Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday - Hometown Edition

It's Show and Tell Tuesday and today we're sharing about our hometowns!

I'm sharing about a few places I've lived, although I DEFINITELY consider McKinney my hometown now.

I was born in Canada, in a town outside of Toronto, Ontario.  We moved several times before I was in school, but the first town I remember living in was London, Ontario.


I don't remember a ton about living in London (I lived there from when I was 4 until I was 7), but I do remember that we used to walk to school and that we had over an hour for lunch where we got to leave campus, walk home, eat and then come back.  One of my best friends lived behind the school and I remember walking to her house for lunch often.  How CRAZY is it that as 5 and 6 year olds we would just leave school and walk home?!?!  hahaha  The school is now a French Immersion school, but here's a pic I pulled off of Google.


I have super fond memories of our house in London, and lots of them revolve around the cul de sac that was out front...


When the snow plows would come through in the winter all the snow would get piled up in the center circle and we had some awesome snow forts over there :)


Right before I started second grade my dad took a job in Raleigh, North Carolina.  I looked online for a pic of our house and couldn't find one, but here's one of the house two doors down from us.  Ours was super similar, except the garage was on the right.


I loooooooooved Raleigh!  We lived there from when I was in second grade through seventh grade and I have tons of great memories from NC.  I went to Jeffries Grove Elementary School (which has since been torn down and rebuilt) and I remember it being a huge culture shock when I first started.  The accent alone was a lot to take in and then throw in new words like restroom and hey (as in a friendly greeting) and the fact that when you asked for tea it came with ice in it and it was a whirlwind.  hahaha

I attended a year round middle school for 6th and 7th grade and loved that as well.  It was a magnet school and the curriculum and schedule was perfect for me.  I got involved in Battle of the Books and Odyssey of the Mind and had an amazing youth group at church.



I was on the Durant Road facebook page looking for a picture of the school and came across this one of the gym.  I immediately had flashbacks to gym class (UGH!) and then the dances in the gym.  The school was brand new when I was in Sixth grade and they used to make us take our shoes off at dances to protect the floor. hahaha  

I remember doing to the macarena and having my ears repierced in the bathroom. hahaha
For real, my ears were pierced when I was maybe 5, but they had grown over and when I was in the 6th or 7th grade a girl used a safety pin and "re-pierced" them for me during a dance. 


My dad took a job in Texas in 1997.  We moved (against our will - hahaha) to what we thought was going to be the land of cattle ranches and cowboy hats :)  But it actually looked like this...


I will never forget that when we flew out here to look at houses and my dad picked us up from the airport (he had been living in an apartment here while Mark and I finished out the school year in NC) and on the way to his apartment from the airport we stopped at a Black Eyed Pea for dinner.  There was a picture of chicken fried steak and cream gravy on the wall and I burst into tears about this super weird place we were having to move to. :)

Who would have guessed that I'd be introduced to Dave at a Black Eyed Pea 2 years after that!

When we moved to McKinney in 1997 the population was about 35,000 people.  There were a handful of elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school (MHS - the best!).  Our neighborhood was fairly new and there was one stoplight on the way from our house to the high school.  Now there are 162,000 people in McKinney, 20 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 3 high schools.  It has EXPLODED!!!


(Griffin outside of MHS before her Christmas recital - a full circle moment for sure!)

One of the best parts of McKinney is the Square. I LOVE the Square.  I worked at several stores downtown throughout High School and college (read about those jobs HERE) and have been in the basements of lots of these historical buildings digging out Christmas decorations to decorate the town tree and lamp posts.  My brother and his band played at open mic nights at a small coffee shop on the square, my baby shower for Luke was held in the courthouse and I rode in the back of a convertible through the square as part of Homecoming Court my Senior year. ;)  I chased down a shoplifter on the Square, volunteered at a downtown historical preservation society, Dave and I got married just off the square and it's one of our favorite places to spend time with our kids.  Downtown has changed A LOT over the years, but we love that our kids are growing up on the Square as well.







