Today's agenda could be summed up as "get down to business"--in which we planned to do our best to get acclimated to the town of Chapel Hill...both on wheels and on foot. First we met with a real estate agent who had been recommended by Husband's cousin. She and I had spoken on the phone before we came down, so she already had formed some idea of what we're looking for in a house, neighborhood, etc. With that information, she chose a select handful of properties to show us, to get feedback and really home in on what we'd like when it comes time to actually purchase something.
The kids were pretty excited about this process, as they obviously hadn't had any say in choosing the house they've lived in up to now. Their enthusiasm translated into an awful lot of running up and down stairs, calling to each other from room to room, and chattering about the various features they approved of...or didn't. Let's just say, they were not afraid to be 100% honest in sharing their opinions and having their preferences noted. ("This yard's too small...eww, the walls are pink...ooh, two staircases!" Uh-huh, they were sooooo helpful...) And really, it was fun--peeking in closets and admiring fancy kitchens and imagining our stuff in a new home. When we parted from the very nice lady, we were all satisfied that we were on the right track in terms of identifying the best area and house for our family's needs. (One note: I wonder if it's a City Ordinance that one must acknowledge every car that passes...because without fail, all pedestrians we drove by raised a friendly hand to wave. Also, I noticed that strangers tend to smile and say 'hello' a LOT more than "up North"...so we might have to work on our social graces, to bring them up to...Southern Hospitality level...)
Then it was "tourist time"; we parked in the center of Chapel Hill and walked the main street, wandering through little shops...and taking note of all the cute restaurants we'll eventually need to sample. I have to say, though, that it got just a wee bit scary after a while, surrounded by hordes--and I'm not even kidding, we're talking crowds of people--all dressed in UNC blue. And these were not college students, who are all away from the school right now on Winter Break...they were families and couples and just random people strolling down the street. I started to think it was some kind of rule (that I was clearly violating) and a special police force would descend on me to ticket my...lack of...baby blueness... Nevertheless, we meandered around the gorgeous campus (we enjoy doing this--makes us feel so much smarter!) Mostly we were just soaking in the 50+ degree weather (in December--yaaaayyyy!) and drinking up the atmosphere. Another funny thing: more than one resident actually apologized for the fact that it was so "cold". (Yeeaahhh....we're walking around without coats...or gloves....so we're feeling pretty good, thanks....)
So, in summary: after a day full of merely scratching the surface of what the area has to offer, we agreed we could definitely see ourselves settling here. That's right, Team WestEnders is officially ready to take the plunge and become...transplanted Carolinians...in T-6 months (or so) and counting...plenty of time to practice our interpersonal skills...and stock up on some light blue clothing!