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Moving to the tar heel state! (Uh, what is a tar heel?)

About seven years ago, my dad told us he was going to North Carolina on a business trip. Then, well, let’s just say he never made it to North Carolina and the next time I saw him was at the divorce hearing. Unlike my father, when I tell you I’m going to North Carolina, I’m actually going there, like, to live.

It all started last November when I flew out to Los Angeles. I stepped off the plane and it was so sunny that I felt a surge of Vitamin D coursing through my veins and I could hear the birds singing just for me. I wanted to lick the sunshine, or at least pack it in my suitcase. Then, I returned to Indiana, where my nostril hairs froze and the sky was most definitely NOT the color of topaz or even tourmaline, and I thought, “Why the hell am I living in this shithole?”

Then my consciousness replied, “Because of your mom and brother, you numnuts.” And I was like, oh right. My consciousness then reminded me of a few friends I also happen to have and some restaurants in town I like and that nature trail which is scenic and serene and—

“They have trails in other cities! They have restaurants outside of Indiana too!” I yelled back at myself. “You even have a brother in another city!” And I was like, oh yeah, I do. I’ll move there! So that’s what I’m going to do.

Actually, the relocation process has been much more complex than that. I’d been thinking of moving out of Indiana for a few years, but I didn’t know where to go. I also didn’t want to be moving away from something; I wanted to be moving towards something. I only live in Indianapolis because I ended up here. My family moved here during college and I came back for in-state tuition and here I be. Why? Just because.

As part of my whole what-the-hell-am-I-doing-with-my-life crisis, I’ve realized I want to build stronger connections in my community. I want to go to Stitch-N-Bitch and join a running group and volunteer at, I dunno, a museum or go plant some trees and meet all those interesting people I want to meet. But every time I’ve thought of doing these things, I’ve silently talked myself out of them because I knew if I put down roots in Indiana, I might want to stay here. And despite my love for my mother and my brother, I honestly, I don’t want to stay here.

There are many things I love about Indianapolis, as I stated above. The city is underrated, and the skyline doesn’t depress, as The Onion joked. The cold, dark winter does depress me though. For real. It gets longer every year and it turns me into a sofa slug and I cannot take another Indiana winter. It will kill me dead.

I love my mom more than, well, literally anything, but she loves me too, and we both know that I gotta’ go. So, after I went to LA, I started to seriously research other places to live. California was appealing (except for the inevitable, impending, earthquake of death), but also way too expensive. I looked into Austin, but it gets really hot there and I wasn’t crazy about the rest of Texas. Then I looked at the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area where my brother and his wife live. It comes up on lots of lists for the best places to live. The cost of living is comparable to Indianapolis. It’s warmer and there are more days of sunshine. And if everything goes pear-shaped, I can live in my brother and sister-in-law’s spare room with their three felines. At that point the cats would outnumber the people, so maybe we’d be living in the cats’ house.

I have no idea if this is the right decision. It’s possible that a year from now I will be saying, “Oh dear God, why did I ever want to move here?!” Or I might be saying, “Why did I spend so long in Indianapolis when I could have been living here?!” Or maybe it will be somewhere in between. I dunno. I do know I need to move forward and staying in Indianapolis does not feel like moving forward. So North Carolina it is! It’s as good as anywhere. How’s that for a reason?

I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be moving, but it will probably be around the beginning of July. And seriously, who doesn’t want to carry heavy boxes of books in the sweltering, mid-summer heat? I’m heading out there this weekend to run around the triangle area and figure out where to live. It is cool that I can live wherever I want to, within certain budgetary restrictions. It is a unique time in my life right now that I can get up and go and work from anywhere. I want to take advantage of that while I can.

Now my only question is, how do you pronounce Raleigh? Is it rawl-eh or rall-eh? If I’m going to be a local, I’ll need to know.

I’ll let the Dixie Chicks sing me off.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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128 Comments

Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit • May 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

At the risk of sounding weird – noooooo! I understand wanting to leave these awful winters here but I wanted to meet you PQ! I hope I do before you leave wonderfully awful Indianapolis!

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PastaQueen • May 10, 2010 at 9:26 am

@Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit – I will probably throw a going-away party, and if I do I’ll let you know where and when. BTW, I saw you ran the mini this weekend. Congrats!

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Beverly • May 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

First time poster…been reading your blog for about a month now. I just wanted to post and tell you how excited I am for your move. My hubs and I visited North Carolina in 2007 and we absolutely loved it. We flew into Charlotte and drove to the coast – Wilmington specifically. I could have moved to that town right then and there! Absolutely beautiful. Good luck with your move!

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NoCeleryPlease • May 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

Raleigh is also the home of the Carolina Roller Girls – one of the better Roller Derby leagues in the east. You should totally check them out! And then join them – because there’s nothing like joining a derby team to be instantly immersed in an awesome new community of friends!

And it’s Rall – ee Like the movie Wall -e.

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ragtopday • May 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

Good for you!! I live in New England and feel the same way about the winters. I grew up here, my job is here, blah, blah, blah. I admire your mobility and think Raleigh is a great choice!

I pronounce it Rawl-ee.

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nancy • May 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

I hate the cold, so i think it’s a great idea! If i wasn’t tied to Kansas city by children and a job and gazillion relatives, i’d move south too.

