Monday, September 13, 2010

There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like. . . .

Bremerton, WashingtonI was born and raised in Anchorage, have lived in the same place for 30 of my 40 years, and while it's a nice place to raise a family and rather exotic in location (if you haven't grown up here) Andrew and I have been playing the "Where would you live if you had to live somewhere else?" game lately.

I haven't done any lists for a while but I'm giving ten places I think I'd move if I had to live somewhere else. Any thoughts? If you've got a great little place I'm all ears and, who knows? Maybe you'll find me camped out on your doorstep if you make it sound appealing enough.

Because that wouldn't freak you out or anything.

1. Bremerton, WA
I have a friend from college who moved to Bremerton and every year when I got her Christmas cards I inwardly groaned at the great things about her town. I don't like living in big cities but I do like having big cities nearby and Bremerton is a ferry ride from Seattle.

She described having horses and chickens and then going into town for a Mariners game. I like horses and I like chickens and, when they're playing well, I even like the Mariners so it sounds like a match made in heaven to me. I've always thought it would be fun to have my very own chickens. . . .

According to her letters the town had all the benefits of a rural community but close enough to Seattle to be able to enjoy the benefits there too. Maybe "Bremerton" means "paradise" in German? The only thing is having to live in Washington state--it does tend to be rather expensive there. It used to be (don't know if it still is the case) that when you moved in that they'd even charge you sales tax on the vehicles you brought with you and had already paid for. Nice. I'm not big on taxes.

Maybe I should talk to her and find out why they eventually left Bremerton for Texas. I mean, really now--is there something horribly wrong with the place that I should know before we move there?

Vermont2. Vermont
I don't care where in Vermont, anywhere in Vermont sounds great to me--and if you don't like the town you're in it's small enough that you can put your shoes on and hike it to the next town.

Why Vermont? Well I've always wanted to live in New England (but not in the cities--see previous entry on list) and I've heard nice things about Vermont, that it's rather laid-back and friendly (true or not? Someone enlighten me).

I've lived on the east coast and while it's very exciting I found (how can I say this nicely?) um . . . the people to be difficult. Status and prestige were very important, with new acquaintances introducing themselves along with their alma mater so as to truly wow you with their greatness and grandeur. Besides, customer service was horrific. No, make that non-existent, but I've heard that Vermont isn't like that.

Tell me, oh blogosphere, is this true?? Is Vermont really a land of milk and honey without the bureaucrats and government hierarchy yet with east coast (albeit wimpy) skiing? Because I picture my life there kind of like an episode of the Newhart show--inns and fall colors and quirky, delightful neighbors ready to share a hardy laugh over a cup of cocoa.

3. Bozeman, MT
I don't know if I feel as strongly about Bozeman as Steinbeck did (he was completely in love with it) but it's up there on the list for sure. Unlike Vermont, this is a place I have actually been to and it's truly a beautiful place. No, really beautiful. Even more than you're thinking. WBozeman, Montanahen I drove through it I remember spending the whole time with my face smooshed up against the glass, my mouth open in wonder at the beauties I was seeing but then Andrew tells me that if I'm trying to escape the cold of Alaska that Montana would not be the place for me.

I remember our North Dakota years and it was cold. REALLY cold. As in snow-flying-sideways-90-degrees-below-zero cold. But maybe if the summers were warmer than they are here I'd thaw out enough during the warm periods to make it through winter and winters can't be as long as they are here can they? Can they??

Homer, Alaska4. Homer, AK
For years I said that Anchorage is the only place in Alaska I could stand to live but that's really changed. Probably because I've grown up a bit and then the communities have too. You still have Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks as the only cities (and Anchorage dwarfs the other two with its nearly 300,000 people) but now places like Seward, Sitka, Ketchikan and Kodiak are making strong showings.

I've told Andrew that I think I could handle living in Homer very nicely. It's about five or six hours south of here and, while a tiny little village by many standards, it has a fun art-community feel. The ocean is accessible, the beaches are fun to comb and it's close enough to Anchorage that you could road trip-it back to the city should the need arise. Still . . . it is cold and windy. How much do I want warmth? I'm not quite sure.

