Mike and I are now officially those people who in the movies or on TV talk about their "first place" with a romantic nostalgia of remember whens... "Remember when we lived in that little apartment on Broad Street above the Windmill," is what we will say. "Remember when we lived in our cozy apartment in Westfield next door to the Starbucks with our two dogs and barely a dime?" Weren't those the good ol' days?
Mike and I will have been together for 5 years in March and although our relationship was plenty solid and full of adventure before Westfield, it was almost as if this place made us a real family. Mike and I and Jersey moved into this apartment on September 11 (of all days), 2009. By April 2011, we would have Olive, an engagement and a baby on the way.
When we went back home to NJ recently for Christmas vacation we knew we wanted to visit our old stomping ground of Westfield. In strolling around and feeling that familiar feel that only a place you lived in intimately could make you feel, I realized that I REALLY missed it. Like heart strings tugging at your chest - missed it. Wandering around these streets that Mike and I had walked along together was an amazing feeeling. Even more amazing was that now, we were walking along the streets no longer a single couple. We were married and strolling along our baby like so many of the families we had seen before.
It hit me then that where you live, to some degree, becomes a part of your family. Westfield was the first place that we called "home" together. Before we were parents, Westfield was a place where we threw dinner parties, took our dogs on leisurely walks to the park across the street. It was a place where we did our food shopping together every Sunday at Trader Joe's when we didn't need to buy formula, where I woke up 5 minutes earlier every work day to get my Starbucks from the same baristas. There were moments in Westfield that were just ours. Something that we can't say much of anymore. When there was a huge snowstorm in 2009, Westfield was a ghost town. Most, if not, all stores were closed and the only visions you saw were the ghosts that called Downtown Westfield home. The parking garage behind our building was an empty field of snow and Mike and I took Jersey for his first play in the snow. The whole parking lot was ours. No one else's. We ran around leaving fresh boot prints in the snow and when we were done, climbed the stairs to our apartment, made hot chocolate, and watched TV on our cozy couch where we probably took a nap.
That was our Westfield. The place where we will forever look at as "our first apartment. That little, cozy place right above the Windmill.
Rafa visiting Westfield. Her home for the first trimester that she was in my belly.
I don't think we're in Santo Domingo anymore
Our first apartment. What good memories! Mike and I really loved it here.
The back entrance to our place. How many times did I come home to this fire escape? My heart melts a little everytime I see it.
View from our apartment of the Starbucks I went to every morning.
*** Starbucks!!! ***
Rafaella's First Visit to Starbucks
Waiting on line for yummy goodness. With all their venti soy chai latte cappuccinos with two pumps vanilla, I bet you didn't know that they make a mean hot chocolate (regular, raspberry, hazelnut... however you like)!
Grande Caramel Macchiato, please. Extra caramel.
Our neighborhood wine store with lots of organic choices! Loves.
Walking down Westfield very differently than I used to.
Me, moms, and baby on Central