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Old 08-23-2006, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have any of you moved out there from the SF Bay Area, especially right on the coast?

We are going to be moving from the SF Bay Area in the next year and are trying to decide where.

I was originally considering Portland, Eugene, or Seattle because I think it's probably pretty similar there socially/politically and also seems to have a lot of high tech jobs. However, comments about the weather worried me enough that we are looking at other areas. (My mood is affected by gloomy weather.)

But, I've heard conflicting reports about the weather. So, I'm wondering if any of you have lived in the SF Bay area, especially the Monterey or Santa Cruz areas and can give me an idea how the weather compares?

Where I live now (Monterey area) we get a lot of rain in the rainy season which is about Nov-March. This year it rained for like 3 months almost w/o stopping. We also get a lot of marine layer cloud cover and fog, especially during the summer. Pretty much the nicest months here for sun are September-October.

I don't necessarily mind rain, what drives me crazy is month after month of incessantly grey sky. Is that really how it is there?

Thanks!!
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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Hi Scoobers, I grew up in Pacifica, just south of SF on the coast, about an hour north of santa cruz. Its very foggy there. I like portland weather better overall because we have distinct seasons. I love the fall colors, a few snowy days in the winter, and warm summers. The summers are so much better here than in coastal california. The rain is usually intermittant the rest of the year, so you can get out at some point during the day while it lets up a bit. Most people still get out for fun activities even in the rain. And we have skiing/snowboarding way closer than California. But, it is usually pretty gloomy in the winter, there is no denying that. I just love that its not blistering hot all summer (just a few stray heat waves) and its only really cold for a month or so (not like the midwest or places with horrid winters). hth
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Hi there! I was born and raised in Monterey/Carmel Valley. I moved up to Seattle and lived there for 8 years, then moved back to CA- to Davis. Then just about 7 months ago we moved to a suburb of Portland.

I Portland! I loved Seattle, too. I have heard people say that Portland is like Seattle was 10 years ago. I think I would agree, it has more of a small town feeling. There are all these great neighborhoods with a lot of personality. Both Seattle and Portland are very down to earth, outdoorsy, artsy, etc.

Portland is a fabulous place to be pregnant, give birth, and raise a family. I can't speak for Seattle on that, but Portland is a really great place to be an AP mama. There are sooooo many resources, MDC get togethers, play groups, diaper circles, babywearing workshops, knitting circles,etc. that you will easily make friends if you just start attending some of these things.

I have heard that Eugene is great, more small town, a little more hippie. I could say that Seattle is like Monterey, Portland like Pacific Grove, and Eugene like Big Sur??? As for weather, it is not as bad as everyone things up here. certainly the rain doesn't stop people from getting out and doing things. It is not as foggy and overcast as it is in Monterey. It seems like when it isn't raining, it is usually beautiful and clear skies.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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I moved to Eugene from Novato (marin county) and during this winter it rained so much more in Novato than here in Eugene. I would call my friend and every day she would say it was raining and it would be either barely overcast or nice here. It does stay gloomy but it isn't really gloomy because everything is so green and you can get out and go places because it doesn't rain constantly. I find the rain much more manageable here because it is on and off rain. When it rains in the bay area it just pours for days and I end up feeling trapped. Here there is at least one point during the day that it doesn't rain and you can run get the mail or go to the store without getting soaked. The summers are so much more tolerable here than in Novato. I find Eugene to be very very similar to Marin County in so many ways. I LOVE it here!
Wendi
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Old 08-23-2006, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobers
I don't necessarily mind rain, what drives me crazy is month after month of incessantly grey sky. Is that really how it is there?
Well, yes and no. Sometimes it is grey for a long time. And sometimes it rains for days and days ina row. But, when the sun comes out, it is glorious and so beautiful that you forget about the rain except to realize that it would not be this gloriously beautiful without the rain.

I moved from so cal to Seattle 16 years ago. My brother has been living in the Monterery Bay area for almost that long so I can compare my visits to see him with weather in Seattle. Seattle rarely gets fog. The clouds are usually really high so visibility is still good. The grey and rain don't slow anyone down; there is still a lot of outdoor activity even on the greyest, rainiest days. People in Seattle are really good about having indoor lighting that affects the mood positively. Full spectrum light bulbs are sold everywhere and they do make a difference. And, Seattle-ites drink so much coffee that they are usually peppy most of the time. Newcomers are usually worried about how the grey will affect their mood but once you've been here for a while, you get used to it and know how to accomodate for it. Seattle is definitely cheaper than the Monterey Bay/SF Bay areas. But, the Puget Sound is not a good substitute for the Pacific Ocean.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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I moved from the Berkeley/Oakland area to Eugene. What I am going to write is how I have experienced things. The "rainy season" is much longer here. It seems like it goes from October (it rains some in Sept too, but I am just talking about when you know it is here until summer ends) pretty much until the end of June. There are some clear days in Oct and in May and June. but the rainy season is basically a lot longer than in the bay area. I remember when I lived in CA that once Feb was over, so was the worst of winter not so here. And, yes, it is gray most of the time. I remember feeling like the sun came out for at least a short while most days in CA (although I may not remember that accurately).

