It was quite a culture shock. I don't know when I've ever seen so many cows. But, it is definitely not just farm land. There are a ton of shopping areas and restaurants, probably more than we have here in NY. There's a really nice outdoor area that reminded me of Ohio. It was like The Greene or Rookwood, and I can see myself walking around with Gavin when the weather's nice. I love that we'll have access to the Walton Life Family Center, which is the rec area. I'll be able to work out again while Gavin goes to the adorable child care area, and they have a ton of classes I can sign up for with Gavin, like swim lessons and a Moms and Tots class that sounds like a tumbling class.
There are definitely constant reminders that we're in the south. We passed restaurants called "Slim Chickens" and "Pig and Whistle." There was an advertisement for the 3rd Annual "Are You Smarter than a Hog" trivia contest on the radio. People refer to carts and shopping bags as buggies and sacks.
Even though there was a lot of traffic, neighborhoods everywhere, and shopping centers galore, it already felt like it was a slower pace of life. It's definitely different....but hopefully something we all adjust to and begin to enjoy. I remember that first drive up here to visit New York and how I kept thinking it was so different, and I grew to love it here. So, I'm hoping the same thing happens with Arkansas.
Our house-hunting didn't go quite like I planned. By the time we got there, all of our top choices were already rented. We also quickly learned that we needed a fenced yard. Most of the houses are built quite close together, so if we didn't have a fence, Shirley would definitely be spending a lot of time in our neighbors yards. After talking with the realtor we worked with, we decided to bump our rent limit up a bit to find what would truly make us happy. So, this is the house we decided on, for just $75 more than we pay here in New York for our 2 bedroom apartment! It's a 4 bedroom/2 bath home in Bentonville. If traffic isn't bad, it's only a short 8 minute drive or so for Jarrod to get to work. We love the kitchen and the fact that it came with a refrigerator. Most didn't, and we didn't really want to have to buy one. Jarrod loves that it's so close to 'civilization,' as he calls it, but also within distance from a farm. He walked Gavin down the street to say hi to the 'moos' (cows) when we were there visiting.
Here is the 4th bedroom, which has really cute french doors. We're probably going to use this as a playroom until we need the space for a guest room. For now, the 3rd bedroom will be the guest room.
Our master bedroom....love the tray ceiling. Don't like the blinds.
Can't wait to rest in the jacuzzi tub!!!
Living room with a nice fireplace. :)
Funny how the living room has an accent wall, and the colors are pretty much identical to the wall colors in our home in Ohio.
The kitchen. Yay for more cabinets and counterspace!!!! I only wish it was more open to the living room.
This will probably be Gavin's room. We're negotiating with the owners now about repainting it since it's so dark, but if they don't give in, we'll make it work. I'm picturing that little nook between the closets with a bean bag chair and a basket of books for reading. :)
This is the major downside for me....the yard is tiny. But, it is bigger than we have now at the apartment, it's fenced, and the front yard is big enough to play in as well. The other contender (which we decided against because it was only 3 bedrooms and was on a busy street) had a much nicer yard.
This house doesn't have a separate dining room. It's an eat-in kitchen, so I hope our table fits ok in it. The bedrooms are on the small side, but we have 4 of them! :) I'm so excited to create a playroom for Gavin with a train table. And to know that I will be able to open the back door and let Shirley go out sounds like heaven to me!
Look for more pictures tomorrow from our trip! Now, we just have to wait patiently for moving day.