Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Getting Lost and Apartments Found in Durham

Well, I am officially back in State College (since last night), with a pretty good idea of where I’ll be living when I move to Durham in the spring. And before I start, I want to send a big thank you to my parents for coming along and helping!

We spent the day (well, half of the day, really) touring three apartments and driving around the Triangle area, getting a feel for how everything is situated and occasionally taking the scenic route (i.e. getting lost). Everything is so concentrated in one area and so accessible. I was a bit concerned about being close to work and restaurants and grocery stores/super Walmarts, but it turns out that pretty much any of the three apartments we saw were really close to all of those things.

First, we headed out to Stone Lion Drive.

I think this was everyone’s favorite. The lady who showed us the model was really nice. There are a lot of families, so it’s not going to be party central, which is good! They have a pool and 24/7 fitness center. Plus, the floor plan we toured has a sunroom!

There are two options for a single-bedroom (the other has a porch instead of a sunroom), but the sunroom is what sealed it for me. Plus, there is already definitely at least one of that model opening up at the middle/end of May, which is when I was thinking of actually moving down.

Next up was a similar setup less removed from commercial areas:

This one had a recreation/billiards area, a movie theater (bring your own DVDs) with a real live popcorn maker as tall as me, and a pool and fitness center just like the other one.

They didn’t have a one-bedroom model, so we toured a two-bedroom model. It was all furnished and everything, so it really wasn’t very helpful in deciding whether the layout of the actual room would be nice, although our guide tried to explain it.

This one was right across from a shopping area with all kinds of stores and restaurants, including a Japanese place, Moonberries frozen yogurt, a salad/grill restaurant, a bakery, a sporting goods store, a (strange) furniture place, and a Super Target. While it would be nice to be within walking distance of groceries, my dad pointed out that it might be a little noisy because of that.

Our last stop was right on South Miami Boulevard, which is the same street as my office--it’s less than two miles away.

After a while they all start to look the same on the outside!

This one was really roomy, but also significantly more expensive. And the closet is in the bathroom, which could cause problems if you have a guest in there and you need to get dressed! We all thought that was a little weird, plus the only window in the bedroom was the door to the patio, so you can’t really open your windows when it gets nice outside. On the plus side, the kitchen was really big:

There was a McDonald’s and an Arby’s across the street, which I have no interest in, and a Walmart and Sam’s Club right down the street. Although since it was so close to the first place, the Walmart is really right down the street from there, too. This place was just built, so there aren’t a lot of 60-day moving notices yet. The woman who showed us around didn’t know what would be available in late May/early June.

So I’m pretty much decided on the first place we visited. It was really cozy, and when it comes right down to it they were all really similar in the community amenities they offered. I just really loved the sunroom, and there was so much light in that apartment! The only downside was that it didn’t have a microwave, but that should be easy enough to deal with.

By the time we were packed up and ready to head home, we were making trips to the car in just a single sweatshirt. It was pretty cold in the morning, but it did reach about 55--and our last guide commented that it was “cold” for her! Now I could live with that, especially since we’ve got this snowstorm coming in tonight.

So, long post for a long day--sorry about that! Now I’m ready to get down to the real relaxing of Spring Break. Oh wait, I have a thesis to write....
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