Originally Posted by Ygle
what's it like there?
Vancouver is a little more conservative than Portland. It is very car oriented, but easy to get around. I much prefer driving in Vancouver than Portland. A lot fewer one way streets!
It's not very walking friendly, unless you live right downtown. Otherwise, there are pockets of suburban homes, then retail areas, then homes again. I don't find very often that shopping and such are ever mixed into the neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods will have a small park, though.
It isn't anti
-AP, but not pro-AP either. You'll mostly see stroller-wielding, bjorn-wearing mamas at the mall and such. I'm the only one at playgroup who uses a sling (that I've seen so far). We have a very active LLL group that meets twice per month, and I've met quite a few like-minded mamas there! I get compliments on my sling when I go out, and I've never had anyone say anything to me while nursing in public. We also have a very active NINO (babywearing) group that meets once per month. I drive across the bridge to Portland to go to Cloth Diaper Circle meetings. It's about a 20-25 minute drive.
|How 'bout organic vegan friendly?|
There are chain stores like Trader Joe's and Wild Oats. There is a farmers market (http://www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com/)
, but I've never been. Fred Meyers have a small natural food section and a small selection of organics which is where I do most of my shopping, as they are very close to my home.
Not so much that I've seen.
I've met many nursing mothers at LLL but few outside of the meetings. Many moms hide in the women's lounge room at Nordstrom.
But their babies are little. I did meet a homebirthing mama at Nordstrom once, though.
|Lots of unschoolers there?|
My son is still very young, so I haven't looked into the unschooling/homeschooling crowd yet.
|We may be moving there in the next month or so and I have really no idea what it is like (we are in Albany, OR right now), except that housing looks outrageously expensive, possibly unaffordable for us, but is it worth it to live there?|
I really like it here, but I'm not ubercrunchy or anything.
Housing does get cheaper the further out you get from Vancouver, in the outlying towns like Battle Ground, La Center, or Camas/Washougal.
|I'm planning a homebirth with this latest baby, are there plenty of great midwives there (we can have homebirths in WA, correct?)|
Yes, homebirths are ok. Homebirth VBACs, however, I hear are harder to come by (but not impossible). There are some midwives who practice in Portland who will come to Vancouver, and there is also a midwifery center in Salmon Creek just a few minutes north of Vancouver.
|... what's the cost of gas like there?|
I'm trying to remember what I last paid. $2.40 or a little higher? I can't remember.
|Food is exempt from sales tax, isn't it?|
|Are there city income taxes?|
Not that I know of.
|I don't even know what to ask or what to look for at this point... any and all input is greatly appreciated, we have to make a decision fast and we are feeling so overwhelmed. We definitely aren't *unhappy* where we are (we could easily see staying here forever), but we could certainly be happier.... mainly I guess we are just looking for more things for our kids to do during the day as they get older and not having to drive so far and so often to find those things and maybe also to find more like minded folks to hang with.|
What I like the most about Vancouver is its proximity to Portland. If there is something I can't find or do here, I just drive 20 minutes to cross the bridge, and there we are. There's some great children's museums, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the Oregon Zoo, the Chinese gardens, etc. Tons to do. I tend to think of Vancouver as almost a suburb of Portland.