Finding “Home”

There’s much to be said when one enjoys where they reside.  Since moving to Ohio nine months ago, I feel like a whole new person.  From the moment we unpacked & began settling into our new apartment on Super Bowl Sunday–where our first meal together was Chipotle–I felt a sense of comfort & belonging.  That feeling has only continued to grow since that very first day.Fall_Facebook_Final_3

I think a large contributor to this feeling is the fact that we are now 90 miles from our family.  Close enough to go home or get together on occasion, but far enough to allow Carl & me our own time when we want.

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Not to mention how AWESOME this little town is in itself!  There’s an atmosphere that is hard to describe & you can’t fully appreciate until you experience it for yourself.  It’s a small town (roughly 24,000) but you have this stretch of uptown that is smack dab in the middle of campus.  This allows Carl & I the amenity of walking to lunch-to somewhere new-each day.  Establishments that offer vegetarian/vegan options! Be still my heart!  Uptown also has so many unique stores (not mention upwards of 20+ bars) & restaurants.

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I also really love how sustainability is a priority here.  Many local businesses shop local & recycling is available everywhere & is a convenience rather than a hassle like some communities seem to make it.  We also have an AMAZING Farmer’s Market that takes place every Saturday–year round!

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I’ve recently discovered a wonderful non-profit organization, Live Healthy Appalachia that provides workshops, tools, cooking/educational classes on how to adapt a healthier lifestyle.  I’ve participated in a vegan cooking class that focused on healthy sides for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday & how to shop smart & healthy at the grocery store–both FREE & this week alone!  I’m looking forward to participating in the CHIP (Complete Health Improvement) program this winter starting in February. This program focuses on plant-based eating & consists of 9 weeks of classes with food demos & before & after health screenings.  CHIP does cost to participate, however, I work at the best university & it is covered by my employer!

The fall foliage this year has been absolutely breathtaking to witness.  Something I sorely missed living the past 4 years in southern Alabama.  fall

Athens is known for its haunted locations, but there is none as famous as Athens former insane asylum at the Ridges. In the 1980’s, the Ridges was home to a institutionalized patients and legend has it that the patients still haunt the halls. Haunted tours around the Ridges are given as Halloween approaches. Taking a hike up to the Ridges to visit the Kennedy Museum of Art or to see if the spooky stories are true is a great way to spend an autumn day in Athens.

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My parents & I took one of these tours when they came up for a visit one weekend & it truly is a work of art in architecture.

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Even winter is beautiful here.  I’m so excited to experience uptown in all it’s glory decorated for Christmas!  The lamp posts are currently already decked with wreaths & lights.  It has given my Christmas spirit a kick in the butt because I plan on putting up our Christmas tree & decor this weekend as the temps are predicted to plummet!  Busting out the hot cocoa & cuddling up with Lola & the electric blanket are the plans post-decorating!

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Cheers to a happy & productive weekend!

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