Norwich, UK5. Norwich, UK
For many, many years I've had this longing to live in an English village and while Norwich isn't exactly a village (it has about 130,000) it's a start. It would satisfy my love of history with its castle and cathedral and 30 medieval churches within the city walls but it is also near the east coast where you can go sailing and enjoy time on the ocean. Andrew St. Thorpe and other little villages are nearby for the visions of complete cuteness and, of course, London isn't that far for a really amazing weekend of theater and excitement.

I don't know--it sounds mighty fine to me. I'd even consider Scotland but then it seems a bit colder and wilder up there, though with considerably cooler accents.

Johnson City, Tennessee6. Johnson City, Tennessee
Johnson City is the eighth-smallest city in Tennessee (in case you're ever assaulted by someone demanding to know that important piece of information) and was listed as fifth on the list of "Least Expensive Cities to Live" by some publication or another. Inexpensive is good.

The average cost of a home in Anchorage climbs and climbs and climbs and I can't help but think that it doesn't matter that we don't have sales tax and state income tax and get our yearly dividends if a basic house costs you $400,000, you're not exactly saving any money by living there. Especially when considering how much that extra $100,000-$200,000 works out to be over the course of a 20 or 30-year mortgage.

Of course I guess I always could be glad it's not California, right? No whining allowed after seeing their home prices. Oh, and Johnson City was also rated #8 "Best Place for African-Americans to Retire" which kind of cinches it for me.

Prince Edward Island7. Prince Edward Island
I put this on the list kind of hoping that it's not what I suspect--a total tourist place--and in my mind it's still as it is in the famous Anne of Green Gables books. But I have this sneaky suspicion that if I went there I'd find Anne on license plates, post cards and bill boards. Sigh. Is nothing sacred?

I've also heard that Anne is very popular among the Japanese, with loyal fans from Nippon traveling great distances to make the holy pilgrimage to Avonlea (or rather the town pretending to be Avonlea).

Oh well, I bet the island has been bought by Disney anyway.

Picton, New Zealand8. Picton, New Zealand
Here's an island Disney hasn't got to yet--Picton is at the northern tip of the south island around the Marlborough Sounds and is part of the connecting link to the north island (if I have my info right). It's kind of quiet in the winter (i.e. summer here--isn't that just wild?) but gets cute and bustling once the summer hits.

Supposedly the area is beautiful with rivers and fjords and is one of the nicest places to visit. Andrew and I have said for years that if we couldn't live in the U.S. we'd go to New Zealand because it is just that cool. Everything that is super cool comes from New Zealand you'll notice. Including, but not limited to, Lord of the Rings, volcanoes, Russell Crowe, Maoris and Sir Edmund Hilary

Deer Island, Maine9. Deer Isle, Maine
Deer Isle is a tiny community of 2000 on the southern shore of Maine nestled in one of those little inlets and coves. Linked to the mainland by a bridge, it's a place I've read about in books, a place where they still have New England accents and go lobster fishing and don't like newcomers--but they'd like me because I'd be extra nice to them and would win their trust and affections until I had become like one of the original founding fathers to them.

I'd probably do this with a lot of homemade jam and my recipe for upside apple pie but it would win them over in the end and we'd all live happily ever after. With my pet lobsters and my chickens named Harold and Stacy.

La Pine, Oregon10. La Pine, Oregon
Notice there aren't too many places on the west coast here? Nothing against the west coast, except that most of it is California and I do have something against living in California. Too big, too crowded, too hedonistic, too half-naked. I really, really love the ocean and ideally would live near it but I've heard enough good things about La Pine to overlook this shortcoming.

La Pine is in the interior of Oregon but it's kind of an outdoorsy paradise, with places to fish and hike and bike and see--actually, it doesn't sound all that different from Alaska except that it's got to be warmer. The only things I really regret about Alaska are that I can't grow fruit trees and can't take road trips. Well, actually I could take a road trip but it would take five days to get to another state.

