Some people say they’re going to do something and next thing you know, it’s done. I say I’m going to do something and sometime in the next three years it’s done. I’m slow to action, but do finally get around to things…like moving.
I’m doing it. I’m packing and my apartment looks weirdly naked with all the stuff off the walls. After years of living in Southern California, I’m moving back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family. We’re all getting older and who knows how many more Christmases we’ll have together, so I want to make the most of them.
The hardest part is leaving my kids. They don’t need me anymore, but I love having them around. They make me laugh and try to make sure I’m as woke as possible. But only one is firmly planted in a home in Chicago now. Where the other two will end up, who knows? So for now, Pittsburgh will be home base.
It’s strange leaving Los Angeles, a city I never dreamed of, but somehow I ended up here. I think I was too chicken to move to New York in the early ’80s so L.A. was the less scary alternative. L.A. grows on you, like a barnacle on a boat.
I was never a beach or palm tree kind of girl, but I’ve grown to love both. I hate the traffic, the crowds, the smog , the overpriced homes, the fires and mudslides, but love the incredible variety of people and food, the warm days and cool nights – perfect for sleeping, the mountains, the fruit trees, and the crazy creativity. I love walking at night and catching a whiff of sweet orange blossoms. I love the bursts of bright pink and purple flowers cascading down walls in the spring. In short, I love LA, just like Randy Newman. I love that I know all the places he sings about in that song. Maybe I’ll make it a point to head to a few before I leave.
You’re free to be creative here. No matter what you’re into, it’s nurtured and encouraged. I love that so much. Next to my friends, it’s what I’ll miss most of all. It’s not like that everywhere.
Sure, L.A. can be fakey but it’s not snobby and I love that about it too. It’s full of former aerobics instructors, actors, models, DJ’s and comedians turned parents and hard working members of society. I should know, I’ve made friends with tons of them. I sure hope I’m able to come back to town and visit because there are so many people I truly love and respect here.
I’m not leaving until the end of April so I should be able to say goodbye to most of you here. I’ve had both my vaccines, so I’m reasonably safe. If not, it’s a good reason to come back for a visit, or two, or three, or four. Maybe I’ll even rent a convertible and find a big nasty redhead to sit at my side.
Bruce BarkerMarch 15, 2021 at 2:35 pm
All I ask is that you keep that home studio setup warmed up. Just ’cause you’re moving doesn’t mean the world should be deprived of some of the best voiceovers on the planet. 🙂
Fran TunnoMarch 18, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Awww Bruce! I just ordered some new rubber bands to keep my mic in place. Yes I will definitely keep the VO space up and running. Use me anytime! xoxo!
Matilda NovakMarch 14, 2021 at 9:21 pm
i too love L.A. (and am a Native Angelo) but it felt Good to be back home in Oregon when i left L.A. in 2015.
i pray your next chapter — back in PA, will be as blessed and fulfilling as mine has turned out to be.
As long as you keep writing (and cooking), you’ve got a crowd of friends Here too!
Much love to you, and all the Best!
Fran TunnoMarch 15, 2021 at 9:09 am
Awww Matilda, thank you. That means so much to me. I really appreciate the fact that you read my blog and stay in touch with comments and emails. I know how content you were with your decision. I think I will be too. Thanks for the support! xoxo
lafridayMarch 13, 2021 at 9:00 pm
Woohoo! As one who turned life upside down last year by moving from an entire life spent on the west coast to the Appalachians, you will only be a state away so I am very excited. Although it’s been a long time since I left L.A. and I didn’t feel quite as nostalgic as you are—even though I am a native Angeleno—I have certainly grieved the Idaho panhandle which felt much more like my “true” home. that said, I am getting through Box City and am starting to feel at home in West Virginia. I can’t wait to see your beautiful face. We’ll have to talk this week so you can catch me up on everything. Love you!
