I am from CA and met my husband when he was in the Marine Corps for 12 years, stationed in CA the whole time. We lived in San Diego and on Camp Pendleton. 4 years ago we moved outside of Austin, TX and it is not home for us. We would like to move back to CA and buy some land with a couple acres. That is why we are not looking at San Diego or the beaches. My goal is to purchase horse property, which we do not have in Austin. I had horses growing up and would like horses, chickens, etc. for our family.
We just started homeschooling this year and have 3 daughters. They are ages 9, 5 and 3. We are secular homeschoolers and it has been hard for me to find a group that is like minded. Are there homeschooling groups there? We don't have ANY charter schools in our district, so I may be open to that when we move. For now, HS works.
My girls are very involved in dance and gymnastics. My oldest takes 6 classes a week at dance. The younger two take 3 dance classes and gymnastics. I need to be close to a dance studio and gymnastics facility for their extracurricular activities.
Basically, I want the luxury of having a couple acres of land and be close to shopping, (Costco!!), the freeway. It takes me forever to get anywhere and it is miserable when it is 110 degrees for months on end.
Does it sound like Temecula is a good fit? Any surrounding cities we should take a look at? My husband is looking at a job transfer with the San Diego Sheriffs Dept, so he could work anywhere. We may rent for a while, but we would like to take advantage of the housing market and I really want to get settled. It is hard to feel like you are not where you belong for 4+ years.
Have you looked at Ramona in San Diego county? http://www.ramonachamber.com/ It's great horse county and has an option within the school district of home schooling. It also has a sheriff substation so there is the possibility of your husband getting on there so the commute wouldn't be long. For the dancing and gymnastics, you might have to drive down the hill to Poway or Escondido for those. There are also horse properties in those cities as well but they will be way more expensive.
I just moved away from Temecula area (not that far, to Orange County because of a job change for my husband) but I think Temecula sounds like a good fit! Costco is close, there are dance places, there are charter schools. I know some friends that homeschool in that area but not sure about groups particularly. It gets hot in late July-August (90+) but it's not humid at all so it's manageable. It's a 100,000+ population so lots of things to do and shopping/wineries, etc. There is a Sprouts, Fresh and Easy, Trader Joes. There is yoga/zumba, etc. It's not "hippie/artsy" like Austin though. There are plenty of areas to have horses (out by wineries too.) It's only an hour drive to the beach (Oceanside is the closest, about 50 minutes.) Murrieta is close to Temecula and also has room for horses. Menifee has horse property too (and dance, my daughter went to Diana's Dance Company) but I wouldn't go more north than that (the more north you go, the worse the cities get in my opinion, especially inland.)
The commute from Temecula to San Diego is not always that great. I drove to downtown San Diego for work for 2 years and I wouldn't do it again. It's about an hour and 10 minutes with traffic but the way home has gotten hellish during "rush hour." Commute wise (and horse property wise) I would look in south Temecula......