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Old 01-03-2008, 12:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,956 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello everyone,

I am looking for information with regards to Northern Alabama. More specifically the Huntsville and surrounding areas. My family will be relocating there within the next 6 months from California so this is going to be quite a culture shock for us. I have 2 children ages 15 and 8 so any information you all might be able to pass on regarding schools would be quite helpful.

I know there are tons of threads talking about the same thing so I appreciate your patience. I'll be honest, I'm looking for some positive reinforcement.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:17 PM
 
13,106 posts, read 17,666,184 times
Reputation: 19647
Welcome! As soon as Zenjen thaws out you she can give you a Californien's view on Huntsville:>)
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,235 times
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ZenJenn isn't the only California relocatee! Yes, there may be some culture shock -- but what part of CA are you coming from? Depending on where you are now, it may not be as different as you think.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:51 PM
 
13,106 posts, read 17,666,184 times
Reputation: 19647
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleC View Post
ZenJenn isn't the only California relocatee! Yes, there may be some culture shock -- but what part of CA are you coming from? Depending on where you are now, it may not be as different as you think.
Mea culpa! As I am also a transplant - you may have to wait a bit for a native to drop by:>)
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:41 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,956 times
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Thanks for responding!

I live in Rancho Cucamonga which is about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles.
I love it here but it's getting crowded as Rancho has been the fastest growing city in CA for awhile now. Honestly, I would probably live here for the rest of my life but my parents need to relocate for financial reasons. We're a small family, so where they go we go. I've never lived anywhere else so I'm panicking, but excited at the same time. I hate everything about going into LA, so big cities don't excite me at all.

It seems like the mentality here in CA is hurry up and wait. Well I'm growing old spending so much time hurrying up and waiting.
But I do need grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants close.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:42 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,956 times
Reputation: 11
I forgot to ask


Where in CA are you all from?


This posting thing is new to me, but I'm a quick learner.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,235 times
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I lived in CA for almost 20 years, most of that in the LA area. Most recently, I was in Orange so we were practically neighbors.

Yes, Alabama is a lot different than southern California. The weather is a start -- no balmy 72 degree January days. We're freezing our butts off right now and my co-workers in So Cal are rubbing it in.

People are people where ever you go, and Huntsville has them from all over. Nice folks, mean folks, weird folks. People hand their religion on their sleeve a bit and are much less tolerant than you might be sued to, but it sure isn't the stereotypical south you may be thinking of. Huntsville is much more cosmopolitan than the rest of Alabama, but it's nice to have cow pastures and the country so close by.

Huntsville certainly lacks the smörgåsbord of entertainment and recreation you will get in So Cal. But it IS a real city -- and they do have grocery stores and shopping! On the other hand, most everywhere in HSV is pretty safe and it's more of a family oriented place. I daresay you'll worry less about your kids here. If you are selling a home in R.C. you will be pleasantly surprised at what your housing dollar gets you here.

If you are a big city person, I suggest staying in Huntsville proper. For one thing, you won't have to spend 2 hours a day commuting. But be prepared to have a lot of people who choose to live 50 miles from town crack jokes about LA traffic! On the other hand, if you want to live in the country it's possible to do that AND work in town.

Rent for a while after you move so you can get a handle on the place and decide what you want.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,598 posts, read 4,125,495 times
Reputation: 1412
Quote:
Welcome! As soon as Zenjen thaws out you she can give you a Californien's view on Huntsville:>)
Oh yes. I opened my door yesterday morning and got blasted with a freezing wind and shut the door and decided to stay home for two days. Fortunately school's still out, all the shopping was done over the weekend, so I had no particular reason to leave the house.

Quote:
I live in Rancho Cucamonga which is about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles.
Guess what? I lived in Claremont! We were practically neighbors!

Honestly, there is no culture shock. I tell my husband all the time that I feel like I'm in California, except there's less traffic, everything is cheaper, my house is bigger, people are more engaging, and the weather actually changes. Even the things I *expected* I'd have to adjust to, I don't. For example, smoking is prohibited in restaurants and other public places, and I can still easily find my froo-froo California health food junk like raw flax seeds, organic produce, and those yummy Amy's vegan frozen meals.


Quote:
People hand their religion on their sleeve a bit and are much less tolerant than you might be used to
I agree with you about the religion but.. less tolerant? I have to respectfully disagree there. They are less politically correct, and they are intolerant of different things.

In fact it has been refreshing that my husband, when asked what he does for a living, no longer has to mumble shamefully under his breath something about doing contract work for the military. And in Claremont I think the half a dozen registered Republicans secretly went into hiding during election time, for fear of being stoned.

People in California are all kinds of intolerant. They are just intolerant of a different subset of people.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,496,235 times
Reputation: 128
I haven't had the same experience, Jen, and I never experienced any issues with my political affiliation in CA. Hey, I even worked for the Green party at one point and they didn't care.

But I wasn't talking about politics or political correctness. Half my neighbors won't talk to me because I'm unmarried and have no kids (and *gasp* I dared to buy a house!), but aren't polite enough not to gossip about the reason, and Direct Buy wouldn't give me a tour of the showroom because I didn't have a husband.

I could give more examples, but I don't want to sound like I am bashing Huntsville. Every place has it's good points and bad, and I think being honest about the place is more useful to potential relocatees instead of just talking about the good stuff. And Huntsville has plenty of the good stuff -- it's more about which parts matter to you. I have issues with HUntsville, but I have not plans on leaving; the good outweighs the, erm, less good, for me.

I am glad that you have had no issues here, but perhaps you fit the Huntsville mold better than I. It also probably helps that you are in a new area of town, and I am not.

Last edited by NicoleC; 01-04-2008 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,598 posts, read 4,125,495 times
Reputation: 1412
Well of course no one in California cared if you worked for the Green party. They love the Green Party in California, or are at least sympathetic to it. (And that isn't a shot - I voted for Ralph Nader once.) Now, if you had worked for the America First party or something, I suspect you would have experienced some judgment. (Of course, this is all relative. There are some highly conservative pockets in California as well.)

Quote:
Half my neighbors won't talk to me because I'm unmarried and have no kids...
Well, I think this is true anywhere. And no doubt, I think Huntsville is a better fit for families than it is for young singles.

In California my neighbors didn't talk to me because neighbors didn't talk to each other. (Well, in Claremont they did a little, Orange County was more of an isolationist culture). Is it that your neighbors refuse to talk to you, or they just have had no particular reason to? My life experience has been.. when I was single and childless, all my friends were single and childless. Now that I am married with children, all my friends are married with children. Family life is so integral to your every waking moment, it is difficult to relate to people more than casually who don't share that experience. I do keep in touch with my childless friends through e-mail and phone calls, but it's difficult to maintain constant contact with someone who has no interest in hearing about my kids, when my life is 90% about kids right now.

Quote:
Direct Buy wouldn't give me a tour of the showroom because I didn't have a husband.
You're probably better off. From everything I have heard, Direct Buy is a ripoff and a borderline scam. I had heard about Direct Buy in Los Angeles, but I did not know they had a Huntsville branch. This just gives me one more reason to have no interest in going there.

Last edited by zenjenn; 01-04-2008 at 08:08 AM..
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