Road Trips, Gratitude & Meet Doraville!

My family has always been the road trippin’ kind.

As a matter of  fact, I have never been in a plane with my mami or papi. Strange probably…  

When I was in high school my older sister, Carla, would announce she was in the mood to drive and we would take to the road. Somewhere with water, preferably clear water and white sand. Often a 12 hour trip would be required. One or two nights, and we would take our tanned selves back home.  

So much driving and sitting. But it was a sweet time. She spent a lot of hours patiently listening to my teenage struggles and dreams. I love her. 

Even now, our family is the get out-of-town and catch our breath kind.

Driving to destinations is still a tradition, maybe because it is what we can afford, but mostly it is what we enjoy.

These are great times for us as a family. When you’re squeezed in a car, with all the excess luggage and the kids. We talk, laugh and remind each other quiet times are needed. 

Years ago, we were driving back from one of our out-of-town trips, one of those 6-8 hour long trips.

Why is the return trip so hard? (Back to reality maybe)

The kind of trip where we end up wishing we didn’t have to go another hour past the perimeter (and praying their is no traffic or else it be another 30 minutes) to where we actually lived.

I guess those apartment signs you see from the highway that read: “If you lived here, you’d be home by now,” really went to work on me.

Driving is not such a bad thing, Atlanta people are used to it. But the traffic can really work up a nerve. 

Still, we have to drive a lot for different activities, and Ryan for work.

Between the road trips and the regular drives, we get to visit some well to do towns. Can’t lie, I get a little jelly not because I want to live there, but because I want some of those same things for our little city. Sigh… 

So, my jealous eye and heart led to an exercise in gratitude, and a fun gathering of some thoughts for reasons why Doraville has been such a great city to reside in. 

So here I go!

  1. You might enjoy living here if you have a desire to live in-town, or as some would say in the perimeter (ITP), but are not sure you can stand the more populated parts of town. We stand roughly at a manageable sized 11,000 people, and at a total of 3.5 square miles. But because we get so much cut thru traffic of shoppers and diners you won’t necessarily run into a neighbor at the farmers market kind of small.    
  2. You might enjoy living here if you want to get just about anywhere you need to within and outside the Atlanta city limits on foot, bike, or bus. I admittedly have not gotten to enjoy this aspect as much as I’d like with three kids, and a lot of stuff to lug around. One day.  
  3. You might enjoy living here if you don’t mind that mornings on Buford Highway are relatively quiet. Afternoons and evenings are a beehive of activity. 
  4. You might enjoy living here if you are looking for these neighborhood attributes: bikeable, walkable and tree-lined safe streets. You’ll always run into friendly dog walkers, residents that simply want to take in the rays, our cities John King- Chief of Police on a run or our beloved Mayor Donna Pittman. If you are lucky all of the mentioned. 
  5. You might enjoy living here if you are worried about too much noise, I am always impressed at how quiet our streets are. Even though we are so close to  spaghetti junction, Dekalb Peachtree Airport and we live on a relatively busy cut thru street (a taste of country in the city right?) .
  6. You might want to live here if you are looking for affordable. We are one of the few affordable home communities with great in-town access. 
  7. You might enjoy living here if you are looking for plenty of parks and public recreation. Most of which are in the middle of getting a facelift. And it doesn’t hurt that we have easy access to other great Dekalb county parks.  
  8. You might want to live here if you drool at the sight of Mid Century Modern homes. These homes will need some TLC, but need I say more? Actually I will say something else about our MCM homes. For the most part the people who live here and are recent move ins respect these old homes and are not tearing down houses to make new big outta place flashy pads. 
  9. You might want to live here because you like making friends with strangers. When you’re picking out pastries at the local bakery the person next to you tells you stories about how they grew up eating taro in their baked goods, you become more appreciative that these goodies are near to you. 
  10. You might enjoy living here if you are not looking for walking distance to mega shopping malls. But if this is high on your must-haves list, they are a short drive away. Perimeter mall, Northlake mall, Lenox mall, The Forum, etc.   
  11. You might enjoy living here because whatever your idea of family is, we have it all. Singles. Married with no kids. Single parents, pet parents, and married with the average sized family. 
  12. You might enjoy living here because residing in a oversized home is not key to your family’s function. Most of these houses are not large. 
  13. You might enjoy living here if you are feeling like horchata, coffee, boba tea, a margarita, beer, or wine on a Friday night. Whatever type of drink you’re in to. You’re bound to find a place that serves it.   
  14. You might enjoy living here if you want easy access to the fourth meal: Tacos, Gyros, Seafood, Indian, so many scrumptious options. And just about everyone is a family owned eatery. Love ♥
  15. You might enjoy living here if you like access to a laundromats. I know most of the people who are reading this have no need for them but they are great to have around for when your washer decides to flood the house. Speaking from experience, it can happen. 
  16. You might enjoy living here if you want multiple International grocers you can walk or drive to, like carnicerias, asian grocers, indo-pak grocers, halal grocers and farmers markets.
  17. You might enjoy living here if you desire easy access to multiple highways. As in you don’t have to take multiple highways to get to most of these. And the big ones are right at our doorstep. I-85, I-285, 400. Hwy 78. Not just major highways but four lane cut thru highways like Peachtree Industrial. Lawrenceville Highway and Buford Hwy. 
  18. You might enjoy living here if you don’t mind taking a drive in any cardinal direction and you will find other wonderful neighborhoods to take advantage of. The closest are Chamblee, Brookhaven, Downtown Norcross and Tucker to name a few.
  19. You might enjoy living here because diversity is key in Doraville. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked at the grocery store to sniff a fruit and decide which is best to purchase – for some random stranger – ha! If you don’t mind signing and having to point through a conversation with your neighbor, you’ve come to the right place!

We are not veteran residents of the area, four years is much too fresh to consider ourselves expert Doravillians. But, we are truly grateful that we ended up here.

We quickly fell in love with the area for so many more reasons we thought we ever could or would.

It’s not a hustle and bustle kind of city, people here enjoy some fun and rest. It’s just the right measure.

It’s like that friend you can take anywhere because they are not too introverted or loud and extroverted.  

Hope you can take a step back and look at your place with a more grateful heart. There is no perfect.

What have you enjoyed about Doraville and it’s vicinity?

Closing 4 Blog-2


Author: ComptonEst.03

In 2013, our family of five purchased a 1953, 1140 square foot ranch. This is our journey to make our 60 year old house into a more comfortable forever home.

4 thoughts on “Road Trips, Gratitude & Meet Doraville!”

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