I lived closer to my second friend that I met in Miami when I lived in Dallas, than I do now. Texas moved to Florida, from East Dallas with her family in June. Just like me Texas’s husband was offered a job here in the Magic City that he could not pass-up.
I didn’t know her before I moved, but when a friend that I have known since I was in diapers in the nursery at church facebook messaged me and told me that Texas was moving to Miami I had a feeling we would be tight; those who choose to live in East Dallas have something in common. I can not pin point exactly what it is, but there is something that made us, and others, choose this more expensive, eclectic, area of Dallas, “inside the loop”
When Texas arrived in June, I didn’t waste anytime. We went and bought beach towels for her kids and showed up at their new front door. I welcomed her like I would have loved to have been welcomed to a new city and hoped that my eagerness did not come across as stalkerness. My gamble paid off. Texas seemed to appreciate the calls of support and our kids enjoyed playing with each other.
I would have prefered that she moved right next door (I know, I know that might be a little too much togetherness for a new friend, but I’m telling you if my neighbors would talk to me they would really like me. I’m good at neighborly conversation with great instincts for how much is too much), but the promise of excellent public schools, and a well located office building, took Texas and her family to a great neighborhood about 30 minutes south of mine. Even though it was not my first choice to have my second friend live so far, the milage between us might have some advantages. If Texas ends up loving The Falls and reports a much easier time with getting to know the Miamians in her area, there is nothing stopping us from buying a house down there when our Coconut Grove lease expires (except for a little hour+ commute for my hubby but he could get over it right? Well, maybe that is too much too ask, we would miss him).
Thus far at least two of Texas’s neighbors have spoken to her and one even invites her little cowboys to play ANYTIME THE GARAGE IS OPEN, and it sounds like it is open quite a bit. We have agreed that we will probably decide there is simply a trade-off. It looks like The Falls might be more friendly like our former home in East Dallas, while “The Grove” is probably one of the more beautiful parts of Miami, the classic brains vs. beauty debate. It was love at first sight when my husband and I saw the Grove, but we wonder if the size of her coconuts, so to speak, might not be enough in the long run to make us happy.
Texas is still enjoying the anonymous stage of her move (described here), so there is still a lot to learn about The Falls. Time will tell. We look forward to comparing notes.
It would be easy for a married mother of elementary school aged children to find no time to see her friends, that is why Texas and I made a commitment. We have a date each Tuesday to explore a new part of Miami. We’re going to kill two flamingos with one stone: we’ll catch-up and get to know this crazy place at the same time.
We started our Together Tuesdays this week and thought there was no better place to begin than the epicenter of the city: South Beach (some locals may not agree with that statement on “epicenter” but us newbys have gotta start somewhere!). Texas and I went on a walking tour of the Art Deco Historic District that stretches about 10 blocks wide, and maybe 5 blocks deep in the heart of Miami Beach. Trip Advisor rated Christine Micheal’s small group tour as the second best tour of ALL AVAILABLE tours in Miami (it would be hard to compete with a boat on the beautiful bay waters, but she beat all but one). Not surprisingly in the 90 degree weather and 150% humidity, Texas and I had this delightful tour guide to ourselves. Christine talked history, architecture and design while she crab-walked through the district. We just loved it. We learned so much about both Art Deco and Miami and we promise to share our new knowledge with you when you come visit (I noticed from her recent facebook posts that Texas really listened to my success stories of heavy campaigning for out-of-town guests). Click for a link to the Art Deco Walking Tour here.
And this is just the beginning. Texas and I have a lot of places we want to explore and week by week we will start crossing our Miami must see spots off our list. This is something that you could do in your own city, even if you have lived there your entire life. It seems like locals of every city do not always take the time to explore or take advantage of their home town’s treasures. Many Miamians have admitted to rarely going to the beach and usually say they wish they could find the time (if they only knew what it meant to be land locked I bet that wouldn’t be the case). But the truth is, you’ve got to make the time: sit-down, carve it out, and make it happen. Even if you aren’t on a new friend search like me, I am sure there are hidden gems in your town waiting to be uncovered. Experts say that friendships are based on shared experiences and even if you think you don’t have room in your life for new friends, I bet you have a few bonds that could use strengthening. So what are you waiting for? Call a friend, or take a risk and call someone you hope might be your friend, and make a commitment to go see or do something new! I don’t think you will regret it!