I think I could get fruit trees and road trips if we lived in Oregon. In fact, I think it's there in the fine print on their Chamber of Commerce page: "Guaranteed for all new move-ins: fruit trees and roads leading to other states."

Photo credits: Who knows? I got them from Google images and their stolen from all over the web. But at least I'm honest in my theft.


Shannon said...

My husband and I play this game regularly. Of course for us it is an occupational hazard because of his job with the foreign service. I am constantly looking for where we will go next. My husbands favorite version of the game is where will we retire.

The where changes frequently. I am with you on the England thing, we went to Southern England for vacation last year. I am SO in love with England and can't wait to get back there. David wants to go back to Indonesia. We both agree no Germany and probably not Africa. I think I want to live someplace with four seasons, a small town, probably New England someplace.

writergirl said...

Nice list. My favorite one is the island of New Zealand.

Linds said...

New Zealand is stunning. My daughter lives there, and it is just a perfect place to be. I live in a viollage (+6000 people) right in the centre of England - 45 mins by train to London. Living in this particular village is wonderful - towns nearby (including Costco) and small shops right in the village, loads of things to do, and the church tower is well over 1000 years old. For me, I would add Switzerland to the list. A small village up in the alps where my sisetr lives. Heaven.
PS I don't like Norwich!

controllingaspicyuniverse said...

Johnson City IS beautiful. You've got the Blue Ridge and the Smokies nearby. Plus, my ancestry is in that neck of the state so there you go.

Reno said...

Ooh, you've got some great places on your list. I really like where I live here in Utah but some of those other places look quite intriguing.

Janelle said...

I lived for seven years or so in Oregon City, OR. It's a town of about 31,000 (less when I lived there) with a lot of sprawling land at the edges, and only a 25 minute drive from downtown Portland. It was fantastic. I'd move back there in a heartbeat if we could afford it and if my husband could find work there (not that we've looked). Oh yeah, and OR doesn't have sales tax either. And you're not allowed (yes, not allowed to pump your own gas, which is great in the rain, albeit a touch more expensive.

I've also lived in both Connecticut and Maine, and let me tell you something about Vermont. Vermonters are weird. Vermont is the place in New England that everyone else in New England mocks. Even more than the northernmost areas of Maine. Move to Portland, ME instead. Or Augusta. Maine doesn't have nearly as much of the whole status thing or "East coast attitude" as the rest of New England does. Oh, and anytime my mom goes to Vermont (she has a friend with a cabin there), the moment she drive over the state line, her cell phone reception is completely gone. I've been there once, and frankly I was disappointed.

I saw a blog sometime in the last year of someone who visited PEI. It's more of a tourist place than you can imagine: people dressed as character (badly so) giving tours all over town. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Lobsters as pets wouldn't help you win over the lobstermen in Deer Isle. :)

page2 said...

I can't believe you didn't add Cody, Wyoming to your list!!! Please come to live here. We love it and want to stay forever. The fruit tree selection is a little limited, but you can grow apples and crabapples. And somebody was in the paper a few years ago because their peach tree produced some peaches! You can have chickens here, and we're just a short hour drive to beautiful Yellow Stone National Park.

Scribbit said...

Page--Cody? Well I have heard very nice things about the place actually--we have some friends who want to retire there and it's their "happy place."

But I'd need fruit trees. If I'm going to leave Anchorage it would have to be for fruit trees.

Shannon--I think it's easier to eliminate places than to decide on a definite. We say, "No California, no Utah, no Idaho, no Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, OK . . . "

Maybe eventually we'll decide.

Linds--No Norwich, huh? I'd definitely take your experience and advice. Maybe your place sounds better.

Janelle--You've killed my Vermont dreams forever. Sigh. I knew it was too good to be true.

Laura said...

