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the sun sets over sandbanks

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to put it mildly, we’ve been house hunting. right now, we’re living in a two bedroom apartment right downtown and it’s more than convenient. everything is walking distance, and what isn’t is but a bus or subway ride away. there are tons of fun little restaurants and eccentric little nooks and corners to explore. as a foodie (or aspiring foodie) this is exciting, there’s always something new to try – always, because it seems every few months something new is closing and making way for something new again.

but it’s also right downtown in a growing city full of cars and crazies. and here’s the debate – do we stay here, where we’re comfortable and close to everything but where dylan can’t walk down the street or do we leave our urban jungle for somewhere with more open space, lots of nature and a strong sense of community?

i can’t decide. i grew up in a small “town.” boasting just over 65,000 people, bermuda is about as small town as it gets, though, technically, it’s a country, and not a town. it’s only 22 square miles from tip to tip. there’s a lot of trouble you can get into in 22 square miles, but you also grow up with salt water to your left and your right, pink sand beaches, and a healthy appreciation for knowing that wherever you go someone is going to know you, and if you misbehave, your parents will find out before your butt is off the bus seat and walking through the door.

beach day

in toronto, i can be anonymous. as it is i’m pretty introverted, i spend a lot of time at home or with a close circle of friends. probably because i’m pretty much her only model, dylan seems to be the same way. when we go to playgrounds she spends more time watching than playing, and only chooses a select few (lucky) children to interact with.

i don’t drive, and the concept terrifies me. i’ve seen the way the people in this city maneuver their death machines through the city streets. there’s so much to pay attention to, and i’ve always been worried i wouldn’t be able to pay attention to all of it, especially with dylan in the car.

but the idea of living so close to nature, in a place where dylan can ride her bike down the street (when she’s old enough) and we can rest assured if there’s something strange going on, or if there’s a stranger lurking, we’ll know about it. where she can head off to the beach with her friends on the weekend, go for hikes. it sounds so wholesome, doesn’t it? there must be a catch.

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and of course there is. culture shock, for starters. i may not have lived in this big city long, but i’ve lived here long enough to have become quite accustomed to it. everything is seconds away. my friends are here. the airport is close. everything is close. see where i’m going with this?

but then i balance it out with the reality that the further we go the more we get for less. we saw and fell completely in love with this beautiful four bedroom house built in 1850 – porches, a beautiful backyard, wood floor, fireplaces, 20 minutes from the beach and within our price range. cute little cafes within walking distance and a french immersion for when dylan hits school age. it’s nice to dream.

so what are we going to do? i don’t know for sure, not yet. there’s still time. but i’m pretty sure even after we’ve thought about it and thought about it, when the time comes to make a decision it’s still going to be rushed. this will be the second biggest decision we’ve made, the first involving that much $$$ in one sitting.

but part of the fun is exploring new neighbourhoods, which have been fun. we stopped by sandbanks provincial park outside of belleville and i have to admit, proximity to this might ease that ache.

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