Living in Lexington - 3/2/2010
We moved down here from Pennsylvania almost 5 years ago and have enjoyed every minute. We really miss our friends from up there, but that's about it. Just like everywhere else, there are good and bad areas, but Lexington is almost all good,...and, no, I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce.
First of all, Lexington (Columbia-area) is known as 2 hours from everything, and it is: The beaches, historical Charleston & Savannah (GA), The big city (Charlotte, NC), the mountains, boating, hiking, lots of golf and, of course, the beautiful weather to enjoy it all. You will never run out of places to take the family.
The schools in Lexington (specifically) are amazing and award winning. Our kids are in elementary, but we have many friends with high praise for the middle and high schools too. Speaking of friends, we've noticed that Lexington is a melting pot of the South and the North without prejudice to either. The people here are wonderful and friendly.
Restaurants (my field) are fine with a blend of Southern cuisine and just about everything else. Many people here enjoy their meat & three (veggies), but still no chili parlors,...yet. House prices are very reasonable, but be weary of construction. Palmetto trees, bermuda grass and pine straw (no mulch?) are everywhere as landscaping.
The weather is really nice. Everyone warned us about the humidity, but it isn't nearly as bad as you think and it isn't very long. The Spring and Fall are long and glorious, Winter is short and spotted with an occasional dusting of snow (although we got 7" this winter - melted within 48 hours).
Hope to see y'all soon![read more...]
Love/Hate Relationship - 7/3/2008
My wife and I are continually torn about this place. Some days we love it and others we don't. I can't say that we ever really "hate" it - it's not that bad - it's really just us. When coming from a major metro area the transition can be difficult. After having been raised in the heart of Silicon Valley and spending most of my life in the SF Bay Area, it's hard to go ANYWHERE and not feel like something's lacking. That being said, South Carolina has totally won us over when it comes to sensible government, low cost of living, southern manners, family values, clean air and open spaces. Most of these are things that have long since disappeared in California (believe it or not they once existed!). Unfortunately, Columbia is an area with virtually zero big-city amenities, aside from a nice zoo and a couple of decent museums. There just aren't a lot of quality services here so the standards tend to feel kind of low. People seem to be really okay with chain restaurants, strip malls and big box stores - not that those are bad things, but there are few alternatives. Downtown Columbia has some decent hangouts and restaurants, but you've got to look for them. The Vista and Five Points are basically it. People seem genuinely happy here and are really nice if you give them the chance, although not real sophisticated - and that's not meant as an insult - just not "citified". A lot of my dry humor just falls totally flat. On the other hand, you'll also find some very smart, educated, savvy locals but good luck getting invited to their dinner parties. There is very definitely a good ole boys network alive and well. And you'll have to go to church to get into certain other social circles. Lots of people are moving here, though, so the culture will definitely change - some for the better and some for the worse, no doubt. For recreation, there's a big lake nearby, Lake Murray, which is excellent, but that's about it. If we stayed here, I wouldn't regret it, but I'll constantly be thinking about where I could go for some real action.[read more...]
I have lived here for almost 4 years... - 1/14/2007
First of all let me say that I love change so coming from Colorado where I had to endure terrible storms and cold,I have thoroughly enjoyed the southern climate. I have never been a snow or outdoor enthusiast so trading that for "almost" (stretching it a little) year around decently warm temperatures has been truly wonderful. The summer humidity is way out there, but I can survive as long as there is air conditioning in my car and home and in all the stores I shop in. I am two hours from the beach and really nice campgrounds when I want to camp out. The Palmetto palms are nice along with the gorgeous azaleas, pines and the abundant woods that are natural to this area. The state is made up of three areas, the midlands, the upstate and the low country which is really interesting in culture. Everything is so different of course than Colorado, and I love it. So much to learn and experience. Barbeque is the name of the game here. It's either tomato based or mustard based flavored pulled pork. Back home when you invited someone over for a BBQ you served grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Not so here, they would laugh at you probably when they got there. Love it or hate it along with the grits and bologna for breakfast. Mexican food and decent flour tortillas are a disappointment. Excellent sea food and you gotta try the fried catfish, coleslaw and hushpuppies. A biggie here is macaroni and cheese and delectably sweet sweet potatoes with pecans.
Terrible drivers!!! No one uses their turn signals, drives me nuts! Property taxes on everything.
Most families have been here forever and although they are nice, just remember they are related to everyone else "everywhere" so don't gossip. They stick together and hate northerners. Prejudice is still alive and well here, the klan etc., but the blacks have been very pleasant everywhere I go.
The language (accent) is different from place to place and like the food you will hate it or just get used to it. It has been fun experiencing the people, history and sites of interest. I will miss this place when I leave here due to my husband retiring. Where will we go? Out west I guess. Everyone should experience the south on vacation or just move here. You'll love it I bet.[read more...]