19 things I won't miss about DC and NoVA

We've been in the Charlottesville area all of about two months now, and I cannot say that I have found myself even once missing Northern Virginia.  Well, when trying to make travel arrangements, I may have grunted while looking at my (far more limited) options, but otherwise, I would say that we are adjusting quite nicely.


Here's what we were happy to bid farewell:


1.  The pace of life.  I am impressed with people's sense of balance here (even though I hate that word).  Work is important, and people are driven, but their lives hold room for non-work things too.  The entire atmosphere is saner.


2.  Traffic.  It's not a four letter word, but it should be.  


3.  Errands taking forever.  I recently went to the library, the gym, and the grocery store in under an hour.  I forgot that was possible!


4.  The prices.  Dan ordered a flight of four beers for less than ten dollars recently, and they were pretty decent beers.


5.  Traffic.


6.  The unpredictability of the traffic.  Sometimes, when the traffic is not supposed to be bad, it is anyway.  It's one thing when it takes two and a half hours to get home and it's rush hour; it's something else entirely when it's unexpected.


7.  The special events.  Special events sound like fun, until you realize the hassles that come with living around and through them.  Marathons mean blocked roads (but not canceled work hours), distinguished visitors mean closed metro stops, and holidays mean tourists galore.


8.  Parking (or should I say lack thereof).  If we had to do it over again, we probably would have lived in the city, so we at least could have taken more advantage of DC's offerings.  The steep prices and the time involved in searching for parking deterred us from capitalizing on our proximity to the city.  Now I laugh when I think back to how I complained about $2 or $5 parking.


9.  The cost of living.  Our house has more square footage, more acreage, and better finishes, yet costs less than our Alexandria house.


10.  Too many choices.  There is something to be said about only having a handful of doctors and lawyers and realtors in town.  It makes decision making easier!


11.  The concrete.  Nature's green speaks to my soul.  I am not a city girl at heart.


12.  Leaving the city via car.  Plan on at least an extra hour or two to get to your final destination because it always takes longer to exit Northern Virginia than you think.


13. The constantly evolving roads.  Poor Google Maps can never keep it straight.


14.  The politics.  Almost everyone was connected to someone and always made sure you knew about it.


15.  Did I mention traffic?


16.  The noise level.  Our Alexandria neighborhood was quiet but I didn't realize how much background noise carried over until leaving the area.  I still marvel at how still major shopping center intersections can seem, without the hum of major interstates always in the periphery.


17.  The sprawl.  It's rare to have all of your friends or co-workers live in the same area, so long drives to meet up are the norm.  A native Atlantian and I laughed when our book club remarked how one of our member's homes (about a twenty minute drive from most of us) was "far" away.


18.  I-95.  This road deserves its own list item.


19.  The stress.  There is a high concentration of Type A personalities in the DC area, which makes for interesting conversations and projects, but also means the atmosphere can turn overly serious.  

Emily Rowell Brown