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Old 03-02-2008, 01:47 AM
 
10 posts, read 81,118 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi Everyone
I've been reading the posts in the forum for the past few days and still have some open questions, and will appreciate your insights. I also realized that my post is very long so the abstract is: where to live, and a good day care for a 2 years old.

Here are some detailsand preferences:
We are relocating to the area in 2 months, and I will start working in Microsoft in Redmond.
We are thinking whether to live in Seattle or on the east side, and I would like to focus my questions in this thread on the east side.

1. We are considering Redmond - because it's close to work and there is an appeal of walking or biking to work (is it feasible? is the Microsoft area a nice place to live in?)

Or Bellevue, because we've heard it's a nice place with quality people living there

Or Kirkland, because we've heard that it is more vibrant than the other two, and have a downtown scene.

We will make the 20 mins drive to Seattle for cultural activities, but I would still like to have a really close by (walking distance?) cafes and restaurants that are nice, have character, serve good food and hopefully don't belong to a chain. street shopping would be nice too.

Any thoughts about the pros and cons of living in these places will be welcomed

2. We have a 2 years old, which requires daycare. Microsoft have arrangements with:
KinderCare,
Childtime learning centers,
Community Childrens Center,
The Discovery Center in Kirkland,
Grasslawns children's center in Redmond,
La Petite Academy,
Legacy — A Montessori Childcare Center in Kirkland
I would appreciate any insights and opinions about these places, as well as recommendations for others, if you have them.
I prefer a place that works year round and for long hours - so I will have the option to leave my kid there when I need to, and not stress about finding a sitter in the last moment.

So, pour your wisdom on me


can't wait for your answeres...
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:54 AM
 
5,594 posts, read 18,327,592 times
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As far as choosing one of the three cities to live in, I think it's basically similar. These aren't little towns, these are huge suburbs and neighborhoods within these cities can be very similar. In other words, some neighborhoods in those three cities will be very similar to each other that you wouldn't be able to tell them apart if somebody didn't tell you where you are.

The area close to the Microsoft campus is still middle-class suburbia with nicely kept sub-divisions of middle to upper-class living. I lived in that area for decades.

I'm one who recommends being as close to work as possible. Since traffic can be bad at times in the area, why spend more time sitting in traffic than you have to. I still contend that it's better to spend time at home with family than on the road in traffic with strangers. Therefore, I'd start looking as close to your workplace as possible and work outward.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:05 PM
 
10 posts, read 81,118 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by scirocco22 View Post
As far as choosing one of the three cities to live in, I think it's basically similar. These aren't little towns, these are huge suburbs and neighborhoods within these cities can be very similar. In other words, some neighborhoods in those three cities will be very similar to each other that you wouldn't be able to tell them apart if somebody didn't tell you where you are.

The area close to the Microsoft campus is still middle-class suburbia with nicely kept sub-divisions of middle to upper-class living. I lived in that area for decades.

I'm one who recommends being as close to work as possible. Since traffic can be bad at times in the area, why spend more time sitting in traffic than you have to. I still contend that it's better to spend time at home with family than on the road in traffic with strangers. Therefore, I'd start looking as close to your workplace as possible and work outward.
hey scirocco22,
Thanks for your fast answer. could you be more specific in regarding the criteria i gave - meaning being close to street shopping and dining (and is it worth living nearby in any of these 3 cities?)
good daycare for toddlers, and having parks etc to play in
accessibility to MS (How are the neighborhoods that border with the campus? what are their names?)

Thanks again
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:40 PM
 
5,594 posts, read 18,327,592 times
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Hi again, pifke.

hmmmm, well, are we to assume that you want to live in a house? Rent to start? That's what we've been recommending for those who might not be familiar with the area. Renting gives you time to familiarize yourself with the general area and talk to friends you make and co-workers about what neighborhoods are preferable.

Just as in any suburb, there is going to be lots places to shop, dine, etc. near residential areas. Again, these are not small little out-of-the-way towns, they're huge suburbs.

There are many neighborhood radiating from Microsoft's main campus. Yes, biking and walking to the campus is quite popular. A lot of the residential areas around the campus tend to be around the 1970-80 vintage homes. The main commercial area around the campus is the Overlake area which straddles the Bellevue/Redmond line. The Crossroads Mall in Bellevue is only about a mile or so from the campus.

