Let’s get one thing clear. I do not miss making lunches. I don’t miss worrying every day at 5 about what we’re going to have for dinner. I don’t miss having to arrange my life around PA days and swimming lessons and bedtimes.
But every few weeks or so I begin to miss having a home.
Not being home, but having one.
Walking in through the front door and just flopping on the couch, whipping up something quick and easy. Knowing that the space is ours and there’s no chance of embarrassment when we come in and find that the maid has folded someone’s underwear and left it on the chair.
Our space, totally and completely.
That’s how I felt at Wooloomooloo Waters.
It was amazing.
From the moment we met the clerk at the front desk I knew this was going to be good. Instead of just taking the credit card and handing us the keys she became our gateway into the neighbourhood. Sure, she went through the usuals – pool hours, how to use the security knob in the elevator, where to put the trash – but then she took 20 minutes to tell us about the neighbourhood, her neighbourhood, and it made all the difference.
She took one look at my boys and told us about the playground nearby, gave us directions to the closest grocery store in the neighbourhood and handed them a book called “the Kangaroo from Woolloomooloo” which kept them busy (and learning) while she proceeded to take out several different coloured highlighters and take us – block by block – on a tour via a map of the area.
She showed us the best places to eat at every price point and how to get there. She told us what parts of town to avoid and where we were best not to go after dark. She told us how to get to the gardens and the Parliament building and the Opera house.
She explained about the free bus that takes you around Sydney and explained how and where we could catch it. She showed us the grocery store and the cute neighbourhood that offers top notch people watching around it. She let us in on the best deals in town for when we can’t get back to cook and then she left us alone.
NO checking in to see what we needed. No ringing up to ask how we were doing. We lived there now and were armed with all the info we needed to act like it.
And we did.
We walked, explored and wandered. We felt like we belonged. I cooked (!) every night without the stress I feel about it at home. Nothing fancy but it was nice change after living on take out and eat in restaurants for most of our time in China.
In fact, I was so comfortable here that I even burned the corn I was boiling. ( I kid you not.)
And the boys pretended it tasted delicious.
Just like home.
Want to read more reasons I loved staying in an apartment? Check out my column on Urban Moms