My husband and I might be PCSing this summer from Camp Pendleton to Camp Lejeune. We have been here for years and I am a little worried about the transition. I am looking for advise on the difference in the two bases and only first hand accounts. We don't currently have children, but that could be a possibility in the next 2 years or so.
What differences exactly do you mean? As far as base goes the same services will be provided.
The areas surrounding Pendleton is a completely different way of life than the areas surrounding Lejeune.
Base traffic is worse here and the biggest complaint from Marines (that I've heard--my husband being one of them) is that Pendleton has all of their infantry units in one location and Lejeune does not, they are spread out.
Culture shock was my first emotion after living in So. Cal for 10 years.
Climate for another, it's humid as all get out here, it will take you a few summers to get used to it.
Lejeune actually has winter, as in the kids will need jackets for those 30 degree mornings.
The beach is more swampy, not wall to wall houses either except on the islands aka sandbars. And you cannot have a bonfire on the beach spring, summer or fall, too many protected turtles nesting and hatching. And winter is a bit too cold!
As for the surrounding area, think Pendleton minus everything but about 1/2 of Oceanside and everything else is 30-60 miles away. No Carlsbad, no Capistrano, Nothing but miles of woods.
Housing, depending on what you need is at least 6 months wait, staff and officer wait times are shorter in summer.
I am from Texas, so sweet tea is the only tea there is. We have a smoker and usually smoke a brisket for BBQs. Pendleton has changed so much. They have built a lodge between the Staff club and the commissary. They are building new buildings and barracks EVERYWHERE. The Big Box is being built by the lodge and the country store, the main exchange, most of the stores from mainside will be moved to it.There is also a new hospital being built. Is the dress flip flops and jeans for every occasion? Do houses off base come with air conditioning standard, or is that hard to find?
You have to have heat and air here, and the big bill to go along with it in town. I remember our places on base (pendleton) only had heat.
I have been back a couple times to visit friends on Pendleton, I couldn't breathe, and had to get an inhaler, the smog has gotten so much worse. So we have been requesting east coast for a VERY long time LOL!
You can always tell when it is about to rain here because the air stinks so badly. Is there a 24 hour super walmart nearby? What is the commissary and on base shopping like? Is there a mall? I was told there was a Piggly Wiggly there. Is that true?
There are 2 24 hour Walmarts, and mainside has a 7day store (also open 24 hours). There is only one Commissary, and the PX is small(er). There is a mall, but it's small too. Yes, there is a Piggly Wiggly, but I wouldn't shop there if it was free. That place is d.i.r.t.y.
I would also suggest looking to rent out in town vs. base housing. Most of the time you can rent a house for a lot cheaper than your BAH, and have plenty left over for water, trash & electric. But that would be out of city limits (still a short drive to base) because of the water prices. In town is around $90, and out of city limits is about $20.
The Pig sucks, you couldn't pay me to set foot in one here. All we really have are Food Lions which some are barely a step above the Pig. Nasty, dirty, some even smell moldy compared to Cali grocery stores. The commissary is smaller but the prices are ok. We have two Walmarts, the old one in town and the new one farther out. There's a Lowes foods in Cape Carteret (20 miles) that people drive too occasionally, Sam's club in town, or occasionaly there's folks who will drive to Wilmington (60 miles) for the nicer grocery stores and better shopping.
Most people think the mall is a joke.
We get a LOT more rain than Cali, but what we do smell is the tides if your close to the water and a marshy area, you WILL know when the tide is out!
wow. Our water here is 130ish. We rent here because we got over base housing drama in 02. And we make money on the deal since we don't have kids. I thing we will look into buying. How developed and Family Readiness and the FROs there?
technically there are TWO commissaries ... there is one on the Air Station (MCAS New River) .. I like it because it is way less crowded but I feel like it is smaller ...
We are actually going the other way - we are about to PCS to Camp Pendleton (well MCAS Miramar) ... :o) I think I am going to miss Jacksonville - only because I have a great job and great friends here ...
I love our FRO she is on top of EVERYTHING ... it does help that her husband is a gunny in my husbands shop though!
I am from Texas, so sweet tea is the only tea there is.
The sweet tea in Texas compared to North Carolina is very different.
I'm from Texas too, and am currently here in Houston.
NC sweet tea is VERY sweet, almost syrup'y. It really doesn't even taste the way tea should. I ordered a sweet tea here a few days ago, and it was very bland compared to what I've gotten used to in NC.