I’m moving to San Diego!

sunset

The cake worked. The next Monday was sweeter, brighter.

And now, life’s about to be a whole lot sunnier.

In two weeks–likely on Valentine’s Day–I’m moving West, to San Diego, where a 70-degree heat wave at the end of January coincided with yet another “polar vortex” in the East. Sweaters are staying in Virginia. Kitchen supplies are coming with me. And pup’s along for the ride.

Here’s the plan: My wonderful parents are helping to box up my belongings next weekend. We’ll ship them cross country, and my furniture will find new homes. My last day at the newspaper is Feb. 11, and  I’ll spend a day or so back in my hometown. Then, the bulky Kitchen Aid and dog crate will get stowed in the trunk and I’m sure we’ll cringe at how little space there actually is. My dad’s a pro a figuring out the puzzle on car trips, so, hopefully we’ll have room for a few suitcases, a cooler of treats, some books on CD. The two (three) of us will spend the next five-ish days bonding in the 2000 Camry, with plenty of dog/human stops along the way. If all goes well, we’ll find a few adventures, and maybe even snap a photo at that little spot you may have heard of, the Grand Canyon.

At the end of the road, we’ll be able to pick up lemons and avocados at farmers markets, and shells and sand dollars at the many, many beaches… and more!

mercato

sanddollar

It’s a huge, scary, life-changing, nerve-wracking, major leap of faith. Leap of love. And I couldn’t be more excited. Three thousand miles have stretched between Tom and I for two-and-a-half years, longer than I would have ever guessed if you had asked me back in October 2011, when he and his dad packed up the U-Haul for his own adventure. And finally, within days, we’re going to be together–with the pup–in a sunny California city of 1.4 million.

The move will also be a personal challenge, for, as I have learned, California is really, really far from Virginia, where my family and friends live. Making this decision has been quite an endeavor, with many tears and questions and doubts over the past few months. But, knowing Tom’s there, that we’ll finally be in the same place, and lemon and orange trees abound, that makes it worth it. Timing couldn’t be better, and really, I’m not yet 25, so what better time is there to drop everything and embark on such a huge, invigorating (expensive) change?

torreypinesbeach

After writing over a check for two arms and a leg, we have a bright little apartment next to Balboa Park that we’ll call home for the next 12 months. I’m excited to decorate, though compromising on colors and furniture will likely be our first challenge to overcome. Plus, I’ll be on quite the budget until I get the whole job thing sorted out. If only Rachel could bring in a paycheck, too.

I’ll share what I can as we drive, and as we start this new part of our lives. Rachel and Tom will certainly have some acclimating to do with each other, while I get over freaking out that I’ve gone from a small Civil War-obsessed town of 27,000 to being surrounded by 50 times as many people, many who surf. Fredericksburg is 10 square miles, San Diego is 372. The differences are just beginning.

So. If you have tips, advice, questions, warnings, restaurant recommendations, frugal decorating tips, relationship suggestions, dog traveling tips or just some love, please share! This is big, and I need you with me! And I really can’t wait for the adventure, and to take you along with me. Let’s go!

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11 thoughts on “I’m moving to San Diego!

  1. ali says:

    YAYYYYY!!!! Sorry, that was a little aggressive. I am so excited for you. Seriously, I think about southern California every day. I will send you tips. I think I have a google doc that I can share with you. I cannot wait to see beautiful sunny CA on future posts. Congratulations Katie!

    • Katie @ Counter Dog says:

      Thank you, Ali!!! I’m excited!! Every single person who has lived there has said it’s an amazing experience. :)

  2. Jeanne Willis says:

    Our best wishes for you and Tom. I could write a book about my cross country trip with a dear friend, also Navy wife, my 18 month old daughter and three year old son who got car sick! But, we were standing on the pier in Long Beach when the ship pulled into port. San Diego is lovely. Lots of adjusts ahead, new adventures with a great guy (not that I’m prejudice). Safe travels. Aunt Jeanne

  3. c8lin85 says:

    Congrats, Katie! I know you have been dreaming about this for a long time. I’m so excited for you and your next adventure! It’s scary and overwhelming, but you are not alone. Just take it one step at a time. When I accepted the job in NYC, I had no idea where to start. Just one step at a time, and it somehow all falls into place. Please keep up the blog!

    • Katie @ Counter Dog says:

      Thanks, Caitlin!! I love reading your adventures in a new city too – and definitely appreciate the advice that it’ll all fall into place. :)

  4. Aaron Boush says:

    Can’t wait to visit!

  5. Julie Thisdell says:

    Best of luck Katie!!! I envy the warm sunny days you will have as we freeze here in Virginia! Soak up some rays for me : )
    Julie

  6. Margot says:

    Oh Katie we will miss you so!
    Christmas game night will simply not be the same without YOU!!!!

    • Katie @ Counter Dog says:

      Don’t worry, I hope to be home for the holidays :) I certainly can’t miss out on Phase 10 and the pig tossing game!

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