Thursday, April 18, 2013

First visit to Georgia

Jacob and I visited Georgia about a month ago. We went to meet his colleagues and adviser, see the campus at Emory, and try to find a house to rent. The following comes from an email that I sent to my sister after our trip:

Atlanta is crazy. All of the streets are curvy. I mean seriously. All of them. Ok, a couple of the freeways are straight(ish), but here is my theory. The area was once heavily wooded, and so people just took the cart-path of least resistance through the trees and eventually those got paved and ta-da! Curvy streets everywhere. For instance, a street, let's say Clairemont Ave. will intersect another street, say Lavista. Then they'll both wind around for a bit, and intersect again, a couple miles later. Yeah. That's not confusing. 

Also confusing is driving down Clairemont Ave and seeing the cross streets: Clairemont Rd., Clairemont Place, Clairemont Ct., Clairemont Way, etc. All of these one right after the other, little residential dead-ends. 

Third confusing thing (though maybe not as unique to the area): Two roads converge and one is just swallowed by the other, so you were on Briarcliff, and now you're on, say, Clairemont. But you don't always know (because you don't live here yet) which name the street will take. 

Oh, and don't forget how Clairemont Ave is sometimes posted, within the same few miles, as Clairmont Ave (no e), and how Lavista is La Vista when the signs feel like it. 

Emory seems nice. It is strikingly small. I guess I didn't realize how big BYU and University of Illinois are, but they both have reputations for large campuses, whereas Emory is a small private school instead of the big private school that BYU is. The buildings are gorgeous white stone, some with accents in red marble, which is native to the area. It's all very hilly, especially compared to Champaign. 

Very hilly and very wooded. I felt like I couldn't see anything. When I moved from AZ & UT out to IL, I was like "hey, I don't get a view of every city as I come down into it. This is tough" and Georgia, man, whew! Many, many more hills and trees and you don't even get a view of the street you're on while you're on it, let alone the city as a whole. If you drive in a neighborhood, there's probably a sign warning you of a "blind drive" just ahead. Watch out for cars backing out!

The weather in Atlanta was gorgeous while we were there. Oh, so lovely! I'm looking forward to Atlanta weather. Even though it is reported to be despicably hot in the summer, I'm looking forward to it. 

We did NOT find a place to rent while we were out there. Boo. :-( The rental market is moving too fast and everyone's like "oh, you want to move in in 3 months? well if you pay us $250 we'll hold this place for you for 3 weeks..." it's much more geared to people who are moving inright away. Probably in part because it's a bigger city than I've ever lived in before. Thankfully we found a realtor we like, we were just guided right to him, like it happens when you're praying your guts out. Probably he'll help us find a place long distance and we'll move in without first seeing it in person. Cuz, you know, he's like "you'd want to come back in late April, at the earliest." and I'm like, "yeah, I'm having a baby then..."    

Jacob is getting serious about writing his dissertation, and plans to defend it before his committee in the first week of June. 

We still haven't found a place to rent yet, but it is still early (for the Atlanta market, anyway. Here in IL I've seen signs advertising rentals that open in August). Wish us luck!

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