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Old 11-04-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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Curious if anyone has moved to Maine from the West Coast? How was the transition? What sparked the move? Are you happy with the move an do you wish you would have stayed West? What town did you move to and why did you choose it? How did the kids adjust?? State we live in is getting worse by the day for several reasons and inlaws back east keep prodding us to pack up and move. Just curious.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:33 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
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Hi FF... Elston will see this tomorrow and answer, I'm sure. It's just late on this coast, so most are in bed. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,612 posts, read 49,226,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family first
Curious if anyone has moved to Maine from the West Coast? How was the transition? What sparked the move? Are you happy with the move an do you wish you would have stayed West? What town did you move to and why did you choose it? How did the kids adjust?? ...
I grew up in California. Moved away with a job, returned and attended college. We had a goat dairy, and later went back into my previous job and transfered away again.

In our travels we lived in Washington state for 5 years too.

My siblings are still in California. I go back every few years. I went back for a short visit this summer.

Our transition to Maine was very smooth.

For 15 years before my retirement, we had been planning my retirement. At each location we searched and searched to find if there was any place nearby that we would like to live. We were living in Italy when we finally settled on Maine as our destination.

We are very much happy with our decision to live in Maine.

We are in Argyle. Chosen for, well, I was walking around on each of the properties that I looked at while shopping for land. If it looked promising, I would walk the property lines. This property just stood out to me, as being perfect. A river, forest, wild life, peaceful, eagles flying overhead, moose, beaver, ...

I took photos, and later showed my Dw. She fell in love with it from the photos. At the time, the seller had two properties adjacent to each other. My SIL was visiting when I was showing my Dw the photos, and my SIL said if we bought one of these properties then she would buy the other. Both ladies made their desicions while having never stepped foot in Maine, only from looking at my photos and description of these properties.

If you look at my profile here on CD, in the photo album you can see the photos for yourself.

Oh and this town is an 'Un-Organized Township' which only adds to the wonderful-ness of it all.

Our children both like it. Our youngest was still in school. The transfer from his previous school to here was great. The local school system here is much better than his previous school was.




Quote:
... State we live in is getting worse by the day for several reasons and inlaws back east keep prodding us to pack up and move.
I understand.

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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I lived in New England (mostly Maine) until I was 16 then moved to California. I lived in California for about 16 years and then moved to Hawaii. I just kept going west when I should have moved back east! Now after 20 years of living away from "home" I am ready to go back! So I guess you could say that I am part transplant. I really liked California when I was there, but I was younger and I still had some family there. Now DH and I were discussing if we should go back to California or Maine and we chose Maine! I hear California is changing a lot. We are sick of paying high costs for rents and everything else! I miss the "real people" of Maine! We are moving in 5 weeks and the only thing I am sure of is how happy I am that I am moving back. As for towns to live in, well....we are still not sure of that! I grew up in the Searsport/Belfast area and wouldn't mind returning there but we are also considering Portland and Southern Maine because of better job opportunities and better beaches (my California boy hubby is happy to move to Maine but still insists on surfing ). I guess what town you choose will largely depend on what you are looking for. You should definitely do some research into Maine and see if it has what you are looking for!
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Woolwich, ME
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Hello family first. I grew up in Maine, but moved away for college and stayed away until retirement. My DH and I lived for many years in Chicago and then for even more years in the San Francisco Bay Area. When we first started thinking retirement, we thought we'd retire in CA, but it became clear we could never retire early and still live where we wanted in CA. Also, we became increasingly concerned by the gulf between the haves and have nots in CA. It really bothered us that so many people working as fire fighters, police officers and school teachers couldn't afford to live in the towns they served. Also, we kept seeing the infrastructure crumbling around us, the schools getting worse and worse...

My family was all back in Maine, along with a lot of extended family in MA, so we were back here at least a couple of times a year. My DH was born and raised in the midwest, but he loved it in Maine as much as I did. We came to realize how perfect Maine would be for us as early retirees. We've been back (southern midcoast, just outside Bath) for six years and love it. It's quiet, there's so much to do outside, housing is affordable and you can have a lot of land if you want, crime is extremely low and we find the taxes and cost of living pretty reasonable (there is a lot of disagreement on that last point).