We're heading up to Bremerton this week and I have to say I can't wait. I love the place. It's clean, green and by the water and reminds me home. It's on our list of places, that's for sure. We're currently playing the "where-to-live" game. We're planning on southern Washington so it's practically Oregon because my husband can't practice there. Right now we're in California and it's been nice for the year and will be nice for another couple years but not forever. It's such an exciting game!

I know the Norwich area. My family used to go on holiday to the Norfolk broads. We'd hire a boat and spend the week floating the canals. Heaven.

I think you could handle Scotland ;)

Reno said...

Now I just have to ask (with my hackles only slightly up and with more curiosity than defensiveness)- why No Utah? Or why No on the other places?

Scribbit said...

Utah is beautiful, I love the four seasons and the mountains and the skiing and there are some wonderful people there. I love the fruit trees and I love my alma mater (BYU) but I don't care for the showiness and materialism that is there.

It's that old Puritan idea of money as a manifestation of God's favor so if you've got it, flaunt it. It makes me uncomfortable.

But I do have a special place in my heart for it and the years I spent there are some of my most nostalgic. Don't think me a Utah-hater, it's just not a place I'd like to live.

Scribbit said...

Oh, and AZ, NM, TX, OK--they're all a little too hot and deserty for me. Nothing particular wrong about them, I'm just not a desert type of person. California? Besides the crazy economic problems they're facing, the hedonism of the place isn't my thing. I think it's a little easier to raise daughters to keep themselves properly covered when it's 40 degrees outside. If we lived in California with it's perfect weather I'd never be able to get them to be modest :)

Reno said...

I don't care much for hot and deserty places either. And yet here I am in the southern part of Utah- where it's hot and deserty. Luckily I live in a wonderful town.

Scribbit said...

Well also I think small-town Utah (in the south particularly) would be easier than Provo, Orem, Ogden, etc. I haven't seen too much of the outer parts but we have friends who love it out there. I think it's Circle City (or am I thinking Cedar CIty?) that they're from and they love it.

Headless Mom said...

My hometown of Evergreen, Colorado would fit your requirements nicely. 30 minutes to downtown Denver, yet nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Ssshhhhh! Don't tell anyone!

Tawney Peterson said...

Well the only place I have any experience with on your list is Montana. Montana is so Not North Dakota lol. I live in Billings and I would have to say Bozeman is a bit more quirky than Billings. The views are wonderful and we visit but more often we will go to Yellowstone Park instead. It is so lovely and not to far away. We have seen people from all over the world there. But they do say if Yellowstone decides to blow none of us will be safe lol. The winters aren’t worse than Alaska here and the summers have a stretch of 100 degree weather if all is normal. This year was very nice. We could have used the air conditioner sooner than we did and I would have been happier but not to many 100 degree days. Oh and there was that tornado that we had...but the last one that was that bad was 58 Years ago. lol

Lee Ann said...

I'm a native Texan and I can't wait to retire and leave this hot, humid state! I've lived in Austin, Dallas and now Houston for the last 14 years. Hot is one thing, but combine hot with muggy humidity and it's just disgusting. It makes me tired. Winter is too short and mild here. I can't wait for some cold fronts! I loved visiting Alaska this summer for the first time. Fell totally in love with it, but wish it wasn't so expensive to live there.

My husband and I also love Oregon and Washington. We're considering Vancouver, WA for retirement since it's so close to Portland, but has a relatively small town feel to it.

Robin said...

Thailand. If distance weren't such an issue (says she who already lives 6,000+ miles away from all family) I'd move to Thailand tomorrow.

By the way, the flowers on my blog turned out to be a Strawberry Fields plant (I knew it looked like strawberries!) or more officially a Gomphrena Haageana.

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Lahni said...

