My cell phone number has a 202 area code. So when I used to give out my number in Omaha, where the area code is 402, I’d often be misheard.
“No, it’s area code 202 from Washington, DC,” I’d say. “I used to live there after college.”
Well, I’m excited to announce that soon nobody will question my 202 number. We’re moving to Washington, DC!
Six months after separating from the Air Force, my husband started his new career last Monday as a federal consultant. Technically, we’ll be living in Maryland or Northern Virginia, but we’ll be a hop, skip, and a Metro ride away from the nation’s capital.
Asa and I were down in DC with him last week to offer moral support and to start looking for a new place to live. While Jordan was at work, the baby and I spent our days driving through Fairfax, Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, McLean, Bethesda, North Bethesda, and Rockville.
We toured apartment buildings, townhouses, and single-family homes.
We felt overwhelmed and discouraged.
At least, I felt overwhelmed and discouraged from house hunting. I can’t vouch for Asa, although I’m sure he was getting sick of riding in the car.
The plan is to continue living with my parents until Levi’s nursery school ends in June. Jordan is staying with family friends in Maryland, and he’ll drive up on the weekends as often as he can. Once we find a place to live, I’m sure I’ll start making more frequent trips down to the area. I’d like to have our new home decorated and move-in ready by the time the school year is over.
An ambitious plan, I know, especially since we have no idea where to live!
If you live in or around Washington, DC, I’d love to hear from you. Do you love your neighborhood? Where are your favorite places to eat, shop, and hang out? It’s been ten years since I lived in the District — and my lifestyle was significantly different, as you can imagine!
(Instagram photos from one of my favorite Washington, DC bloggers, Meg Biram)
Jessica Hulse Dillon
we live in Old Town Alexandria and it is the best! Close enough to the city for adventures in but still neighborhoody. It’s super kid friendly with loads of parks and parents all roaming around. Feel free to email me if you want more info!
We used to live in Rockville and Germantown, MD. Love everything about DC. Bethesda is great, too. My best friend lives there with her 3 kids (6,3,newborn). I’ve heard great things about Alexandria, too! After living outside DC and moving back to NJ, I miss all the great parks and downtown areas for walking, shopping, eating, etc.
Thanks, Jessica! I’ve heard Old Town Alexandria is beautiful. If we don’t end up living there, I’d still like to spend some time there exploring. Will definitely contact you for information about that area!
I was surprised to see how many parks and playground and bike paths there were down there. Definitely seems like there’s more to do than where my parents live in NJ!
Coincidentally I just wrote a blog post (a rarity) about the Navy Yard neighborhood in DC.
Best of luck home hunting. My guess is you’ll come love wherever you land.
Thanks, Marisa! I wasn’t familiar with the Navy Yard until I read your blog post. I smiled when I saw that you include Harris Teeter in your list. I haven’t been to one but saw them all around DC when I was exploring last week.
Alyssa from The Sparkly Life
I am so sad you’re leaving NJ, but excited that you’re moving to DC. Hopefully we can hang out when I go home for holidays…since I’m from Rockville, MD! My parents still live there and my brother lives in DC. Where I grew up (basically on the Bethesda/Rockville border) it was VERY suburban. It was a great place to grow up. However, if I were to move back now, I’d probably want to live in downtown Bethesda. It’s RIGHT next to D.C. so you can easily go into the city whenever, but still feels separate. And they have lots of great stores and cool cafes. They even have a SoulCycle now! Since I grew up in MD, I’m not super familiar with the VA suburbs but I’ve heard they are wonderful. Let me know if you have ANY Qs! I also still have lots of friends there (with kids around the same age!) so I’ll definitely put you guys in touch. 🙂
Already emailed you!
I live in the District, in the H St Corridor, and have a 2 & 1/2 year old. Off the top of my head – You’ll definitely want to visit Union Market – its great with the kids, or for meeting up with friends. The Building Museum is a great place to take the kids, even just to run around in the enormous lobby. We love getting breakfast at Market Lunch in Eastern Market. Out in McLean there is an awesome playground with a carousel – Clemyjontri Park. Best ice cream is at Ice Cream Jubilee in Yards Park (and there is a fun splash pool for kids in Yards Park too!)
This is such great information! Thanks, Robin! I’m going to make a big DC to-do list and include all of your suggestions.
Glad Catherine connected us! I work near Dupont Circle but live in the historic part of Greenbelt, MD. It’s a bit of an oasis, surrounded by strip malls and office parks but our community was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal plan and is a coop where everything is walking distance (except the Metro which is 2 miles away out in the land of office parks). I’ve lived here over a decade and love the sense of community and the crunchy vibe. We’re glad to have you back in the area, feel free to contact me, happy to share details on places, commutes, and more!
It sounds like you have quite the commute! But I imagine it’s great to leave the city every day and return home to some place quiet and low-key. Would love to be in touch once I’m down in the area!
Hi! I’m a new reader (found you via the SayYes post), so I just wanted to give a little shout out and also say that I live in the DC area. Specifically I live in Arlington near the Courthouse station, and I love it. We are able to manage with just one car because we are so close to the metro and there are so many shops nearby. There are a ton of kids in the area, and there is a good playground culture. The only down side is that this area is expensive compared to some other neighborhoods. This is the only place I’ve lived here, so I’m not sure that I’m the best judge, but those are my two cents.
Hi, Rachel! Thanks for your comment! The Arlington area is beautiful. Driving around last week, I found myself in an adorable neighborhood near Clarendon and thought, “This would be perfect!” And I love that there is such a thing as a playground culture down there. So important!