I think one of the biggest contrasts for us between ME and CA is the friendliness and community-mindedness of ME. We found that our neighbors and acquaintances in CA tended to be friendly only on the most superficial levels. When we went to the local high school sports games, the only people there were parents. Here, we know all our neighbors well and socialize with them, pet sit for each other and help each other out in so many ways. You can see loads of townspeople at the high school sports games, there are lots of community groups like theater, singing groups, snowmobile clubs, you name it.

We didn't find the weather that big an adjustment. Of course you need to be prepared for snow, but it feels good to make all your preparations for winter and to know you're ready. Most people (including me) wish winter didn't last so darned long, but you can't have everything. And I mean that literally. From moving around, I've definitely concluded there is no perfect place. In Maine, the winters are too long, there's no decent chinese food and high school kids generally think it's boring beyond belief.

We love the Bath/Brunswick area. I grew up near Lewiston, but wanted to be closer to the coast in retirement. We also looked at Freeport and Damariscotta/Newcastle. I think Damariscotta and Newcastle are really beautiful, but we ended up ruling it out just because I didn't feel comfortable driving on Route 1 at night between Wiscasset and Damariscotta. There's no lighting and people drive kind of unsafely, in my opinion. We never found a house we liked in Freeport. Bath is great because it has a real old-fashioned downtown with a Reny's (world's greatest little local department store with a few other locations in ME), a coffee shop, couple of used bookstores, clothing stores, couple of restaurants, grocery, candy store, bakery, family-owned pharmacy, fantastic kitchen store, diner, public library. There is a very active downtown association and they organize great events like a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, caroling all over downtown in a trolley, community sing, Heritage Days events for the July 4 week and lots more. One drawback to Bath that might affect you is that the high school (Morse High School) has a much higher dropout rate than I would be comfortable with. Quite a few parents around here send their high schoolers to Portland, to Lincoln Academy in Newcastle and a couple of other schools.

Brunswick is a great place to live, too. It has a bit more going on, in part because of Bowdoin College begin there. It's very near I-295, so you can be in Portland in 30 minutes or less and in Boston in just over two hours.

I don't know why this just popped into my mind, but one thing about Maine you may appreciate is how big locally grown food is here. We have many family-owned farms (organic and non-organic), cheesemakers, orchards, beer brewers, bakers, cooks, etc. Loads of farmers' markets, including quite a few winter markets. All summer long and into the fall we have so many festivals and fairs you can go to something just about every week to celebrate strawberries, blueberries, clams, lobster, farm animals, all kinds of produce, organics, music and on and on.

You don't say what your situation is, but the big warning that's needed is that Maine is a relatively poor state and always has been. Wages are low here, jobs have always been hard to come by and they are particularly difficult to find these days. Don't even think about coming to Maine unless at least one of you already has a job lined up or you are planning to retire here. There are many, many people of working age who would live in Maine in a heartbeat but they can't find a job in their area of interest here or at least one that pays anything close to what they can get elsewhere. It's very common to have people grow up in Maine, spend their entire working lives "in exile" and move back here in retirement.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:58 AM
 
