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Old 05-06-2014, 08:41 PM
 
39 posts, read 83,223 times
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Hello! My husband has an opportunity to choose our next base for our home in 3.5 years. We're military but he has something called preferential or something like that. Basically he can pick our next base. We've never lived on the east side of the US before and we'd love to give it a go.

After some thought, hubby thinks Pope (south of Raleigh) or Charleston. I've read a few post in both city/area threads and a bit on Wikipedia and not sure which will be best for all of us. For him, Charleston is best but based on a few jobs websites, Pope is best for me. This base will be our last base and I really want my career to be back on track. Hopefully you can help us decide

We have two girls, one will be 8.5 and the other 14. The girls will be about a year ahead in school since the UK starts school a year early. Both are bright and at the top set at school -- not sure what a US equivalent will be. At the moment they're both gymnasts and the oldest loves music, piano in particular but she does band, clarinet, etc at school. She doesn't want to do anything with her music, just for fun, but it'd be nice if the school she goes too is active in the music department. I'd like a great school for them and a great affordable public university for the oldest. Oldest dd will be a senior in high school while there.

I am, or was before moving to England, an Instructional Technologist for a university in Missouri. I was also an adjunct in the field. While I can work as a trainer in many software company or a K-12 as a tech director/technologist/coordinator (or whatever fancy title they can come up with), my heart is in higher education. That's why Pope is more appealing to me. Many universities had positions for me on the job websites I looked at and if I must take on a job, many for different software companies and a few schools. More appealing to be a NC resident too I think for dd1's university.

Our lifestyle is kind of crunchy. I was the baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby food making mom. I cook everything from scratch and I can't eat unhappy meat. I get sad when I think I have a Tyson chicken in front of me. So I need meat from a local grass fed farmer or the big crunchy grocery store. I'd love it if we can shop from a farmer's market every weekend. I used to live in downtown Boise and LOVED it. The co-op and market was walking distance for me. We are big foodies. We love really good food and the fresher it's made (using local products) the better. Activity wise, hubby likes the outdoors (mudding, hiking, 4-wheeling, snowboarding, etc) but I am quite happy just reading or knitting indoors. The girls are more like him and now and then I'd suck it up and go. Initially we looked at Texas and Florida (both states has great and inexpensive universities) but it's just too hot for us. Hot for a short while is ok. Hot for 9/12 months is a bit much We're not religious, we love everybody, and would love to live around intelligent and more liberal people. We've been spoiled here in England in terms of places to go. We have so many castles, estates, re-enactments, fairs, cities, countries, etc to visit for day trips or even a long weekend. And it'd be lovely if we can still drive a few hours to something historical -- we love history. Actually, hubby is a WW2 enthusiast. He is majoring in WW2 history now (he's considering teaching after he retires from the AF) and does re-enactments here. He LOVES old airplanes too and if he can volunteer at an air museum, he'd be extremely happy!

Which of the two will be best for us?
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:33 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 22,998,000 times
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I'm not sure what "Tri City Area" refers to.

Charleston is a beautiful town. 9 times out of 10 I'd vote for it over anything else. But your description of your lifestyle may not fit as well with Charleston as some other places. On the other hand, I'm not very familiar with areas around Pope Air Field - my guess it's a bit more rural and less "sophisticated" than areas closer to the Triangle. In that regard, you might find that Charleston has a lot more to offer you.

Last edited by CHTransplant; 05-07-2014 at 08:27 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
10,626 posts, read 8,059,362 times
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What is your husband's driving tolerance? Pope Field/Bragg is a bit of a hike from most parts of the Triangle, excepting Fuquay-Varina or Holly Springs, which might be a bit too suburban for you (but maybe not.)
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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Charleston. Definitely. Do not even think about it.

Pope Air Base and Fort Bragg are located next to Fayetteville. Fayetteville is NOT part of the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). He would have about an hour commute each way if you tried to live near Raleigh.

Be aware it is very hot here in the summer. It's only marginally different than Florida or Texas. It's supposed to be 91F/33C tomorrow and the next day. Charleston is about the same.

Charleston would have all of the things you're looking for. The College of Charleston is there, too, as well as all the crunchy stuff you're talking about. You'd have to be really in Raleigh or Durham or Chapel Hill to find the crunchy parts of the Triangle (crunchier toward Chapel Hill) and then you're adding on to the commute. Chapel Hill is at least 1.5 hrs from Pope.