There are lots of cute festivals and parades on the square as well.  We love the Parade of Lights, Fourth of July Parade, Home for the Holidays Festival and several of the others.




A big part of the community that we live in are the golf courses.  You know how much we love to cruise the course with the kids, but did you know Dave and I have been hanging out on the golf course for 16 years?  hahaha

Here we are at the tree behind my parents old house last year and in High School :)


Erwin Park is another cool McKinney spot, especially if you like to cycle.



Towne Lake is across from the high school we attended and I ate lunch over there MANY times.  Also, when we were first married Dave played in a late night softball league at the ball fields there and I used to have so much fun hanging out with all the wives and our dogs (this was pre-kids). hahaha  Towne Lake is where Dave had most of his birthday parties growing up and is where we used to have our start of school picnics every year.  Random fact - one year they found a full grown alligator in the lake - I guess someone had a baby one and it got too big so they dumped it.  It started eating all the ducks and they caught it and released it somewhere more appropriate:)


The next spot is SO COOL, but I haven't been since High School.  It's this abandoned rock quarry with incredibly blue water. 


 It's now private property and you can get fined for being there, but it's kind of become a "thing" on IG now.  Isn't it gorgeous?



Last up is Adriatica - a shopping/retail/residential area in our neighborhood modeled after a Croatian village.  There are townhomes, apartments, shops, other businesses, a chapel, restaurants...


... and Starbucks :)



It is BEAUTIFUL and one of our favorite spots in town.

 


We LOVE our life here in McKinney and consider ourselves blessed to get to live, work and raise our kids in such an amazing community.  Being here for as long as we have, McKinney still has a bit of a small town feel for us and we can't imagine living anywhere else.

Link up below and share about your hometown(s)!  Then on March 22nd we're going to be sharing our life's "Mixed Tape" and talking about what songs would be on the soundtrack album of your life so far :)



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

47 comments:

  1. You've lived in some cool and very different places! I actually was born in Raleigh, small world! McKinney is so beautiful! I would love to visit. Starbucks and the Croatian modeled village are so cool! Have a great day!

    Lauren
    www.postgradinprogress.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lauren! You totally need to come visit and we can have Starbucks at Adriatica :)

      Delete
  2. One day I hope you make it to McKinney! It sure looks fun! Maybe we can get a Starbucks with Mr. Ron bad chat! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I currently live an hour and a half from London... had no idea you'really Canadian. Seen bits a pieces reading through. So hi from windsor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, ma'am! Still a Canadian citizen, in fact :) I think my cousins may have gone to school in Windsor! Small world!

      Delete
  4. I live off Durant Rd in Raleigh. Love love love North Carolina! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way!!! LOVE NC, too! Doesn't get much better than being right in between beach and mountains, right???

      Delete
  5. Restroom was a new word!?! So, is it just a bathroom in Canada? Lol, you never think of these things. You just assumer everyone talks as you do:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I had never heard restroom - only washroom. "Hey" wasn't used as a greeting like it is in the South... I had only heard it as an accusatory type of word, like "hey, you! Don't do that!" I had never heard y'all or fixing to or any of the other southern sayings.

      Delete
  6. I love that you lived in Raleigh for a little while. I live in a little town outside of Raleigh. It is a great place to live. Thanks for the linkup.

    harrisonemily.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dang, forgot to do this link up. Ah well... next month. Also- just wanted to add that when I picture McKinney (from my way up here, Canadian prairie girl perspective) I picture Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls.
    Shoes to Shiraz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boo! The link=up will be live all this week, so you can always link later :) LOVE that you think of it like Stars Hollow! What a compliment!!!

      Delete
  8. I live in London only minutes away from your first house! Small world! I think you're lucky to have escaped cold canadian winters and can be in warm weather year round. That is my DREAM!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SUCH a small world!!! Try 100 plus degrees for 3 months out of the year. hahaha :)

      Delete
  9. I got to spend a day this past weekend in downtown McKinney. Two friends and I went there just because of your previous posts about it. We had a great time -- it is a special place. I had no idea how big McKinney was! We drove from Denton and there is so much new construction all along the way. I think if I lived in McKinney I would want to make it a gated community!! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are definitely days where Dave (who was born in McKinney and whose family was one of the first here) look at each other and are like, "who are all these people?!?!?" hahaha I'm so glad that you came to visit and even more glad that y'all enjoyed it. Did you eat pie on the square???

