I’ll have you know I live in Paradise.
That’s not to say I reside in Tahiti or Kauai. No, my paradise is in Marin County, Northern California. Pretty much everything is within reach here, including my family and friends. Now that’s my definition of paradise.Isn’t that the truth? I’ve never understood those who choose to move away from loved ones to, let’s say, Delaware, simply because they can buy a 4000 sq. ft. home for $150,000.
Now don’t get me wrong; I understand finances sometimes choose for us. And sometimes they don’t. Hey, whatever floats your boat, I say go for it. But personally, I don’t get the allure of moving to a nicer house when the people you want to fill it with are thousands of miles away. But that’s just me…
Sure, you can make new friends. But they’re never like the tried and true oldies but goodies, are they? Nothing compares to the friends who know everything about you, yet still like you.
I’ll take a studio apartment in a not-so-desirable neighborhood in my hometown over a location I don’t know with people I don’t recognize. Call me crazy…I’m sentimental that way.
But I suppose for most of us, where we now live has a lot to do with where we grew up. I feel fortunate to have been born and raised in a pretty awesome place. Marin, however, isn’t without its faults.
1) Commute traffic is torturous.
2) Some of the richer folks are known to have “tudes.” Let’s face it: people who feel entitled can be jackasses.
3) The enormous expense to live here. The median home price is $823,000. Ouch.
Having said that, no place is perfect, right? But for me, here’s what makes Marin so nifty:
We live 40 minutes from numerous beaches. Some, like Limentour Beach,have miles of sand with relatively few visitors. But if one wants attention to flaunt ones tight, buff bod, head to Stinson Beach, where the sand is often brimming with bikini-clad lasses.Marin is made of microcosms of unique communities. There’s a place for everyone here: hip Mill Valley is filled with artists and musicians;
Choices abound. Have lunch on the deck at Sam’s Anchor Café in trendy Tiburon while watching boats enter the harbor. Take a ferry to Angel Island for a picnic. Stroll along Sausalito’s main drag with the Golden Gate Bridge just around the bend.
Hike to the Mt. Tamalpais outdoor theater. In fact, the abundance of hiking trails in Marin is staggering. It’s an active community where you’ll share the trail with mountain bikers, horseback riders and sometimes grazing cows.If food is your thing, this area won’t disappoint. There’s an enormous variety of every kind of cuisine imaginable. The sheer amount of restaurants is overwhelming.
Sonoma and Napa, just 30 and 45 minutes away, respectively, are packed with inventive dishes accompanied with artisan wines. Enjoy abundant seafood in Bodega Bay or San Francisco. Treat yourself to pastry at the Downtown Bakery in charming Healdsburg.So you see, if you can’t find what you’re looking for in Marin, it’s a sure bet you’ll find it within driving distance. San Francisco is a mere 30 minutes away, the ocean-side town of Carmel is just over 2 hours south,and Lake Tahoe 3 ½ hours east. Places to go and things to do in and around Marin are practically endless. And did I mention the weather is perfectly pleasant most of the time also? Not too hot, not too cold.
Still, as much as I love having all this within reach, if the people I care about lived in Des Moines, I’m sure that’s where I’d want to be too. But as luck would have it, I was born and raised here, so my family and lifelong friends are a constant part of my scenery.
After all, what good is a slice of paradise if you’re in it alone?