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Old 01-01-2011, 12:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 12,448 times
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I posted about a month or two ago ("What is one thing you wish you'd known before moving to NOVA?") that I would be relocating to NOVA with my family for job reasons. Everyone's answers to that question and various comments were incredibly helpful, so thank you.

After having been here about 3 weeks now, I have a few random questions/comments for which I'd love to hear feedback.

1) You all WERE NOT KIDDING about the traffic. I had no idea what "horrible traffic" really meant until I moved here. It takes me an hour or longer to drive the 20 miles every evening from my office in Reston to my home in Leesburg. I'm currently taking Hwy 7 because the money for the tollroad is just an added expense we really can't afford right now. However, in the future, would taking the tollway really be any quicker? In other words, would it be worth it to spend the $$$ (at least on the way home -- I'm fine with using Hwy 7 in the mornings because it seems to take less time) in exchange for a quicker commute time if the tollway really does offer a quicker commute time? If the traffic on the tollway is going to be just as bad as Hwy 7, I might as well save the money and just continue to use 7.

2) On another driving note, can someone please explain to me why drivers routinely seem to go 10-15 mph below the speed limit when there's not a single car around them? This annoys the you-know-what out of me to no end.

3) What is Bloom?

4) What is the deal with liquor stores? My husband went into one and was shocked to find that they sold only liquor. Most other parts of the country we've lived in or visited had liquor stores with a huge variety of beer & wine, in addition to liquor (we are primarily beer drinkers). We did stumble upon the Total Wine store in Sterling, which really lifted our spirits, and Wegman's wasn't bad, either, but other than those, there really doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from in the grocery stores or gas stations.

5) We've tried most of the grocery stores, and all seem pretty comparable price-wise (with the exception of Wegman's). Which one is generally viewed as the one where you get the most bang for your buck?

So far we've really been pleased with and have enjoyed living here so far. I know 3 weeks is only a short time, and we're still in the process of getting settled in and acclimated, but I'm optimistic that we'll continue to like the area. Can't wait to see what everything looks like in the spring & summer!
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:19 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,156,859 times
Reputation: 6500
Quote:
1) You all WERE NOT KIDDING about the traffic. I had no idea what "horrible traffic" really meant until I moved here. It takes me an hour or longer to drive the 20 miles every evening from my office in Reston to my home in Leesburg. I'm currently taking Hwy 7 because the money for the tollroad is just an added expense we really can't afford right now. However, in the future, would taking the tollway really be any quicker? In other words, would it be worth it to spend the $$$ (at least on the way home -- I'm fine with using Hwy 7 in the mornings because it seems to take less time) in exchange for a quicker commute time if the tollway really does offer a quicker commute time? If the traffic on the tollway is going to be just as bad as Hwy 7, I might as well save the money and just continue to use 7.
I'll let someone from that area chime in. My impression, though, is that the toll road is going to be faster.

Quote:
2) On another driving note, can someone please explain to me why drivers routinely seem to go 10-15 mph below the speed limit when there's not a single car around them? This annoys the you-know-what out of me to no end.
I see this too and all I can say is that some of them have just become zombified.

Quote:
3) What is Bloom?
It is a grocery store that is part of the "Food Lion" family. We used to have just Food Lion's in their place. In an effort to change their image, Food Lion created some Bloom stores which are a tad more upscale than Food Lion. They also created "Bottom Dollar" which is a no frills food store and they still have some regular Food Lion stores.

Quote:
4) What is the deal with liquor stores? My husband went into one and was shocked to find that they sold only liquor. Most other parts of the country we've lived in or visited had liquor stores with a huge variety of beer & wine, in addition to liquor (we are primarily beer drinkers). We did stumble upon the Total Wine store in Sterling, which really lifted our spirits, and Wegman's wasn't bad, either, but other than those, there really doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from in the grocery stores or gas stations.
Virginia's liquor sales are run through the state. What you stumbled into was a Virginia ABC store and not a true liquor store. I'm from Maryland so I know liquor stores. In VA, liquor can only be sold by the state in state stores. Beer and wine can be sold in grocery stores, places like Costco, and other places like Total Wine. These stores cannot carry liquor. Conversely, if you drive into Maryland, the only place you will fine beer/wine and liquor is in a liquor store. In Maryland, only one store in a chain of stores will be available to sell beer and wine (so one Giant Food in a county will have it, one Safeway will have it, and so on).