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Jenny O. • May 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

I live a few miles south of Charlotte, NC and hubs is from about 30 minutes east of Raleigh. In other words, been there a lot. It’s an awesome area, rich with culture and tons of great things to do. i think you’ll love it! (pronunciation: rah-lee.) Practice your ‘ya’lls’ and you’ll fit right in. :)

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Shelley • May 10, 2010 at 9:51 am

Hey, my brother lives there too! They (his family) love it there, and they’re only about an hour from the ocean in the Raleigh-Durham area, I think. Congrats on your decision…I think you’ll be happy you did.

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Trish • May 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

Possible the best blog post I have read. It took me till I was 41 years olds to leave my home city and try something new. Two years and 4 months later I have no regrets. The friends I have made here in Atlanta have enhanced my life in so many ways I can not even begin to desribe it. All I can say if “Life is Great”!

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shauna/dg • May 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

squeeeeeeeeeeeee! :)

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shauna/dg • May 10, 2010 at 10:06 am

PS I thought it was RAY-LEE but I’m Australia so what the hell would I know? :)

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shauna/dg • May 10, 2010 at 10:06 am

AustraliaN, rather.

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Carolina_Girl • May 10, 2010 at 10:06 am

I’m in S. Carolina, but welcome to the Carolinas! You will LOVE it. The people are warm, the food is amazing, and the mountains are beautiful and stunning.

But seriously. You must put y’all in your vocab. Start practicing now. :)

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Rhonda • May 10, 2010 at 10:34 am

You’ll love North Cack-a-lack-ee as some of us who have been around that area say. Speaking of saying, it is imperitive that you learn the local language and pronounce your new home town properly. Listen to the locals and you are sure to get it right. Enjoy the sunshine!

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Hal • May 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’ve heard “rally” or “rolly” (rhymes with Molly). And I think you’ll really like the area. I haven’t lived there but I’ve vacationed in NC for years and the summers are amazing. Very hot, but that’s what the beach is for. And you can get real barbecue! Near Raleigh there are some gorgeous botanical gardens to wander through. I think they’re on Duke’s campus.

Good for you for recognizing you need the sun. It’ll help your mood immensely. And there’s something fabulous about moving to a new place. You really feel like you’re “living the life.” Good luck! And bounce me an email if you ever decide to make it out to the Outer Banks. I’ve got all sorts of good advice for you.

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Lisa • May 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

I have been a loooongtime lurker on your site. I love your take on things. I just wish I could say it as well as you.

I am a lifelong NC resident. You will love it. Even the “bad” winters aren’t. The sunshine is great, but the humidity can be daunting.

And it’s pronounced “Rahl-ee”.

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Lisa • May 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

I love that Dixie Chicks song. Good for you taking a chance and doing something different!

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Jean • May 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

Congrats on taking that step. Some people want to change but never venture outside of their comfort zone. I’m sure you’ll love NC.

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Sarah Fowler • May 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

I have friends near there and it’s a great area! There’s also a good amount of tech and tech-related business there so it should be great for you! They actually have four seasons (something we don’t get here in central Flirida), so I’m jealous ;-P

And oh yes, it’s definitely pronounced Rahl-ee.

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Melissa • May 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

Wonderful!!! I did the same thing 10 years ago – Kansas City to Los Angeles (where my hs bf lived), back to KC (after 9/11), then to Australia (for love, got married), then back to KC (because it’s cheap to live here). I am done moving for now, but that first move was the best thing I EVER have done for myself. It took me about 6 weeks before that “OMG, what have I gotten myself into” feeling hit me, but a year later, I loved it. You will feel strength and independence that you never thought possible. I hear that NC is lovely – Congratulations!

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Kathleen • May 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

Excellent plan, and well executed; it’s a big move, but it’s not a rash decision. Good for you!

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Gillian/ Ariadne cycles • May 10, 2010 at 11:26 am

Wow, good for you. How exciting – I love moving. Well, I hate it, the actual practical hassles of it, but it’s exciting and exhilerating too. And you’re right, it’s good to do it while you’re on your own and have a ‘portable’ job you can take with you. Good for you!

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Rebecca • May 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

Congratulations! I love your attitude of moving towards something instead of away.

It is a unique time in your life where you are able to pick up and move. So glad you are doing it! Enjoy the weekend!

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Ashley • May 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

I love North Carolina! And I pronounce it “Rall-e”.

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Donna • May 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

Good for you, PQ!

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ChrissyS • May 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Oh, I’m happy for you. It sounds like the perfect time [from all that we're told on the blog here.]

I’m thinking maybe Mom will move too, now. Mom? Whaddya say?

Well, we know she’ll visit, anyway.

Excited for you! I’ve only visited, but it’s lovely! Headed to Hilton Head SC for a holiday soon.

Hopin’ the packing will go a little easier on you this time, since you just did it not too long ago. Hope your roomie is A-ok with losing you & the kitties too. :)

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Debbi • May 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Oh, my, goodness, we might actually get to meet each other sometime. My son lives in Apex (pronounced ape-X, heh), and I’m only four hours away so weekend visits happen every couple of months or so. I’ve thought of moving there myself, it’s such a beautiful part of the country and the people are so friendly. My absolutely favorite city in the Triangle is Carrboro, and I’d move there in a heartbeat if I weren’t so enmeshed here in WV. So happy for you!

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Erica • May 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Long time reader, first time poster here. :) Hi.

Just about a year ago I moved to the RAW-LEE (as the locals pronounce it) area for my husband’s job. We’re in Morrisville and we like it ok. We’ll probably be moving back out in a couple years when my husband switches to a different company.