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I grew up in Kalifornia, and although it was a nice place to grow up, Maine is much nicer. Although Maine, like CA, is dominated by liberals, the people are very nice, so if that is your thing you will like it. Just make sure you have a good job, I would never be able to live here without good employment--or a trust fund :-)
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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We moved to Maine from California this past summer. We wanted to escape the madness of Los Angeles and were looking for a better place to raise our children. We were looking for a place with better schools, less crime, less traffic, less congestion, less year-round infernal heat, better values. DH also wanted to be on the coast. After four visits, we settled on Yarmouth, ME. Yarmouth is a small, quaint, coastal town that has a lot to offer, but what made the decision for us was the schools, which have made Newsweek's top list for several years. And aside from the test scores, the schools are small and are able to offer so much more personalized attention than the giant 3,000+ student highschools in California. Within the first month, everyone from the principal to the counselors to the librarians and teachers knew my children by name - they weren't just a number. And the services that are offered are amazing. My girls have art class, music class, language class, gym class, etc. There are before and after school activities like intramurals, leadership club, math club, writing club, etc. New students are welcomed with Pizza Parties and Friendship Classes with the counselors. There are actually special teachers for the gifted and talented students - something that there just didn't seem to be enough funding for in California (and we were in a rather affluent area.) Anyway, so far we think life is pretty darned good here in Maine. Not perfect - but good. Overall, the people seem a bit more down to earth; or at least with better values. People don't seem so interested in flashing their wealth around, even if they've got it; you'll see a lot of women in their l.l. bean clothes and kids in hanna andersson, pricey outfits, but you won't see the glitzy, rhinestone bling and 3 inches of cleavage on the soccer moms and teachers that you see in L.A. - much more tasteful and appropriate and I think a better influence for kids! Most of the moms work or are at home with the kids and not spending their days at the spa or tennis court as in L.A. Sometimes I find Yarmouth a bit too... No sugar in the school, mandatory carpooling, composting classes, co-op everything, recycling lectures, etc. Not that I don't embrace most of these things. I've been an almost vegetarian for over 20 years; I just don't talk about it and don't care if someone else is or not...prefer to not have these things shoved down my throat. But, hey, there are a lot worse things and overall the people are pretty nice, the scenery is out of this world and most important, my kids are happy and I feel safer here. What more can I say? Good luck with your decision - its a big one! Oh, and if you decide to make the move, don't forget the bug spray! No giant animals here ready to make a meal of you; but lots of little, nasty buggers!

Last edited by maja; 11-05-2009 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,612 posts, read 49,226,837 times
Reputation: 18982
Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
We moved to Maine from California this past summer. We wanted to escape the madness of Los Angeles and were looking for a better place to raise our children. We were looking for a place with better schools, less crime, less traffic, less congestion, less year-round infernal heat, better values. DH also wanted to be on the coast. After four visits, we settled on Yarmouth, ME. Yarmouth is a small, quaint, coastal town that has a lot to offer, but what made the decision for us was the schools, which have made Newsweek's top list for several years. And aside from the test scores, the schools are small and are able to offer so much more personalized attention than the giant 3,000+ student highschools in California. Within the first month, everyone from the principal to the counselors to the librarians and teachers knew my children by name - they weren't just a number. And the services that are offered are amazing. My girls have art class, music class, language class, gym class, etc. There are before and after school activities like intramurals, leadership club, math club, writing club, etc. New students are welcomed with Pizza Parties and Friendship Classes with the counselors. There are actually special teachers for the gifted and talented students - something that there just didn't seem to be enough funding for in California (and we were in a rather affluent area.) Anyway, so far we think life is pretty darned good here in Maine. Not perfect - but good.
Reading what you have written, yet again, and I am amazed that you can sum it up as 'not perfect'.

The school had a pizza party to welcome new students?

Extra teachers!

Before school activities, after school activities!

The principal, the counselors, the librarians and teachers all know your children's names ?

[ I grew up in California, I attended a highschool with 3,000+ kids, I never met my counselor until it was nearly graduation. ]

All this, but Maine is not 'perfect'?

[ BTW we moved to Northern Maine and you described our experience with the highschool up here too. ]




Quote:
... Overall, the people seem a bit more down to earth; or at least with better values. People don't seem so interested in flashing their wealth around, even if they've got it; you'll see a lot of women in their l.l. bean clothes and kids in hanna andersson, pricey outfits, but you won't see the glitzy, rhinestone bling and 3 inches of cleavage on the soccer moms and teachers that you see in L.A. - much more tasteful and appropriate and I think a better influence for kids! Most of the moms work or are at home with the kids and not spending their days at the spa or tennis court as in L.A.

Sometimes I find Yarmouth a bit too "socialistic?"

No sugar in the school, mandatory carpooling, composting classes, co-op everything, recycling lectures, etc. Not that I don't embrace most of these things. I've been an almost vegetarian for over 20 years; I just don't talk about it and prefer to not have these things shoved down my throat. But, hey, there are a lot worse things and overall the people are pretty nice, the scenery is out of this world and most important, my kids are happy and I feel safer here.