Charleston is draped in history and right at the beach. If you and your husband were going to be working in IT or biomedical then the Triangle, but for what you're asking about I think Charleston would be a great fit.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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Raleigh is about an hour commute to Pope Air force Base/Fort Bragg, JB Charleston Air Force Base is 10 minutes from downtown Charleston. I will say that some people think it is hot and humid here(NC(eh it ain't that bad)). Charleston is a real nice city, has a real nice food scene, beaches, history, etc..and if you do decide to go that route prepare to sweat, no need for a gym, Charleston's humidity will do the work for you.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:25 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 22,998,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drrckmtthws View Post
Raleigh is about an hour commute to Pope Air force Base
It's an Army Air Field, not an Air Force base.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:50 AM
 
39 posts, read 83,223 times
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Ah! Triangle area, NOT Tri-City, my bad

Yes, Fayetville is not our kind of place. So if he gets Pope, we'll live either in Pittsville or something of similar drive closer towards Raleigh/Chapel Hill. I really want to get back into my career field so having a few job options would be great for me. Also, Pope will deploy him quite a bit, so that commute may not matter. But who knows... We used to live in Boise, northend, while he was in Mt Home. I think that was about 45min. We'll give this commute a thought!

On Charleston... School is really hit and miss!! Summerville seems good academically but there are a few places in Charleston where I may try to apply and that'd be a commute if I get the job. I looked at W. Ashley. Lots of box ticked but there is no good high school!! I have a bright child but it seems a gamble to fight for a spot at the oh so popular magnet school. Mt Pleasant is a commute... I see traffic issue more than distance. But that's the only negative on Charleston, the school. On paper, NC on the US school ranking is waaaaay up there compare to SC.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,927 posts, read 21,965,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scwilder View Post
So if he gets Pope, we'll live either in Pittsville or something of similar drive closer towards Raleigh/Chapel Hill.....
Mt Pleasant is a commute... I see traffic issue more than distance. But that's the only negative on Charleston, the school. On paper, NC on the US school ranking is waaaaay up there compare to SC.
It is "Pittsboro" and that would be a good choice for a fairly crunchy lifestyle. It is a quaint little southern town, adjacent to all the crunchy stuff in Carrboro.

I think Mt Pleasant is the nicest Charleston suburb, and I would certainly vote for preferring Charleston. I suspect the schools in Mt. Pleasant are not that bad.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Charleston...no question. I love Durham, but if I could live there and earn a decent living I would be there already.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:39 PM
 
1,508 posts, read 2,144,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
It's an Army Air Field, not an Air Force base.
I'm assuming this is old habits dying hard. Pope was an AFB from 1947 until 2011 and I frequently still it referred to as an AFB rather than Pope Field. Beyond that, the USAF still has units based there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scwilder View Post
Ah! Triangle area, NOT Tri-City, my bad

Yes, Fayetville is not our kind of place. So if he gets Pope, we'll live either in Pittsville or something of similar drive closer towards Raleigh/Chapel Hill. I really want to get back into my career field so having a few job options would be great for me. Also, Pope will deploy him quite a bit, so that commute may not matter. But who knows... We used to live in Boise, northend, while he was in Mt Home. I think that was about 45min. We'll give this commute a thought!

On Charleston... School is really hit and miss!! Summerville seems good academically but there are a few places in Charleston where I may try to apply and that'd be a commute if I get the job. I looked at W. Ashley. Lots of box ticked but there is no good high school!! I have a bright child but it seems a gamble to fight for a spot at the oh so popular magnet school. Mt Pleasant is a commute... I see traffic issue more than distance. But that's the only negative on Charleston, the school. On paper, NC on the US school ranking is waaaaay up there compare to SC.
As someone else said, Pittsboro, not Pittsville. Also while they're not exactly a crunchy haven, the towns of Southern Pines, Aberdeen, and Pinehurst may be worth a scouting trip if you do choose Pope. They're not exactly cultural meccas, but are definitely nicer than Fayetteville.

Personally, I'd join the others here in recommending Charleston. While Charleston AFB is actually in North Charleston (not exactly the nicest part of town), I think it'll check off more boxes and you wouldn't have *quite* as bad a commute as you would from the Triangle to Pope/Bragg. What I know about Charleston education is that there are some solid private schools (particularly Porter-Gaud) and the high schools are sort of hit or miss. You may also want to look out towards the suburbs in Berkeley County like Goose Creek. When I was growing up in Columbia, SC, I went to a few Latin fora at Stratford High and the facilities were solid and they had a great program and they still seem to. That'd also be closer to the Air Force Base than Mount Pleasant. Look on the bright side - you guys have the choice! My father was a USAF vet and I still remember my parents horror stories about being based at Whiteman (before the B-2s were based there) and Minot. They LOVED Nellis, though, so there was that.
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