I’m from Michigan and also lived in Texas, and yes, NC is a good “in between” climate. Not cold in winter (by our standards), but pretty hot in summer. Not as hot as Texas, though. People freak out and close down everything at ANY sign of an impending storm or sprinkling of snow, which makes us laugh. It is sunnier than Michigan for sure, which is actually a negative to me because my skin burns and my eyes hurt in the sun. But if that’s what you’re looking for you should be happy!

The people seem nice in general, and actually because of the universities and Research Triangle there are lots of people from all over, so fewer people have Southern accents than we were expecting. It’s also much hillier than I’m used to so you can’t drive many places in a straight line; you’re always curving around this and that.

To me there doesn’t seem that much to do, but I’m not a party girl, don’t have much money and I have a young child, so you may find plenty. I’ve lived in several states and a few countries, so I say you’ll probably be glad you made the move, just so you can say you’ve experienced another place. Maybe there’s even the possibility of running into each other. :) Good luck with the move.

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Mom • May 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

@ChrissyS – I have given my blessing to Jennette’s decision and fully support it. The past winter was especially long, cold, and difficult for her. There is a bittersweetness to successfully raising a self-reliant independent young lady. I have not promised not to cry when she leaves Indy–in fact tears are pretty much guaranteed. Yes, there will be frequent trips to NC–there is direct airline service (for now). And then again who does not want to drive through wild and wonderful West Virginia?!! I love her dearly and will miss her something dreadful. However I hope I have given each of my three wonderful children wings so that they can soar.

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Jennifer • May 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

raw-lee

Welcome to the south!

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Cindi • May 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I am originally from NC and think it’s beautiful there! I hope you like “sweet tea”!

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fd • May 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

brilliant! I wish you all the best with this adventure. I think moving is just one of the most life invigorating undertakings ever. For sure it can be tough and you do miss the people you see the most frequently but nothing like you enjoy the opportunities to start a-fresh and get stuck into new activities and communities and boy-oh-boy am so jealous that you’ll get sunshine with this move. in the last month or so i’ve been wondering if another winter would bulldoze me too. i think i can do one more and that might be my limit.

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Megan • May 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I went to school in NC at Guilford College and it is a wonderful place! You will love the climate AND it is home to the nicest people anywhere. If I wasn’t such a committed Northeasterner I’d move there myself. Enjoy! You won’t be sorry for your decision.

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KitschenBitsch • May 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

PastaQueen! I’m so excited! I live in Rah-lee! I go to coffee shops and I have a beautiful greenway across the street. At the risk of sounding creepy and internet stalkery, I’ll be glad to show you around.

I love it here. I hope you do too!

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Susan • May 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Welcome to NC– you’ll love it! I’m a Charlotte native but went to school in Chapel Hill. Check out Carrboro for places to live. It’s on the (free!) busline to Chapel Hill, but cheaper housing. NC summers will kick your ass humidity-wise, but you can cool off at the beach or in the mountains, both of which will be close by.

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SG • May 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

wow! i am so excited for you. very brave! i know what you mean about those LONG winters. i moved to a forever-sunshiney place for a few years. i loved it. family stuff brought me back….and i often times wish i could leave again…but like you said, the more roots you put down, the harder it is to pick up and leave. i admire you for taking the chance when you can!

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Annette • May 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

You have the world’s best Mom. I just spent the weekend with my friends in Cary, NC and it was so very, very hard to fly back here to Chicago. I do love Chicago, but NC was just so warm and hilly. It was also surpringly (to me anyway) diverse and I met people from all over.

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Jenny • May 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Oh, cool! You’re moving into roadtrip range! I’m curious if you’ve had sweet tea yet, and if you like it. (If you haven’t had it yet, my advice is to avoid, b/c it’s addictive.) Excited for you!

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Mymsie • May 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

1) Rah-lee

2) I grew up in Greensboro, NC and have family in the Chapel Hill area. I miss living in the South and have thought about moving back but having such great friends here has stopped me. Best wishes to you – keep in touch!

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Jenny • May 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Cool! A change is as good as a holiday! I hope you have a great time in NC

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Jaime • May 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I lived in Durham for 2 years. I don’t particularly recommend Durham, but I would move back to Raleigh or Chapel Hill in a heart-beat. It’s one of the few metro areas I would consider moving to. It’s a great area for outdoor activity and farmer’s markets and shopping and entertainment. Good luck with your move — I think you’ll love it!

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Liz S. • May 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Rah-lee. I miss living in the Triangle so much. I went to college in Chapel Hill, adn me my husband in Raleigh. We moved away, but are desparate to move back. Have FUN!

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Kyle • May 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Add to the list of reasons to move there — Kyle has family there and so will be able to visit you in your new home.

PS. I’m making the automatic assumption that we’ll continue to be friends even after meeting in person.

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146lbs • May 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I didn’t know you were in Indy; me too. What a small world! I would love to be out west somewhere, by Mrs. 146lbs has decided that she likes being close to family – so we will continue to call Indianapolis home.

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Sara • May 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I am a native North Carolinian, and I can confirm everyone’s “RAWL-ee.” Rally, as one person had heard, is something associated with “pep” and cheerleaders. Or politics. Or, as the good ol’ boys like, monster trucks.