      Delete
  10. I hardly ever comment but I wanted to say I grew up in Houston and moved to ABQ, NM for high school with my family. I have a soft spot for Dallas and I'm hoping to move there in the next year!!! I spent my freshman year of college at DBU (a place I do not like one bit which is why I was there only a year) but I wanted to comment about the rock quarry!! I know several people who have been within the last two years and I want to go so bad but I'm a rule follower and a chicken afraid of getting in trouble. I heard people even cliff jump there in the summer which is so neat!!!! Super cool hearing about where you've lived and the different culture shock :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry to hear about DBU! It's a gorgeous campus :) I'm a total rule follower which is why I haven't been since high school - and yes... there's cliff jumping! I need to find out if there's a way to legally visit!

      Delete
  11. Seriously want to move to McKinney Texas now.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved this! I especially loved your pictures of Canada! I go to Toronto every summer on a mission trip and that city completely has my heart. I just love it. If I ever had to relocate out of the US for any reason, I would hands down go to Toronto. :) I love that it is "washroom" there and that milk comes in bags! I am sure there were lots of things for you to get used to when you moved here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so funny. The milk in bags is such a pain! If it gets tipped over in the fridge it makes such a mess lol

      Delete
    2. Haha! I bet it is! I just think it's funny :)

      Delete
    3. Milk bags always creep me out. hahaha But there are lots of fantastic things about Canada :) Like Shreddies and Smarties!

      Delete
  13. McKinney looks like an amazing place to raise a family!

    Lindsay
    Lindsay's Sweet World

    ReplyDelete
  14. Andrea! I am from London Ontario and I went to the high school right near where you lived. I think the school you attended was called Westdale? We lived in he Oakridge area as well. Lots of my friends went to your school. Wow small world. Glad you had such fond memories there. London is a great place to grow up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STOP IT!!! It was totally Westdale! Did you ever ice skate at the rink by the school??? Crazy small world!!! Does the rubber duck race still happen in London?

      Delete
  15. I live right outside of Raleigh, but I used to live in Raleigh and I love it too! It's such a great place to live

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've been to a few cities in Texas...Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Waco, Lubbock, College Station to name a few. But haven't been to McKinney! It looks like such a cute town! Loved today's topic! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had totally forgotten about eating at Black Eyed Pea...used to love that place!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave and I met sharing mozzarella sticks at Black Eyed Pea :)

      Delete
  18. The lunch hour is still the same in Edmonton! Kids walk home for lunch all the time. We live too far for them to walk, but sometimes I pick them up for lunch and they just walk out! No one signs them out or anything. Coming from a US school, it was strange at first, but I love it now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We lived in Edmonton as well!!! Also St.Albert and Calgary. And yes - it's such a neat idea!

      Delete
  19. Adriatica is so up my alley! Croatia is on my bucket list of places I'd like to visit. I'd love it if my hometown had something like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's super unique and definitely feels like you're in another place completely.

      Delete
  20. McKinney looks so charming!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Andrea...I forgot that you were born here. That's so cool. I am from/live in BC, and I really love it here. My SIL is from Brampton, and we went to their wedding in ON, and I really loved it. Will link up soon. Also, you skipped March 1 :) Not sure if that was intentional, though. Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a small world!!! I've visited BC before! Thanks!!!

      Delete
  22. We moved from a town right outside of Raleigh, NC to Plano a few years ago. I loved it there and we would have made McKinney home if we decided to stay. We ended up coming back to NC after a year in TX. Totally had the same picture of cattle and ranches but was pleasantly surprised when we arrived in TX. Our favorite part of TX was the square in McKinney and we love to visit when we get the chance! You are so blessed to live in such a great community!

    ReplyDelete