As the crow flies, our new home in Redondo Beach is less than twenty miles from our current location in West L.A. Although it may be hard for non-Angelinos to comprehend, this move constitutes a complete regional shift around here. It all comes down to traffic--the congested surface streets and clogged freeways of this city make traveling less than twenty miles an hour-long drive most of the time. I know all of this, of course, but it wasn't until this week that I started to think about our move in more concrete terms, and I realized this change in our base of operations is going to have an effect on more than our commute.
For example, one of my first belated realizations was that we're losing all of our awesome West L.A. delivery options. We currently have a stack of take-out menus nearly three inches thick. Having grown up out in the country where no one delivers, being able to just pick up the phone and order dinner has been one of the perks of living in the city. Alas, we will be saying goodbye to places like Gaby's Mediterranean (my particular favorite) and Chili Thai. Another change will be switching our medical group to one based in the South Bay. Driving to West L.A. for doctor's appointments would turn an errand that should take a couple of hours into a day-long excursion. (Also, I don't want to even think about a late night drive from Redondo Beach to an urgent care center in West L.A. when Liam gets sick.) Other repercussions will be felt in our social lives and circles. No doubt we will see our L.A. groups of friends less, and will see more of those who are located closer to our new place. One other significant factor--if you have lived in the city proper awhile--is that the decision as to whether or not you will go someplace will not be dictated by the parking situation. So many places in the city have no parking, scarce parking, or outrageously expensive parking that it truly is a consideration when you plan to go somewhere. In the South Bay, however, parking lots and free parking abound. I'm sure there are other incidental consequences to this regional relocation that I'll realize with time, but these are the ones I can foresee right now.
As for more negative consequences, the biggest will be longer commutes for Eric and I since he works at UCLA and I work in Malibu at the Getty Villa. Those daily drives to and from Redondo Beach will no doubt take every bit of an hour, if not longer on some days. Still, if you consider we're taking on a longer commute in exchange for eliminating the distance between us and our child care provider, it's well worth it. I'm sure Liam will also appreciate not having to spend two hours a day in the car, and I will definitely appreciate not having to spend four hours a day in the car. As it is I've only been doing it for about a month, and it is absolutely exhausting. Add to the daily traffic stress the stress of packing and preparing for a move on rather short notice, and you have one heck of a frazzled Amber.
We're almost there, though--just a few more days...