There are tons of things to do here in the Triangle, both for singles and families, and not all of them cost $$. I recommend you pick up an Independent (small newspaper) when you get here…that will give you some ideas. You can find them at just about any coffee shop, bar, or library. Also, check out the parks and recs websites for Raleigh, Wake County, and NC for some terrific trails. My personal favorites are Shelley Lake, Yates Mill, Ravensrock State Park, and Hanging Rock.

Let me also recommend the maple view farm country store in hillsborough …they sell ice cream made from the milk they produce…so yummy…

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Kelly • May 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Congratulations on your decision! I hear only good things about North Carolina. I have family in northeast Tennessee and one time we landed at the airport in Raleigh/Durham and drove to Tennessee. It was a beautiful drive. The hills are lovely! I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking some long walks in the Smokies.

I agree with others that it’s pronounced Rawl-lee.

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MB • May 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Congrats on making the decision to move to a warmer climate. I’m glad you don’t have too many things holding you in a place you don’t want to be. Even more exciting, I think NC is closer to Boston so you’ll have to come visit ;)

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schmei • May 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Awesome! Congratulations and good luck with the move! Sounds like a great choice.

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Lisa • May 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Congratulations on a decision I can empathize with, as a fellow SAD sufferer.

As someone who has moved around a lot as an adult, I have one piece of advice–be prepared to be a bit unhappy/lonely for the first year. Sometimes it doesn’t take that long, but for me it almost always did, but I always adjusted. My main point is, don’t decide within that first year that it’s not working; you have to give it at least the full 365 days, preferably choose somewhere to live that’s in the center of activity and near a new running trail to love, get involved in all the things you mentioned–running group, Stitch n Bitch, etc., and plug away. I think it’ll be great for you!

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Tami • May 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

we went to chapel hill last summer and i would move there in a heartbeat if my family would move with me. exciting times!

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Peace • May 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Welcome to my State!!! So happy to have you coming our way. The area you chose is awesome, and if I were not stuck in this village I would join you there, (minus the cats of which I am deathly afraid of). You will have access to Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, so I’m jealous already.

Love your blog.

Peace

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adrienne • May 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Wow! and wonderful! You will be missed here. It’s impressive that you have the moxie to explore your dreams and create the life you most want to live.

I hope there will be an opportunity for me to take you out for a meal before you move.

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Rachel • May 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm

YEA!!!! Congratulations on deciding to move where the sun shines. I live east of Rawl- ee about 45 minutes. :) While you’re checking it out this weekend be sure to stop by Tir-na-nOg. It’s an Irish pub in downtown Raleigh. The food is AMAZING there! They have a great brunch on Sundays and the rest of the week is good too.
Change is exciting! At least I think so. And if you need help in July moving boxes…I can round up a few people who would love to help.

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Sacha • May 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Thought of some of Penelope Trunk’s advice when I read this post of yours. http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/11/12/how-to-decide-where-to-live/ (You can search her blog for “Madison” to find a whole bunch more.) Glad to see that you’re making the leap. Best of luck to you, Jennette!

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Dolly • May 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

As a native NC’er WELCOME! And it is RAA_ LEE Like the cheer RA RA.
You must go strait to a resturant and order sweet tea, hushpuppies, cole slaw and BBQ …. YUMM!

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Beth Moore • May 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm

My husband moved from Raleigh to Colorado because he thought it was too dreary there. (Denver boasts more sunny days a year than Miami.) So, I can only surmise that Indiana must be hellish.
Anyhow, cheers and good luck in your relocation.

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Karen • May 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Good for you! Moving someplace new is always a good way to shake things up and set your life in a new direction. I changed careers and met my husband all within a year of moving and that was just from leaving a crappy apartment and moving to the other side of town! Just think was leaving the state can do.

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Coyote • May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Yay Jennette! Congrats on making the decision to move. I don’t know where you’re from originally, or how much experience you have with the south (and southerners), but in case you haven’t already been through this – prepare for some culture shock. I live in SC, and I’ve met a lot of people who move to the south and get walloped by culture shock. Because you’ll be in a meropolitan area with (presumably) a fair number of white-collar, well-educated city-dwellers it might be pretty minimal, but I just wanted to let you know.

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Jill • May 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm

oh, this is such completely and totally exciting news!!!! i love reading about your adventures in indy because, well, i think they have the nicest airport in the united states and it just sounds like a great place to live. but raw-lee is also a great place – i travel there occasionally for work – and has the added advantage of fabulous weather. good on you for making the leap!!! can’t wait to hear all about the new digs and your explorations of the local delights!

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Mary • May 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNrrrCCTdA

even better song for the event :)

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G.G. • May 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Good for you! Way to take that leap and hope it all goes fantastically for you!!!

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Lydia • May 10, 2010 at 9:57 pm

rhynes with trolley!

Good luck with your move. I can relate!

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C • May 10, 2010 at 9:58 pm

How cool! I work for the libraries in Wake County, where Raleigh is, and was bummed that we didn’t buy your first book, which I enjoyed very much. Hopefully the fact that you’ll now be a local author will increase the odds of our buying the second one. =) Welcome to the neighborhood!

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The Merry • May 10, 2010 at 10:31 pm

And what, may I ask, was wrong with Oregon?
Oh wait. You wanted sunshine. Never mind…

Cool bold and gutsy maneuver, PastaQueen!

My mother — indeed, my whole family — think I’m nuts and a traitor for having moved to another state. I think it’s a far, far better thing to make a conscious choice about how to live your life rather than drift along living where you are because of someone else’s choice that was based on a situation not your own.

