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Old 07-06-2010, 11:01 PM
 
16 posts, read 25,309 times
Reputation: 15

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First off, this website is amazing. I am glad that I stumbled upon it. Best resource on the internet for relocating if you ask me.

I am finishing my residency at the Topeka, KS - VA Hospital. I am a clinical social worker. My wife is a first year band director that absolutely loves and is obsessed with large marching band and excellent music band programs (she was drum major in a college marching band). We are young, and driven individuals. I am 26, and I am a Disabled Veteran. I plan on working within the VA Hospital system, and it helps to be close to one for my healthcare as well.

My wife and I are foodies (we love fine dining and exotic seafoods), and we love art, music, theater, and hiking. All of this which Topeka, KS, and the whole state for that matter has none of. We are absolutely sick of the 100 plus degree days, the killer humidity in Kansas, and the blistering winters. I have the following questions.

1. What is the middle school/high school marching bands in the Seattle/Tacoma and other suburbs like? How big? Competetive?

2. What is the VA Hospital in Seattle like? Level and quality of care?

3. I could work at Ft. Lewis for the Army as a social worker, what would be the best/most affordable suburb between Ft. Lewis and Seattle? My starting salary would probably be around $52,000 and I also get $1330 a month tax free for the rest of my life (VA Disability)

4. Given the information that I have provided, Do you think that the Seattle area would be good for us? Or another area of Washington?

5. My allergies flare up bigtime during a Kansas Summer, would this be a better Summer experience in the Seattle area?

6. In regards to the rumors of Seattle depression, how concerned should we be with the rumors of constant rain. Can someone elaborate on this? I was under the impression that rain was sort of the replacement for snow during the winter periods.

Any help is appreciated!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 6,119,601 times
Reputation: 904
Hello, I can't help answer all of your questions but some I have an opinion on.

Here's a great resource to do weather research

Seattle Climate Data

Note that the sun shows up even on days classified partly cloudy or even cloudy if we get a sunbreak. The rain is more like a "mizzle" (mist/drizzle). More often than not, people don't carry umbrellas and just put their hoods up. Summers are fantastic. Best in the country. I grew up in Iowa, lived in Colorado and Texas...the weather here certainly tops the weather in Iowa (winters here are not really winter when considering the Midwest...it's more like continuous March/April weather in Iowa all winter long in Seattle) and I don't miss the heat in Texas. Colorado has pretty nice weather for the most part so can't argue there and Seattle has ups and downs. I personally am not bothered by the rain that much but I also don't have issues with depression. If you do, it might wear on a person. But it is really beautiful here and you can ski easily in nearby mtns. So we always do happy dances when it's raining and 45 in Seattle because that means 30 degrees and snowing in the Cascades!

My father in law has used the services at the VA hospital in Seattle and my husband accompanied him a few times to appts. They both were incredibly impressed with the facilities and level of care. My husband's grandfather was a physician so I would say they have high standards.

Seattle doesn't ever rank very highly on allergens according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America - Information About Asthma, Allergies, Food Allergies and More! website. I suffer very mildly in the spring from trees for about 6 weeks. Pop a Singular and I am good. My husband who suffered horribly in Texas as did my children have no issues here.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:40 PM
 
16 posts, read 25,309 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the great info! The asthma/allergy website helped out a lot as well. Please keep the posts coming people. I will take as much advice as I can get. Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:46 PM
 
5 posts, read 11,749 times
Reputation: 12
I think you will both really love Western Washington given what your interests are. First, middle school/high school marching bands are very competitive so your wife won’t be disappointed. My friend’s high school band has gone on to national championship levels, and he’s said there is a huge network in the area. And if you are foodies, you’ve come to the right place! We have the BEST places to eat anywhere in the country – plan to get spoiled with seafood!
I have heard very good things about the VA hospital in Seattle. We have some of the best health care facilities in the world and the employment opportunities are phenomenal here in Seattle. You made a good choice. If you chose to work at Ft. Lewis, you probably won’t want to commute too much further north than the Federal Way/Puyallup/Auburn areas. Traffic can be a nightmare along the I-5 corridor between Seattle and Tacoma. As you will hear, Tacoma has a bit of a reputation for being a less than desirable place to live. BUT, that is changing and there are some great areas in and around Tacoma. You will also find the further south of Seattle you go, the MUCH more affordable it gets. Seattle rents and real estate prices are still insane. You may want to look around the Federal Way/Puyallup/Auburn areas – that will at least put you in between Ft. Lewis and Seattle.
Allergies can be an issue in the Spring here, but as the other person commented, it’s not a major problem for most. You shouldn’t have any issues in the summer months.
Lastly, the rain. It really doesn’t “rain” that much as it is cloudy/gray and drizzly. Florida gets more rain than we do. What gets to people the most are the long stretches of cloudy/gray and drizzly days from about November-April. I’ve lived here 20 years from California and it can still get to me at times, but this is also the time most people take up winter sports, travel, hobbies, reading, and do things to keep busy. Everybody complains about the weather during these months, but when May-October rolls around, the weather is usually better here than anywhere else and everyone forgets about the past winter gloomy days.
Good luck with your relocation – you will love it here. The scenary is unsurpassed. mod cut: soliciting removed

Last edited by scirocco22; 07-08-2010 at 12:45 AM.. Reason: not allowed
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:53 PM
 
172 posts, read 417,245 times
Reputation: 62
You will love it out here. There are so many places to hike and enjoy the outdoors. There are the Cascade mountains, Olympic Mountains, Rainier National park, North Cascade National park, Mt St. Helens, etc, etc.
It does rain alot in the winter months, but it has never bothered me. Just keep a positive attitude about life and everything will be just fine.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Orlando Florida
370 posts, read 997,358 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerloder View Post
First off, this website is amazing. I am glad that I stumbled upon it. Best resource on the internet for relocating if you ask me.

I am finishing my residency at the Topeka, KS - VA Hospital. I am a clinical social worker. My wife is a first year band director that absolutely loves and is obsessed with large marching band and excellent music band programs (she was drum major in a college marching band). We are young, and driven individuals. I am 26, and I am a Disabled Veteran. I plan on working within the VA Hospital system, and it helps to be close to one for my healthcare as well.

My wife and I are foodies (we love fine dining and exotic seafoods), and we love art, music, theater, and hiking. All of this which Topeka, KS, and the whole state for that matter has none of. We are absolutely sick of the 100 plus degree days, the killer humidity in Kansas, and the blistering winters. I have the following questions.

1. What is the middle school/high school marching bands in the Seattle/Tacoma and other suburbs like? How big? Competetive?

2. What is the VA Hospital in Seattle like? Level and quality of care?

3. I could work at Ft. Lewis for the Army as a social worker, what would be the best/most affordable suburb between Ft. Lewis and Seattle? My starting salary would probably be around $52,000 and I also get $1330 a month tax free for the rest of my life (VA Disability)

4. Given the information that I have provided, Do you think that the Seattle area would be good for us? Or another area of Washington?

5. My allergies flare up bigtime during a Kansas Summer, would this be a better Summer experience in the Seattle area?

6. In regards to the rumors of Seattle depression, how concerned should we be with the rumors of constant rain. Can someone elaborate on this? I was under the impression that rain was sort of the replacement for snow during the winter periods.

Any help is appreciated!!
I know of people that work in the VA system, they are absloutely great. I have interacted in the both the VA and military system dealing with the behavioral professionals. I currently live midway between Tacoma and Seattle in Kent. The houses are affordable and safe and the commute is doable by both car and public transportation.

Hope this helps.
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