For 3o of the past 40 years of my life, I lived in what I deemed to be a medium-sized city. Burlington, Ontario - current population 285, 000. We had everything we needed right there - a great hospital, waterfront trails and beaches, annual music festivals, Canada's Largest RibFest! Did I mention RibFest? ;) And because I had lived there for 30 years Burlington grew along with me, so it never felt big to me. I could get around it with my eyes closed, knew where obscure little side streets were when people mentioned them, and could do that whole "jeez remember when the Go Station was a corn field?" thing, that proves you have grown right along with your city.
And then, 4 months ago, we made the decision to uproot ourselves from that safety zone (my 12 year old son has never lived anywhere else) and move to Grimsby - population 25, 200. Blending households with a significant other in your 40s inevitably means one party makes the sacrifice of moving to the other party's comfort zone. We were willing to make that sacrifice.
And so, Grimsby, here we are! We have been here less than 8 weeks and not for one second has it felt like a sacrifice. WE LOVE IT HERE! Who knew?!? That me, self-proclaimed City Girl, could love a small town in the middle of Niagara Wine Country? OK, let's be honest, the wine part helps. :P
I feel at home. I feel like this is what I have been waiting for. I know that sounds corny but it's true. My son told me last week that our old house in Burlington never felt like home to him (we moved there after my divorce from his dad), but that Grimsby feels like home. :) There is no higher praise than that to prove to me that we made the right decision.
And, if you happen to be on my Facebook page, you are probably tired of hearing how wonderful Grimsby is! Every day (or at least every weekend) we discover something wonderful about this small town. A great park, a street festival, a yummy restaurant, the farmer's market........a Little Free Library!!! Yes!! Really!! I thought they were a myth.....but no.....they exist in Grimsby. How cool is that?!?
This past weekend we took full advantage of Doors Open Grimsby. We walked the "main drag" (which is about 2 blocks) and took in the classic car show. We wandered into Harmony Jewellers and looked at rings. (that's a whole other blog post!) We had lunch at Syndicate. Which you totally MUST do! We rode the old school trolley around town (loud and windy, but a cool experience). And we went to Grimsby Beach......
Oh. My. God. Grimsby Beach. Never in my life have I encountered anything quite like it. I was dumbfounded! I felt like I had been transported to CandyLand and I freaking LOVED IT! The Grimsby Beach Painted Ladies, as they are called, were literally the highlight of my year. If you don't believe me, ask my realtor, whom I called when we got home and told her one of these was in my retirement plan (yeah I know it's 20 years from now) and to keep her eyes open for one.
The pictures I have taken and the small town experiences we have had since we moved here could fill many, many blog posts. And they will, so stay tuned! But for now, I will leave you with pictures of the Grimsby Beach Painted Ladies, and a shot of the oh-so-cool Little Free Library, that were taken at the Doors Open Grimsby Festival this past weekend.
This move has been life-changing for us. Sacrifice? What sacrifice? :)
~ The Lazy Gourmet