Montgomery, Montgomery, You’ve Got Style

By on 3 July, 2017 in Brandie Johnson with 0 Comments

Well, hello there. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Brandie Johnson, I’m the managing partner of The NewSouth Bookstore in downtown Montgomery and I was born and raised, for the most part, in Montgomery, Alabama. I lived here for 12 years, then my family and I moved to Elmore County, Montgomery’s neighbor. But I couldn’t stay gone from the Capital City for too long.

In 2014 my husband, David, and I began the search for our first home. I’ll admit that after living in my parents’ log home in Wetumpka for over a decade, I was set, I mean dead set, on living in Wetumpka. I wanted a cute little house on an acre or two of land. I had gotten used to having a considerable distance between myself and my neighbors. Our dog, Honey, had also become accustomed to the expanse of land my parents live on — littered with trees for shade in the summer. For weeks we searched Wetumpka for a home, to no avail. David, finally convinced me to “just look” at a couple of houses in Montgomery. I think he bribed me with a Starbucks. So, I called up our REALTOR®, and the rest is history.

Lucky for you, I’m going to give you a short history lesson.

Don’t get me wrong, David and I did not find our dream home in a day. You see, I misplaced my ruby slippers, so it took more than just clicking my heels three times while saying, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” It took a few weeks to find the house, but one day in early June 2014, we found it in Dalraida. The house, there it was. A large yard — Dalraida is known for having large lots — two beautiful trees, and the nicest neighbors (We actually wave to each other as we leave for work in the mornings). Who knew that actually happened outside of sitcoms? Anyway, seeing the inside of the house and the price tag were just the proverbial cherries on top.

We did some light renovating and by August of 2014 we had painted the last base board and hung the last painting and it was time to move the most important thing into the house, Honey. She was thoroughly impressed with the back yard and adequate shade. In fact, the yard was so perfect for a dog that we went out and rescued another dog, Sport. Then, we surveyed our yard and said, “there’s so much room back here, we need to build a patio,” and so we did. Even with that, the backyard is plenty big. Don’t believe me? Come cut the grass one weekend.

So, let’s see, with the move to Montgomery we checked big yard, trees, and amiable neighbors (technically, it was “no neighbors within a stone’s throw,” but we like our neighbors so much we don’t throw anything at them) off the list. But those weren’t the only items on the list.

Staying close to my parents and other family members living in Wetumpka was important too. Well, we are a short 17 mile drive from my parents’ home in Wetumpka. I think that comes out to roughly one hop and two skips in the Southern unit of measurement.

Since moving to Montgomery, we’ve realized that the list of wants and must-haves wasn’t by any means exhaustive. We’ve discovered advantages to living here that we didn’t even consider.

Like when David and I are hit with a craving that can only be subdued by a trip to Nancy’s Italian Ice on the East Side, we scoot over there and back before our dogs even realize we’re gone. There’s a YMCA within walking distance. I’m not saying we walk there. We wait ’til we’re at the gym before we exercise, thank you very much. If David and I forget paper towels during our shopping trip, there are three grocery stores no more than five minutes from the house.

We’ve saved a small fortune on gas. David and I both graduated from AUM. Me in 2015 and David last year. Living 12 minutes (five miles, yeah I Mapquested it) away from campus was a luxury we could never have imagined. Oh, and getting to go home on my lunch hour, I can’t even.

But I think my favorite part about living in Montgomery are all of the unique shops and restaurants we have and the short distance between us and some other extraordinary towns and cities nearby. Honestly, almost every week we hear about, or drive past, another place we want to visit on the weekend. Actually (watch this segue) I’m going to be sharing some of these weekend outings with all of you going forward.

So that’s how I came to live here and why I love it. Keep an eye out for my forthcoming posts and get ready to take a little trip, armchair travel style.

Brandie Bradshaw Johnson is the managing partner of The NewSouth Bookstore in downtown Montgomery. In her downtime she enjoys: reading books, crocheting, cuddling with her two dogs, hanging out with her best friend/husband, David, and watching The Golden Girls.

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