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Old 03-02-2007, 06:02 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,294 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,

I'm trying to get any information/opinions on Winchester. I am a teacher and part time photographer moving to (most likely) Winchester due to my husband's job. His corporate office is in Winchester. To put it lightly I am freaked. I have only lived in California and my family and friends are in CA. I'm willing to try and relocate due to him traveling 4 days a week. We have 2 kids (7 year old boy and 4 year old girl) and we are getting tired of him not being home.
There are so many things I'm trying to figure out. How are the schools there? I've gone on the website but it's hard to know what school my children would go to. My husband has brought fliers back from Raven's Point subdivision if anyone knows where that is? I'm interested in a preschool for my daughter too. Do they have parent co-op preschools there?
We are a younger couple (37 & 43) and I am looking for a neighborhood that would have families our age. Our family is into sports. My son plays soccer and baseball. My daughter does ballet. My husband and I play softball weekly. It is going to be difficult for me to move without knowing anyone, plus not having a job etc... I've never had to do it so I'm worried.
I think I've found the city's website which has helped but I'd love to hear from the locals.

Please respond.

Thanks for any help,
Shauna
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Ruther Glen, Virginia
18 posts, read 115,670 times
Reputation: 13
Shauna,
I'm in a similar situation. My husband is relocating to Fredericksburg. We have two girls 5 & 8 years old with the 8 yr. in club soccer here in San Bernardino. We are from S. Cal. and have never lived anywhere but Arizona for 3 years and that was before kids. Everyone we know lives here. It seems like I've been living on the internet for this state lately. What I did was worked from my husbands work location and went outward. You will be close to DC which seems like a very popular local. There are a lot of people asking about Northern Virginia, you should read what they have to say and maybe an area will be close enough for you. I just keep telling myself that it will all work out okay. The schools seem soooooo much better than they do where we live (the IE). The weather will take some getting use to, but you know the weather here is not what it use to be. My husband and I are 38 & 40 years old now and I don't remember summers here, and I lived by the beach growing up in OC, around 100. There is no winter here and I'm just getting tired of it all here. People are just too concerned with themselves and not others. I hope your move will be the best thing ever for you and your family and that we can all find a great place to call home.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:35 AM
 
3 posts, read 13,294 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thank you

Pastrymom,

Thank you for your words of wisdom. It's always nice to hear that there is someone else that knows how you feel. I know it will be okay but it doesn't make it easier right now. I had talked to him about Northern VA but it is just too far for driving purposes. His whole idea is to be home more and he doesn't want to have to commute an hour there and back. That is why I'm pretty sure Winchester it is. I just wish someone from Winchester would reply to my post to give me some info. The web has been helpful so the other questions might just have to wait when I visit in April. My problem is we are looking at August to move so that is not much time to visit as many times as needed.
Thank you so much again. I really appreciate your kindness.
Good luck with your venture as well.

Shauna
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,927,403 times
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Prepare to breathe clean, fresh air :-)
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:11 AM
 
689 posts, read 1,372,672 times
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Shauna -- you are right, NoVA is too far for your husband to commute, especially in the winter weather here. We are supposed to get snow again tomorrow! With Shenandoah University and the Winchester Medical Center (highly rated health care), we do have a small but thriving cultural community. The SU daycare is nice, and available to members of the community. The Shenandoah Conservatory is internationally known, and brings in and puts on wonderful performances. Plus their Arts Academy is great for children. Get your daughter enrolled as soon as you can so you guys can start making contacts. There are also many sports leagues, and a large sportsplex with a lot of facilities.

My guess is you will find this area much more conservative than CA. I can't imagine otherwise. However, if you're open to it, it's a wonderful community. The Winchester City schools are pretty good, and there are some great neighborhoods. And lots of new development. I don't know where you're coming from in CA, but it's probably also going to seem small, although it's growing every day, with people escaping NoVA. We have wonderful dining options, but probably fewer than you're used to. We do have Thai, Indian, French, (real) Italian, but probably fewer of each than you're used to. It's about an hour and 20 minutes, average, into DC if it's not rush hour.

Do you have any more specifics?
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:10 PM
 
11 posts, read 57,352 times
Reputation: 19
Thumbs up Congratulations!!

First off, congratulations on getting out of California!! I am a single mom of 3, and have been researching for the past 5 years on where to finish raising my kids. I have visited 33 states in the past 4 years (briefly, of course) and I am hoping to relocate this summer. My toss up is New Hampshire, or more recently, Virginia. Having a husband with a job already there takes 90% off the stresses of moving, if you ask me! You can get access to the "School Accountability Report Card" of any public school, through the internet. (I hope that's what it's called). This is VERY helpful and detailed for the curricular part. The social part should come easy to you and your family, there are so many nice people out there, and with your sports/dance talents, you will meet people like you! I am so happy for you!! Relax, and enjoy the adventure! You are definately making an improvement for yourself and your kids. Aren't you tired of the crazy cost of living here in California?? I paid $2.11 for a gallon of gas 2 weeks ago in New Hampshire. I came back home and yesterday paid $3.89!! Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed Calif. will not disappear in the near future...meaning, you can always come back..

