moving to Anchorage from Oregon.. help!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-10-2009, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband got a job teaching in Achorage school district so we are moving.. in 3 weeks! I am excited and nervous as I know NOTHING about Alaska except that it is 26 degrees right now!

We will be moving in/near/around the Anchorage school district. Any ideas, tips information from anyone who lives there would be MUCH appreciated! We have lived in oregon our entire lives, so this is a HUGE change for us!

I need to find a gym, doctor, grocery store, house, etc.. all overwhelming!

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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Well, I don't know about everything on you list, as we are military, so much of what we did was on base or in Wasilla, since we lived up there. I don't know doctors, unless you want a children's OT. For gyms, I know there is the Alaska Club and Curves. Grocery stores, I know Carr's and Fred Meyer. There are Wal-Mart Superstores, a Sam's, and Costco. For specialty things there are smaller stores, too, I know. Natural Pantry, I think, is the name of one that comes up fairly often on this board. There are several farmers markets through the summer and at least one food co-op up there. Someone will chime in with the name, I'm sure. I don't remember if it is Azure or not.

Anchorage has pretty much any store you need. Might not have everything you want, but it is a good sized city, so has most things. I don't know what area would be good for you to live in. Like I said, we lived in Wasilla, but your husband is probably not going to want to drive in every morning for school.

Well, the other ladies will jump in soon with more info.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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Wonderful! I went to college many moons ago in Portland & still prefer Anch. I'd say PM me but I'm lame about replying. Do you know (I assume yes) which school? We definitely have a wide variety of schools & neighborhoods. I've found that the more active & social people are (esp in the winter) the happier they are here in town. Go get some skis or studded running shoes & enjoy the moonlit frosty darkness.


And, yeah, most people pay the Ak Club's outrageous fees b/c it has pools, kid play centers and a variety of classes if you just can't get outside.

Check out Avante for a great open minded medical center in mid-town.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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I just moved here a few weeks ago. Not from out of state though. It was scary for me to move here but I am finding that I actually really like it. We lived here when I was younger, but it's changed a lot since I last lived here. I don't have much advice on dr.'s yet, but I did just have a pleasant dental experience.

As far as where to live, it depends on what you want. I am finding that Anchorage has a lot of nice little pockets of neighborhoods and it just depends on where you want to be-close to work/schools/downtown/parks etc. and your budget.

If you need any other info or help, PM me and I'll see if I can help you out! Where in Oregon are you moving from? My dh is from the coast, Reedsport, but went to college in Eugene and lived in PDX too. He misses it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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which school are you with? There are 63 elementary schools and 10 middle schools, 8 high schools and many charter schools.
No doubt about it, you will be in an area that is close to everything you need.

Which part of OR are you coming from?

Anchorage is okay. I hope you like it here! Feel Free to join in on the Ongoing Alaska Chat for November.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is near the airport a good or bad place to live?

The school is O'Malley school which is in south anchorage.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I would not choose to live near an airport, they are so loud! ours is big and there are flights leaving very hour.

I also would not leave near Merril Field, which is a small aircraft landing area. Those darn planes are so obnoxious!

When we lived in Fairbanks, we are right under a few flight patterns and one guy I swear he went really low right over our house on purpose, I think he had a beef with the old owner.

People around here rave about south Anchorage. Supposedly it is better then the rest of town. i'll admit there is a great tea and spice shop down that way.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Welcome to AK! I hope you settle in easily and love it here.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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Oooh very cool! You should try to live in your school area. You'd love to have your kids go to school there AND have it also be your neighborhood school. Great area but be aware the last mile up the hill to O'M elem is SLICK unless you have good studs; ie. I know that today the hill will be lined w/cars in the ditch.

Fabulous area & school--PM me w/any Qs but I do stink at replying.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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Hi there -- When you think about "living near the airport" in Anchorage, it's a little deceiving to look at a google map in comparison to neighborhoods. When we moved up we thought we were moving "near the airport," and we were only about 10 minutes south, but we didn't really notice airport noise any more than we would have anywhere else. Now we live right in the flight path of a lake frequented by float planes, so we get buzzed all summer, but we don't really mind. I for one love south Anchorage...

