By Courtney Willis, author of cmjw13.blogspot and

In 2005, my husband and I moved to Winston-Salem for my job in a local church. We’d spent a few years before that in Tennessee, and we were excited to head back to our home state. Little did we know what a treasure we had found in moving to Winston!

We quickly bought a home in Ardmore (our first together) and adored the centrality of that neighborhood. We walked to the grocery store, the post office, and the church. We found friends at church, WFU athletic events, and through my involvement with Twin City Stage. We ate many meals at The Loop and 4th Street Filling Station. We enjoyed late evenings at First Street and 6th & Vine. When I was pregnant I ate my weight (and someone else’s, I think) in pink lemonade cake from Dewey’s (It’s amazing my child did not come out pink. Seriously- I ate a lot of cake.).

We loved Winston-Salem. Loved it!

There was, however, one pretty significant drawback. Since 2005, my husband’s job has been in Greensboro. He made that 40 minute commute twice a day with very little complaining. And then things changed…

I decided to stay home with our baby boy. Since my job no longer tied us to our beloved city, it only made sense that we look toward moving closer to my husband’s office in Greensboro. But, I really didn’t want to, and I really wasn’t happy about it. I would push my baby’s stroller and walk those tree-lined sidewalks of Ardmore while pouting and mourning the potential loss of those beautiful streets, the character of the homes, and the life we’d made in Winston.

All I knew of Greensboro was Wendover Ave., the mall, and Friendly Center (Okay, that last one’s not so bad!). But I knew it’s what we had to do for our family.

So, with resignation on my part, we sold our home and planned to head east. I fully anticipated to hate it. I wanted to believe that I’d be miserable. I was prepared to drive to Winston every day if I needed to.

But then we moved to Greensboro. And I love it. Love it!

We’ve only been here 7 months, but I loved it almost immediately. I’m no Greensboro expert, but I have found plenty to be excited about here! I’ve found a plethora of parks and playgrounds…in nearly every neighborhood I’ve seen. We can play and run and bike all within a short distance from our home. Country Park is a family favorite. The restaurants are fabulous, and we find ourselves planning date nights more and more frequently just so we can try out local restaurants like Table 16. My son (now 19 months old) enjoys our weekly visits to The Little Gym and our annual membership to the Greensboro Children’s Museum. The arts are alive & well in Greensboro with quality productions nearly every weekend; and I’ve loved taking adult dance classes at North Carolina Dance Project. We’ve found a great selection of churches to try out, and we’re beginning to make some fantastic friendships.

I often tell people, that moving to Greensboro feels like we may as well have moved to another state. We rarely go to Winston any more, and find that most everything we need is right here in Greensboro- waiting for us to discover & explore.

All of this is to say, that Winston-Salem and Greensboro are very different cities, but are both wonderful places to live. We have found joy and vitality in both places, and are proud to say that we live in the Triad. I am so grateful that we have been able to live in both places, and I am thankful that both places have been such wonderful havens for our family.

We miss friends in Winston-Salem, but make time to see them when we can. We have to make more of an effort to get to Wake games, but we do get there occasionally. So, there’s little that we have lacked since our move.

Now, if I could only get that Dewey’s pink lemonade cake over to Greensboro!

Photo Credit: Salem Academy (downtown Winston-Salem image)