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Old 08-13-2016, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Leaving Phoenix and Snobsdale
218 posts, read 237,806 times
Reputation: 107

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Video is on experiencescottsdale.com
There are some who wish to change Scottsdale into a big city, including the current mayor Jim Lane, but overall, the suburbs of the city still offer the outdoor amenities you are looking for. If you come to Arizona before the mayoral elections in November, you'll witness the mayor controversy of Lane vs. His challenger Bob Littlefield. Most residents don't want the tall buildings so Littlefield will probably win. Another reason I wouldn't recommend Boulder is the tall buildings and traffic, as they decided to grow. Towns in southern California, often have the least amount of traffic such as Carlsbad and Thousand Oaks, who decided early on that they didn't want to look like LA! They also put in lots of bike trails and open space, just like Scottsdale did. Boulder, hard to get around by bike since too much traffic.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
12,333 posts, read 10,303,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventurer007 View Post
Thanks. FS sounds good, except the weather sounds a bit too cold?

One of our criteria is: - Weather! Having lived in a wet, mild Irish climate for most of our lives we want to experience sun, sun and more sun. We could do harsh winters, but would prefer not to.

I have these visions of lazy evenings in the sun even throughout the winter..

I work with a guy that grew up in Las Cruces, NM and he loved it there. It is a University Town.

And the Organ Pipe Mountains are there.

Coldest month is December and avg high then is 58F ( 14.4C) but very sunny.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Cr...Las_Cruces.jpg

Howz this for being different to Ireland:

https://goo.gl/maps/8Ciadp5zMTm
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,861,863 times
Reputation: 22744
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I think that's a really good suggestion.
The OP's original list of cities include two really hot ones that will melt an Irish family and one that is ridiculously expensive.
You are not kidding. I'm a pasty redhead of Scots-Irish descent living in Colorado, and I spend a fortune on sun screen even staying indoors between 10 am and dinner. When the OP says he wants sun, I think he knows not what he's going to get out here in the western United States. It is brutal for those whose skin was made for the UK's climate.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:50 AM
 
231 posts, read 154,784 times
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Austin and Texas in general has pretty fluctuating weather... meaning it definitely gets cloudy, cold, and wet. For example, Houston and Dallas get more rain than Seattle! Texas is also it's own country, and a really cool place to live for a bit because Texas really could be it's own country (truly- and they are always threatening to secede!) But if you want a quintessential American experience, and you only could choose one place in the US, I would x Texas off the list- because you will be getting the "Texas" experience, not an American one (if that makes sense)

I think California epitomizes so much of what the rest of the world thinks about America (after all, the film industry is there), so if you want an experience that truly captures a certain aspect of American culture, California would be great (given your other criteria for sun and warm weather). Arizona would be fantastic too, although I would prefer California simply because it's become so iconic because of the film and television industries. Even being from the East Coast I've found myself saying, "OMG, I saw this in a movie!" to so many things in CA.

Not to mention Santa Barbara is breathtakingly beautiful. I would advise against Newport Beach, simply because I lived there for a bit and I think the traffic and spread out strip malls would drive anyone insane. But I'm think some of the other suggestions for spots in California are great- you may have to pay a bit more, but as you said- it's once in a lifetime. Might as well go all out, and do it right, if you have the funds, rather than saving some money but not getting that perfect experience.

Good luck and hope you will post us an update when you decide and once you have settled in and tell us what you think!
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:52 AM
 
231 posts, read 154,784 times
Reputation: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
You are not kidding. I'm a pasty redhead of Scots-Irish descent living in Colorado, and I spend a fortune on sun screen even staying indoors between 10 am and dinner. When the OP says he wants sun, I think he knows not what he's going to get out here in the western United States. It is brutal for those whose skin was made for the UK's climate.


This is true. I wear sunscreen religiously and it's still unavoidable to get a tan after a bit, and I can burn in a matter of minutes (and I'm not even all that pale!) Prepare to wear sunscreen every time you leave the house OP and even then you will get color whether you want it or not- the sun is dangerous in the west
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:58 AM
 
25 posts, read 16,599 times
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Thanks again everyone for the additional comments. And I promise to report back :-)
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,187 posts, read 1,442,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventurer007 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm a 38 year old Irish man and I am planning on taking my family (wife & 3 kids (1 girl (8), 2 boys (4 and 6)) from cold, wet (but beautiful!) Ireland to live in the US for 9 months (Sept to May). I won't be relying on work as I will be running my online business, so location wise we are totally flexible.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, so we want to make the most out of it and choose the best possible place for our needs. I'm hoping you guys can help steer us in the right direction :-)

Things that are important to us/on our 'wish list' (roughly in level of priority) include:

- Outdoor life. We want the kids to spend lots of time outdoors, preferably in beautiful scenery. We enjoy hiking, cycling and mountain biking for example.