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Heather • May 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm

We moved to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill for the same reasons. Mainly, we wanted out of the long cold and dark Michigan winters. We researched places to move and visited quite a number of them over the last year and fell in love with this area, and my husband, 3 year old and I made the move 3 months ago. We are settled in Cary and love it. The weather and sunshine is amazing. It is so beautiful here…trees and parks everywhere, not to mention every sort of running, hiking, biking, etc club you could think of to enjoy it with. There is so much to do, and the people are so nice. I seriously have these moments where I can’t believe I live here and never have to leave. I just love it and hope you find as much enjoyment in your move as I have.

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Debbi Does Dinner Healthy • May 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Can I come along? Seriously, every winter we say the same thing about Minnesota. WHY do we live here! It’s May and the high tomorrow will be 43. That is just wrong. Yet we stay. Just because.

I’ve never been to NC or anywhere near. My dad avoids it because he and his wife went for the winter to Florida and NC and when they got to NC, the wife had a heart attack so they never went back. You’re not 70 so this shouldn’t be an issue for you. :-)

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Leslie • May 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I live in Asheville, NC. It’s about 4 hours west of Raleigh. You should come visit, it’s amazing. Good luck on the move!

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Emily • May 11, 2010 at 12:15 am

Congratulations! That’s very exciting. I commend you for not just thinking about it and doing it! (don’t we all need to do that more?)

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Dana • May 11, 2010 at 12:17 am

You won’t regret this. Trust me. :)

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Bottomless • May 11, 2010 at 2:43 am

Sounds like exciting times coming up for you. Personally I can’t wait to go back home to Britiain to escape the stifling summers we have in my current country, but to each their own. I’m sure this time next year when your family is still caught in the cold and you’re enjoying the sun that you’ll appriciate it.

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Alan • May 11, 2010 at 3:15 am

Jeanette, sounds like a great decision. My cousin just moved from Buffalo to Charlotte. I hope you’ll enjoy the move as much.

BTW, I posted a short review of your book – which I loved – on my blog. (I’m a little behind the times!) It’s in the April archive.

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shauna/dg • May 11, 2010 at 6:04 am

@Mom – DANG i love you. you are such a lovely Mum! :)

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Lisa@Pickles and Cheese • May 11, 2010 at 8:18 am

As a former Michigander living in North Carlolina….you will love it here!! Congratulations on the big decision! The long gray winter days are few and far between. Most days in the winter when it’s cold have a “Carolina Blue” sky. It has done wonders for my mental health!! I love the triangle area. Our daughter attends UNC in Chapel Hill and I drive over there every chance I get.
I am so excited for you!!

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Deb • May 11, 2010 at 8:20 am

PQ –

You are awesome! You never fail to surprise, and you sure can keep a secret. Way to go! Change is good, as my hairdresser always says. And you are free to watch your journey unfold under warm blue skies.

I can’t wait to see what happens next and I hope you are proud of making this happen instead of letting it happen and for actually DOING something about your feelings.

You are such a powerful role model! All the best best best!

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Jenn • May 11, 2010 at 8:24 am

I’ve always thought that if I ever moved out of the godforsaken wasteland of northern Indiana, North Carolina is exactly where I’d be headed. How exciting for you!

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Carbzilla • May 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

I’m super excited for you! I think any change is good and you have to go with your gut. If I’d never done the hard thing to move cross-country, away from a very kushy life in CA, then I never would have met my fabulous husband. Change is good. Can’t wait to hear what this next stage holds for you!

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RG • May 11, 2010 at 9:46 am

I moved from cold to warm in September and the timing was about perfect. At around 3 months I was miserable and desperately wanted to move back, except it was winter where I was from and nice where I went to. So I stayed. I made it through the adjustment process and found the people and restaurants and activities… Enjoy your last cool summer in Indy!

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Helen • May 11, 2010 at 10:13 am

My daughter went to Duke. Four years of transporting her back and forth to Carolina and well, I fell in love. I am so a beach girl, but seriously Raleigh/Durham is the ONE place that doesn’t have a beach that I would move to willingly. I hope you love it.

And if you ever get to Durham, you must go to Bullock’s Barbeque. You must.

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Amber • May 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

I left Indiana back in 1998 to move to Arizona. I hated it the first few years. But after we drove to Cali a couple times, drove to Las Vegas, and drove to Mexico, I knew it was the state for me because it was so close to all the great fun destinations while still being an affordable city. Sure, it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat….. really!

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Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit • May 11, 2010 at 10:48 am

@PastaQueen – Thanks for the congrats! It was rough running with the crazy wind!

I hope to meet you at your going away party.

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Sarah J • May 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

Congrats. Am a bit green with envy! Thanks for taking us along!

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rah • May 11, 2010 at 11:20 am

PQ, best wishes. I spent some of the best years of my life in Greensboro; family in the Triangle area. it’s a lovely place to live. Hot and humid in the summer, but still lovely.

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Faye • May 11, 2010 at 11:44 am

You will love NC- look at Cary or Holly Springs, just outside Raleigh. Rah- leigh by the way – just say it realllly sllllooooowwwww- and you will be a southerner!

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victoria • May 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I grew up in Houston and went to summer camp in North Carolina, which always seemed unbelievably COLD to me! The mornings were all misty and cool and you needed to dress warmly in the morning and in the evening. The whole concept of needing a sweater, in the summertime — even at night — blew my tiny little mind.

