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Yes! I finally got one!

I don’t have any pictures of the interior for you just yet, and the pictures of the exterior would be quite boring, so I’ll save you the download time. It’s a third story apartment, with the entire floor to myself. It’s quite spacious, especially compared to the other places I found. The kitchen is HUGE. I have counter space! Legitimate counter space! The oven is large enough to roast a turkey come Thanksgiving, but I’m guessing Jake and I will be seeing his family in Boston then anyway — the point is, it is possible. One wall in the kitchen is red-orange (more red than orange), and as the front door enters that room, I’m instantly brightened every time I walk in to my new home. The living room has taupe walls and wooden floors, with one wall that curves down, rather than your standard 90-degree angles. There’s a “fire escape,” although there’s no actual ladder. It’s essentially a tiny porch that the fire marshal forbids me from decorating. Still, it’s a lovely view. My bedroom is large, too, but I can tell I’m going to be itching for a platform for my mattress. I suppose a Boston (read: nearest Ikea) trip will be in order soon.

Oh, and there is storage. Lots of storage. As in, three closets. Plus the additional storage the manager is building in the basement.

I’m just outside of Burlington in a little city called Winooski. Over the past five or ten years the city has been rebuilding itself, cleaning up and drawing new business. I’m two blocks from a river with many winding trails (see pictures from prior post), a weekly farmers’ market, and a ton of restaurants including…drumroll please…MEXICAN FOOD. Okay, I admit, I haven’t tried it yet, but only because it hasn’t technically opened. The owners toured around Mexico for a year, learning and experimenting with the various flavors. It’s my understanding that it will be primarily a taquería, using local ingredients when available. Little nervous about the term “local” for once, as Vermont is not known for its peppers, but maybe that’s what they’ll end up importing. Either way, I’m excited to try the place.

Downtown Winooski

Above is a glimpse of the downtown area — trust me, I understand that I don’t have the greatest of photography skills, but shut up and go with it. Jake and I tried a little diner named “Sneakers.” It was DELICIOUS. I had a barbecue pulled pork sandwich with cranberry coleslaw, and he had an omelette stuffed with sweet sausage, sauerkraut, and spicy whole grain mustard. We took turns picking at each other’s plates. Down a couple doors’ is a place called “Our House Bistro,” which boasts a “twisted comfort” menu and serves, among other things, variations on mac ‘n’ cheese. Expensive, but I’ll have to try it, as they have a BBQ Mac (barbecued chicken or pork, swiss cheese, cheddar, red onion, onion straws), Cheesesteak Mac (shaved steak, caramelized onions and peppers, cheddar), and Surf ‘n’ Turf Mac (shaved steak, lobster, cheddar, onion straws). This is where I will probably have my first heart attack.

Jake was a love and took me shopping for my first big girl kitchen at one of my favorite stores, King Arthur. They’re a local bakery, café, kitchen shop, and flour mill. I’ve found a lot of organic mixes and eco-friendly products, and the prices are only slightly higher than what I would pay for elsewhere for lesser quality. In other words, I may not be able to buy much, but whatever I get, I love.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what I pilfered today — I’m on a huge bright color kick these days. I got two special hand towels, three dish towels, a set of color-coded cutting boards for beef, poultry, fish, and veggies, and a cooling rack. I’ll eventually update my cutting boards into something sturdier, but since working food services I’ve missed having designated boards. I’m not sure how neurotic that is, but it’s my kitchen, damn it, and I will be as neurotic as I want to be.

Here’s a picture of Jake, for shits and giggles.

I need to save something to write about tomorrow, as I have too much free time these days. So hey, if I remember, I’ll tell you about the farmers’ markets and craft fairs we’ve been attending. They’re like toy stores for Allisons.

Tomorrow I get to tour a one-bedroom apartment just one block from downtown AND within my price range! The building is over 150 years old and built with solid beams that the workers had to carry one at a time. They were concerned with the strength of the building, wanting to construct something that would last. However, they were less concerned with one small detail — perpendicular lines.

The building TILTS.

It took a minute for us to notice, mostly when we discovered our equilibriums were feeling slightly off. It’s Burlington’s Mystery Spot, and soon, it may be mine. Of course, I still have to tour the place. Minor detail.

Glad to finally be moving out. Had an ugly discussion with one of the roommates last night, who tried to gouge me for $500 that I did not owe her. I won’t get into details (I’m trying to learn respect, even on the internet), but suffice it to say, it was a ridiculous, highly antagonistic request, and it smelled like a shakedown. Any desire I had to keep in contact with these two has been thoroughly washed down the sink.

I will miss the kitties, though.

I love the thrill of apartment-hunting. There’s something about being able to walk inside an empty place, see something normally so private on display, letting your imagination run wild with ideas. The possibilities seem endless. The experience is invigorating and, even if you’re only moving a few blocks away, you feel like you’re really making a significant change. It’s a great way to shake things up.

I despise the practicality of apartment-hunting. I can only afford so much (er, so little). With Jake coming over so often, I have to take certain aspects into consideration that normally wouldn’t matter — off-street parking, enough room for two people, etc. He refuses to let me get stuck with a bad deal, which is the exact attitude I need, but not always the one I think I want. Burlington is notorious for being a difficult place to find housing. The best time is right when all the students are graduating, and apartments get plucked quickly. Naturally, I’m stressed. I want to know I have a place to live, and I want to know where. And available, affordable apartments in Burlington are already beginning to whittle away.

So, how am I coping with the fun and terrifying stress triggers? I’m packing furiously and thinking about cookies. Lots of cookies. Chocolate chip, lavender tea, shortbread, lemon, key lime, spicy ginger, peanut butter oatmeal, snickerdoodle…

I am losing this battle on all fronts.