- Weather! Having lived in a wet, mild Irish climate for most of our lives we want to experience sun, sun and more sun. We could do harsh winters, but would prefer not to.

- We want something quite different from life in Ireland. For this reason the east coast doesn't appeal as much (as beautiful as I'm sure it is). Different in terms of scenery, culture and weather

- Safe for us and of course the kids.

- We don't want to live downtown in a big city. Prefer small/medium town or suburb.

- We are very health conscious (food and exercise) and like living in places where other people have similar lifestyles and organic food etc being available is a nice to have

- Nature and beautiful scenery.

- We appreciate 'nice' things, as I'm sure most people do...nicely kept, pretty towns, nice restaurants etc

- I don't want to let budget be the determining factor but of course we prefer to spend less if possible.

- Wifey hates mosquitos...minor point, but worth mentioning. Also we are wary of lyme and things of that nature.

Having given it a lot of thought, we are currently considering (although open to other suggestions):

1. Scottsdale, Arizona
2. Austin, Texas
3. Santa Barbara, California

Scottsdale seems beautiful and quite cheap (accommodation anyway), but the weather is a bit of a concern for 5 pasty Irish people :-). Saying that we are going to miss the peak of the hot season as we are only there from Sept to May. We don't want to have to keep the kids caged up inside.

Austin seems similar to Scottsdale and again beautiful and reasonably priced.

We once visited Santa Barbara and LOVED it. This is the sort of place we could really see ourselves living. Main downside is the outrageous cost of accommodation (at least compared to the other 2).

I'd love to hear some feedback on the above 3 places, especially in relation to the 'wish list' etc I mention above.

Also, open to other suggestions.

Thanks in advance everyone. Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

Slainte!
Scottsdale - I love it there. Premium city with low crime and tons of sun. Bad part is the summer which you will conveniently avoid.


Austin - Also a good choice. The geography of the area is not as interesting but everything else is nice.


Santa Barbara - Fabulous city which I would recommend if you can afford it.


If you can afford Santa Barbara, then I would suggest consider La Jolla, Irvine, Thousand Oaks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 439 times
Reputation: 11
First of all, welcome and congratulations. Our family lived in the Netherlands for a year when my kids were 9 and 4 and it was all the things expats tell you it will be (challenging, ups and downs, and more incredible than you can imagine). So absolutely worth it.

We traveled as much as we could that year, and visited your beautiful country. My youngest, now 8, was so inspired by the music and dancing that he's been taking Irish Dance classes ever since.

As to your question, our Dutch friends, who were part of the government exchange program, lived in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado area for 18 months and loved the climate. They still talk of the SUN! It's an outdoor lover's playground there. So that may be a fit for you. Santa Barbara sounds great too, but I haven't been there in years so check with others.

We live in Davis, CA- waaay too hot. Some other Dutch friends visited last summer and struggled with the heat - I don't blame them! So I don't recommend your other choices based on the time of year you are traveling. If possible, financially, the San Francisco Bay Area is truly the best place in my opinion for that time of year to experience something so different for you. And you can experience SF, Lake Tahoe, travel up and down the coast, head up to Oregon and Washington, and even over to Yosemite, and Yellowstone... list goes on and on... so much to to do and see.

Wishing your family the best!
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:22 PM
 
3,500 posts, read 4,957,688 times
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Be advised that northern Arizona (anywhere north of metropolitan Phoenix) is at higher elevation and has a much cooler climate. Flagstaff, AZ can be very cold.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Leaving Phoenix and Snobsdale
218 posts, read 237,806 times
Reputation: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by American Expat View Post
Scottsdale - I love it there. Premium city with low crime and tons of sun. Bad part is the summer which you will conveniently avoid.


Austin - Also a good choice. The geography of the area is not as interesting but everything else is nice.


Santa Barbara - Fabulous city which I would recommend if you can afford it.


If you can afford Santa Barbara, then I would suggest consider La Jolla, Irvine, Thousand Oaks.
LA Jolla is full of a lot of snobs from back east.

The people in Santa Barbara are very nice. Thousand oaks, a subset is rude and nasty, but living there gives you the Chance to visit LA and the beaches.

LA is the friendliest and most open city of all those you've mentioned.
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