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intriguing places

August 10, 2010

In 2001, my husband and I bought a sweet yellow house in Madison, Wisconsin. We wanted a change of pace from Chicago citylife and thought that was our spot.  We never moved in as Sept 11 happened shortly after and we were unable to find jobs.  Other than some nights on an air-mattress surrounded by fans (no a/c!) we ended up selling that house and staying in Chicago for 6 more years. While driving through Wisconsin last week, we passed what would have been “our exit” for Madison and started talking about that house and what would have been had we been able to make it work. We both thought that Madison would be a great family spot and a beautiful place to be with a good quality of life. This car discussion rolled into thinking about other places in the US that would be good for our family.  Do you have towns that you think about? I’m just curious what they are?  If you were moving today, where would you go?

43 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 6:25 pm

    I love Fort Collins, CO. If you’re lucky enough to live there, you’re lucky enough!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 10, 2010 9:29 pm

      Chris, You crack me up!

  2. Christina Lang permalink
    August 10, 2010 8:02 pm

    I’m lucky enough to live in Fort Collins too. But, if I were looking, I’d seriously consider the midwest. I went to college in Iowa City and have often thought of it as a place I’d consider moving. Of course, I remember all the great times I had in college, but it’s also a place with a world class university, culture, a tertiary hospital and all the small town charm the midwest can offer.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 1:47 pm

      Christina, the midwest is close to my heart too. I miss the city aspect being in the fort and love to get back to Chicago when I can. I looked at U of Iowa for college and loved that campus.

  3. Mandy click permalink
    August 10, 2010 10:18 pm

    Sara shank and I are in la jolla California right now and loving it. I was just picturing myself living here tonight.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 1:27 pm

      Hey Mandy! My mom is from La Jolla and my brother-in-law lives there now! I get the same thoughts everytime we are there. Paradise! I am sure you and Sara are having an awesome trip!

  4. Allison permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:31 am

    Oh so many options for this one! I think my first choice would have to be Barcelona, Spain. If I were a multi-millionaire, maybe San Diego. For reality’s sake, my heart is in the South, so maybe a mid-size city in North or South Carolina. For now, though, I’ll take the fort! At least until the first snowfall…

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 1:44 pm

      If you become a milti- millionaire, take us with you!

  5. Heather permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:31 am

    This was fun! So Ruben said, “Well…I’m already living here”. So a big vote for Fort Collins. I also love Fort Collins but if I had to move I think I would head back to Northern California and find a nice, small farm somewhere between Sonoma & Marin. Good access to both wine countries, the coast and the city – perfect!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 1:45 pm

      Ft collins is getting all the votes! love that! But being close to wineries sounds good too.

  6. Kim Schwartzenberger permalink
    August 11, 2010 9:59 am

    Everytime we visit where I grew up in MI I love how green it is. I love the cabins and lakes and wish we had a place there. Then the minute I fly home to CO I remember how amazing it is here. My husband has a heart for MT. My dream would be to have a cabin in MI, home in CO and mountain home in Bozeman. Then I just need the time to visit them all.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 1:45 pm

      I share the dream of having three places too Kim! I like your choices! Water access would be wonderful.

  7. Hadley Bay permalink
    August 11, 2010 1:53 pm

    I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but Milwaukee! I love the pace of life here, being right next to Lake Michigan, close to Chicago, great spot to raise our four kids. It’s definitely an underestimated city and has certainly been a pleasant surprise to us having been here five years now.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 2:11 pm

      Hadley, I think you are right about Milwaukee. You have a special spot. love your access to water and it’s such a cute town. And I love those traditional houses!

  8. August 11, 2010 1:59 pm

    Well, I’d have to agree…we love the Fort. But you know that I am also partial to Boulder, or Vail (if we won the lottery!)
    I can’t see us leaving Colorado…but you never know where life will take you- so never say never 🙂

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 2:12 pm

      Rachel, All of those choices sound good. If you win the lottery, please bring us to Vail with you. I would love to explore Boulder more than we have- seems ideal with the foothills right there!

  9. Brian permalink
    August 11, 2010 2:04 pm

    Anywhere in the western US that is within an hour or two of good ski resorts and trout streams that I can get a good job and put my kids in solid schools.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 2:13 pm

      Brian, Not sure about trout streams, but sounds like you could move to the fort! Enough people have left positive comments about it, right? 🙂

  10. Staci permalink
    August 11, 2010 2:07 pm

    I must say when I saw this post I thought, I am already there! I have lived in AZ, UT, NM, and South Carolina, and while they all had many nice aspects, they do not compare to Fort Collins-for me:) I love the schools, small town feel, the bike paths, access to hiking and climbing, snow skiing (even though it is a little drive), and now I can say I have family here! The people here have made me feel like I have lived here for 10 years, not just 1. Dana and I asked ourselves this question a lot while he was in training and we have found the answer for our family here!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 2:13 pm

      Staci, And we are so glad you are HERE!! I think you had such an easy transition here because you are so nice!!

