Featured life Wellness

We Moved…To Minneapolis!

November 23, 2020

I’ve been avoiding writing this post for weeks now. Not because I didn’t want to share, but because it’s taken me some time to collect my thoughts. Our decision to move happened really quickly and pretty unexpectedly so naturally I’ve needed to sort through a lot of feelings. And to be honest, I think it will be a while till it really hits me that we’ve left the Bay Area. So I’ll do my best to unpack this huge news: that we’ve officially moved to Minneapolis!

If you had told me in 2019 that by the end of 2020 I’d be living in Minneapolis I would have laughed in your face. In fact if you had told me that I’d be leaving the Bay Area entirely there would have been a 100% chance that I wouldn’t have believed you. Then again I don’t think any of us would have predicted what 2020 would bring. It has been a life-changing year – that’s for damn sure!

Let’s Rewind…

Late in 2019 C and I started talking about what we wanted our next several years to look like. We felt like 2020 was the year we wanted to expand our family and hoped to take steps to make that transition a little more comfortable. We looked at our 2 bedroom apartment in San Francisco (where we both work from home) and knew that we could certainly make it work but it wasn’t necessarily what we wanted. With the exorbitant rental and housing prices we weren’t super confident we’d find something we’d like (or could afford) but we figured we’d look.

Due to a lot of luck, we pretty quickly found a rental house in Marin (a northern suburb of San Francisco) about 40 minutes outside the city. I was nervous about moving so far away from our community but we took the leap anyway. I’m not going to pretend that the transition wasn’t rough. I missed the city everyday and disliked suburb living more than I thought I would. It felt pretty bland and boring and the house itself felt cold and damp (the irony that it would be hot and dry for the rest of the year is not lost on me!).

Then everything shut down.

In hindsight I am very grateful we moved as it gave us more indoor space, an outdoor space for Bodhi and eventually the ability to add a second dog. The community I was missing was also sheltering-in-place so we weren’t seeing anyone anyway. I felt like I might be okay there for a while.

Simultaneously, C and I were trying for a family (which obviously didn’t play out as we anticipated it would) and could imagine at least starting the next phase of life where we were. We also kept our eye on the housing market and a place where we could plant roots.

What we never imagined was that on top of an already inflated market that 2020 would make housing pricing skyrocket in the Bay Area. While we’ve been saving as much as we can to prepare for this huge purchase, we basically got priced out. Now I want to add that we are deeply aware of our privilege and how incredibly fortunate we are. But the Bay Area’s level of wealth is so beyond what most people could imagine that even we fall on the lower end. It became pretty clear that getting a house even remotely within our budget wasn’t going to happen.

But it was okay because we felt like we could stick around in our rental house a little longer and a) see what happened to the market and b) continue to save.

The Rug Got Pulled Out From Under Us…

What I didn’t mention in this post was that in the week from hell we also got a call from our property management saying that the house we were renting sold off-market and that the new owners were planning to move in. That gave us till the end of the year to figure out a new housing situation.

Since we likely weren’t able to afford what we wanted and I wasn’t exactly obsessed with suburb living we found ourselves at a crossroads. It didn’t help that the wildfires were raging and we literally could not leave our home or open a window despite 100 degree heat. Like I said, week from hell!

I started to look around and began wondering why we were trying SO HARD to make this life work. It felt like everything was working against us and we just weren’t up for the challenge. We decided we needed some space away from the Bay to figure out what really mattered to us and what we wanted to do moving forward.

A Trip to Minnesota

“Getting away” in a pandemic isn’t exactly easy. Luckily we love a good road trip so we decided to pack up the dogs and drive to Minnesota. C’s Mom graciously took us in for an indefinite amount of time that ended up being exactly what my soul needed. Sitting in the car for many hours also forced me and C to have challenging conversations that we’d both been avoiding.

We started to reflect on the things we didn’t like about the Bay Area (more on that below) and really came to the conclusion that while the Bay was the right fit for us for a specific phase of life, the next one we’re entering into isn’t a great fit. And as we look back on the 4 cities we’ve lived in over the last decade it’s clear that each one served its purpose for that specific phase but then naturally came to a close. It was time for us to say goodbye to San Francisco and stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

When we landed in Minneapolis it felt like the first time I could breathe this year (yes – even in a mask!). Despite not being able to see our friends and family as much as we normally would we could just feel a deep sense of community here. It felt like exactly what we were looking for for this next chapter.