All that said, if you are willing to deal with the weather, there are many plusses. People are so friendly, and this city is particulary child-friendly IMHO.

And the summers here ROCK!!! IMHO, they are the best of anywhere I have been. It is warm, but not humid! Love it!!!
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for all the helpful responses!

It sounds like maybe Seattle gets more rain or is greyer than Portland and Eugene. Does that sound right? Seattle probably has more high tech jobs though, no? (I'm probably going to go back to work and I'll be looking for a Project Manager job and my background is SW Dev although I suppose I could work in other industries as well.)

What about access to an airport? This is important for DH as he travels quite a bit. I know that Seattle has a pretty big airport. How's the airport in Portland? Where would you fly in/from for Eugene?

Another place I've heard is nice and not so rainy is Bend, OR. Anyone familiar with that? When I checked on Neighborhood Scout it looked like it had a lot of crime. Anyone know if that's true?

Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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I think the official number of rainy days for Seattle vs. Portland is about 20-30 days higher for Seattle, and with Puget Sound being right there, that seems about right.

The Willamette Valley that stretches south from Portland towards Salem is called the Silicon Forest because of its high number of tech companies, but since Seattle has a higher population overall, they might be pretty even with the number of tech jobs actually here in the Portland area.

Portland International Airport is easy to get to off I-205 just below the Washington State line and the Columbia River. Does he have some regular cities he travels to? If he travels to the East Coast a lot, there are very few direct flights out of Portland. But if he is traveling mostly on the West Coast, Alaska and Horizon fly directly out of Portland.

Eugene also has an airport and I believe Alaska and Horizon fly out of there regularly to some cities, but he would probably have to either fly from Eugene up to Portland and then switch planes or simply drive up to Portland to fly out.

I have not visited Bend yet (ummm... have I really lived here for 9 years and not been down there yet? sheeesh...) but I would venture a guess that there are not many high tech jobs available there, and the travel by plane out of Bend airport would be even more of a pain than traveling out of Eugene. From what I have heard, though, it's a beautiful city and very friendly.

~claudia

p.s. Also, let me know if you decide on the Portland area and when you will start looking for software jobs, as my partner is a software engineer and could probably connect you with some contacts. He's at Intel right now and they are looking for a project manager for their project, but seeing as how the company just announced between 4,000-10,000 layoffs worldwide in the next wave of cost-cutting, it's probably not a place you want to be... heck, he doesn't even know if he wants to be there... :
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Old 08-26-2006, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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claudia
DH has to fly pretty much all over the country plus a couple times to Canada and the occasional trip to Europe.
Any idea how far Eugene and Bend are from the Portland Airport? I wonder if it would make more sense to drive to the Portland Airport from there vs. fly?
So, you've lived there for 9 years, does the rain/greyness bum you out? I know I'm really harping on it but it's defintely a worry for me.
Anyway, thanks for all your help and for the offer to help with contacts. I may be messaging you if we can ever figure this thing out.
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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the 30 straight days of gray this past december/january did kind of bum me out, but that may have had more to do with my newly and unexpectedly pregnant state than anything else. usually, we do get the occasional sunny days that tide me over until the next one a week or so later. i just love the mild winters, compared to the bitter northeast coastal winters i grew up with. those full spectrum lightbulbs would be worth the investment for you if you do decide to make the move here. just 15 minutes a day would probably help you.

as for the airports, eugene to portland is 2 hours driving. bend to portland is closer to 4 hours ( i think...). so i would think eugene is definitely more doable on a regular basis.

~claudia
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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Yes, the 2 hours to the Portland airport is very doable. Just wanted to add that Eugene does have a small airport, although we have very few direct flights. However, the convenience of a small airport is just wonderful. I Love it. It is very worth an extra plane change to me most of the time. Also, your dh may not have to change in Portland, there are sometimes other connections that make a lot more sense, although I am not familiar with the routes your dh uses.

Regarding the grey/rain, since this is a concern for you, I will say that in my experience it is a big deal, hard to get used to. This particular past year was not as bad as others and we did have some days of occasional sun durig the winter. I find the other plusses to living here make me want to learn how to deal with it, but it has taken some time to be able to do so (I have been here 5 years). I think I may try some of the other posters' ideas about lights.
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