It may be the fact that this time of year is breathtakingly beautiful around these parts, but I’ve been feeling especially in love with my little corner of the planet recently.
As many of you know, I grew up in Western New York (the Buffalo area). I often miss lots of things about it – all the lakes (GOD I miss the lakes), ski resorts every 5 steps (I don’t really even ski – there’s just something about resort life that feels really cozy and special), snow on Christmas (we rarely get snow around here until at least mid-January)…there’s a lot to miss. But now that I’ve been in Delaware for almost 9 years, it truly feels like home…and I honestly never want to leave (for full disclosure, when I refer to “Delaware” moving forward, I’m also referring to Delaware and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania…my house is about 5 minutes from the PA line, so we spend a lot of time just outside of the state). I’ve liked Delaware ever since I moved here, but since settling in North Wilmington, I sometimes get overwhelmed with love for my neighborhood just driving to the grocery store. It sounds totally goofy and a little nuts, but it’s true.
Sure, there are things about certain parts of Delaware I don’t love, but the good FAR outweighs the bad for me:
- Let’s start with the most obvious and most practical: the proximity to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC). People like to complain about how there’s “nothing to do” in Delaware (I beg to differ; more on that later), but you really can’t complain when you can drive to Philly in 15 minutes (well…if there happens to be no traffic somehow, haha), or hop on a train and arrive in New York in 2 hours.
- Let’s move on to the food scene. You guys, there are SO MANY good restaurants within 30 (really, 10-15) minutes from my house. So many that it’s difficult to decide where to eat, and we can never choose between revisiting a favorite (Harvest, Terrain, Il Graniao, Massamoto, the list goes on…) or checking out something new. And if we were ever to get bored of the selection in our immediate area, we can take a short drive or train ride to Philly and the options become literally countless.
- Now, to the people who complain there’s nothing to do…I say you crazy. Aside from all the restaurants (and we all know eating is my favorite hobby), there are tons of options to cure boredom. Sure, if you’re into clubbing and are looking for crazy nightlife you’ll have to go elsewhere, but even the bar scene is pretty large and varied. Aside from that, though, you have Longwood Gardens, tons of parks and nature for hiking or exploring, about a million wineries, beaches, a freaking ZIP-LINE COURSE, the riverfront, plenty of nice movie theaters with reclining chairs and alcohol (at least one of which will serve you food without leaving your seat), theater, live music, plenty of shopping, museums, a zoo, a beer garden (or outdoor ice rink in the winter), kayaking in the summer, tons of orchards/pumpkin patches in the fall…I could go on, but I think I’ve proved my point. If you truly think there’s nothing to do in Delaware, you’re not looking very hard.
- And then, there’s just the general gorgeousness of the area. My brother once told me he thinks he’d like to live here someday, and when I asked him why, he said “it’s just so green!” I thought he was a little crazy at the time (my hometown is pretty small, and is not lacking in, well, “green-ness”), but my mom agreed and I’ve been noticing recently that they’re right. It’s not just that there’s a lot of nature nearby, but my actual neighborhood really is green ALL OVER. There are tons of mature trees that explode with color this time of year, and if you drive 10 minutes into PA, forget about it. The trees combined with the beautiful, stately homes and 100 year old stone walls is really unlike anything else. Right next to any modern amenity you could ask for, there’s tons and tons of history and craftsmanship everywhere you look. AND, you might casually run into Joe Biden on any given day! Can you beat that? No, you can not.
- Uh…no sales tax, anyone?
I’ll stop babbling now, but I could keep going. All in all, I consider myself pretty damn lucky to have ended up settling where I did…thanks, Jeffrey!