Ok, I can't resist. I love where I live.
Okotoks, Alberta. A city that still calls itself a town with just under 20,000 people, it definitely still has a small town feel. Most of the amenities are here but anything that's not can be found in Calgary which is only 10 minutes away. Nestled in the river valley with views of the Canadian Rockies it really is a beautiful place to live. And if you're willing to drive there is so much more beauty in the vicinity. Banff is just over an hour away and Waterton and Glacier Parks are within three hours. All three of those national parks are absolutely breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

I'm a newer reader - I just have to say I live about 2 hours from Bozeman, MT. Nice place to live, however quite expensive. You could come to Billings here and it's a little more reasonable, with easy access to all the wonderful scenery! And there is no way you can compare MT winters with North Dakota winters. Those are brutal! We're much nicer here and so is the weather :) - Kim in Billings, MT (who was just hiking up in those beautiful Beartooth mountains this weekend!)

cndymkr / jean said...

I have to say I would love to move to Vermont. I've been there many times and it does attract a certain type of person. You have to be laid back and liberal in your views. It is a gorgeous state with 4 seasons and a 5th if you count mud season.

stephaniej said...

I haven't played that game in quite awhile, but I do love it! I'm native of Georgia....I'd steer clear, unless you like humidity, cliques and fried food! My husband is native of Torrance (suburb of LA), lived in Houston, Tx and Georgia.

We recently moved to Lakewood, CO (suburb west of Denver), one of the areas I wanted to move to/experience/enjoy, when mu husband took a job in Broomfield. We don't think Lakewood is a permanent place, but a good start to get a taste of this part of the country.

I'm not sure if you've used these websites, but they're worth a look:

I enjoy your blog, keep up the great work! Have fun!

illahee said...

well, i never ever thought i'd come to japan to live here for the rest of my life, but that's how life works sometimes!!

you surprised me with your bremerton entry. :D i lived in silverdale (20 minutes away) for 15 years. my alias (illahee) is a state park in bremerton! it's a nice place, mostly, but i don't think i'd pick bremerton as my home....

Katherine said...

I live in Bend, OR. La Pine is a wonderful place, and you're right! Oregon is a prime gateway to the rest of the country. There's also a lot of variety in the landscape so you don't have to go too far. If you want fruit trees though, the Willamette Valley is the place for that. Nearly anything grows there!

Molly Piper said...

This made me want to move.

My husband already has major wanderlust, and happened to look over my shoulder while I was reading this and he got all depressed.

Daisy said...

I could handle the town in Washington. We enjoyed Seattle so much on our recent visit, I kept telling Hubs I wanted to move there. But cost of living? Outrageous. Montana is gorgeous; I would be in awe of the scenery every day. As for Nova Scotia, I'd skip Prince Edward Island for Yarmouth or my husband's ancestors' home town, Lockeport.

J at said...

Your description of Bremerton made me think of the anti-Bremerton, which is Stockton, CA. 250K people, but still, the problems of a small town (nothing to do, boring, and the problems associated with that) and yet, all the problems of a big city (gangs, DRUGS (meth right now, heroin when I was there), racism (all of the problems are caused by Vietnamese and blacks, don't you know)) Ugh. You could not pay me enough to go live there for a year. Unless it was for a very short period of time and my daughter were out of school already and you were paying a LOT of money. Then maybe. I lived in San Francisco for 7 years, and never feared for my life there. Stockton? Often.

I often say that I like the big city or the small town, not the 'burbs. I like the idea of fruit trees and chickens, I like the idea of a variety of restaurants and shops and people of all ethnicities. So here I am in the 'burbs. Sigh. At least it's a good 'burb, where I am now. We have, in my little condo complex, plum trees, lemon trees, cherry trees, lime and orange trees. We need some peach and apricot trees. The problem is that they encourage rats. Not just peach and apricot. All of these.

Krista said...

