We got back yesterday from our little mini-vacation slash business trip to Dallas to find an apartment. Adam and I had been researching apartments for weeks and we created a binder with 20 properties to check out, organized by area. Our preference was to try to find something near the DART light rail so that Adam could ride the train downtown on his days in the office instead of paying potentially $100+ a month to park in a garage. I wasn't sure exactly how that would work, in my personal experience, public transit in the south is not convenient. We headed to the apartments/area that we were considering to be our first choice as soon as we got our rental car and were pleasantly surprised to see that the DART stations were a stone's throw away on either side of the complex. Once we went inside, did a tour of the model unit (which was the same floorplan as we'd be getting) and saw the property as a whole, we were almost sold. The fact that we were quoted a price that was about $200 less than what we had seen online was a huge selling point.
The unit had everything on our checklist, except for a fireplace, which we were willing to give up to have a first floor apartment. There is a parking garage for us right outside the door to our unit and a pool in the other direction. We went and looked at probably 7 other apartments and I think we drove by 18 out of the original 20 complexes in our binder, only skipping the ones that were nowhere near the DART rail or buses. As you can imagine, some of the complexes were only worth a drive by. Pictures on a website can be made to look much more attractive than the reality. It was crazy though, we never saw anything as nice or as new as the first place so we went back again on Monday to look at it for a second time and went back to the neighborhood at night with some friends to see what it was like. On Tuesday morning, we drove back to the complex, parked and rode the train downtown to see what it would be like for Adam. It was only 15 minutes total, which basically cuts Adam's commute in half. We went inside and signed our lease on the spot.
Since we took care of most of our business before noon on Tuesday (this included heading to Lowe's to choose our accent wall paint colors, that will be on the walls when we move in, YES! and going to the Dallas County Tax Assessors office to get temporary Texas plates for the car being shipped from Colorado), we had the rest of our trip to basically "vacation".
We drove ALL over Dallas, I had a VERY impromptu job interview, we ate and drank to our hearts content, we walked as much as we could physically stand in the heat and we drove around and got really acclimated to our neighborhood and new city. We even had time to drive to Ft Worth for some exploration, a movie and dinner with some friends. It was a great trip and there were several points when all we could do was look at each other and realize that this was the opportunity that God had planned for us. There were so many disappointments along the way in the job search, but Adam working in downtown Dallas and the two of us living in such an eclectic neighborhood was what was meant for us. It was such a comforting feeling to be sitting there and know that we were "coming home" despite the fact that neither of us has ever lived in the DFW area. There is something special about being from Texas and living in Texas and I can't wait to be a part of that attitude again. I'm excited to be proud of where I live. It will be the perfect mix for us of urban and suburban. There are several yoga studios that I can walk or ride my bike to. We can still walk to cafes, restaurants and bars. We walked the Katy Trail on Wednesday and both of us fell in love with it a little bit. We'll just have to wait until the temperatures drop a tiny bit to be able to get those longer runs and rides in. All of this is just a few miles away from quite a few of our friends and just a four hour drive from my family. We spend probably 6-7 hours in transit to get back to Texas via air at this point so even in traffic, we're making a much quicker trip. I'm so thankful.