Carrs and Fred Meyer (for grocery stores) are all over, FM is my preference. If you're looking for natural or international, Natural Pantry and New Sagaya in midtown are great.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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Yep, guessing I know where PhoebeMommy lives and that's a great little pocket. Don't give up just b/c of the airport map. The whole Spenard & Lake Hood areas have some really cool neighborhoods & a couple of good school choices. Also has some areas to steer clear of, though. I lived in 2 diff Spenard n'hoods for a couple of years. LIvely to say the least.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Anchorage is quite large and there are tons of wonderful little neighborhoods. You will love it here!

Let us know when you get here!
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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My dh's grandparents house will be up for sale soon. Too bad it's behind Inlet View. I know his parents just want rid of it so it's a bargain for Anchorage.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Most neighborhoods in Anchorage are decent neighborhoods but I would avoid Mountainview, parts of the Muldoon and Bragaw area and Spenard. I did some googling and found a great map of where to avoid in red.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...55246&t=h&z=11
I would probably look for a place in Anchorage rather than Eagle River or the Valley since he will be working in Anchorage and the commute can be pretty long especially in the winter.

I like to grocery shop at Fred Meyers. It is a little cheaper than Carrs. I also get about 50% of my groceries at Costco since groceries can be pretty expensive here. I like New Sagaya for certain things too.

We have an AP parenting yahoo group that used to be more active but has really slowed down recently. We used to have weekly playgroups but right now there are none going on. There is a weekly LLL meeting on the first Friday of the month and a LLL mom and baby cafe the third Tuesday from 10-12. There is also a new birth group that gets together on the second Friday of the month that looks like it might be interesting and is a good opportunity for socializing.

There are lots of trails around town to take walks on. There are so many outdoor oppurtunities and neat places to go see. In the winter you can do winter sports but there are some indoor activities to do with kids too like bouncing bears, indoor playgroundz, museums and the miaginarian. There is also a zoo that is good for the warmer winter days.

Dianna environmentally educated tree hugging mom of dd 9/06 and ds 10/08 newbie dd 9/10
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:38 AM
 
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That is a great map Dianna! thanks!

I live in the Scenic Foothills area and happy to see it is YELLOW!
I like it here. Very quite and closed off. No major through streets run into the neighborhood so it isolates us a bit.
I have lived in Midtown (which is Blue) and that place was BAD!)
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:38 AM
 
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sorry, ot, but what do the other colors mean??

You can also PM me. I went to UofO and lived in PDX for a while.
Welcome!
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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I also really like midtown. Loussac library is the best branch in town, plus I am close to a movie theatre, Moose's tooth (pizza), Natural Pantry, New Segaya (natural foods at both places).. Fred Meyers, and Carrs/Safeway reg. groceries are a couple of blocks as well. Oh, not to mention the bookstores! I think there are quite a few hippy places in Spenard/midtown area like Organic Oasis for example..

I would not be comfortable in South Anchorage personally since my kids are mixed and South high has the lowest minority rate of all the schools which suggests to me that the neighborhoods are about the same... I think houses out there are a bit pricier too, but I haven't shopped for houses much recently.

Service high school area has some interesting pockets- I know two families that are out by 72nd/Lake Otis areas (Service district) and I would be comfortable living there.. that is South"ISH"
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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Hi. We just moved here three weeks ago today. I'll share the research we got from interviewing everybody we knew who had ever lived here.

Invest well in a parka with 100-200 grams of insulation. Snow boots should have about 400-600 grams of insulation. Gloves should have 130 grams or higher. (Mine have 130g but I still had to invest in glove liners.) I bought snowpants only for the kids. You'll also need some base layers (long underwear). I recommend Columbia brand. (Cabela's was also recommended to us.) You can do the research online and call their customer service to answer any questions. If you decide to order online, I suggest Sierra Trading Post for some of the best prices. Oh, and "Fleece is Your Friend".