I've been to a few of these places you mention... Bremerton is almost as rainy as Alaska, if you're trying to get warm, that won't do! And other than go to Seattle there REALLY isn't much to do there!
Bozeman is plenty warm in the summer, plus it's so close to Yellowstone, one of my all time favorite places!
La Pine would be nice if you're looking for warm, but if you want warm plus fruit trees you should come to Wenatchee...
ah, this is where we live and it's heaven! 3 hours from Seattle, but on the eastern side of the mountains. We have 4 seasons, but there is usually only one stretch in the winter that really gets down below freezing for a week or two. And we have every kind of fruit tree here! We're not called the apple capital of the world for nothing!
The Columbia River runs through, we have a pretty decent ski area in our back yard (with not big city prices!) and mountains close enough to day hike.
The only downside is that it's the #2 housing market in the whole US... however, it's still about half the price of "the west side" ie Seattle!
And yes, you do still have to pay sales tax on your vehicles when you move here. Lame, I know!

RefreshMom said...

Except for my first 8 years (which were spent in Michigan), I've only lived on the west coast--in CA, OR and WA.

Personally, I'd modify your list just a touch. Silverdale is literally just around the bend from Bremerton. Has all the same ruralness and access to Seattle, etc but I think it has more charm. I love that it's kind of an inland place with salt air and sea birds. Oh, and yes, there is sales tax, but it's a waaaay better deal than the personal (state) income tax you find in most other states. If you're self-employed, no personal income tax is a big plus--especially if you're not a big conspicuous consumer anyway.

I'd choose Hood River, OR (it's a town not a river) over La Pine. An hour east of Portland, (so closer to city amenities than La Pine). It's a hub of outdoor activities; windsurfing and kiteboarding in the summer, along with some great biking (mountain and road). Mt. Hood looms over the town, so great skiing and mountain climbing is about 30 minutes away. You get all the seasons here, but in a relatively mild way.

Maybe you'll have to take a road trip down the coast and check them out for yourself. Wish I still lived in that neck of the woods; I'd love to show you around!

RefreshMom said...

Oh yeah, the Hood River Valley is famous for it's fruit trees. There are tours in the spring to see the apple/pear blossoms and then abundant fruit stands in the summer and fall. You could get yourself a nice little farm and open a roadside stand with all the fruit you can't eat yourself.

Jane Hamilton said...

....OR, you could live in Nagercoil, TN, India! And we could be neighbors! That would be nice!

One can wish (hint) :P

And this "Where we could live" game? I play it all the time....with myself :(

My husband does NOT want to live anywhere else....sigh!

encouragingwordtoo said...

I thought all of your choices were interesting. I have lived in Bozeman, MT, and it is as beautiful as you say. You needn't worry about the weather, as the winters are not harsh. We lived there during a drought, so there was not much snow to speak of, but they are capable of getting a great deal of the fluffy stuff. Since I have lived most of my life in the midwest I was shocked that the snow melts off between storms. Once it gets cold enough to snow in Minnesota or Iowa, there are mounds of snow until spring. In that part of Montana, however; there are Chinook winds that warm it up to the 40's and 50's frequently. The other thing that Bozeman has going for it in the weather department is the Mountains that encircle the Gallatin Valley where Bozeman is the main town. Those Mountains tend to shelter it from the harsh Alberta Clippers that really chill the more northern regions of Montana. Another plus is the relatively low humidity. Humidity can really make the cold go to the bone. The humidity here in SW Missouri makes the relatively mild temperatures feel much colder than they are. Bozeman is a lovely place to visit. I suspect that you would adjust better to the culture than I did, as I suspect that Alaskans share many of the same traits. It takes awhile to integrate into the community, but the people are authentic and once their friendship is won, it is genuine and enduring.

Sara B said...

Fabulous to see you've got little old NZ on your list - I live here and read your blog and dream of life in Alaska :-) Check out this link if you want to about a couple who have transitioned from Alaska to NZ - the comments on winter in NZ may make you giggle
Please keep sharing your life with your family, it's great to read, and the moose story gave me hysterics. cheers

Caroline said...

My dream place changes contanstly because I can never decide whether I love beautiful landscapes more than I love living in a big city. Being able to step outside and have vistas like in your pictures in front of you is amazing, but so is being able to live in a city that has hundreds of theaters or museums to enjoy and 24/7 public transport anywhere you might need to go.