And so we started to look at houses.

We recognize how incredibly fortunate we are for this to even be an option. Having been on the housing train and seen many friends struggle on this same train I know how challenging it can be. This country has a major housing crisis – not to mention a socioeconomic, racial and political crisis so flaunting a new house feels like a real punch to the gut. But at 31 we knew we weren’t up for another rental (which comes with its own challenges) and the possibility of having to move AGAIN in a year.

Anyone who has wanted to buy a house knows that once you start looking it’s hard to stop. We basically spent our days on Redfin favoriting homes and getting a sense of the market here. C’s high school friend is a realtor here and she was wonderful in helping us navigate this process. We also got incredibly lucky (in a year full of pretty crappy luck!) and the second house we toured we just knew was our home.

I basically walked around the house going “fuck fuck fuck” and “oh god oh god oh god” because I just knew. Getting the house wasn’t nearly as easy. A bidding war ensued but in the end we got it and I feel SO GRATEFUL that this was even a possibility. Truly, this is not lost on me.

Goodbye to San Francisco

But we still had a life and a house to empty back in the Bay so after our offer was accepted and the ball was rolling with closing we turned our car around and drove back to San Francisco. Note: if you guys want tips on road tripping safely in a pandemic and/or moving in a pandemic let me know!

We had a month to sell things, hire movers, pack and say goodbye to our friends and family. It was hard, but in a year where it’s felt like we’ve been at a standstill it was nice to feel like we were moving forward.

Which brings me to what were the deciding factors in leaving the Bay. My feelings on this are complicated. I LOVE San Francisco. Truly, no place has brought me so much inspiration. My heart swells when I think about the bridge, the bay, the fog and just the overall beauty. But just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s built on a sturdy foundation.

For one, it became abundantly clear to me that if I wanted to live in the Bay Area I wanted it to be in San Francisco. While I respect that it’s right for some people, Bay Area suburb living is not my thing. It lacks color (literally) and culture and you know, your house could burn down at any moment. What fun!

But C and I also want a family and the city simply doesn’t make family living easy…unless you have a lot of money.

And that’s the other piece. While we could certainly make our life work there, we don’t necessarily want to raise a family in a place with such income disparity. The middle class has all but disappeared and quite honestly, that’s not the example I want to set for my future children (should we be so lucky). It’s one thing to be DINKS (dual-income no kids) and live in San Francisco. It’s another when you bring kids into the picture.

I know how this reads and I’m sorry if this sounds like a long list of complaints from a privileged, white girl who clearly has more than enough!  But here’s the thing: I want to live in a place that values community over everything. That shows up when you need them (and vice versa) and cares about things other than money, if your company IPO’ed and what Tahoe vacation rental you got. I feel fortunate that our personal community in San Francisco isn’t like this but the overall vibe is there and it’s not what we want in our greater community.

There is no denying that San Francisco has changed me for the better. I’ve stretched and grown in ways I never expected to and I will never regret the years we’ve spent here.

I will miss our friends and family. I’ll miss beautiful weather in March and October. I’ll miss 65 degrees for most of the year. I’ll miss the butterflies I feel when driving over the Golden Gate into the city. I’ll miss the ocean. But that’s about it.

I won’t miss the cost of living. I won’t miss rainy winters and dry, hot summers without A/C (especially in the suburbs!). I won’t miss the flakiness. I won’t miss fire season.

And I’m sure there’s so much more I will and won’t miss as the days, weeks and months pass.

Why Not Somewhere Else?

When I shared on Instagram that we were moving I got a lot of questions about why we picked Minneapolis. The answer is quite simple (unlike the rest of this post!): We want to live around our family and community. My immediate family all lives in Toronto. C’s is split between Minneapolis and San Francisco. When San Francisco was no longer the right fit we evaluated where else we’d really feel comfortable moving to and the only two places that fit the bill were Toronto and Minneapolis.

Now I know what you’re thinking: why would we not pick Toronto in the current US political climate and I don’t have a clear answer for you. Toronto just isn’t our forever place. We value outdoor activities which Minneapolis offers in abundance, even in the winter. As much as I love Toronto and especially our people there, it just isn’t conducive to our lifestyle. The lakes and how much people embrace them here sealed the deal for us.