You're right about downtown Kirkland's reputation but to live within walking distance is quite expensive.

Neighborhoods right around Microsoft? Well, let me see. I lived right around the Red-West campus before I moved. Thats about a mile or so northwest of the main campus. Grass Lawn Park would be just a few blocks from that location. The nearest shopping would be at the Bridal Trails shopping center that straddles the Kirkland/Redmond line.

To list all the small neighborhoods around the campus would probably make more sense if you were to look at a map. I could list them all but it may not give you a good perspective on their relative location to the campus. Will you be working at the main campus? ...they have a lot of other buildings scattered around the general area in addition to the Red-west campus previously mentioned.

But as you can see, Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue are all intertwined around that general area.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:50 PM
 
10 posts, read 81,118 times
Reputation: 11
hey Everyone

Does anyone have any input about a good daycare for a 2 years old?
and for scirocco22 - Thanks for the elaborated answer
I know I'll have to come and see these places myself before we actually move there, and we're planning to come up for a few days and scout the area. What I want to do is to st some appointments to see houses and apartments so i can get the feeling of what I can get, where and for how much.
I want to have as much info about these three places to be able to see properties in areas that i think i'll like.
you're answer is very helpful in sorting some of it out.

If anyone else have something to add, please do so!
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:06 PM
 
92 posts, read 459,826 times
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Here are some great Day care places. I would strongly avoid any chain in the area. I had my son in daycare and looked at Kindercare, La petite, etc. Not good. These centers were in Bellevue, Kirkland, etc.

So try these...
There is another great one, but I can't remember the name.

Bellevue Montessori School
Welcome to Eton School - Today's date is 3/3/08

Bridle Trails Toys & Tots (425) 885-7971
3048 140th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98005

Try these
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 16,392,269 times
Reputation: 2680
Hi, Pifke. First, daycare. I will bow to Seattleborn's recommendations. However, I did have a colleague with a 3-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl who used one of the Kindercares in Bellevue and was very satisfied.

Second, location to live. It's really important that you visit around the area to get a sense of what it's like. Everything said about the areas around MS is quite true; I've lived in the Bridle Trails area of Bellevue for many years, a half-mile from the main MS Redmond campus. Lots of trees; lots of houses; lots of short condos (3 stories); a pretty good selection (for suburbia) of busses to all points of the compass; lots of little parks; lots of walkers to MS and lots of cyclists to MS. Quiet suburbia. One must go a mile or more to supermarkets, housewares shopping, movies, oil & filter jobs, restaurants, Sears, etc.

It's completely feasible to bicycle to work! Lots of people do it. (BTW, there's a bicycle helmet law in Washington.) Redmond and Bellevue surround the main MS Redmond campus; both locations look and feel the same -- as you said, "quality people living there". :-) I'm one of them, of course! :-)

Don't you have a relocation specialist assigned to you at MS? They are paid to know lots of details, and to help their new employees find a happy home. Do put your relocation specialist to work for you!
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:55 AM
 
10 posts, read 81,118 times
Reputation: 11
Hey allforcats, Seattleborn
First-Thanks for your advice

what is wrong with the daycare chains? My kid goes to KinderCare in California and we are happy with the place, so I wonder why the ones in Seattle area have a bad reputation (Or is it that the other schools you mentioned are much much better?) Any info as to why they are good or bad will be appreciated.

Second - I do have a relocation agent, in theory, but s/he didn't contact me yet (the signing happened a few days ago, and relocation time is almost here already...) so I figured out I'd better do research by myself first, and then be able to use their knowledge better.
We'll visit the area before we go there, but this discussion is really helpful in setting some direction to the search
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:14 AM
 
10 posts, read 81,118 times
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Hey,
I just looked at the places you've suggested, they look good, but enrollment is for 3 year olds and up.

Thanks
Any suggestions for younger kids? (mine is 2)
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,178 posts, read 14,112,893 times
Reputation: 1287
Hello

When I worked at Microsoft we put my then 2 and ahalf year old in the Kindercare in Redmond - it was so close and they were really really great.

We were sad to leave them (because I left MS)

Then we went to Bright Horizons - and it was AMAZING. Expensive but worth every penny
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