Oct 18 – Oct 28
A few initial thoughts, roughly in order of occurrence, after returning to Grand Rapids…
-Our Sycamore-lined street is gorgeous. The house has a ton of projects that I want to start on. The house definitely will be the nicest place we’ve owned once the kinks are ironed out. The backyard view is amazing.
-It really is nice to be in a place where anything you want is accessible. Just about any store you can think of has a presence in the area. Grand Rapids has a baffling number of restaurants. In Yakima it was pretty much Red Robin or Mexican food.
-Meijer was disappointing. I remembered them being cheap for everything, but walking through now, almost every single grocery item is cheaper at the stores in Yakima. Cereal was especially bad. I never pay more than a couple bucks for a decently sized box of cereal and I couldn’t find even the generic brands or sale-priced items for that price at Meijer. Milk shouldn’t be more than $1.99/gal regular price (come on, MI is way closer to dairy land than WA is). And I’m not used to crowded aisles.
-In my state of disappointment I expected to be underwhelmed by the Meijer bulk gummy bears, but they were spectacularly good.
-I can’t believe how gray it is here. I can’t believe how much it rains here.
-Meijer grew on me a little when I was able to pick up dinner, a leaf rake, and a shower head in one stop.
-Okay, I was kind of looking forward to the rain, but this is ridiculous. Our backyard seems to have turned into a bog. I don’t mind bundling up and raking leaves in the rain, but wiping off twelve muddy dog paws every time they go outside gets old quickly.
-I bet I could tile the half bath while I’m in town. Hmm, seems to be some water damage to the sub-floor, better rip that out. Hey, I can see the basement.
-Basketball at the old stomping grounds was just as I remembered it. Good to have that back, now I need an Ultimate Frisbee game.
-I thought I would be annoyed by a return to traffic and waits at stoplights, but back in the queue it didn’t seem like a big deal. I really don’t like the third world condition roads though.
-Holy smokes, radio is terrible here. I’ve heard more Limp Bizkit (first four seconds mind you, as I frantically push the preset buttons) than in two and a half years out west. I had pretty much stopped using my CD player in WA, but I’ll definitely be going back to it now. Kind of digging having two FM sports radio channels though, especially ESPN Radio.
-Very excited for lake surfing again; need to get that replacement board.
-In general it’s really good to have a home again. I like puttering and fixing and having projects. But, I’ll also kind of miss the simplicity of the one-bill, no maintenance responsibility, rental lifestyle.
-Honestly, I thought I remembered how bad the lack of sun was, but it’s even worse than I remembered. I’ll be open to any and all suggestions of road trips, etc in the coming year.
So now I’m back in Yakima working out the remainder of my work contract, most likely heading back to GR long-term in late December. I flew in on Wednesday and have been using a $50 craigslist bike as my means of transportation, which other than a 35 degree ride through a rainstorm at 6 am Thursday morning, has worked out okay.