Monday, November 12, 2012

Heading back West: A farewell to the Midwest


I have a distinct memory of what it felt like to land in Detroit knowing that I was moving away from California to be with my then fiance (now husband) who was studying for his PhD. I was exhausted, had two over-sized suitcases packed with all of my clothes, and a cat carrier that held our little kitten, Biscuits. I'm pretty sure my puffy eyes and slumped head did a good job of keeping other travelers away from me while heading to baggage claim because my solitary ride down the escalator was pretty composed until I saw Paul's face and proceeded to cry all the way from the terminal exit to his arms. When I first moved to Ann Arbor two and a half years ago all I could think about was booking my flight back to Los Angeles. I managed to compare it to everything I had at home even if I didn't have a good argument to back up my statements. Admittedly, it wasn't the smartest thing to do when trying to acclimate to a new place. My refusal to adapt finally began to give way a year into the move when Paul and I got married in Los Angeles, but the headed back to Ann Arbor afterwards to get back to school and work. The town that once couldn't compare to our original homes began to feel more and more like our home together. New discoveries and traditions popped up around the city, like restaurants, intimate bars, great concerts, movie nights, and an overall buzz of creativity were accented with our cozy apartment that served as the perfect entertaining spot and a growing group of people that quickly became our closest friends. The move was a way for me to realize that living somewhere new and unexpected may be the best way to tap into a whole new set of interests and ideas. I'm realizing that things seem to settle and hit their stride right when it's time to uproot them and that is where I find myself right now. Sitting among boxes and bubble wrap, our belongings are getting ready to make a big trip back to Los Angeles. At the end of the week I'll be saying bye to the Midwest while the West welcomes me back, Paul to follow a few weeks later and from there we will settle back in to the California life. I am so excited to head home, branch into a new career, and set up a new routine, but that plane ticket that was once my fixation isn't my only goal any more. I am sad to say goodbye to such a historic and exciting city, one that connected me with incredible people, friends, and introduced me to things I had never experienced, like apple cider doughnuts, fireflies, the ability to buy fireworks, and a white Christmas (no laughing!).

This past weekend and the weeks prior Paul and I have been cramming in every last bit of Ann Arbor we can get. This week I'll share my favorite spots and picks around the city, including our go-to restaurants, late night drink stops, favorite venues, and holiday traditions, so check back and add in your own favorite places as well.  For now, to Ann Arbor and everyone you've introduced us to along the way, you will be missed!

9 comments:

  1. What a lovely and heartfelt post on a gem of a city here in Michigan. I only wish I could have met you in person while you were here. I wish you safe travels.

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  2. Great story Jaclyn. Good luck with the new chapter in your life. I hope the move goes smoothly and I cannot wait to read more about your adventures back in CA.

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  3. Good luck with your move, Jaclyn! We look forward to having a California contributor! :)

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  4. We will miss you and Paul, but know you will come back to visit..I hope you take back wonderful memories, including our family get together's..Am glad for you and your families that your going home..Loved your heart felt story, Aunt Judy

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  5. Yay...so glad for you two. But you know God always has a plan...and I think this one gave you as newlyweds to grow "together/alone" in your first years together. It gives you time to form the 'oneness' that He speaks of in the bible...and its crucial to depend on each other...to cleave to each other. I am glad for the times we got to hang out at family functions, the discovery you made in Ann Arbor and your white Christmas'...and I know your mom and Ron are excited about you coming back 'home'! You will always have a special place in your heart for Ann Arbor and there will be times you will compare it to California....I only wish they had that little deli, or little vintage store, or.....We wish the best to you and Paul (and congrats man on accomplishing your goal!!!) and we look forward to visiting you all in Cali! I also look forward to your posts so I can 'miss' California again! Love you both and safe travels! Aunt Brenda and Roy

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  6. This is really sweet Jaclyn. I never realized it before, but our situations are a lot more similar than I thought! My husband actually interviewed for a PhD program in Ann Arbor, but chose to stay in California instead. Sometimes I wish I knew what it was like to live outside the state, but part me of is glad we stayed here.

    Moving like this is so bittersweet, but I can't lie...I'm a little excited that you're moving back here! We might just need to get together when you're settled in :)

    xoxo,
    Joelle

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  7. Such a beautiful post. It's funny-John and I are always talking about leaving San Francisco, but I have a feeling we'll be a little heartbroken to say goodbye.

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  8. I can relate to this so much! The move to Ann Arbor has been so bittersweet. I'm heartbroken to leave a place I love, but I'm excited about our life in Ann Arbor. Sorry to see you go, but good luck back in California!

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