Lately, I've been very tempted to start a super serious Real Estate Blog. Before I was a Realtor, I worked as a writer and editor, and I love educating my clients and friends about the finer points of personal finance, property tax laws, the real estate transaction process, and making the most out of your home life. But as much as I would enjoy researching and writing a lengthy treatise on the pros and cons of Prop 13, I realize it'd be more fun for my readers if I took a different approach: focusing on day-to-day adventures.
OK, I'll admit it: I'm being pretty generous with the word "adventure." When I was 17, I spent a month traveling around Europe with nothing more than a JanSport backpack and 25 Euros per day, including lodging. That was definitely an adventure (I also lost a lot of weight without meaning to, as you can imagine).
My idea of what constitutes an adventure shifted dramatically when I had a baby and it became a major feat just to get out the door on time with clothes unsoiled and wallet in tow. In fact, I'll never forget the first outing my partner and I took with our son, to his pediatric check-up when he was 5 days old. While we were waiting for the doctor, Chris opened the diaper bag, which I had packed. "Damn, this is so heavy!" she exclaimed, pulling out three, 24-ounce water bottles, "Um, what's with all the water?" I indignantly explained, "What if something happens to us, and we need water?!" Luckily I quickly became aware of my absurd sleep-deprived, postpartum over-preparation. I had packed enough water for a hundred mile bike ride (something we did before becoming parents and will probably never do again) even though our trip entailed only a 1 mile bus ride from our apartment to the doctor's office! For the record, I'm still an avowed over-preparer.
There's no question that having a baby, and now a toddler, puts limitations on our ability to have spontaneous, complicated, and somewhat rugged adventures. At the same time, these logistical limitations have given me a renewed appreciation for quotidian fun, for all the enjoyable things we can do with a toddler in tow. One of the most surprising parts of parenthood for me has been how much more observant, mindful, and appreciative of ordinary pleasures I've become. I see living in the East Bay as an immense privilege: there is so much here, from pleasant weather to rich networks of community organizing and activism, natural beauty, tons of activities, tons of high and low brow cultural happenings (equally important in my eyes), and of course, delicious food and drink.
In this blog, I'm going to focus on sharing with you all the projects and day trips and happenings about town that my family and I participate in, how we make the most of our time together, and of course our favorite spots and activities in the East Bay. General speaking, my partner and I are both invested in sustainability, financial integrity, and cultivating a fulfilling home-based lifestyle. What that means in practical terms is that you can expect posts from me about biking for transportation, cooking, crafting, beer-making, DIY home improvement, personal finance and budgeting. In the midst of all this, real estate topics are bound to come up and I will arm you with a with a healthy dose of pragmatic resources. Now, for the adventure!