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Hi! I am a momma of 2, I’m southern, a vegetarian, & a student. I’m married to a top-notch guy who serves his country for a living. Ethan is the serious type & Lily is the complete opposite of serious! We are currently living it up in NC! This blog is a little place for me to document our lives.

Monday, October 3, 2011

a look inside: MCB Camp Lejeune, NC

Welcome to Camp Lejeune, NC! I had asked a few ladies to write about Camp Lejeune but none were able to get back to me so I figured I'd write it. I mean I do live here :)

As I already mentioned we are stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. We moved here February 2011. We were told that we were going to go to Camp Pendleton, CA, but the USMC had different plans. We came from the Pentagon by way of Kansas City. However this isn't our first time on Eastern North Carolina, in fact Sohel and I met while I was attending college at ECU and he was stationed at Cherry Point, NC. It seems we can't escape NC. I am orginally from Burlington, NC {Born in Ohio and lived there until I was 15}. Sohel is from Richmond, VA {we lived there for a yearish after S left the USMC in 2004, thats a story for another time}.

We decided to live out in town as we were told the wait for housing was long. My advice for people moving to Camp Lejeune is if you decide to rent out in town, go through a rental company. There are so many properties that it would be almost impossible to call each rental agency to see them. We rent through Sue Cruddas but used Anette Chrisley to help us locate our house. Her husband actually works with my momma so it was nice to have someone we "know" to help us find a house.

Our rental

We have decided to move onto base when our lease is up in January. We live about 20min from town and at the time my husband didn't want to live on base and we thought we would get more bang for our buck out in town. Which you can if you are ok with certain types of homes. We are rather picky and my hubby likes what he likes so we chose to rent in town. It can take Sohel almost an hour to get to base because the traffic is pretty heavy. It takes almost an 1 1/2 hour to get home. Thats the first reason we decided to move on base. Reason #2 is that I take the kids to lots of on base activities, mainly storytime, plus we want Ethan to start preschool on base and you have to live on base to go to base schools. Reason #3 is we will save $500 a month by living on base. The utilities, water, trash and gas (car) add up when you live in the country :). I strongly suggest thinking about all of that before vetoing base housing. The wait list here at Lejeune is long for NCO housing (6-9 months I've been hearing). SNCO housing has no wait list, in fact they have lots of empty homes waiting to be filled.

I mentioned above about base storytime, they have 3 different storytimes a week. We go to the actual library for storytime because my kids enjoy picking out new books but they do offer storytimes at 2 of the housing areas in their community centers.

Camp Lejeune has lots of base activites going on most of the time. I haven't gone to tons since Sohel has been gone, its hard to take both kids to a festival and have a good time without a helper :) But you can check out the MCCS website for activities.

CL does have a base beach. It is broken up by rank, which was so weird to me at first but I guess it is what it is when your on a military base. They have rentals on the beach, people rent them for a quick getaway or homecomings. The beach is very nice and sometimes they have lifegaurds. You can rent cabanas for parties, which can make an all day trip to the beach nice.

The commissary and exchange are nice and big. The exchange is actually going through a renovation right now and looks pretty spiffy. Inside the exchange building is a food court which has a Subway, Wendy's, Ben and Jerry's and a few other places. On base there are a few Burger Kings, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, a Mexican restaurant and quite a few other places. This base is pretty big!

Off base there isn't tons to do in Jacksonville, you can drive an hour to Wilmington (we do this a lot). Its the "big" town around here. You can also head towards Morehead City or New Bern for more city life. The beaches around here are amazing. I mentioned last post about getting married about 20mins from here in N. Topsail Beach. Emerald Isle is beautiful and so is Wrightsville Beach. With all the water around here there are some great aquariums which we have been to a few times.

As for shopping, you don't have lots of options here. The "mall" doesn't even have a food court. But you have Target, 2 Walmart's and the main department stores here. We have a Michaels. 2 Lowe's and a Home Depot. Its not bad but not great for ball gown shopping.

My opinion on Camp Lejeune is good, I don't hate it here like some people. Would I have rather been in CA? Well yes but I'm glad to be nearby my family and my in-laws. The base is what you make it. I have been able to make a few great friends and taken the kids on some playdates so Camp Lejeune is feeling more like home. At least for a few more years :)

Thanks for reading my long winded post!

I'm not sure if I'll have a post next week as I've asked everyone I know haha. So please spread the word if you would like to hear more about other bases!! Maybe next week I'll write about the Pentagon or about Kansas City...

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