As a child I grew up bicoastal. With a father who was a Marine pilot, we bounced between coasts often. I experienced a mix of Southern “charm” and Western “laid-back”.
Fast forward to young adulthood. My husband and I were living in Northern California, where a 40-mile commute into the city of San Francisco took 90 minutes each way (on a good day.) The community was entirely different also. Most families had both spouses working, so neighborhoods were incredibly quiet during the day. HOA’s were more for road repair and landscaping/parking rules than for community building. Our local cities were full of things to do, but we found two major things to be lacking: time and relationships.
When our first daughter was exactly one-month old – with my husband’s company, we boarded an airplane and flew from Oakland, CA and landed in Atlanta, GA. For me it was like coming home, but for my California born and bred husband it was a brand new adventure. On that “look-see trip”, we mutually fell in love with Atlanta. One year later we boarded our second flight to come buy our new Southern home.
How did we decide where to live? On one criterion only at the time: schools. We found one of the best elementary schools in the state and that took us to Dunwoody. In three days we toured about twenty homes – each one in this city. The more we toured the homes and saw the neighborhoods, the more in love we fell with this area. A month after putting an offer on our Dunwoody home, we moved in.
Now, nearly eight years after calling Dunwoody home, people still ask us if we would move back to California. And our answer is no way, no how. California is an awesome vacation location – but Dunwoody… Dunwoody is home.
Maybe it is the southern charm, or perhaps the neighbors piling on your doorstep to help when you are down and out. Could it be the impromptu cul-de-sac parties on a cool late summer eve, or the energy filled Lemonade Days on a warm Spring Day?
The luminarias lining Dunwoody Club Forest streets on Christmas Eve? Light Up Dunwoody? Food Truck Thursdays? Perimeter Mall and all and any brand name store you need balanced with the local flare of the Village?
It could be the incredible parent presence within our schools and community, rooting and working for the best educational opportunities for our young citizens. Top-notch medical care right in our backyard? Close freeway access for all the commuters, yet a strong and ever strengthening local business community for people to be able to work, play and stay in Dunwoody?
For myself, my family, and many others that I know – it is all of these things. I’m so happy to call Dunwoody home, a sentiment shared by 30,000 others too, I’m sure.