  11. August 11, 2010 2:24 pm

    I am extremely content in East Lansing, Michigan. My commute to the office is 8 minutes and I travel through three traffic lights. Kids stop in three times a week for lunch and run the office halls. Also it is a College town and thus my family and I have year round sporting and theater options. It is also a great area to raise our family, and the cost of living is very reasonable. Where I live now is much better than Royal Oak, Michigan, where I spent my first 6 years after college. However, some day when the grind of work is nearing an end it is my wife and my plan to move to a ski village. Still search for the perfect town for our needs.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 8:17 pm

      Rob! Thanks for this message! I love East Lansing too. I remember babysitting in come really great neighborhoods in college there and thinking that it would be a great spot. Love the idea you are so close to your office and can see your girls often. That’s wonderful!

  12. Amy permalink
    August 11, 2010 4:17 pm

    I looooove where I am, but if we hadn’t been trying to live near family, I romanticize about having a bazillion dollars and living near San Francisco. I also love Portland, OR, the Chicago area, and Portland, ME. You could have a wonderful quality of life for a family and adventures of all sorts in any of those places. In the South, I lurv Chapel Hill, NC–but Charleston, SC might be the most fantabulous of all.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 8:18 pm

      Amy, As you know I think NC would be a great spot- your pictures of your street and neighborhood always make me think of the now retired magazine – “Cottage Living”. Love it!! I just wish NC was closer to CO!

    • Katie permalink
      August 15, 2010 9:23 am

      Amy – My family just got back from spending a week near Portland, ME. We go every summer to my parents cabin in Bridgton (about 36 miles outside of Portland). Every time I’m there I spend a little time daydreaming that we relocate there. I know winters would be a challenge but the mix of mountains, lakes, forests and coastline make it an amazing playground for its low cost-of-living. Maybe I’ll see you out there someday:)!

  13. August 11, 2010 5:35 pm

    Well, Fort Collins will always be #1 to me! I hope to end up there when it comes time for a family! But I LOVE southern Illinois on the lakes like near Danville. It is such cheap property and so beautiful and green up there. I also have always wanted a stint in North Carolina… I am also in love with San Francisco, and if I could afford to live smack dab in between San Fran and Napa…that’d rock.

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 8:19 pm

      Kaitlyn! Amen to your ideas. All are spots that sound amazing!

  14. Lora permalink
    August 11, 2010 7:16 pm

    Well, I think we may pack up and move to Fort Collins after reading these posts! For now, we love Asheville, NC, but we also love Madison. The weather here was one of the biggest selling points for us. A couple of places in California sound wonderful, but are just too far from family. Santa Fe, Austin, Portland (Oregon) and Phoenix get good reviews from friends of mine, but are a little too far as well. Maybe we should all meet up in Madison in a few years?

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 8:20 pm

      Lora, Would love to meet up in a couple of years!! That would be awesome. I am totally intrigued with Asheville so we may need to plan a visit. Seems like it has all these amazing outdoor activities and in a beautiful place. Tell Sylvan we are waiting for an invite!

  15. Sarah Hepner permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:02 pm

    For many years I have had this obsession with North Carolina, Charlotte or Raliegh/Durham. I always want to move there but haven’t really spent much time there. After hearing about Fort Collins from you Suzanne I have moved CO to the top of my list. Your pictures alone of all of the fabulous places and adventures would make anyone want to live there! I so crave the small town feel after being in the north shore my whole life. A girl can dream right?

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 8:22 pm

      Sarah, I would love for you to come to CO!!! But after talking to Peter once, I think you are rooted in Chicago for life. I love all your ideas, all sound great- Jody and I visited NC in 1999 and loved all those spots- plus Wrightsville Beach (of Dawson’s Creek fame) and I still think about those places when I get my “Southern Living” mag.

  16. Maureen Sullian Garrelts permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:40 pm

    I think about London. Of the places I have lived Chicago and London are tops. Park Ridge is a nice family community. I wonder what it would be like to live in a small town like Healdsburg, CA. I like college towns too.