Bringing a vehicle? Winterize it for extreme temperatures before you come. It was 2 degrees when we arrived.

For housing, I found our place on www.AlaskaRealEstate.com. Then I went to Google Maps, entered the address, and used the little guy to get the camera's view of the neighborhood. I am told houses don't stay on the market very long here, so if you see something you like, have a loan approval in your hand. You can also get a local real estate agent to send you a relocation guide. I found it helpful.

Of the stores the other ladies recommended I also like Fred Meyers and Natural Pantry. I haven't gotten to the Sagaya markets yet, but they're on my list. The new Target in town also has groceries and I find the prices a bit lower there than Fred Meyers, but the selection is very limited.

I'm still in search of doctors, hair stylists, etc. myself, so I can't help much in that area.

Well, diaper duty calls. I hope this helps.

Kestrel
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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If you plan on doing much outdoors, then Kestrel is right, but personally I don't bundle up much. I lived in rural Alaska for much of my life, and I bundled there- Anchorage is garage-warm car-dropped off at front door of work-back in garage most of the time.. I think that is true for a lot of people. I did bundle up when I had to shovel snow, but I have a heated drive now, so no more shoveling for me!

And Alaskans LOVE drive thrus too.. drive thru coffee stands are EVERYWHERE.

You didn't mention a dentist in your list, OP but we have been really happy with Dr. Engibous for our kids and Dr. Christensen for us. Both are in midtown. I don't see a general practitioner much anymore, but I highly recommend Healing Arts Chiro in midtown, which imho is great for part of my maternity care and there is a super nice midwife that sees patients in their office as well.

Were you looking for a church or religious group at all? There is quite a variety in this town.

For a gym, lots of people I know are members of Alaska club, there are several locations so that makes it convenient for a lot of people I think. There is also the YMCA on Lake Otis.. there was a women's gym but I am not sure if the rules are still the same or what there.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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DH is applying for state trooper in AK and we've lived in Oregon our whole lives as well. It will be interesting to see what happens. We've lived all over OR and our favorite place is Bend hands-down. Good luck!

Grace: Massage Therapist, YL Essential Oils Educator, and busy homeschooling mama to 4 babes.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally forgot I started this thread! Thank you for all the great tips!

We are in Anchorage.. got here about 3 weeks ago. So far we love and it we think we got a house (townhouse) today! We put an offer on 2 other places and none of them worked out. This was the 3rd and our offer got accpeted, so hopefully everything falls in to place!

So far we like it. I blog about it quite a bit on my blog- mamanotes.com.

We ARE looking for a Church!

I also still need to find a doctor for my son.. and us too.

We are looking at gyms. We went inside the Alaska Club. It looks nice but it is SO expensive. For a family its $133 a month which is a lot, I think! In OR it was $68 for a couple. So, we might be looking at another gym that is cheaper.

I'm also looking for a job and then need to find some sort of day care or something.

We haven't had to spend too much on groceries yet. We're staying with people righ tnow so we've been eating out a lot. The prices don't seem THAT much more expensive though. The Target over in the east side by the Kohls is awesome! So is that Kohls! We have been there a lot.

We've been to the artic playground which was fun. My husband and I really want to go snow shoeing and sledding but it's hard to do that with our son.

I would love to meet any other mamas after the holidays!!

My email adresses is [email protected]
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:55 AM
 
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Welcome to AK!

We suck it up and pay the Alaska Club's crazy $130ish a month. It's a chunk of $, but we get a lot of use out of our membership, so I try to justify it! We use the pool a lot in the winter.

What denomination are you looking for in a church home? We attend a non-denom Christian church and love it -- www.faithak.com It's about a 10-15 min drive from our house (Eastside), but we really love the church, so.

