Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What is Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) like?!

I took this photo at Spanaway Lake Park
We moved here in 2012 and it has been a great experience. Moving to a new place can be scary at times but I was ready. Before we PCS'd (moved) to Washington, we lived in Belgium. Belgium was great but we were ready to move back to the United States. The weather isn't that much different!
During fall, winter and into spring, about 3/4 of the year, it rains. For some this could be really hard to get used to. I enjoy the rain and gloomy-ness.
I was raised near Chicago where it snows inches upon inches and Washington has very light snow, I am talking 1-2inches at most near post.
Have you seen the movie "Twilight"? Trees for miles and miles, green everywhere, beautiful lakes, and places to take a relaxing hike, that is Washington. It is by far my most favorite base we have been at (scenery wise).
The joint base is located in the middle of everything. There is easy access to theaters, shopping centers, restaurants, schools, thrift shopping (lol), parks, forests, everything. There are malls in South Hill, Tacoma and Seattle! I am sure I am missing a few others!

I want to live off post, what are the best places to live around post?? I can only speak by what I see and this is in my own opinion. I love the Spanaway/Puyallup area. Graham and Yelm are quiet. Lacey and Olympia I have heard are really beautiful places to live but may be a little bit of a drive. Lakewood we were always told to stay away from but it is very close to post. With every city there is a bad part of town. I won't say stay away from Lakewood because there are nice areas there. I always say, research. There are other close cities too: Steilacoom and University Place.

Chris and I did something we typically wouldn't ever do and that is renting a place before stepping foot in it. We rented a home while we were staying at my parents house on the way here. We paid our deposit over the phone to a management company. Did it work? Yes and No. Yes because we were in what appeared to be in a beautiful home, but no because our rent was too high for what we saw around our neighborhood after moving in. Research all costs, rent, utilities and the gas you will be spending while commuting to post. You also have to figure out where you or your spouse will be working on post. That can make a huge difference when calculating mileage. Chris and I currently own our home and the drive to the nearest gate is between 15-18 min depending on traffic. Once inside JBLM we travel another 7 min or so to main post. AHHH the traffic, one thing I forgot to mention. Find the best routes and shortest routes if you want to avoid the I-5.

JBLM is a large base as it is two bases combined. There are tons of things to do as well. There are a few gyms located on Fort Lewis, CYSS and activity centers for the kids. My kids are in sports on post and they love it. I don't spend much time on post because we do not live there. But in all honesty, if you love the outdoors, you will love it here. Summer time can get pretty hot but not unbearable. Most homes do not have central air and we rely on table fans and open windows. I don't mind that at all. Of course you can find homes with central air or air conditioning if that is what you prefer.

If you live in this area, please leave a comment below on what you love or dislike the most about Joint Base Lewis-McChord. If you have any questions and you have orders to come to this base, please feel free to leave a question and I will answer it the best I can.

Social Media Lovers:
You can find many Facebook Pages that are base specific.
Fort Lewis Spouse Network: https://www.facebook.com/groups/288327527865013/
Fort Lewis Army/AF Wives: https://www.facebook.com/groups/402262236471681/
Let's Kick It in Puyallup, Spanaway, & Graham: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LetschillPuy.Spa.Grah/

If you are looking for a Military Spouse Page (Non-Location Specific) please join me at "More than a Military Spouse!" 

Use keywords such as JBLM, Fort Lewis Wives, Fort Lewis Spouses on FB and you will find so many more!!
Thank you for reading!!

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