Last edited by Yac; 01-08-2008 at 07:03 AM..
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:33 PM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,647,118 times
Reputation: 1362
Winchester is a great town.
and it's close enough to DC so you can get the kids in there every couple of months for the Smithsonians and the Monumnets. New housing prices are very good (by NOVA standards) and being out of the DC commute it's been able to keep some of it's old charm.

I hope with the influx of the new housing and more young couples moving in, the downtown area will get a little push and more shops and resturants stay.

great schools . com is great website for school reports. But also remember that VA does have some of hte hardest standardized testing process. The us Chamber of commerece does a report card for states and thier school's VA ranks as a B where as Caifornia schools get an F
website http://www.uschamber.com/icw/reportcard/default

Good luck with your move. I have moved often and the best advice I can give you when moving to a new place is...

1)Join up! Mom's and kids groups at churches, playschool play groups etc... if they have a newcommer club, join! look into your rec center etc... Don't sit at home and MISS everything about your old town! CA is very differnt from VA!! Find all the pluses you have here!
2)Get out and just drive around, familiarize your self with you new town and what is near it. Put the kids & a MAP in the car and just drive. you will learn the area very quickly!
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Richmond
1,489 posts, read 8,113,926 times
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Patsy Cline was from Winchester. So if you classic country music and War For Southern Independence History its the place for you !
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:57 AM
 
25 posts, read 140,901 times
Reputation: 18
Hi Shauna. Can I give you a pre-welcome to my area? I have lived in Frederick County since 1987. I'm a 'transplant' from Montgomery County MD and it was a welcome retreat from the lifestyle of those insaniacs and the rat-race there.

I am south of Stephens City in the "country", not in Winchester. I know the area quite well. First, let me say, you will be fine here (we're not all that weird, despite the lamentations of one nutball), so don't fret too much. There will be adjustments from your CA lifestyle and climate, but it won't be too terrible here.

If the Ravens Point subdivision is situated just off of Rt 50, then I know the development. That area is slated for some growth, but it is far enough 'removed' from Winchester proper and should be a safe community.

There are playgroups and small preschool groups here. Most of the preschool groups are church-affiliated, but there might be a Montessori group here. Since I lived where there were no neighborhood kids, I would take them into Winchester to the Handley Library. The children's library is excellent and the Children's Librarian, Donna Hughes, is by far the most enjoyable, dedicated, and kid-oriented librarian I've ever known and worked with. (I used to do volunteer work there, including classes for kids). There are programs there, and they're well organized....many are for the preschool kids. You'll meet people and kids there and probably be very satisfied with that outlet.

When my boys were school age, they got involved with friends from school. We would host small get-togethers and sleepovers and yard parties. Then, as they aged, they were involved in a few sports....everything with the kids was fine.

There is a reputable dance school on Main Street in Stephens City. I had boys so I can't vouce for the quality of dance instructions but I know of many happy parents (and know the owners, the Richard family, orchardists).

I don't know about many Winchester sports, but in my part of the woods, sports are run through the Frederick County Parks and Rec and there is a very large park facility situated next to the high school. They share some facilities, the pool, the fields, etc. Adult softball is offered there, as are many sports for kids.

Sports for the kids is a big thing here and there is a high parent turnout.

The area is somewhat conservative. I know people on the 'left', the 'right', 'independents', and on either side of each group. On the average, though, the area is more conservative than liberal. With more and more people transferring here, though, I'm unsure if the Republican flavor will continue to be as strong as it has been historically. Only time will tell.

Yesterday while driving home from my aquatic class, I saw a pickup truck driving down the road loaded up with new bluebird houses. It's not uncommon where I am to see Eastern Bluebirds, a number of owl and hawk species, Bald Eagles, bear, a number of heron species, egrets, avocets, coyote....I've only once spotted a cougar, but it was a show-stopping moment for me. Then there are the mountains, the valley scenes, the stone buildings of the 1700s. The Octagon House with the massive banks of daffodil blooms....Belle Grove Plantation....

Bring all of your camera equipment and get out your tripod. Sunrises, sunsets, snow on the mountains, early morning fog, orchard blossoms....you'll stay busy.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:57 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,446 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Shauna,
Having lived in Northern VA (from Fairfax County and City to now in Haymarket) and working the last four years 20 minutes east of Winchester (reverse commute) in the mountains my comment is that while I enjoy the solitude and beauty the country and the mountains have to offer I would not live in Winchester or Stephens City. I would suggest you rent or take a "pre-trip" to check out the area. Consider looking at places such as Warrenton, Middleburg, Upperville or even over Paris mountain on the Rt7 side in places such as Bluemont. If you live in a rural area now that is fairly "un-diverse" Winchester might be okay. If you are used to the amenities a city has to offer- I'm not sure it will be right for you.
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