So, I survived my journey over the weekend to Future City, to find housing. It was one of the more frustrating housing searches I've made, which probably says more about my past good luck finding apartments I've liked than about Future City housing. On one level, everything I saw had what I was looking for - air conditioning, dishwasher, disposal, full sized washer/dryer in the unit, a balcony. On another level, nothing had everything - for each bonus there was a potential deal breaker. For instance, one place had by far the nicest grounds (they were GORGEOUS - lots of mature trees, vines, very green, and HUMMINGBIRDS!) and complex layout (everything felt really private and cosy). But the carpets, kitchens, and bathrooms looked kinda worn out and rundown, and it was the most expensive place I saw. Another place had by far the prettiest interior - nice layout, and built only a few years ago, so nice shiny new kitchens/bathrooms - but was in a less interesting neighborhood (not unsafe or anything, but kind of boring) and the opposite end of town from the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's (what? how else will I feed myself than with overpriced pre-prepared foods?). A third place had an almost equally pretty interior/layout and decent kitchen/bathroom, but the only units available overlooked parking lots, which I HATE (it feels like being in a hotel).
So I ended up going with what was kind of the Goldilocks place - not that it was JUST RIGHT, but it was sort of in the middle of all the others: nice (though "apartment complex-y") grounds, good neighborhood, kitchen/bathroom somewhat out of date but acceptable, maybe a bit smaller, but a nice layout, and the least expensive. AND it doesn't overlook a parking lot:
(Overlooking a road totally doesn't bother me - just parking lots.)
I realize it's a crappy iPhone pic that flattens the mountains and the desert-y stuff looks (at least to my east coast-trained eyes) sort of scrubby and sandy, but the view is actually quite pretty. (And there are pale little prairie-dog like things running in and out among the sand!)
Of course, I've been suffering buyer's (renter's) remorse since then, and wondering if I really shouldn't have, after all, gone with the expensive place with the gorgeous grounds... the trees and vines and plants were just so PRETTY. (Although admittedly not especially environmentally appropriate.) But I think paying the rent they were asking for the aged interior would have grated over time.
Keep reminding me of that, okay?
So, I have now spent about 56 hours total in Future City... there are things about it that are lovely (I'm surprised at how much I like the open desert, with its open skies and all its spiky and sage-colored flora). But there are things about this part of the world I just don't get - I've spent the largest part of my life in the east and the midwest, and it's very different out here. My default for what somewhere should look like is deep dark woods - green trees, moss, pine needles, dark earth, no clear vistas, hills but no mountains. All this sand and rock looks kinda like the moon.
Next is all the boring awful logistics of moving - figuring out dates, booking a truck, hooking up utilities, packing (UGH) and so on. NLLDH (who will be returning to Long Distance Husband status) and I need to figure out what I'm taking and what he's keeping, and I've become OBSESSED with getting a new sofa and/or rug for the new place (the rug is a much more realistic possibility). Because looking at sofa and rug colors is MUCH more fun than planning all the rest of it.