Welcome to Minnesota

Now here we are, about 2 months into this long saga that’s finally moving in a positive direction. We officially landed here 10 days ago and closed on the house. It is certainly an interesting time to be moving given the spike in cases and the impending doom of winter. But honestly, this year has given me so much perspective on what matters.

I’m grateful for C and the pups and my mother-in-law who provide the best company and navigators through the crazy ride that is home ownership. I’m grateful to our friends here who have welcomed us with open arms (and 6 feet of distance!) and make this place feel like home. If this year has taught me anything it’s that we have no control of our futures, simply gut instinct and the courage to follow it.

I’m excited to see what Minneapolis and this next phase of life has to offer. I’m ready for hot dishes and the inevitable Minnesota accent I will develop. I can’t wait till I get to experience my first Minnesota state fair and eventually develop a strong dislike for the Packers (this one seems unlikely given how little I care about football). I’ve dusted off the old parka and snow boots and this Canadian is getting ready for her return to winter.

I feel ready for whatever happens and happy to be along for the ride. Bring it on!

On that note – would love all of your Minneapolis recommendations! Restaurants (for takeout right now), shops, dog walks, skincare, hair and must-have items to survive winter!


Join 20,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    Esperanza G
    February 11, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Welcome Up Nort’! I’m originally from the South Bay and moved to the Twin Cities with my East Coaster husband. Moving during Covid has been challenging for us too, but we’re excited to thaw out this summer and explore!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    We moved from Las Vegas to Minneapolis in January 2017. While I was sort of coming home (I lived in Bemidji and Fargo for a combined 11 years), my wife was born and raised in Las Vegas. The cold was a shock to her, but she’s grown to like it. Her only real winter complaint is driving in the snow. AWD has helped, but not eliminated that problem for her.

    For houses, we went from a 10×25 side yard to a 75×75 backyard with space for our greyhound (and now borzoi puppies) to stretch their legs a bit. For real running there are plenty of large dog parks around. Some so big it’s a bit intimidating to let your dog loose in them.

    Outside of the State Fair (My wife is still in mourning that it was cancelled last year), there are plenty of parks that are always a delight to walk around. I know GG Park is wonderful, but I think the parks in the MSP area stack up very well against it. Our 4th of July tradition is to spend it walking and riding around Como park. The Multi-use paths/bike paths here are very nice. I can ride from Elm Creek Park to Lake Harriet and on to Lake Nokomis and be on a path the whole way.

    The restaurants downtown (another recommendation for Hell’s Kitchen) are very nice, and the ones on Eat Street are great too. The neighborhood cafes in the neighborhoods along the river, from Longfellow down to Minnehaha are nice. If you’re into diners, check out both Al’s Breakfast and the Ideal Diner. If you’re craving In-N-Out, try Culver’s. It’s one of the few good things to come out of Wisconsin. 🙂

    Speaking of hating the Packers, it will evolve naturally from your experiences with Wisconsinites, even if you don’t like football. I kid, but only a little. FTP.

    Welcome to Minnesota. I’m sure you’re going to love it here.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      February 11, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      this was the best comment!!! Thank you so much for the suggestions and I’ll keep you posted on the Packers hatred haha. Also I had to look up Borzois and omg they look incredible. Those eyes! Thank you again for all the great tips!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Once Covid is over check out the Neighborhood Cafe and the theater scene. In the meantime, our awesome museums like the Walker Art Museum, MIA, Bell Museum of Natural History (recently renovated), and the Minnesota Science Museum are pretty deserted and/or open by advance reservation only.
    In the summer check out the North American Bear Center and the International Wolf Center up in Ely(the IWC is getting pups this year!). Also try the up-north lake life if it’s financially feasible. You can rent a lakeside house or cabin for relatively cheap since there are so many lakes in MN.
    Murray’s Silver Butter Knife Steak is something amazingly delicious to split with your partner on a special occasion, and Izzy’s Ice Cream is tasty tasty tasty!
    Welcome to MN! 😁

  • Reply
    Shawn K
    February 11, 2021 at 3:08 am

    I’m just here because Google suggested this for me. I lived in Minneapolis from 2007 to 2018. I then moved to Montana and I couldn’t be happier. I make more money, cost of living is lower, crime is way lower, and nature is more plentiful. Also, living in a state that believes in the 2nd Amendment and my right to defend myself is nice. Something that you might have to consider since violent crime is up 20% and murders are up 50% (it’s not called Murderapolis for no reason). Don’t hang around downtown after dark, because robberies in that area are up 65%. Oh, and the police budget just got cut by $10 million, with more cuts likely in the future, so have fun with that!