Quote:
5) We've tried most of the grocery stores, and all seem pretty comparable price-wise (with the exception of Wegman's). Which one is generally viewed as the one where you get the most bang for your buck?
Probably Wegman's. I don't price shop because I don't have the time but, overall, I'd say Wegman's and second would be Shopper's Food Warehouse.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,942,304 times
Reputation: 42862
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post
1) You all WERE NOT KIDDING about the traffic. I had no idea what "horrible traffic" really meant until I moved here.

Yup! It's the big downside of being the one area in the country that has jobs--way too many people are moving here in droves and that leads to traffic congestion. We're building roads and metro lines as fast as we can but infrastructure takes time, and building it clogs up traffic even more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post

2) On another driving note, can someone please explain to me why drivers routinely seem to go 10-15 mph below the speed limit when there's not a single car around them? This annoys the you-know-what out of me to no end.
There used to be a lot of speeding here--and a lot of traffic related deaths. They had a big campaign to slow things down and the deaths/injuries went down significantly (we returned to 1966 levels). Also, a lot of people drive slowly when they're new to an area and trying to find their way. Or, people who have lived here for a while but are trying to figure out the new roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post

3) What is Bloom?
A branch of Food Lion. Supposedly it's more upscale than the rest of the chain. You can tell if a neighborhood is relatively upscale if they decided to make the Food Lion there a Bloom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post

4) What is the deal with liquor stores? My husband went into one and was shocked to find that they sold only liquor. Most other parts of the country we've lived in or visited had liquor stores with a huge variety of beer & wine, in addition to liquor (we are primarily beer drinkers). We did stumble upon the Total Wine store in Sterling, which really lifted our spirits, and Wegman's wasn't bad, either, but other than those, there really doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from in the grocery stores or gas stations.
Wine and beer can be bought at Costco, Total Beverage, and grocery stores. It's much cheaper there, so nobody buys it at liquor stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post

5) We've tried most of the grocery stores, and all seem pretty comparable price-wise (with the exception of Wegman's). Which one is generally viewed as the one where you get the most bang for your buck?
Wegman's!!! You have to shop carefully because Weggie's is sometimes the most amazing value, and forother items it's overpriced. Do a price comparison on your regular purchases and you'll be surprised how much you can save at Weggies.

Welcome to Virginia. I'm glad you like it. Some people have a hard time adjusting at first (especially to the traffic), but I find it really grows on you after a year or so.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:44 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,619,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Probably Wegman's. I don't price shop because I don't have the time but, overall, I'd say Wegman's and second would be Shopper's Food Warehouse.
I agree with Christine on the grocery stores. I shop at Wegman's because I find their prices to be competitive on the items we buy and their customer service is excellent. Out of Shoppers, Giant and Safeway (the stores near me), I think Shoppers has the best prices after Wegman's. I've noticed that lately when I need to buy something quickly and don't want to go to Wegman's, I can find it pretty well priced at Target (our closest Target added a grocery section).
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:14 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,156,859 times
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Originally Posted by mlv311 View Post
I can find it pretty well priced at Target (our closest Target added a grocery section).
I've also been doing a lot of grocery shopping at Target lately for some things. One of the Wal-Marts in Woodbridge became a super WalMart and their grocery section is pretty darn good. Beats Target's by a mile. I've stayed out of Walmart for years but have now gone back because of the food!
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,725 posts, read 6,274,879 times
Reputation: 1590
The other posters covered the subjects well. I would also recommend checking out Lotte and Global Foods for alternatives to the better known grocery stores. They're both Korean owned chains and cater to Asian/Indian/Hispanics. I find most of the produce is better priced and fresher. Also the assortment of seafood is greater.

