Those of you who watched Gilmore Girls will know exactly what I mean. And I found it. Here. An hour from Sacramento.

Here’s my story. Bear with me, I will get to my point eventually.

I peaked at around 23. I discovered the Dance Club scene, and was one of the “in crowd.” After having been not part of the in group in High School, it was intoxicating.( Of course, the free alcohol may have also played a role.)

I was such an “It” girl that club managers gave me free drink coupons so that me and my gang of girls would go to their clubs. I even got written up in the Sacramento Bee as an authority on the New Wave Club Scene, rating all the club in Sacramento. I was the Carrie Bradshaw of Sacramento, only this was circa 1989. I was even front and center dancer in a music video. Freeze it at 4 seconds and you’ll see me. I have on the Paul Revere black hat, white t-shirt with black suspenders, and black shorts. Yes, I was indeed the epitome of the 80’s.The guys in the band were very good friends of mine.

Then, I got married, and moved away to San Luis Obispo while J went to college.

( There is no “club” scene there. It’s bars. With cheap beer. Even at places with a dance floor, people just wore shorts, sweatshirts, and flip flops! Oh! How I MISSED dressing up and hitting the scene. How I HATED how my Bandolino’s stuck to the nasty-ass dance floors of the crappy bars. How I hated the music, and how no one ever went out just to DANCE – it was just a meat market. Whenever I danced by myself, as was common practice in San Francisco and Sacramento, I got strange looks, or guys joining me uninvited.)

When I came back, the 80’s were over and all the clubs I’d had my glory days in were gone, or playing different music. I was also 30 years old, and feeling very uncomfortable around the 21 year olds. My scene was done.

I was now the “creepy old chick” that I had secretly laughed at in days gone by. And, I got depressed. I felt lost, and didn’t really look forward to anything.

I didn’t even know what to want next. I didn’t dream of a house in the ‘burbs with my 2.5 children. I had a vague dream of a cafe…but I knew I was a ways away from that. Plus, it took a while for me to really believe that I could have that dream. It seemed like something rich people did, owning restaurants, and I had been a poor college student for a REALLY long time.

Now, I know – cry me a river, right? But it did become more and more of a problem for me, this- lack of vision. I kept thinking that as soon as I turned the next life corner, my future, and the desire to be a part of that future, would come clear. But, graduating from culinary school, buying a house, and starting a catering business didn’t produce the “Golden Moment” I was waiting for.

My marriage was getting worse and worse, so I decided that my problem was that my future wasn’t in this relationship. THAT’S why I couldn’t see it. I met a guy online who lived in Florida, and seemed to have the exact kind of life I could see myself living. I left J soon after.

Long story short, J and I worked our way back to each other. And I went to work on seeing my future again. This time, I seriously entertained the thought of becoming a Mom. And I realized, it was the instability of my marriage that had kept me from really wanting children.

Then – POWEE! – another crashing and smashing of dreams. I failed to get pregnant.

Now, I had managed to keep my hopes up through most of the first year. Then we started looking into what the holdup was, and they turned up nothing with each test. This actually panicked me even more, because without knowing what the problem was, how could I fix it? After 32 months of trying, I had a successful pregnancy through IUI. This was a short lived triumph- I miscarried at 6 and a half weeks.

Then, during my recovery period, I started looking at other houses. This was me once again looking for my future. I found a GREAT house with everything I wanted. We offered them their asking price even though it was more than we wanted to spend. It was THAT perfect.

For reasons completely unknown to me, they did not accept our offer even though we offered asking price. I was crushed.

We kept looking, but I never did find a house I liked as much as that one. Our house sold and I still hadn’t found one I liked. I panicked and we talked about backing out of the deal.

Then I found the one we live in now and I knew J would love it. I was right. He loved it right away. I did not, but I didn’t hate it. We made an offer.

On January 29, 2005, I got a positive on a pregnancy test around 6 pm. Around 9 pm we received a call saying our offer was accepted. A baby and a house on the same day. I was starting to see a future…

While I was pregnant in my new house, I started watching “Gilmore Girls.” It came on at 5 pm everyday on the WB in reruns, as the series had been going on primetime for a few years already, but I had never seen it. It was during one of those days when I was laying on my couch with my big baby belly, watching another Gilmore Girls, that it hit me – Stars Hollow! THAT’S where I wanted to live! And in Lorelai’s house too!

I loved the town festivals, and the fact that everyone went. I loved the look and feel of Star’s Hollow. The main street, the cast of characters, the fact that when there was a crisis, the community came together. Plus, Hartford was only about a half hour away, so it wasn’t isolated. Shopping was still a possibility! (I hated that San Luis Obispo was SO far from a real major city. Santa Barbara was well over an hour away.)

This idea began rolling around my head that I should see if I could find such a place. I talked to my friends Janis and Paul, and they were on board. They want to buy a ‘retirement home for gamers.” That is, a bunch of us who like playing D&D together would buy or build a large house, and live out our retirement together, gaming and cooking and playing together. As long as the small town we choose was “a fairly short ambulance ride from a major hospital, ” Jan was ok with it.

J and I talked and the whole picture started to come into focus. The town had to have a grocery store within a reasonable distance. It couldn’t be a whistle stop, it needed to be a real town of at least 5 or 6 blocks. It needed to be a pretty town with a cute main street. No deep snow. Not TOO mountainous, but rolling hills was ok.

And it had to have water. A river, a lake, a pond, the ocean. What kind didn’t matter as long as it was accessible and part of the town’s recreation. I could live without Star’s Hollow’s awesome town square if the town had water.

Oh, and one last piece of the puzzle came into focus. I would not be Lorelai with her Bed and Breakfast – I’d be Luke. I want the diner in the middle of town where everyone comes to eat. Of course, with my own style of food, but a casual enough and affordable enough place that it didn’t just cater to tourists.

Then I saw this.

(It’s an ad for “The Chatterbox Cafe” for sale in Sutter Creek.)

I was very curious about this town. Was this my Star’s Hollow? J and I went up on Friday, and I fell in love.

I would so love to raise Josh there, and it’s only an hour from Sacramento, so I would still be able to celebrate holidays with family and friends. About 10 miles away is Jackson, which has all the shopping I need, and Martel, about 3 miles away, has both a Safeway and a Raleys supermarket. The town itself is in “Gold Country”, and is historic and will remain so. Growth is very controlled there.

Wine is very big around there, and it has a vibrant tourist trade for it’s restaurants and wine tastings.

Then there’s the creek. And the Festivals. And friendly townspeople who seemed ready to help me move in tomorrow.

Google “Sutter Creek” for more information about the town. Be sure to look at “Black Bart Days” where they have a live reenactment of the last stagecoach robbery! Shootouts on main street ALL DAY! That’s JUST the kind of whacky festival they would have in Stars Hollow. I love it.

This is a big deal for me. I can see it now. And even though we are not in a place financially to get that cafe and move there right now (no work for J there!), the mere fact it EXISTS fills me with such joy. For the first time in 20 years, I look FORWARD to 20 years in the future. I actually stood on the sidewalk and cried.

I think my best days are yet to come.