1. The cold.
Cold, gray, and wet winters that blow in early and linger until first of May: good riddance! (NB: I know it is not actually good riddance, as Williamstown winters are nothing to sneeze at, either. But go with it.)
2. The house’s almost complete lack of insulation.
Which necessitates keeping the thermostat at bracing sixty or sixty-five degrees throughout the aforementioned half-a-year-long winters. The worst part is that these measures only kind of help. The heating bill is still too high.
3. The shopping.
Or lack thereof. There are some (four) very cute women’s boutiques downtown, but otherwise it’s extremely slim pickings out here. I can’t wait to get closer than two hours from J. Crew, Williams Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel, and less than three from Anthropologie, Nordstroms, and so much more. I miss drooling over their window displays and dreaming of the day I’ll be able to recreate a Pottery Barn catalog spread in my rustic-chic beach house.
4. The dearth of weekend activities.
I can’t wait to get back to cities with a lively museum and cultural landscape. I’ve missed having the choice of which museum to explore on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. There is one museum here, and it’s thirty minutes away, and I spent last spring writing an educational guide to it — so I don’t need to spend my weekends meandering through it, too. Oh, and I’ve missed brunch! Oh, how I’ve missed brunch. One of our favorite restaurants, One Twenty Six, just started serving a very respectable brunch; before that, your options were a diner; a hamburger joint; a vegan restaurant; and Blackstone, which does a very nice brunch but is a bit far. All told, it adds up to a very limited choice of weekend diversions. There’s Amana, which is beautiful in September and May (and sometimes October) and enchanting in December… but how many times can you actually visit the Amana General Store and the Amana Woolen Mill? Once a month for two years is rather pushing it.
5. The layovers.
More precisely, the layovers to get anywhere. You can only get direct flights to three places: Minneapolis (takes just as long to drive), Chicago (likewise), and Detroit (which, it must be said, is a splendid airport). I will be one happy kitten when I don’t have to fuss with gate-checking luggage, timing layovers properly, and taking propeller planes.
So there you have it. The top five things I’m thrilled to be leaving behind!