This experience and journey is being shared today from one of our treasured 8th & Home friends, Heather Myklegard. Heather is the founder of Get Social Moxie (you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Take it away, Heather!
This spring our family of 5 decided to make a lifestyle change and move from the quiet town of Leesburg into the city of North Arlington. It was a tough decision and one we did not make lightly. Arlington was very appealing to us as it offered a friendly community vibe within minutes of downtown DC. It cut my husband's commute time by 2 hours a day and offered several more options as far as schools for our 3 boys. After several months of research, and driving back and forth, we decided that now was the time to make our move. We were lucky and found a wonderful house in Arlington on a street full of children and just minutes from the metro.
However, we soon discovered that the hardest days were ahead of us. Leaving a city that you love and have grown so familiar with can be very challenging. On one of my hardest days, Naomi explained the term, “leaving well”:
Leaving a place that you don’t have to leave, but choose to for your own reasons, can sometimes be much harder than being forced to leave a place - because of a new job, etc. It is an important part of the transition when moving, to leave well. You’re making an intentional choice to change your lifestyle and restructure your mornings, your weekends, your everything … and that’s exciting, but it doesn’t mean it’s not sad to leave the choices you have been living in/with. Leaving well is the art of moving on from a place with intention and joy.
It made total sense. I cried off and on for several weeks, struggling with the realization that I was choosing to soon be gone from this wonderful little town that I had grown to love and cherish.
So, for the last month of our stay in Leesburg we made a list of all the things we had enjoyed doing during the 4 years that we had lived in Loudoun County. Here are ten things we did before saying good bye and heading east.
This was one of our favorite places, especially when the boys were little. There is a big bounce pillow, a petting zoo, miniature golf, big slides, and a wonderful Pumpkin Festival in the fall. But the best thing about Great Country Farms is their apple cider donuts. Trust me. They are worth the drive.
Mom’s Apple Pie was the very first place we stopped when we drove into Leesburg for the first time 4 years ago. It was the first landmark that made me think we had picked the right town. Their raspberry-peach crumb pie is amazing and you must try their sugar cookies. Even if you are over the age of eight years old!
We love sushi and have had it all over the country. Passion Fin is definitely one of the best sushi restaurants we have been to. Passion Fin offers great service and fresh, quality fish. They also have a Koi pond in the front that is a favorite among our boys.
One last dip at outdoor Ida Lee ... Oh, Ida Lee. The heart of Leesburg. The AV Symington Aquatic Center was our pit stop every summer. The outdoor pool offers slides, lazy rivers, and great shaved ice.
We were told there was a new taco shop in town so we hunted it down. Senor Ramons on Loudoun Street did NOT disappoint. We sat outside on the porch and walked over to The Cajun Experience for beignets afterwards.
I love King Street in downtown Leesburg. It is the epitome of a small, historic town. I grabbed an iced coffee at Shoes and walked from store to store.
We are from Idaho so we KNOW fairs. The Loudoun County fair is the best fair I have ever been to. It sits among one of the prettiest parts of Loudoun County and has this amazing small-town feel. They have camel rides, petting zoo, and a demolition derby. We may have to drive back to Loudoun County for this next year!
We walked from our house to downtown and looked at all of our favorite old houses on Edwards Ferry and downtown- When the boys were still in the stroller, we would walk from our house to downtown via Edwards Ferry and look at all of the old houses. The old houses are one thing I am really going to miss about Leesburg. I love seeing the history and how well the homeowners have preserved them over the years.
Family Night at Chic Fil-A, Leesburg
Every Tuesday night the Chic Fil-A in Leesburg has a family night. They offer arts and crafts for kids and with the indoor play area, it is a great time for mom and dad to enjoy a semi quiet dinner. The staff at CFA are world-class. We are really going to miss CFA.
Go for lunch! You may not know this, but behind the Shoes Coffee is a “secret garden”. Shoes has a back patio with a full lunch and dinner menu. They offer live music and bocce ball too. Great for the whole family or a night out with your partner. The ice cream is pretty good too!
As I write this, I realize that I do not have to say goodbye forever. We are only 41 miles away and can go back and visit some of our favorite places in Leesburg any time we want. If you are new to the area, or are looking for something to do in Loudoun County, I hope this offers you some fun ideas.
Leesburg truly is a hidden treasure and I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience life there with my children. Leesburg will always hold a special place in our hearts.