In Houston, if you can’t sleep and decide to go for a run at say, 3 am in the middle of summer? It’s hot and muggy out. It stays that way until October. You can plant, and harvest, two crops of tomatoes because it gets hot so early in the year and stays hot so late in the year.

Unless you’re in airconditioning, you basically feel like you’re in a sauna all the time, unless you grew up there, in which case you just feel normal. You can’t touch the steering wheel of a car that’s been in the sun with your bare hands.

When I went to college, in Massachusettes, my first day of class, all the professors kept canceling all the classes I showed up to because “it is too hot.”

I kept thinking, Oh, do they expect it’s going to get hot later? Is this professor menopausal and having a hot flash?

Then I realized that no, THIS (this weather that seemed like a mild fall day to me) THIS, was “hot” to them.

The whole idea of moving to “sunny” North Carolina — oh, my.

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Katharine • May 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Way to go! I’ll bet that moving recharges batteries in all areas of life for you. Good on ya for going with your gut.

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Sara B • May 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

oh wow, i would have had a chance to meet you in person if you’d decided to move to LA. Well, LA’s loss is North Carolina’s gain, for sure. I’ll just keep following you on your blog! :-)

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Lynn Haraldson-Bering • May 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I get it. I used to live in Minnesota. I’m so happy for you, and that song, Wide Open Spaces? Makes me cry every time I hear it because I think of my kids and now I’m thinking of your mom and how awesome she is to let you go.

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Mom • May 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm

@shauna/dg – Thank you kindly. I would love to meet you on your next trip to the States.

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • May 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

How exciting!!! Good luck in the new city… will your URL be moving too?!?! HA! Bad attempt at a lame joke! I tried!

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wyn • May 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm

This is super-exciting news! I know you will regale us with your unique impression of N. Carolina like no one else. Looking forward to it and happy moving!

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Catherine • May 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

My husband is in the Army and we got stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, in December. I cried. We live about 30 minutes north of Fayetteville (HELL on earth) and it’s an hour to Raleigh/Durham. I LOVE DURHAM. Awesome shopping. Check out the Streets of Southpoint mall. It rocks. I’d rather drive the hour to go to R/D than the 30 minutes to Fayetteville any day. I think you’ll like it.

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Sarah • May 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

Congrats! That is awesome.

I myself literally just moved cross country. as in on day 3 of new job. I too was unhappy with my job and my personal life and knew that I had absolutely no desire to be tied to the small southern burg I was living in. It was really difficult to part with all of my friends and put my first house on the market. I’m still in the ‘what was I thinking I”m living in a hotel waiting for my apartment to be available and I don’t know almost anyone in my much larger city’; however, I know in my heart that this was 100% the right thing to do. My life has already changed for the better and I see more changes comming along! Hello after 7 years of not dating due to small town syndrome I’ve got a date tonight!

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Boilergrad93 • May 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

GREAT NEWS!!! I spent 5 years at Purdue, so I know what you mean about those winters, but even at 40 years old, I actually love the winter. Despite that, I’ve always LOVED NC, and hopefully will eventually end up there one day. Good Luck to you!!

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Linda • May 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

You are moving to a beautiful area, and the ocean is only a daytrip away. I am so jealous! I would like to leave Ohio but have to help with the elderly in-laws. My son lives in the desert of NV, Las Vegas to be exact. That is my future target state, as long as he stays there. It is good to have new goals. It keeps life from getting stale.

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Julie • May 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

“If we never left our comfort zone, we’d still be in diapers.” Congrats on your upcoming move!

3 months before my 30th birthday I decided life was too short to deal with crappy weather 3/4 of the year, so I moved by myself to Arizona. That was almost 10 years now and I’ve never regretted it! Well, maybe that one time, during the summer ;)

Moving opened up a new world for me, not to mention how proud I was of myself for having the balls to do it.

Good luck!

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longtime lurker • May 12, 2010 at 4:21 pm

When we up and moved, everyone (and I do mean eveyone) asked “What happens if something goes wrong?” Well, that can happen anywhere. I’d always answer, “Well, I can always move back.” Go for it! And you mom can always come and visit.

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Emily in NC • May 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Nothing could be finer than to move to Carolina! We are former Ohioans who haved lived in Durham for many years and LOVE it.
FYI: Raleigh is a city. Durham is a (vastly superior) city. Raleigh-Durham is an airport.
Three things you must do in Durham:
1. Duke Gardens. Beautiful any time of year.
2. Eno River. Also any time, but the Eno Festival, held 4th of July weekend, is fun.
3. Durham Bulls game.

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Benita • May 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm

As someone who lives just north of Indy and who works in Indy, let me just sat this – Get the heck out of Dodge while you can! I love Indianapolis and I have lots of friends here, but if it weren’t for family, we would have moved to another state a long time ago (probably Oregon). Besides, you are self employed and your work is internet based. There’s nothing stopping you in that way, either.

May the Carolina skies always shine down on your wee little noggin.

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anji • May 13, 2010 at 12:20 am

One of your commenters the other day mentioned, why not live in a foreign country? If you work from home and such… and that got me thinking, that if this army shit doesn’t work out in the fall? I’ll definitely be moving overseas! Nothing holding me back no more… time to make that change here as well!

take care, safe travels and happy for you!

anji

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Kimberly • May 13, 2010 at 2:21 am

Wow, good for you. You just keep taking brave step after brave step. I wish you the best in NC. I really hope you love it there.

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Kim • May 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

Congrats to you!! You are making things happen….awesome!