Another one to check out is El Grande. I know of one in Springfield, but not sure if they are a chain.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,590,320 times
Reputation: 3656
Regarding the toll road, I have only ever taken it in the other direction (DC to Reston in the morning, Reston to DC in the evenings), but found it MUCH faster than route 7. When I had training for 2 months in Reston and had to make the daily commute, I tried to take 7 for a week to save some money...but I found that it took me an extra 30+ minutes to go that way. My time is worth way more than $3.50/hour!
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,542,934 times
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You will be able to drive above the speed limit on the toll road between Leesburg and Reston.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,378,702 times
Reputation: 949
1. When I used to commute from Ashburn to Fairfax or McLean or where-have-you, I would often take the Toll Road home once or twice a week. It DOES make a difference. Usually I would take it home every Friday as I "treated" myself for the weekend, lol! You could take Route 7 to Route 28 to 267 and get to Reston...May be a little faster but depends on where in Reston you are.

2. Who knows...I think some people get scared by the traffic and just drive slower. It is annoying.

3. Bloom is a grocery store. I hate it. I only shopped at Wegmans. I LOVED Wegmans. (We recently just moved) I swear Wegmans has the best prices...and their store brand is VERY good on a lot of things.

4. Yeah, it's different in VA. We would just get beer at the grocery store or Costco. Costco's is a good price...at least for hubby's Yingling.

5. Again, Wegmans. Just love it. We just moved to Richmond and we are about to travel once a month back to Wegmans to get stuff. Nothing compares to us.

Glad you made it here! Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyE926 View Post
I posted about a month or two ago ("What is one thing you wish you'd known before moving to NOVA?") that I would be relocating to NOVA with my family for job reasons. Everyone's answers to that question and various comments were incredibly helpful, so thank you.

After having been here about 3 weeks now, I have a few random questions/comments for which I'd love to hear feedback.

1) You all WERE NOT KIDDING about the traffic. I had no idea what "horrible traffic" really meant until I moved here. It takes me an hour or longer to drive the 20 miles every evening from my office in Reston to my home in Leesburg. I'm currently taking Hwy 7 because the money for the tollroad is just an added expense we really can't afford right now. However, in the future, would taking the tollway really be any quicker? In other words, would it be worth it to spend the $$$ (at least on the way home -- I'm fine with using Hwy 7 in the mornings because it seems to take less time) in exchange for a quicker commute time if the tollway really does offer a quicker commute time? If the traffic on the tollway is going to be just as bad as Hwy 7, I might as well save the money and just continue to use 7.

2) On another driving note, can someone please explain to me why drivers routinely seem to go 10-15 mph below the speed limit when there's not a single car around them? This annoys the you-know-what out of me to no end.

3) What is Bloom?

4) What is the deal with liquor stores? My husband went into one and was shocked to find that they sold only liquor. Most other parts of the country we've lived in or visited had liquor stores with a huge variety of beer & wine, in addition to liquor (we are primarily beer drinkers). We did stumble upon the Total Wine store in Sterling, which really lifted our spirits, and Wegman's wasn't bad, either, but other than those, there really doesn't seem to be a lot to choose from in the grocery stores or gas stations.

5) We've tried most of the grocery stores, and all seem pretty comparable price-wise (with the exception of Wegman's). Which one is generally viewed as the one where you get the most bang for your buck?

So far we've really been pleased with and have enjoyed living here so far. I know 3 weeks is only a short time, and we're still in the process of getting settled in and acclimated, but I'm optimistic that we'll continue to like the area. Can't wait to see what everything looks like in the spring & summer!
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:44 AM
 
1,759 posts, read 1,757,246 times
Reputation: 946
I'm a new transplant too, from NJ, where you can only buy wine, beer, liquor in a liquor store.
We don't drink liquor all that often, mostly just wine and beer, so I am thrilled to be able to pick up those things on a regular trip to the grocery store or Target!
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