
As for my job at the gym, my last day was last week! The timing of all of this was actually pretty great because a new group exercise schedule debuted at our gym on Monday, so I could say goodbye to my previous classes before a new routine was established. I’m definitely sad to leave, but know there’s lots of fun things waiting for us in North Carolina. I can’t wait to bring you guys along for the ride!
If you live or have ever lived in the Charlotte area, I would LOVE to hear any and all recommendations you may have for us as we make this big transition. I know you’ll know best!