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Amy • May 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

This is pretty much exactly how I felt when I decided to move from Montgomery to Atlanta last year, though it’s much warmer down here (well, except for this past winter’s brutal cold and more snow than this southern belle has seen in her entire lifetime). Go you for following your heart and making a life for yourself. You’ll appreciate the move for the rest of your life even if, for some reason, it doesn’t work out, which I doubt will ever be the case. :)

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katy • May 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm

This makes me a sad panda. No longer will I run into you at random blogger events or Subway.

Excited for your big adventure though. I too hate the cold winters here, the humid summers, the…. well, the list goes on and on but that’s because I’m an Orange County girl. Always have been, always will be.

Will you be at Blogher this year? This move certainly puts you closer to NY :) Perhaps we can run into one another there.

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Suep • May 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I’ll gladly be the last poster to wish you well on your new adventure!! Personally, the first time I visited NC I didn’t expect to like it. But it is an awesomely beautiful state! Good luck!

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Beverly • May 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I just flew out of Rawl-lee yesterday back to Boston where I now live. Congratulations on your move. I think you will love Raleigh and all it has to offer. Hope you like BBQ because they are the best at it! Make sure you take time this summer to head out to the Outerbanks in NC. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the US without all of the people.

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Ben (@benjamteal) • May 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm

We are happy to have you! I live down in Charlotte, but the Triangle Area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is beautiful. You’ll love it!

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Brittany Staires • May 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Congratulations on your decision to move! i will making a decision to move when i finish school at the beginning of next year! Any advice for someone wanting to move?

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Charlie Hills • May 14, 2010 at 12:07 am

Ah, you missed out on Austin. You coulda hung out with me, MizFit, and . . . um . . . uh . . . Sandra Bullock? like all the time.

It’s a nice island. You hardly even know you’re in Texas.

Anyway, from one transplanted northerner to another, good luck. You won’t regret it.

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Susan • May 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

Good for you for following your heart and moving to a place that you hope will be better suited to what you want in life. North Carolina is a great place. I’ve wanted to live there for years. For now it’s a retirement dream and for now I just go back every chance I get. Good luck with the move.

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Rene • May 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

Good for you. I live in NC – Salisbury but rawl-eh is nice too :) Get ready for lots of sun and humidity – very frightful for those not used to our summer heat. I think you will really like it here!

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KittyLuvr • May 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Raleigh has everything you are looking for! Great weather except for when it snows one inch and people go nuts and buy all the milk and bread in the grocery stores (seriously)….just 120 miles from the beach~ down I-40 to Topsail Island or Atlantic Beach; perfect for a day trip….and the nicest people live here from all over the world….two facts to know…there is only 1 kind of tea~which would be sweet and iced; And there are two kinds of bar be que..Western North Carolina BBQ which is a red sauce and Eastern North Carolina BBQ which is vinegar based~you have to chose one if you live here..check out The Pit downtown for the real BBQ~the Fonz was there last week eating a slab…for living, I would recommend a loft downtown or in the new midtown area of North Hills just off the beltine…on Thursday nights, families, singles, seniors gather in the common area of North Hills to listen to great music, dance and make new friends….and the gelato at Henry’s is fabulous! See you soon!!

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Quix • May 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Yay wanderlust! I did college in Reno because I wasn’t really ready to go anywhere else (parents lived there), but upon graduation it was ANYWHERE but there. I’ve picked up and moved once more since then (San Diego and then Austin – love it here but it DOES get hot) and it’s always a freeing experience. Congrats on the decision and y’know, if you don’t like it, you can always try somewhere else! Yay freelancing. :)

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Gingersnapper • May 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

The pronunciation of “Raleigh” isn’t really going to be an issue. The one you have to watch out for is “Durham”! Some people pronounce it to rhyme with “germ,” and others as… there’s nothing that rhymes with the way most people say it. “Moor ‘em” I guess.

I’m sure you will both love and hate the area for different reasons, but I’m equally sure it’s a good decision. Sometimes it IS good to move away from something even if you’re not sure what you’re moving toward.

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coraspartan • May 15, 2010 at 10:52 am

Congrats on your impending move! I totally empathize with your hatred of Midwestern winters. I keep saying that if I have to suffer through another Michigan winter, I’m going to die. I hate winter sooo much.

In a year, after our son graduates from high school, we plan to move to a warmer state ourselves…funny enough, NC is at the top of the list! We have friends that moved to Raleigh; when we visited them, we just loved it there…so green and warm and NOT industrial (unlike the Detroit area).

The only thing that makes me hesitant about moving…I know I will see my sister a lot less. I only see her about 3 times a year as is and she only lives 4 hours away right now…but I know if we move, I will be lucky to see her once a year, as she has young kids and will NOT travel to NC to see us. :-(

So happy for you and your big move!

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Mom Taxi Julie • May 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm

GL with the move! Sometimes we talk about moving somewhere else but all our family is here.

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Renee • May 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

I live in Durham, work in Chapel Hill. I’ve lived here 25 years (from Iowa) and I love it. It’s got its issues (including becoming overcrowded) but with 3 major universities and a very diverse population, it draws major entertainment venues (just saw Bon Jovi in Charlotte). Welcome (but don’t tell anyone else how great it is, we’re full after you).

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Jess @ Eat, Drink and Be Merry! • May 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Hey there~-I’ve read your blog a couple times but I never realized you lived in Indianapolis. I am a former B-town girl, born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana. I moved last August and am now living in San Diego.