    Madison would be cool, but so will Seattle:)

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 11, 2010 10:09 pm

      I was hoping a vote for Seattle would surface!! Thanks Mo!! 🙂

  17. Leslie permalink
    August 12, 2010 6:07 am

    I may be the lone vote for the Pacific Northwest – love it! Lived there most of my life and you really can’t beat the great seafood – world class wineries on the East side of the state (I think WA may be only second or third in winery production behind CA), and great mix of culture, outdoor activities, etc. Weather is milder in the winter, and not as hot in the summer on the West side – perfect for me. Matt and I had job offers in Seattle together – the only drawback for us was the traffic. For that reason, if I had unlimited $ I would look for a little coastal town along the Pacific – maybe in Oregon to live. Matt wants to run a bait and tackle shop and I could run a B&B or a bookstore and not care that we probably wouldn’t be making any money!!!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 12, 2010 8:29 pm

      Leslie!! Great to hear from you. Sounds like you need to switch coasts!! Would be fun to be back together. We are feeling like we need unlimited money to live there right now!!

  18. Jill T permalink
    August 12, 2010 8:59 am

    I would have to vote for East Lansing MI. I would love to live in a college town again! So many things to do!! We do however, love where we are now, and since moved for a closer commute and schools! We’d have to stay in Michigan for sure, as I can’t be too far away from our favorite summer spot…Bayfield, Ontario which is hopefully going to be our retirement spot…(for the summers anyway!) Dave would love to fly fish all day while I make sure books are read and the beach has someone on it! A few rounds of golf a week aren’t too bad either!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 12, 2010 8:30 pm

      Love Bayfield Jill! Can understand why you would want to retire there. I would love to see your house the next time we are in michigan. Looks so great from the pictures!!

  19. Meredith permalink
    August 12, 2010 5:25 pm

    Although I don’t see us leaving Portland, OR anytime soon, I’d happily move to Austin, TX! Visited for the first time last fall and loved it. Felt like the Texas version of Portland!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      August 12, 2010 8:31 pm

      Mere! I visited Austin for TSC work and really liked it. Seems like a town I would like too. But so does Portland!

  20. Erika Strote permalink
    August 12, 2010 9:24 pm

    We have a total love affair with Missoula, MT, and seriously debated whether we could live there when Justin was finished training. The downside that we struggled with is that Spokane is the “big city” when you are in Missoula. I feel like there are so many places I would be happy living–and I have loved each place we have lived. If only I could have the Colorado sunshine and great sense of community with Puget Sound and the islands nearby, plus Seattle restaurants and shopping and Ann Arbor’s university atmosphere ALL together. Talk about perfection! We are feeling pretty settled here in Fort Collins, and are lucky to have landed in such a great place. Who knows, though…. I have always wanted to live somewhere I could have an avocado tree and a hammock in my courtyard.

  21. Kristen permalink
    August 13, 2010 8:45 am

    Mark and I discuss this topic often! We are finding the Twin Cities to be incredible for family life – awesome schools and communities. We also loved Charlotte, NC and the coastal communities there for a great family lifestyle. However, Mark and I dream of having a little cabin escape in Breckenridge, CO, or a beach spot near Lahaina in Maui where we can spend our time browsing the art galleries and eating ridiculous amounts of fish. Maybe in retirement… 🙂

  22. Katie permalink
    August 15, 2010 9:28 am

    I can’t believe Minneapolis isn’t the star on the list:)! Lakes, great schools, a vibrant art scene, moderate cost-of-living and more fortune 400 companies per capita than anywhere else in the country. C’mon people! And, the winters are actually easier than Chicago’s as it offers constant snow, sunny skies and a long list of winter activities (it’s hilly so even the urban area has several ski hills) and cross-country ski trails galore!

    BUT, if I had the money, I would definitey live out our family’s dream of living in tropical paradise. Maybe I play out Mama-Mia a little bit too much in my head but we’d run a small inn on a beautiful island. If it happens, I’ll let you know and you can be our first guests:)!

  23. Andrea permalink
    August 20, 2010 8:15 am

    It took me a while to respond, but I would have to say Paris. Or Prague. Do I really have to pick just one? I think I’m an ex-pat at heart and the thought of living abroad immersed in another culture and language seems exciting and almost necessary. I would even venture to say that it could be the smallest, hole in wall apartment & I’d be happy. Prague would be lovely because all of my family is there and its a language I feel comfortable in. Paris would test my long forgotten French skills and the food/culture would be divine. Maybe 5 months in each place, and a month home in between to visit family. That would be perfect.

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