    Since you are there though, I recommend Hell’s Kitchen for comfort food (especially weekend brunch), Red Cow for burgers, and Black Sheep for pizza. Don’t listen to Pizza Luce recommendations, it is the most overrated pizza place in the city. Black Sheep is BY FAR the best pizza.

    • Reply
      Louise Heimsness
      February 11, 2021 at 7:52 am

      I bet you’re fun at parties 🙄

      • Reply
        Shawn K
        February 11, 2021 at 10:36 am

        I just asked my wife and she confirmed that I am 👍🏻

  • Reply
    Chris W
    February 11, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Welcome to Minneapolis. You ABSOLUTELY NEED to eat at Hell’s Kitchen (not the TV show) in downtown. Once they open back up for in-person dining, they have a Bloody Mary bar on the weekends that is to die for, if that’s your kind of thing.

  • Reply
    Kate Hull
    February 10, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Welcome. When the weather turned better and you miss your dear bridge.(I feel your pain) let the largest freshwater port welcome you. Duluth has a unique place, great for camping and walking cold water beaches. Our dogs love it. The Arial lift bridge is so much smaller but greets massive ships from all over the world.
    Missing the art culture… We have art festivals all summer long and a bit farther north is Grand Marais, and art community.

    Our winters can be intense but it makes spring sweeter, summer more to savor and fall a delight..

    Welcome home?

  • Reply
    Emily Huebner Dehn
    February 8, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Welcome to Minneapolis! I live not far from where your picture was taken on a frozen Harriet. I am a transplant also, and my spouse has family here. Wishing you well in your big transition! It’s a journey, but this is a great community.

    Restaurant recommendations: check out Birchwood Cafe in Seward, Young Joni, Alma, there’s a great hi tuna salad at Lake & Irving, and of course menus are different during Covid but there are tons of other great places too. It can run a bit rich, so as you explore please post about your finds.

    Just discovered your sit and will be sure to check back!

    Welcome again. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 14, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Congratulations on the move and house, Davida! Wishing you and C and your future family all the very best in this new chapter. I loved reading this post! Hoping your heart and mind find happiness in your new abode.

  • Reply
    Tami Cabrera
    December 6, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Welcome to Minneapolis! You’ve been given so many great recommendations and ideas already. I’ll give you 3 free slices of Minnesota’s best cheesecake, to cover that niche, at my bakery Muddy Paws Cheesecake! Email me and I’ll send you a gift card! Muddypawscheesecake.com

    I moved here in 1991 and love MN! I have gazillions of restaurant recommendations if you need any.

    I hope feel at home here!! Warmly, Tami

  • Reply
    December 1, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Welcome to Minnesota! I hope you feel welcome and that the “Minnesota nice” thing holds true. I have lived in Minnesota my whole life, and I think it is a great place to be a creative, especially in Minneapolis. I would recommend exploring some state parks all around the state!

  • Reply
    Aimee Farrell
    December 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Davida, WELCOME TO MINNESOTA SWEETHEART! You will absolutely Love it here! (Especially in the summertime). There’s so much to see Andy do here and even more in the summertime. For dog parks and doggy fun checkout sidewalk dogs . They have a list of a ton of pooch friendly parks, restaurants etc… Welcome to paradise! Minnesota has the best from all of America’s beauty!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    November 30, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Aww Davida, I am so happy for you. This year has obviously thrown a lot at you, but it looks like the universe wanted you to make some big shifts in your life. It’s really inspiring to me that you two were able to make this huge transition and so smoothly. Best of luck to you both (and the doggies!) in this new transition. I’m so excited to follow along as always 🙂 .

1 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply


Sign-up for a free weekly meal plan straight to your inbox.