I have to say, I am really excited for your move to North Carolina. I can say from experience that leaving Indiana when I did was the best thing for me. Like yourself, it was something I had been wanting to do for years. Not to say it’s always easy, because it’s not. BUT if you can secure a job before you get out there, which I’m assuming with all your web/IT skills shouldn’t be an issue, then you’ll be fine!

MeetUp.com has been a HUGE help to me! I met some of my closest friends on there. Basically people create different social groups according to interests (hiking, wine, single ladies, etc.). It’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests who are often just as new to the area as you are. In San Diego it’s huge.

The other nice thing is you’ll be moving somewhere where you at least know a couple people. I found that to be a huge help to me because I had 2 friends already living here. You’re right though about California being expensive. It is insane! Yet, somehow people manage. It’s just so beautiful and amazing… the weather really doesn’t get much better than San Diego. That’s what you’re paying for!

Well, anyway, I wish you good luck! Let me know how your move goes and if you need any advice.

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Lauren N. • June 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I am usually just a lurker, but I had to recommend Carrboro! I lived there for two years and loved it. It is right next to Chapel Hill but it has a really great, liberal, hippy vibe. There is a wonderful co-op, the Weaver St. Market, that has great food and a huge lawn where the whole town hangs out. There is also a huge farmer’s market that sells everything you could ever want. The whole place seems geared towards people who want to eat well and stay healthy! I think you would love it!

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Toastie • June 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Good luck in your move to North Carolina. Don’t be scared of Durham! As you can tell, people are very proud of their towns and cities here, whether it’s Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or Carrboro. (I’ve left off those pretty but boring other places around here.)

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Courtney • June 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I live in Hillsborough, which is part of its own Triangle with Chapel Hill and Durham. We LOVE it! It’s a Carrboro-sized town. It used to be the capitol of the state so there is historical charm here, which makes it feel like suburban, while still small.

Good luck! You’re picking the worst of the heat to acclimate but don’t go away until you see what October in NC is like. Nothing beats that!

If you’re not freaked out by meeting strangers from online — it’d be great to welcome you in person somehow!

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Caroline • June 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

PQ – I am a longtime lurker on your site but just had to post since I live in Durham, NC and work in Raleigh! We will definitely have to meet sometime after you get here. I am making a renewed commitment to getting weight off since I went to Busch Gardens yesterday and actually had to get off a ride because I didn’t fit on it. NOT a fun experience at all. So I’m thrilled you’ll be moving here! Seriously, keep in touch and I’d love to show you around some once you get here. You’ll love it!

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Pamela • June 10, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I have read your blog off and on and you have been really inspirational. I live in Raleigh and work in Chapel Hill (at UNC) so if you find yourself bored and wanting to meet new friends, I’d be happy to meet for lunch or a drink or something. And I saw a post about the roller girls…our local derby is pretty popular…I don’t know you well but from what I have read of your blog, it might be a good fit for you, and I have a friend who is a roller girl if you want to find out more about it. Feel free to contact me when you get your bearings and are ready to explore the area.

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Jackie F. • June 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

You’ll LOVE North Carolina! I lived there for 8 years, both in Durham and Raleigh. Despite the humidity, it’s so much better/easier running there. I always ran at Lake Lynn or Lake Johnston. There are actually trees to shade your running route :-) (I’m from Columbus, OH, so I know about having to run out in the blazing sun with few trees.) The Stitch-N-Bitch groups are plentiful, almost a different weekly group each night. I used to be a member of the SnB at Briar Creek Caribou Coffee on Thursday nights — great group of people. Good luck on your move!

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Marie • July 1, 2010 at 12:02 am

Good luck with the move! I hope you end up liking your new city. Moving can be so scary, and even lonely at times. But at least you have family there. I had a similar move a couple years ago. After college I ended up in North Dakota near where I grew up, and even though my family lived there, I never put down roots and I never got involved in the community. I just wasn’t happy there. Then I picked up and moved to Denver with a friend. It was one of the scariest things I’ve done as I had no job waiting for me there. But it ended up being the best decision I ever made. I found work, I found friends, I got involved in a church and am attending grad school. I’m so much happier than I was back home. I wish you the best!!

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Jim Doran • July 1, 2010 at 7:34 am

Congratulations – moving is a very smart thing to do.

Please don’t get tar on your heels.

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Julie • July 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Congratulations! You’re gonna just love it here in NC! I live just south of Rah-lee and attended UNC as a college student. Chapel Hill/Carrboro rock! There’s a great market/co-op Weaver Street Market in Carrboro – they even do live music on their lawn in the summer (or used to anyway). The Carrboro Farmer’s Market is a treasure trove of local organic produce. Cat’s Cradle and the Carrboro ArtsCenter host GREAT music. There’s so much to do in a university town – UNC hosts great speakers and plays and events. LOTS TO DO! There’s great cultural stuff do to in Durham as well (15-20 minutes away). Raleigh is where the State Fairgrounds are – the NC State Fair is a huge deal in the fall!

Can you tell I like living here?

If you need anything, please feel free to email! I love sharing about my neck ‘o the woods!

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Pam • July 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

But….WHAT is a Tarheel? You never said, and I was asked that question just last week. I have no idea. Does it have to do with tobacco?

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PastaQueen • July 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

@Pam – The Wikepedia Tar Heel entry is here. It sounds like they don’t really know where the name came from.

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