SAH in Suburbia said...

Yes, PEI is touristy and they have totally capitalized on the Anne 'thing' but at the same time, it's GORGEOUS! The red sandy beaches....rural PEI is amazingly beautiful and all you would expect it to be. I long to take my children there and rent a house near the beach and enjoy that part of God's country. Definitely on my list.....for sure!!!

Scribbit said...

I love all these suggestions--Alberta, huh? So noted. And Yarmouth sounds very fun.

Jules--I had a friend years ago who moved to Stockton (if I can remember the town correctly) and she was saying that they had a huge Armenian population and the town had huge racial problems. I'm wondering if it was another place or if it was Stockton. She hated it there.

Billings over Bozeman? Got it. Silverdale over Bremerton and Hood River over La Pine. Nice to know.

I suppose it all just goes to show that there are a lot of really great places to live out there. I tend to believe too that you can be happy whereever you are if you give it a try. THough boy is it easy to be happy in Hawaii . . .

MommyTime said...

I went to college in VT, and it is gorgeous in a magnificent way. Vermonters are the strong, silent New Englander of the old stories -- no concern about how you look or what you wear -- but they do care if you are really a "flatlander" (i.e. not from there). New Zealand's southern island is so magnificent that you would never want to leave. I have almost that same photograph that you posted, only it's one I took while hiking above Queen Charlotte Sound. So stunning you can't believe it. And the people are friendly, laid back and wonderful. However, it is pretty darn far away if you want to see family in the US ever.

Stephanie said...

I think I'd choose Oregon or Washington, but I haven't explored much of the East Coast as an adult so maybe I could be swayed in that direction. We'll have our chance to visit all kinds of new places soon enough...hoping to get on the road in our RV by the first of the year! :)

P.S. Your comments about California made me smile because of their truthfulness. I love to visit that beautiful state, but...I'm not sure about living there.

The Texas Bakers said...

And don't forget, New Zealand has the Flight of the Conchords...hilarious!!

A. said...

Oh my goodness! We play this game all the time because we move a lot for my husband's job.

We're currently in South Jordan, UT and we're from the East Coast. We were SHOCKED, shocked I say, at the materialism and showiness around us. We've lived outside of Washington DC and never experienced this level of materialism.

While I'd love to go home to West Virginia, I wouldn't recommend it as a place to live. Too economically depressed. Beautiful but broke. In more ways than one.

We're thinking Portland might be our next stop and I'd LOVE to move to Vermont. It's my top in my top 10.

LLG said...

P.E.I is a nice little island. Sure Anne of Green Gables is EVERYWHERE, but its still has so much history, and its super cute! The winters would be cold, but you would be used to that. I love P.E.I. The West coast version of that is Victoria, B.C. A little island that is also super cute full of history and excitement! I like the rest of your list as well, those two suggestions are just my biased Canadian opinon!

Michemily said...

So I just went through your post and all the comments, taking notes. I once had a friend tell me while we were touring New York City, "Michelle, the difference between you and me is that when I see new places, I think of how much I love my home and my family. When you see new places, you consider living there." It's so true. I am constantly thinking of where I want to live. The problem is, you get addicted to people, and it's so much easier to stay put. But if I can find the right kind of guy to marry, we will be all over the place. My last boyfriend and I had big disagreements about that--he said it was unfair to children to be moving around. But seriously, when I consider a new job or a PhD, the town is the most important to me. Okay, maybe it about ties with the program. As for my own list, I think I would have to say that I love Boston but also wish I knew enough about Massachusetts to be able to choose a place with as much charm but much less people. One time on a road trip from Virginia to Utah, I stopped for church in a town called Bedford, PA, and it was absolutely darling. I remember even asking members there if there was a college nearby. But of course, at the top of my list and the whole reason I ever learned German is Switzerland. It is absolutely gorgeous with a green you'll never see anywhere else. Z├╝rich has its charms, though I would rather live in a smaller community. I would even go for Bern or Chur. Beautiful.