Fran TunnoMarch 14, 2021 at 8:47 am
My Dear Linda, one of the best things about moving is that I can see so many of the friends I made here in So Cal and you are one of them! Yeah, it’s hard because this feels pretty final to me, and I’m leaving one child here and numerous good friends, but I can always visit! Packing is hell on earth, but I’m taking my time and doing it right. Can’t wait to see you too! And I’ll be back for the best month of the year, May. (I just hope it doesn’t rain all month.) xoxoxo
Charles BurkettMarch 13, 2021 at 4:43 am
Hi Fran. I feel the magnitude of your decision. I’m probably retiring July 1 and have been exploring where the next stage will be. Returning to Pittsburgh is among my considerations. I share your attitude about leaving NY, but as Yeats said, “… and say my glory was I had such friends.”
Fran TunnoMarch 13, 2021 at 10:07 am
Hey Chuck! It’s a tough decision, but the good news is what’s right for you today may not be in a few years, that’s what moving companies are for. You would be another friend to reconnect and have lunch with if you move to Pittsburgh, so there’s that. We could start a writing group. I do love the Burgh, where people are genuine even if the weather isn’t great. Good luck with your decision. I wish I could retire, but probably not for a while. Thanks for always reading and please ask your friends to follow me. I’m on an all out, shameless push to get more followers so I look popular and can get my book published. xoxox
PamMarch 12, 2021 at 8:52 pm
Fran you will be missed. If we can work in a girls night out I’d love that. Blessings to you
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm
Awww Pam, that would be great. I will miss you guys. I am still pretty open, so name a night and I’m there. xo
Betty Jo CouchMarch 12, 2021 at 7:33 pm
Wow- back to Western PA! I”m sure it will be an adjustment, but also that it will be very special being near family again. There’s a lot to be said for that. I go back as often as possible to visit my family (except for this last year…. 🙁 If I see you on the streets of NB, I’ll stop you and say “Hi!”
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 11:10 pm
Hey Betty Jo, thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. I am excited to be moving back. It’ll be good to see family again after being away for so long! We have a lot of cooking to do together! Of course say hi, I’d love that. One of my first stops will be the Hot Dog Shoppe! Chili dog with cheese!
CynthiaMarch 12, 2021 at 4:33 pm
Sad, sad, sad to see Fran go! No fair! That said, there are no goodbyes and we will see one another on one coast or another, or both! Glad that you will have family and new adventures to share with all of us.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 6:22 pm
I am sad to leave you my sweet Cynthia, so we will have to have another watering day at your house soon before I leave. Let me know a good day for you and just know that anywhere I am living, you are always welcome to visit and stay! xoxo
Diana DiekmannMarch 12, 2021 at 12:46 pm
Sorry to hear that you are going but as you know, one door closes and another opens! Open that door with open arms and embrace this next chapter in your life! Pittsburgh is a great hilly city as I learned years ago when my sister and friend and I took the Mega Bus for a day trip to Pittsburgh. We all had a really good time near the bus station and the funicular and the University. Maybe we can do that again in the future and meet up.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 6:21 pm
Diana, I would love that. Pittsburgh really is a totally cool city. I look forward to being a part of it and showing any friends from LA who show up, all the sights. I am ready for the doors to open and will push them open if I have to! Thanks for taking the time to write! xoxo
Petrea BurchardMarch 12, 2021 at 10:11 am
I’m sorry to see you go. But I get it. The pandemic has created a lot of upheaval, some of it good. It has made us look at how we’re living and forced us to decide what to keep and what to change. Come back and visit soon!
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 6:20 pm
Oh Petrea, I will miss this place, I really will…and all the friends like you I’ve made along the way, but I think this will be good for me and for my family. I do plan to visit, so you will probably see me around! xoxox
Chas MadonioMarch 12, 2021 at 9:59 am
It will be nice having you within visiting distance again, and remember our door is always open. I know it’s bitter sweet, but hopefully, the sweet will outweigh the bitter. You’ve had quite a run in LA, now you can look forward to the next chapter in your life. Nancy and I wish you all the best.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 6:17 pm
Awww Chas! Thank you so much. I really appreciate that and I do want to plan a visit with you guys. That would be fun. I look forward to being back there and enjoying the seasons, even the cold ones!
Colleen RudnickiMarch 12, 2021 at 9:52 am
Fran, congratulations for having the courage to make this move. It’s a big challenge but I totally understand your reasons for doing it. In this area Pennsylvania is just beautiful.
