Monday, September 17, 2007
Welcome to My Neighborhood!
A dear blogger friend of mine, Kathleen Marie at The Open Window, has come up with a neat "Welcome to My Neighborhood", where she's inviting us all to share our favorite things about our neighborhood (perhaps our favorite local hangout or attraction) using photos, stories, and/or slide shows.
I'm in Las Vegas on business right now and I didn't plan ahead by taking pictures of my neighborhood before I left, so you'll have to let me paint you a picture with words. I do have pictures of Snuggle Bug that I can use to help support my story.
Oronzo and I purchased our 4 BR, brick home approximately 2 years ago. It's in a quite, well-kept little neighborhood.
This is the first home that I've ever owned. I've spent most of my adult life moving from city to city for work and, as a result, renting.
Buying this home has allowed me to finally but down roots. It's allowed Oronzo and I to create a safe and loving haven for the raising of our children.
Our home is filled with laughter, love, and the smells of baked goodies! We open our home to friends and family often.
Being from a small town, I craved to know my neighbors so over these past 2 years I've worked hard to find opportunities to interact with those that live around us.
When we moved in and got settled, Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I walked from house to house to knock on doors and introduce ourselves to everyone on our street. I even went so far as to make a neighborhood chart and pass it out to all the neighbors so that we could all know each other.
On Valentine's Day Snuggle Bug and I went up and down our street and delivered cookies that we had baked the night before.
We've gotten to know many of our neighbors quite well. Our morning walks result in invitations to come in to neighbors houses for a visit. When out taking care of their yards, our neighbors will stop for chats. When we go out of town, we have neighbors that are happy to look after our house for us.
And at Halloween, Snuggle Bug rakes in the loot because our neighbors know him and they like to give him handfuls of candy at each stop!
Not far outside of our neighborhood is our church. After joining, we learned that Oronzo's parents were members of our church when they were newly married. We love our church! Although large, it's warm, inviting, and very beautiful. The parishioners are friendly and the priests are fantastic! Snuggle Bug was baptized in our church and, as long as we stay put, will celebrate his First Communion and Confirmation here too. When he's a bit older, I intend for Snuggle Bug and I to join the family choir! I love being a part of a spriritual family such as this one.
A few blocks from our church is our favorite local French cafe. We eat breakfast there every Sunday and we've gotten to know the owner and wait staff quite well. The food is delicious, the cafe is bright and cheerful, the walls are covered with the artwork of local artist. It's a bustling cafe and Snuggle Bug loves how he's given crayons and paper immediately upon being seated. We love this place!
We love supporting local owners whenever we can!
We have several parks near our neighborhood. Snuggle Bug's favorite park is the one that has ducks. We take him there frequently so that he can feed the ducks a loaf of bread. One piece of bread for the ducks, one for Snuggle Bug. That's how it works.
The parks in our area host many activities. Each Spring and Fall we attend outdoor pops concerts where we pack a picnic dinner and a blanket and we go and enjoy music under the stars!
The parks also have frequent festivals, games, and many other family-fun activities. Since we live a few blocks from several close friends, we schedule park play-dates quite frequently.
We're fortunate to have several bookstores within our neighborhood. One is just 2 blocks away. It's a little hole-in-the-wall used bookstore that has row upon row of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves crammed full with books. Poking around this maze of books is one of my favorite past times! I love the smell of all those books!
We also have a Barnes & Noble bookstore close by and Snuggle Bug enjoys their Kids Corner where they hold toddler story times several times throughout the week.
He also enjoys the Thomas the Tank train table that is in the children's area. Even though he has his own train set at home, he still makes a bee-line to the Barnes & Noble train set each time we visit.
Not only do we have a lot of bookstores in our neighborhood, but we also have a great library branch very close by and several others within driving distance. Our local library is fabulous! We've been taking Snuggle Bug to library story-times since he was an infant. At the library closest to us, Snuggle Bug has gotten quite attached to some of the librarians, especially the story time coordinator, Chris. Whenever he sees Chris, he drops everything and rushes right to her to give her a hug!
A while back, the main library in town organized a Story Town event where story book characters came out to play and local authors read their books aloud while older children acted out the story in costume. Each child was given a free book upon entrance into Story Town. Snuggle Bug loved this!
Although we love supporting local owners when we can, I must admit that we frequent a nearby Starbucks. They're only a mile from our house so we like to walk to Starbucks so that I can induldge in a tall hot chocolate with whipped cream and Snuggle Bug can have a piece of his favorite cinnamon swirl coffee cake.
I'm afraid we've created a Starbucks addiction in our son. A couple of weekends back we were visiting Oronzo's parents and they took us to have a picnic up in the mountains near their home. Aleiza, Oronzoz's mom, asked Snuggle Bug, "Do you want to go for a walk with Grandma?" Snuggle Bug's response was, "Get stroller, go Starbucks?" After indulging in a hearty laugh, we gently explained to Snuggle Bug that there was no Starbucks on the mountain, or even in the town where Oronzo's parents live.
Just a few blocks from our house we have a locally owned butcher shop! It sells the best sausages, steak, and other meats. It also has delicious deli sandwiches on the softest sub rolls. My mouth is watering just thinking of these. Walking down to the butcher shop to get sausages and chat with the butchers while we eat our deli sandwiches is one of our favorite Saturday activities!
Well, there you have it, a glimpse in to our little neighborhood that we love so much! I hope you've enjoyed my tour.
Now, I'm off to check out the other participates' posts for Kathleen Marie's Welcome to My Neighborhood event! I hope you've decided to participate so I can get a peek of your neighborhood! :)