What we love about where we live

Beautiful hikes. Great neighbors. Gorgeous views. Access to an exciting city.  Read on to find out what we love about where each of us call home. Maybe we’ll even entice you to visit.

Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

Even though I lived in New York City for years, I’m a New England girl at heart.  I love the crazy pace of a city, but I’m also easily stressed/overwhelmed/broke, so New Hampshire works for me. I make sure to visit New York and Boston often–straight shots down the Pike.  And I know these are very common reasons for why people love it up here, but… 1) Four very distinct, gorgeous seasons (no one counts Mud Season), 2) Dunkin Donuts, and 3) History, history, history. I love that New Englanders restore, reuse, and respect their architecture and landmarks, from Colonial homes to the Citgo sign near Fenway Park. Proximity to the ocean is also a must for me, because it reminds me of my childhood. Oh, and New Englanders are pros at dealing with any kind of weather. As soon as Mud Season is over, the frost heaves in the roads will also magically disappear. In the meantime, I get to pretend I’m going for the gold in Women’s Moguls as I bounce along in my sexy, all-weather vehicle. Subaru or bust, folks! (Literally.)

 Ellen Byron


I do a lot of complaining about Los Angeles – it is definitely not my native habitat – but I truly love my neighborhood. Laurelwood, affectionately known as the Donas because all the streets are named Dona something, is on the Valley side of the Hollywood Hills and abuts the Santa Monica Conservancy, making for some great hiking trails almost literally in my backyard.

The neighborhood is hilly, but with sidewalks and wide streets. About five of us moms have kids the same age and have known each other for years. We’ll get together at 7 or 8 at night for a half-hour power walk through the ‘hood and talk about everything from our kids to politics. A few years ago, when I began getting involved with the mystery community, I discovered that author Nancy Cole Silverman lives only a few blocks from me, so now she and I go for walks where we bounce plots off of each other, share marketing tips, and talk about pretty much everything under the sun. Friends and nature make the Donas a wonderful place to live – except for the occasional beady-eyed coyote.

Vickie Fee

vickieMarquette, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula (above the “Mitten”) is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. From our office/guest room window, I can see Marquette Mountain and a slice of Lake Superior. Besides living a short walk from the great lake, we have lots of restaurants and shops in the cute downtown area. We’re known for snow—we get more than 200 inches a year. But it’s beautiful dry powder snow (most of the winter) that flocks to the plentiful evergreens like a Courier and Ives illustration. And our summers are perfect with temperatures mostly in the 70s—80 degrees is hot for us—with a nice breeze off the lake.

Kellye Garrett

6I am a Jersey girl. After living in both the South and on the West Coast, I’ve been back for over five years now. And I have no plans to move out the tri-state area. What I love about New Jersey is that you get the best of both world—city life and suburbia. On a good day (good meaning Sunday at 7 a.m. with perfect weather) I can get into Manhattan in a half hour. And everyone knows that nothing beats New York City when it comes to culture, food and entertainment. (Sorry everywhere else in the world.) At the same time, I can stay in New Jersey and hit a mall or an Olive Garden and whatever retail chain my heart desires.  Like I said, best of both worlds.

Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

This is an easy one: the thing I love most about living in Oakland is… the weather. Sure, sometimes it gets really cold, but when it drops down to 52 you get to wear your favorite cardigan. And yeah, in the summer it cam get really hot, but it only stays 79 for a day or two before it settles back into something more temperate. You’d think we’d share the same climate as San Francisco, but the fog doesn’t want to cross the bridge over into Oakland any more than the tourists do. Sometimes, when it’s a beautiful day in the East Bay, I can look over and see SF blanketed in fog. That means it’s grey, overcast, and about 20 degrees colder over there. And we just laugh and go take a hike in the redwoods and complain about the “heat.”

Cynthia Kuhn


The Rocky Mountains are gorgeous and look different depending on weather, season, light, and time of day. My kids make fun of me for saying  “Ooh, look at the mountains!” every day in the same thrilled tone, like it’s the first time I’ve ever seen them. (They also make fun of me for asking if the garage door is down each time we drive away, but I’m just checking to make sure I didn’t imagine it. Or something.) All the activities related to the mountains like hiking and skiing and camping are terrific. But I am also a big fan of the museums, libraries, festivals, concerts, and plays. We have many artsy things to do. Also: not very many mosquitos, which is a bonus.

Readers, tell us what you love about where you live.

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15 thoughts on “What we love about where we live

    1. Ellen, it’s great you have such a sense of community in your neighborhood! Come on up and visit the U.P. anytime! We also have coyote—plus bears and the occasional moose!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Haha, the Superbowl seems to be helping reinvent my state! The Bold North, as they say, has a lot to offer all times of year. There is truly something for everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love our warm winters in Southern California. I love being close to the beach (even though I hardly ever go. Must fix that). Heck, I even love our summers since I like hot weather. And I love to run when it is hot out. Yes, I’m crazy.

    For the record, we have four seasons as well: Hot, Santa Anna Wind and Fire, Coolish with a slight change of rain – maybe, and warming up again.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love DC. I grew up in Virginia, moved away for 20 years, and ended up right back here, my daughter graduating from the same school I attended before my first major move.
    Why do I love DC? For 2 of the same reasons Lisa stated. 4 true seasons (my ex had never seen the leaves change colors!) and the history (I love traveling around the small towns and learning the history). Plus, where else except the NorthEast (yeah, DC is below the Mason-Dixon Line, but who’s counting) can you drive for 3 hours and hit 4 different states!
    DC is the government hub, like NY is the finance one and LA is the entertainment one. I do love my job. Which is the reason I can’t go to left coast this year. I am supposed to be in a trial at that time, unless there is a continuance. I hate to say this, but I love my job. I’ll tell those at Malice all about it, since my significant other bought my registration and hotel room for Valentine’s Day.

    Liked by 2 people

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