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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Benefits of Living in Dunlora

The entrance gate at the front of Dunlora Drive
So...Yesterday I briefly talked about our search for a home and some of the great things that led us to buy a house here in Dunlora...But there are other great things about living here as well.  First, the location.  I love being close to downtown Charlottesville.  I mean, that's where all the really terrific restaurants, shops and theatres are.  Granted, I'm biased as  I'm lucky enough to be able to be actively involved with Live Arts, and am even in an upcoming production.  But I digress...the shopping is amazing, and even if the Meadowbrook parkway (county side) weren't open, it would still be only 10 minutes (with traffic) to downtown.

The pedestrian mall is such fun.  The amazing shops feature some truly amazing local artists, as well as unique boutiques that offer gifts, clothing, and other goods and services.  I truly adore the Pedestrian Mall as well, as it is dog friendly.  While I also have two felines, I like to bring my dog downtown.  I can have coffee, tea, a meal or a fantastic glass of wine while sitting outside and enjoying the weather, meanwhile, my pup can sit next to me begging for whatever I am eating, or indulging in...I don't share my coffee, tea or wine with her, but sometimes will give her a taste of my lunch or snack.  Despite her many years of obedience training, and her Canine Good Citizen, she is still poorly behaved in that she jumps up on people, but I think it is also a breed specific behavior inherent to Italian Greyhounds.

We're also close to Hollymead Shopping Center on 29 North.  It is also about 10 to 15 minutes (with traffic).  Kohl's, Target, a Harris Teeter as well as other shops are up there, and it has Vinny's, my favorite italian restaurant here in Charlottesville...Granted, it is very family friendly and small and, well,while not gourmet, it is fantastic eating.

Dunlora also has trails maintained by a committee with a budget granted by the HOA Board of Directors.  These volunteers enjoy hiking, biking and running as well as nature and the trails are well marked.  When a resident moves in, we have a welcoming committee who gives our new neighbors a directory with the paths clearly marked in it.  I will say, that having purchased a home that had been vacant, some of my "neighbors" were using our back yard and stairs to access these trails, which I didn't like...who likes strangers trespassing through their yard?  Not me, and when I kindly asked one couple to please, the next time, use the marked trails, they vociferously told me to "f... off" which was not very neighborly, in the least.  Then they proceeded to speak negatively about me to their neighbors...really?  This kind of thing happens everywhere, and since then, we seem to have made an unspoken peace and people no longer traipse through my back yard...wonder if it was perchance me cleaning my son's rifle while sitting on my deck stairs?  Gotta love Virginia and their gun laws...

Other than this, there is a beautiful club house and pool.  The pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and it can be rented out to the residents for pool parties, but lifeguards must be present.  Talk to the management company about this too and make sure you get the name and number of the local representative of the company that manages the life guards, just in case the weather  turns and you are still planning on having a pool party.

Dunlora also has public gardens where vegetables can be planted as well as soccer fields.  A professional grade tennis court (the association recently renovated the tennis courts to bring it up to this level) is also maintained by the association and is free for residents to use.

All in all, the neighborhood is wonderfully located, beautifully maintained, and for the most part, incredibly friendly.

We love it here in Charlottesville, and our neighborhood is a fantastic place to live.  I'll write more later...

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