- Best Climate Ever: We can hold birthday parties in November at a park and not need to have backup plans in case of inclement weather. Yes, the above photo was taken in mid-November at Lo Lo's 5-year-old party during which all the kids spontaneously splashed in a creek and half of them went shoeless. Now that it is March, it feels positively summery, but when summer officially arrives, it won't be much hotter. It is almost always a good day to be outside here in the Bay Area. I love it.
- Diversity: My son's good friends in the photo above are Thai, Japanese-Mexican, and some other interesting mix...remind me to ask her mother next time we chat. And this type of ethnic/racial diversity happens naturally in nearly every group setting in the Bay Area. It feels like a spot of heaven, making me imagine how it must be someday when we come home to Heavenly Father with peace between all people of the earth.
- Friends: we have moved three times in the Bay Area, and in each place, made remarkable friendships. True, wonderful people reside anywhere. But it's been a blessing that in the Bay Area there are enough job and school opportunities that we would never have to leave the area if we wanted to avoid uprooting our family entirely. We could always stay geographically within an hour or two radius. Does that make sense? For example, we are still geographically close enough to stay in touch with old friends from the two previous moves. Anywhere else we have lived, the moves have necessitated us going geographically too far to ever see our old friends again. At this birthday party pictured above, we had 8 attendees from Lo Lo's former preschool--plus 4 "new" friends from our new neighborhood. I like the idea of not having to really say "good-bye" when we have to move again. The Bay Area increases likelihood of that happening.
So there it is. My three loves of this area. I honestly could add a few more, like having awesome beaches just a few minutes drive from our home, or the Chinese culture appreciation opportunities, and hmmm...what else. I have to keep reminding myself what there is to love here. Because we're feeling pretty stuck here for the time being...