Which area of town is your potential townhouse in? I actually run an in-home preschool/daycare of my own, and know another DC provider in midtown, so might be able to help you out there, depending on your location and needs.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by akwifeandmomma View Post
What denomination are you looking for in a church home? We attend a non-denom Christian church and love it -- www.faithak.com It's about a 10-15 min drive from our house (Eastside), but we really love the church, so.
I can recommend a friendly Catholic church.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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Yeah really depends on the part of town you'll be in for the Church.

And, yeah, Ak Club s*cks but we do pay the monthly charges even though we usually only go once/month to swim.

How old is your son? Sledding parties at Kincaid are a blast. We're going today. You just have to check to make sure there are no races scheduled before you head out.

You could totally go snowshoeing--just make sure he's in a good carrier or do some mellow back country skis w/him in a pulk. Our kids were pulked around until they got bored & started doing their own back country skiing. They're like Gumby People--so flexible at rolling down the hills in their gear.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are in South Anchorage.

I would love any links to good day cares that you know of. I am looking for something for the possibility of drop in for things like job interviews and then on a regular basis if/when I have a job.

it would be so cool to go to a daycare from a Mothering mama!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
My husband got a job teaching in Achorage school district so we are moving.. in 3 weeks! I am excited and nervous as I know NOTHING about Alaska except that it is 26 degrees right now!

We will be moving in/near/around the Anchorage school district. Any ideas, tips information from anyone who lives there would be MUCH appreciated! We have lived in oregon our entire lives, so this is a HUGE change for us!

I need to find a gym, doctor, grocery store, house, etc.. all overwhelming!

Thanks so much!
I know how you feel. My husband and I just moved here from Salt Lake City, where we lived for 4 years. We were excited too and Anchorage hasnt let us down. I had never even been here before and my husband was only up here once to interview. Anchorage has it all. ITs not as isolated as i thought it would be. Tons of grocery stores-the big box ones are Fred Meyer and Carrs. If you shop organic both Fred Meyer and Carrs have sections dedicated to organic but Natural Pantry and New Sagayas are locally owned and have much more of an organic selection. As for Doctors, Im assuming your pregnant? There are offices everywhere. We are going the midwife route and Chinmayo Forro is ours and absolutely fantastic! This is our first and the baby is at 18 weeks. House hunting, are you guys planning on buying or renting. We just bought our first house and from start to finish it took 5 weeks. Not to bad as that is what we were most worried about. I couldnt imagine spending more time in a hotel. Let me know what specific questions you have. Id love to help as I can empathize. PS Oregon is gorgeous, always wanted to live there. ~Marta
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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We are going the midwife route and Chinmayo Forro is ours and absolutely fantastic! This is our first and the baby is at 18 weeks.
Hi! I am also seeing Chinmayo!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know how you feel. My husband and I just moved here from Salt Lake City, where we lived for 4 years. We were excited too and Anchorage hasnt let us down. I had never even been here before and my husband was only up here once to interview. Anchorage has it all. ITs not as isolated as i thought it would be. Tons of grocery stores-the big box ones are Fred Meyer and Carrs. If you shop organic both Fred Meyer and Carrs have sections dedicated to organic but Natural Pantry and New Sagayas are locally owned and have much more of an organic selection. As for Doctors, Im assuming your pregnant? There are offices everywhere. We are going the midwife route and Chinmayo Forro is ours and absolutely fantastic! This is our first and the baby is at 18 weeks. House hunting, are you guys planning on buying or renting. We just bought our first house and from start to finish it took 5 weeks. Not to bad as that is what we were most worried about. I couldnt imagine spending more time in a hotel. Let me know what specific questions you have. Id love to help as I can empathize. PS Oregon is gorgeous, always wanted to live there. ~Marta
Im not pregnant. When I say doctor I mean pediatrician for my son.

We bought a house, or we're buying one right now. It's our first house that we've bought too. We are closing this weekend.. 2 weeks in total! It's a record, for sure! We have been staying with people and are/were in a big hurry to get our own place. Plus our realator is great and is really fast on everything.

What is your husband doing? Are you working? Once we both get settled in our new houses we should get together! [email protected]
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