We did something kind of funny last weekend…

We went on a weekend getaway four miles from our house. :) Since we’re hoping to move to Brooklyn, we wanted to get a better sense of our target neighborhoods. Since every New York neighborhood has a very distinct personality, we thought it would be worth it to spend some real time in the areas where we’re hoping to move. We often visit friends there, but our goal was to experience the neighborhoods as locals do: explore the streets, hang at playgrounds, chat with parents, eat in the restaurants, walk around early in the morning and late at night, figure out if certain streets were too noisy or desolate…all those little things that make a big difference when you actually live somewhere.

We rented an apartment on Airbnb in Cobble Hill for two nights. It was a fifth floor walk-up, so the light was beautiful. FYI, if you’re planning a trip to Brooklyn, this was a great place to stay.

Here’s the view (and the cars Toby borrowed from the boy who lived downstairs).

On Friday evening, Toby and I went for a walk and ended up popping into Moo Burger. He got two sliders and a pile of fries…and devoured it all! It gave me a flash-forward to feeding a hungry teenager.

The streets were lined with classic brownstones. This one had pretty spring flowers.

On Saturday, we went to Carroll Park playground. This hilarious guy was making balloon animals for kids. He made Toby a motorcycle!

Then, on our way to meet friends, we stopped by a little grocery, where I spotted this potato chip chocolate bar. Perfect for pregnancy cravings, haha.

One bonus of staying at someone’s else’s house is that you get to comb their bookshelves. Over the weekend, I read Boy, Roald Dahl’s fascinating true story of his childhood. Boarding schools in the 1920’s were intense.

Our final day, we took a long walk and went to Prime Meats for brunch. Here, Toby played along to the Neil Young soundtrack on his air guitar. (Reminded me of this funny Onion article.)

Toby, Alex and I got oatmeal, a turkey BLT and an egg sandwich, respectively, but when the wait staff found out that we were exploring the neighborhood, they sweetly brought over a plate of French toast for the table. What a feast.

One surprising thing: Renting an apartment in a different neighborhood felt like a mini vacation. We felt 1,000 miles from home, even though we were only four miles away. So as a sidenote, if you want to take a vacation, but don’t want to spend time or money on flights or drives, consider just staying in a different neighborhood. Airbnb is perfect for that!

Anyway, it was such a fun weekend, and we completely fell in love with the neighborhoods. It was incredibly helpful to see what they were like in a real way.

I’m curious: When you’ve moved in the past, did you visit first? How well did you know the place? Did you ever just have to up and move?

(FYI, in the top photo, we weren’t wearing helmets because we were only riding a few blocks on the bike path. But we wear our helmets on longer rides and on the city streets. Toby even says now, “Mama, you wear your helmet, too?” so he’s watching out:)