It’s official! After five and a half years in our little house in Lakewood, we are getting ready to move to Salt Lake City, Utah.
No, we didn’t find a new religion or a passion for skiing. Bill was offered a promotion and one hitch of the promotion is that he relocate to Salt Lake City to be closer to the big operations there. So in addition to being the manager for all of the West Region IT operations, he will be adding the SLC reservations center to his responsibilities. Pretty neat, eh?
Since both Bill and I have only ever lived in California, it’s exciting and scary all at the same time. We are seeing this move as an adventure since I have heard they actually have four seasons in Utah. Well, the four regular seasons. In southern California we have summer, inferno, flood and awards season.
When these plans were still up-in-the-air we weighed the pros and cons:
- Bill’s promotion will allow me to quit my job, be a stay-at-home-mom and build my freelance business. (this is HUGE for me)
- The company will be footing the bill for movers.
- Tommy is still very young, so no worries about him switching schools or moving away from friends.
- It’s a new adventure and an opportunity to live in a new place, make new friends, etc.
- The cost of living is much lower than southern California, so we may be able to afford a nicer place to live.
- Significantly. Less. Traffic.
- We will get to have our first white Christmas.
- Utah is gorgeous with a lot of National Parks and it wll be a ton of fun photographing different places.
- They still have In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys Burgers and Chick-Fil-A. (whew!)
- Our house has lost value since we bought it. So we will have to rent it out for a while rather than sell it. We also need to do some renovations before we move, but that’s not really a con. This move is just making us finally get going on the renovations. It scares me that there may be time where we are paying for both a mortgage and rent though.
- We will be farther away from our families, but we will still be able to fly to visit.
- I worry that I will have a hard time finding like-minded friends. I have lived in the LA area for over six years and I have only just recently made friends on my own who aren’t Bill’s co-workers. I am very sad to be leaving these friends behind.
- I will miss that we have approximately ten months of gorgeous, barbecue weather each year. In SLC, they get snow from November through April, sometimes longer.
- I know it sounds a bit odd but I am not sure what it will be like living in a place so densely populated by white people. I am very used to being around a large variety of cultures so I often forget that in many places in this country you rarely see mixed-culture marriages or mixed babies. I know I am probably over-thinking this one, but it has crossed my mind a few times. Asians make up less than 3% of the population.
- No Trader Joe’s. No Ranch 99 markets. No Citibank branches. We may have to do all of our banking at 7Eleven ATMs and buy rice in Newark if we can’t find a decent Asian grocery store.
Obviously none of these cons are deal breakers, and most of them are simply issues of comfort. We will make due just as anyone does when moving to a new place. It will be interesting as Bill and I acclimate ourselves to a place that has real winter. Neither of us even owns a real winter coat. I have never driven in the snow. Bill finds it hilarious and annoying that he put new tires on his car earlier this year. Summer tires! He didn’t even opt for the all-weather tires because we don’t really need them in southern California.
I have done a little reading about Utah. The entire state of Utah has approximately one million fewer people than the city of Los Angeles. So I imagine the traffic will be awesome in comparison. About 60% of the population are Latter Day Saints. Utah is home to five national parks that I plan to visit, (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion). It is also home to Monument Valley, the Bonneville Salt Flats and a portion of the Navajo Nation. There are some interesting laws regarding the sale of alcohol in Utah, which isn’t a big deal since we rarely drink. I imagine if we want some good wine or beer, we’ll just have Mom and Dad bring some over.
If we have to drive one of our cars to SLC, we have discussed possibly making a small vacation out of it and driving through the desert with stops in Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon. Depending, of course, on how long Bill can take off and whether Tommy would handle that much time in his car seat. It’s just something we have talked about. There is a lot of this country that we still want to see, and, in my opinion, some of it is best seen as part of a road trip. I don’t think Bill agrees as he much prefers to fly since working for jetBlue.
So, that’s the jist of it. We’re in for quite an adventure this year!
Since this entry had so much text, here are a couple of photos to brighten it up: