Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. — John F. Kennedy
It seems fitting that I should find a quote from John F. Kennedy to help explain the change happening in our lives. We’re headed to JFK’s part of the world, after all.
After nearly 17 years in San Diego (8 of those with Danielle), we’ve decided to pack up and move east. We make this announcement with a mix of emotions: excitement, exhilaration, trepidation, sadness, and hope (among others, of course).
Some will ask why we’d ever want to leave sunny San Diego. We’ve worked hard to build our careers here, have a strong network of friends, and now have years of fantastic family memories. Every weekend is like its own little “staycation” with day trips to the beach and all the attractions that this town has to offer.
But a few things are missing. Growing up, both Danielle and I had the privilege of living close to our grandparents. I remember seeing my grandparents at nearly every school function – band concerts, football games, track meets – you name it. They were always present.
More importantly, nearly all special holidays were spent with family. Of course the big ones – Christmas, Easter, New Years – but for me, even a routine Sunday would typically involve time with our grandparents. Church, Sunday dinner, and watching the Cowboys play (and usually lose).
By contrast, in San Diego we’ve spent a lot of those special days on our own. We’re grateful for all the friends who have invited us to be with them and their families for those special times. We’ve spent countless holidays with the Johnson/Mestre/Renovales clan over the years – and we will always remember and appreciate feeling like a part of their extended family. We have fond memories of holidays and events with the Caffos (our next door neighbors in Point Loma). More recently, we’ve become very close with Toni & Wayne – our neighbors in Carlsbad who treat Will and Phoebe like their own grandchildren. And reaching way back – I remember “The Orphans” Thanksgiving Day dinner with Colin Farnell at Hennessey’s in PB, which morphed into a full-blown Thanksgiving once we were both married and had children.
So now it’s our turn to spend time with our family. This move will make a routine Sunday into a family event. We’ll be close to Danielle’s parents and sister (and her family). We’ll spend time in the places where she grew up. Our kids will learn to swim at the beach where she learned to swim (although Will has already done quite well in the Rancho Carrillo pool). We’ll reconnect with her childhood friends and know the feeling of being in a tight-knit community. We’ll be in a small town – something that Danielle and I know well from our childhood, and enjoyed as youngsters. Finally, we’ll be in a better position to visit Texas and spend more time with my parents and our friends and family there.
While we’re sad to leave all the incredible memories and close friends here in San Diego, we’re looking forward to a new adventure, exploring a new region, and spending time with family. And of course, Southern California will always be a part of who we are, how we found each other and started this great life together.
A few of the FAQs that we expect from those who know us best:
Are you crazy?
Yes, yes we are.
Do you know that they have real winters in Boston?
Yes. At least some of us are aware of this. Others, not so much. We’ll all have to adjust. L.L. Bean is just a click away these days.
Where are you headed?
Scituate, Massachusetts. A quaint seaside fishing town of just under 20,000 residents about 45 minutes south of Boston and 45 minutes from Cape Cod. Scituate is the New England town you see in the movies. A town full of history, full of stories, and less than 30 minutes from Plymouth Rock – where the Mayflower landed and the Pilgrims settled.
Scituate is the kind of place where they hold events for the entire town – Fourth of July Parades, Heritage Days, and a St. Patrick’s Day parade for the most Irish town in America. It’s also a place where (sadly) good Mexican food will be in short supply.
As most of you know, my parents still live in the house where I was raised near Dallas (very similar to Danielle’s situation in Scituate). Of course the topic of Texas vs Massachusetts was a big part of our discussion around leaving San Diego — and was one of the reasons why we’ve waited until now to make that decision. By leaving San Diego, we were in essence making a choice – a choice of one location over another, but also spending lots more time with one set of grandparents and still having to travel to see the other side of the family. While that part of the decision wasn’t easy, moving to either location will free up opportunities to see both sides of the family – and will hopefully lead to more holidays and vacations with everyone, including in-laws, together.
What about your house?
That one was easy. With the limited inventory in Carlsbad, specifically Rancho Carrillo – we put the house on the market and it sold within a matter of days. So fast that we actually had to work a rent-back into the agreement so we could stay through the month of July.
When are you leaving?
July 27 for the kids and Danielle; Aug 2 for John.
Are you ever coming back?
Only time will tell. I’m hopeful that we can be in a position financially to own a second home here someday. And there’s a chance that we may retire here when it’s all said and done. In the meantime, I’m certain we’ll work San Diego into the family vacation rotation on a regular basis. We’ll also keep our condo in Mission Valley that is currently rented, so we’ll have to come back and check on that as well.
San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart. I still remember the feeling I got when I first drove over the last set of mountains on Interstate 8 and saw the city limits sign (that was December of 1998) to take my first set of orders in the Navy. Those first few years are a blur now, but I also remember the feeling of coming back from deployment and reaching “One SD” – that’s the buoy that marks the entrance to the San Diego harbor. Sailing back into the Big Bay on a Navy warship was always a fun experience. My first apartment at La Mirage, a two year tour of duty in Coronado, my first house purchase in La Mesa, Vegas quick strikes, Skip’s Garage at Thruster’s, Pickford’s Party at the Mammoth Lodge and at RT’s Longboard (which then morphed into the machine known as Rock Out Karaoke), a two year shore duty in Point Loma, living three blocks from the beach in PB (where I proposed to Danielle), our first date at Cass Street Bar and Grill, our house on Dumas Street in Point Loma where we brought Will home from the hospital, our first home purchase together in Carlsbad where Phoebe joined our family, beach days, pool nights, cruising the historic 101 – these and so many others were all great experiences over the years.
A lot has changed since I first arrived in 1998, but my love for this town and its people will remain. Thanks for the support, thanks for the memories, and you stay classy, San Diego.