What more can I say? Good luck with your decision - its a big one! Oh, and if you decide to make the move, don't forget the bug spray! No giant animals here ready to make a meal of you; but lots of little, nasty buggers!
Okay fair enough.

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Old 11-05-2009, 08:03 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,412,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
We moved to Maine from California this past summer. We wanted to escape the madness of Los Angeles and were looking for a better place to raise our children. We were looking for a place with better schools, less crime, less traffic, less congestion, less year-round infernal heat, better values. DH also wanted to be on the coast. After four visits, we settled on Yarmouth, ME. Yarmouth is a small, quaint, coastal town that has a lot to offer, but what made the decision for us was the schools, which have made Newsweek's top list for several years. And aside from the test scores, the schools are small and are able to offer so much more personalized attention than the giant 3,000+ student highschools in California. Within the first month, everyone from the principal to the counselors to the librarians and teachers knew my children by name - they weren't just a number. And the services that are offered are amazing. My girls have art class, music class, language class, gym class, etc. There are before and after school activities like intramurals, leadership club, math club, writing club, etc. New students are welcomed with Pizza Parties and Friendship Classes with the counselors. There are actually special teachers for the gifted and talented students - something that there just didn't seem to be enough funding for in California (and we were in a rather affluent area.) Anyway, so far we think life is pretty darned good here in Maine. Not perfect - but good. Overall, the people seem a bit more down to earth; or at least with better values. People don't seem so interested in flashing their wealth around, even if they've got it; you'll see a lot of women in their l.l. bean clothes and kids in hanna andersson, pricey outfits, but you won't see the glitzy, rhinestone bling and 3 inches of cleavage on the soccer moms and teachers that you see in L.A. - much more tasteful and appropriate and I think a better influence for kids! Most of the moms work or are at home with the kids and not spending their days at the spa or tennis court as in L.A. Sometimes I find Yarmouth a bit too... No sugar in the school, mandatory carpooling, composting classes, co-op everything, recycling lectures, etc. Not that I don't embrace most of these things. I've been an almost vegetarian for over 20 years; I just don't talk about it and don't care if someone else is or not...prefer to not have these things shoved down my throat. But, hey, there are a lot worse things and overall the people are pretty nice, the scenery is out of this world and most important, my kids are happy and I feel safer here. What more can I say? Good luck with your decision - its a big one! Oh, and if you decide to make the move, don't forget the bug spray! No giant animals here ready to make a meal of you; but lots of little, nasty buggers!
Rethought the comment huh? I can see where you might think that things are pushed on you a bit in Yarmouth. I grew up in Yarmouth, went to school there, and find myself there almost every day for one reason or another. It is much different from the way it was in the 60's, 70's, and even the 80's. The town is nice but the people there try too hard to make it "perfect". Not the old family natives so much but the transplants who have brought their idea of what Yarmouth should be. (Present company excepted of course) They pay far too much attention to other people's business and not enough to their own.
I live all of three miles from there now but this town, though a tourist Mecca, is more relaxed in it's approach to town government and lifestyle in general. Our kids received a very good start in Freeport schools and have done well in their respective colleges. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't mind living in Yarmouth again, I just see no compelling reason to.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:32 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 5,046,052 times
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Originally Posted by woolwiTch View Post
I don't know why this just popped into my mind, but one thing about Maine you may appreciate is how big locally grown food is here. We have many family-owned farms (organic and non-organic), cheesemakers, orchards, beer brewers, bakers, cooks, etc. Loads of farmers' markets, including quite a few winter markets. All summer long and into the fall we have so many festivals and fairs you can go to something just about every week to celebrate strawberries, blueberries, clams, lobster, farm animals, all kinds of produce, organics, music and on and on.
This is very nice to hear! I love fresh produce and supporting local farmers.. We buy at our local farm stand all year long.

And though I have always been happy with whats avaiable here in Maine I was just always under the impression that california had the "best" produce Which I assumed was because of the climate and longer growing seasons. And I love the fairs!!
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