I must say that when I arrived here just a short four and a half years ago, I didn’t think much of you. It was HOT and not very green. Everything was spread out and I didn’t know where anything was. I was a new mom of a colicky infant baby girl and I knew just one person in the entire city. I started my journey in Irmo, SC, where a Publix was within half a mile from my house and as a Florida-girl that was the best thing ever. I spent many days circling the inside of the Columbiana Point Mall with the stroller enjoying Starbucks coffee and Bath and Body Works sales. We didn’t realize at the time how traffic on Harbison Ave would affect the times and days we would venture to the mall, but we avoided Saturdays like the plague.
After a year of battling Malfunction Junction, we decided to venture to the Forest Acres side of town, because there was a Trader Joe’s and a JCrew all on the same road. I found Zesto’s and The Pizza Joint and Tazza Kitchen. I fell in love with the convenience of everything I needed. The fact that Target was a mere five minutes away was further evidence of this love affair. I told my husband that I wanted to start looking for homes to buy in the area. We quickly found out that if we bought a house in our price range, it would not include an attached garage and would require an extensive amount of renovations. Also, it would probably be built in the 60’s and need an overhaul of the interior.
AND THEN THE GREAT FLOOD OF 2015 happened. Our rental home basement flooded and grew mold and we were forced to consider other areas to buy a home in.
I ventured into Blythewood as a mere thought. I drove through Cobblestone Park Golf Club community and instantly knew I needed to live there. We could afford a lot of house in a great neighborhood with a beautiful – NEW – interior. And 45 days later, we had a house in Blythewood!
I spent my days at Doko Park, getting a Grace Coffee, perusing the selection at the Library. We enjoyed many days at the community pool and making lots of neighbor friends. The Killian Wal-mart was sufficient for all of our needs, but then when the new Kroger Marketplace opened with a Starbucks inside – it was basically me getting everything I ever wanted. Killian Road continues to flourish – adding a stand alone Starbucks, Panera Bread (with drive-thru), Steak-N-Shake, Eggs Up Grille, and many other convenient shops and restaurants.
I loved the fact that we could be to downtown to our favorite date night spots – M.Vista and Saki Tumi – in 20 minutes. We enjoyed many evenings walking along Gervais Street taking in the sights of the Vista and dessert at Kaminsky’s. We loved taking the kids to the Riverwalk Park and the State House and the Horsehoe for photos and great picnic spots. We went to the State Fair and picked berries at Cottle Farms for 4 years in a row. We were annual Riverpark Zoo ticketholders, but we only went to EdVenture twice. (Regretfully.)
The Gervais Street Bridge Dinner and the F2T Drink Pink Rose festival are two of my most favorite events – EVER. I felt so connected to you and I loved meeting new and interesting people. I also am romanced every Saturday morning when I head to Soda City Market and leisurely stroll along Main Street to graze on the food trucks and chat with local artisans selling their handmade goods. I cannot forget to give a long hug to my friends at Columbia SC Moms Blog who I will forever be indebted to. They gave me friendship, laughter, and the chance to give me a voice as a local mom. And to MUV Fitness who gave me a chance to have sanity of two hours away from my children while getting fit and meeting my forever friends – Jacquelyn and Laura.
And while I grew to love all the sights and sounds of this beautiful city (I’m looking at you FIVE POINTS)….do you know what I love most of all? That my son was born here and that I watched my daughter grow from that colicky 6-month old infant to a beautiful, spirited 5 year old who couldn’t be more excited to have a new adventure with a new city.
So, to my dear Famously Hot City, I will always cherish you. I will always think of you fondly as we head farther down South to start a new journey. I know we will keep in touch and I am thrilled to see what a great city you will continue to grow into.