Welcome back when you get here. Looking forward to seeing you. Love, Colleen
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 6:15 pm
Awww Colleen, thank you for the good wishes and taking the time to write. I look forward to connecting with you and the rest of my family when I get back. It’s been too long! See you soon! xoxoxo
Julia ShureMarch 12, 2021 at 9:51 am
Wow, Fran. I’m so happy for you. You’re making me miss L.A. too and I moved away so long ago. I hope you will continue your blog.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:34 pm
Hi Julia, I am planning to. Remember that book I talked about years ago? Well, I’ve pulled it out of mothballs and am working hard on getting it published. (And yes, the story about coming home to a great smell and discovering a split head of a goat sizzling away in the oven is still in there.) I remember you winced when you read that – it made me chuckle. I still have lots of work to do on it, particularly with my social media. I need more followers, so I’m working on that. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, get in touch, you WILL have a place to stay! Make the drive to L.A. It’s worth it, there’s so much cool stuff here. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond! xoxo
Julia A ShureMarch 13, 2021 at 10:10 am
Kara and Kai are buying a place in Brooklyn, so they are rooted there now. Maybe we can meet up on the East Coast sometime. Good luck with your move and your book. You can always visit us here in the Bay Area, too!
GINA RUBENMarch 12, 2021 at 8:38 am
I’m new to your blog but have enjoyed it very much. I live in Redondo Beach and my kids are all scattered, I understand very well your feelings. It’s a sad and sweet time of life. Best to you going forward, please keep your beautiful blog which I love as much for your writing as for your recipes.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Awwww Gina, thank you so much!!! I am trying to get new followers right now because I am working on getting a book published about growing up with my Italian mom and a social media following is really important, so feel free to tell your friends about me. Thank you so very much!!!! I’m curious, how did you find me?
Gina RubenMarch 12, 2021 at 6:10 pm
I’m not really sure but I suspect I was looking foe a recipe foe something. I enjoy making new things.
TheresaMarch 12, 2021 at 8:06 am
What!!!! I’m so happy that you will get to hang with the familia. Life is full of new beginnings. I love how you embrace them with an open heart and grace. Maybe we’ll meet up in The Windy City. I wish you much luck and a safe journey across the country….again. Love, T
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:28 pm
Oh my God, I would love that. I am hoping to visit with Mr. B and family on the way back to Pittsburgh. I suspect with all the stops I want to make I’ll get there sometime in September! Thank you for the sweet words Theresa. I look forward to seeing you soon!
MonicaMarch 12, 2021 at 7:37 am
We will have to get together when you make it to PA- Pittsburgh is not too terribly far from us. And you need to come visit us too. Good luck on your new adventure- you will surely have lots of new things to blog about!
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm
I would love that. It’s time to explore the east coast. I’ve never done that and am more than ready to!!!
MarianneMarch 12, 2021 at 6:41 am
Wishing you the best of luck in Pennsylvania near your family!! Leaving your home base here and going to your family in Pennsylvania will have your children visiting you at a new home base. I am sure of that!!
I understand why you are leaving but I know I will miss you. I love this blog with its fabulous recipes and stories that always touch my heart. It reminds me of growing up in an Italian family on the East Coast.
I want to see you before you leave California and when you are in Pennsylvania, let’s stay in touch!! You may be relocating near my cousin so I just may see you there someday.
Love you, Fran!
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:26 pm
Thank you for the sweet words! What fun to be able to see you in Pittsburgh Marianne! Let’s definitely get together for a hike or a lunch. Just let me know a good day and we’ll do it. Text me, OK?
Randy FullerMarch 12, 2021 at 6:30 am
You will be missed in L.A., Fran. But at least we will still be able to read your comments, I hope! Be careful with those Moscow Mules, btw… Back in Pittsburgh’s wintertime the metal cups could stick to your fingers.
Fran TunnoMarch 12, 2021 at 5:24 pm
I’ll take that chance Mr. Fuller. I hope to see you and Neecey before I leave. Pencil me in, OK? Hopefully, you’ve both been vaccinated. Let me know, OK?