#10: Lilacs in the Spring: I hear some grow in California, but there's something dizzying about lilacs in New England because you've been longing for color and fragrance for months. Below is a variety that bloomed in our garden.
#9 Apple Picking: Apples, too, grow in California, but as my fabulous next-door neighbor says, "Nothing tastes like a New England Macintosh or Macoun. Irreplaceable!" Not to mention the five-senses experience of brilliant foliage in the background and the energizing tang of autumn air.
#8 Our House at Christmas.
#7 Washing Dishes in October.
#6 Sweet Caroline in the 8th Inning.
#5 Indie Ice Cream.
#3 Insider Town Names: This accompanies #4, but deserves a separate category, don't you think?
#2 Walkability: It's a cozy city, plus from our house I can walk to the Newton Free Library, Whole Foods Market Newtonville, and Newton Presbyterian Church, among other destinations, and bike along the Charles to Harvard University for Saturday morning coffee.
#1 Logan Airport: Close to home thanks to the Big Dig, requiring neither trains nor shuttles to get you to the JetBlue Airways gates at Terminal C, a Dunkin' at departures and one at arrivals, Menino's classic Bostonian voice welcoming all visitors, but best of all, my portal back to my home away from home.
Thank you, Boston. Here we come, San Francisco Bay Area!