Friday, July 31, 2009

Today marks one year that we have lived in Champaign/Urbana. In some ways, it's hard to believe we've been here that long. But in other ways it really does feel like our home. Despite the frigid winters, there are a lot of great things about Champaign/Urbana.

10 Favorite Things about Living in CU
  1. Our house. We really lucked out getting this house. We were searching for one- or two-bedroom apartments, and this just fell into our laps. I still sometimes look around and think, "I can't believe we live here." I think having a real house helped a lot in making this city feel like home.
  2. Our church. We would not have survived without Philo Road. Those first few weeks when we didn't know anyone within 400 miles, Darby and I would get so excited about going to church so that we could see people. Everyone made us feel so welcome, and within a few weeks, we felt like we had some close friends.
  3. Spring and Autumn. I had never experienced these seasons before this year. They are wonderful, and I think they might make up for the winter. We'll see if I'm still saying that in January.
  4. The scenery. There are so many parks here, and they are all landscaped beautifully. Everything stays green and beautiful, and there are so many trees. If we end up moving back to Abilene after this (not Plan A), it will be very difficult to adjust to the ugliness.
  5. Meijer. I love this grocery store. Their prices are cheaper than Wal-Mart (because they have better sales), and they have a much better atmosphere. A new Meijer went up by our house a couple of months after we moved here, and I am so thankful for it!
  6. Student discounts at movies. Abilene did not have any, which was crazy! Of course, only Darby gets the discount. (Usually. I don't lie about being a student, but if they just assume I am, I don't argue.) But I am in the "Frequent Moviegoer Club," which means that after a movie has been out for a couple of weeks I can see it for cheaper than student price.
  7. Custard Cup. I've written about my love of this place before. Seriously, Best. Ice cream. Ever.
  8. The restaurants. Champaign/Urbana has so many great, locally-owned restaurants. Darby and I don't get to visit as many as we'd like to, but it's nice to have so many options for birthdays and other special occasions.
  9. The location. It's perfectly positioned about halfway between St. Louis and Chicago, and only an hour and a half from Indianapolis. So far, we've only taken advantage of the proximity to Chicago, but I know we'll visit the other cities soon.
  10. Sidewalks. The city is much more pedestrian/cyclist friendly than Texas. It's nice to be able to take walks in our neighborhood without being in the middle of the street.
I never thought I'd be living in Illinois, but overall, it's been pretty good so far. Of course, we miss our family and friends, which is why we probably won't stay here after Darby graduates. But I don't think we could have asked for a better temporary home.


Jenn said...

Wow, you're starting to sound like an Illinois native!!! ;-)

sherry said...

Wow. But we still miss y'all! : ) Abilene really is a great place to live. Hint. Hint. Hint. : )