Exploring Holistic Alternatives

Families practicing: Alternative & Natural Health; Attachment and Mindful Parent

Hi! I'm Sarah, married to Erick, and mom of Hannah (will be 5 on Saturday) and Jonah (3). We currently live in Syracuse, NY, but we need a change, so we're moving down to Charlotte/Concord next month. My brother in law and his family live in Concord, and my husband wants to live closer to them. So that's how we picked this area. Plus, the sun shines a lot more than in NY, plus taxes and the cost of living seem to be lower.

I don't see myself as super crunchy, till I'm with mainstream people. Then I'm horrified that these parents are giving their kids stuff like white Wonder bread, soda or juices with HFCS, artificial sweeteners, fast food, etc. We're vegan, and I try to buy as much organic/natural foods as possible. I love to bake from scratch. I'll sometimes come across a recipe on a blog or something and absolutely have to bake it because it looks sooo good.

We don't vaccinate, and we try to use natural remedies whenever possible. I really love our kids' doctor up here (we do drive a little over an hour each way to see her), so I'll check out the ones in the "novax dr" discussion thread. :)

I had posted on MDC about extended stay suites/hotels, but figured I'd post here too (in case not everyone visits MDC on a regular basis). We were planning on staying at #6 on the map (in the link below) in Matthews, but I googled InTown Suites and saw some bad reviews, like dirty rooms and cockroaches in the rooms. Anybody have any experience with InTown Suites? This one seems to be in the best neighborhood, and they have 2 bedroom suites. This would be temporary, for roughly 4-6 months, till my husband finds a job, we get used to the area, and buy a house. I don't want to be tied down with a lease, in case we don't like the area, something happens and we can't stay, plus I don't know how many places will rent to us if we will only be there for a few months.

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Hi Sarah,

Welcome to the group. I live in the Matthews/Weddington area. I would not advise staying on Independence. It's not a "bad" part of town but it's not residential either and I think would not give you the best feel for Charlotte. There are two extended stays near Ballentyne, one off of Johnston (Staybridge Suites) and one off of Rae (Residences Inn). They might be more expensive but I think you'd enjoy the areas more. There may be some like that toward Concord or in the University area, I'm just not familiar with that side of town. As long as you are near 485 you will have an easy drive to Concord and most areas.

Some VRBO places have monthly rates, I think I'd look into that too.

Good luck with your search and let us know when you arrive. My girls are 10 and 12 but there are lots of younger kids in the group too. Do you homeschool?


After my husband kept bugging me to book *something* so that we could get out of here, we booked a room at the Suburban Extended Stay on Bruton Smith Rd in Concord. (Its down the street from where my in laws have their camper. They've been coming down to Concord from Syracuse for the past couple years to visit my brother in law and his family. And my BIL, SIL, and their kids live about 10 minutes from there.) My husband had been worried that if we didn't book something right away, that all of the rooms that fit what we want/need (2 beds, nonsmoking, decent area, etc) would be taken. Thanks for the recommendations, since its always good to have other options in case we don't like the Suburban!

We don't homeschool, and I don't think we have plans to. I'm not sure if we'll send the kids to the public school or to a local Christian school. (Our daughter has been going to pre-k a few mornings a week at the Catholic school around the corner, and she loves it.) Our son has a speech delay, so he's been going to the local special ed preschool (in a blended class) since September. I left a message with the special ed dept at the preschool about getting at least him into school for the remainder of the school year. He's talking a lot more, and I really don't want him to regress.

Thanks again!
Hi Sarah!

That area in Concord is right near the speedway (Charlotte Racetrack). It is near tons of shopping and restaurants. There are also entrances to the Greenway (walking trails that go all around the city) as well as near more established Nature Preserves like Latta Plantation and Reedy Creek. It should be a pretty decent area for you and your family to stay for a few months. In May there is a Nascar race so be prepared for a bit of traffic. Also, Concord Mills is on that road - it an outlet mall - and it gets pretty busy on the weekend. You should be fine though. My husband and I live in the University area - just the other side from where you are staying. There is a pretty cool botanical garden, that is free, in UNC Charlotte, that you can walk around in - maybe something different for the kids. My husband and I moved here from MA a few years ago, so I can relate to trying to find a place not too permanant until you get an idea of what area works for you!
Hope the move goes smoothly for you! Do e-mail if you have any questions!

Do a lot of you garden? I want to eventually have a vegetable garden, plus have a strawberry or raspberry patch. (I'm thinking about the amount of land to get with a potential house.) Don't laugh, but my biggest concern is snakes in the garden! I know the black ones are good and they eat the bad copperheads, but I would prefer to avoid the various snakes altogether! Any advice? Anything I could plant or sprinkle to keep them away from my garden? Thanks!
My husband it really the gardner in the family. He LOVES it! We have a pretty small back yard so he has done the square foot gardening. He has mixed his own soils and we have used seeds from non-GMO, organic companies (bakers creek and seed savers i think). Things grow here like you have never seen them grow in the North East. If you like cooking with fresh herbs, we were able to grow an herb pot at our first aparment here - it was pretty cool. I didn't really buy into the square foot gardening, but we got a ton of food out of it last year and have been able to pick some things through the winter - we just had cabbage last night out of it.

Honestly, we've only met up with a few little black snakes. I know what you mean - Snakes are fine as long as I know they are there. Drew (my husband) said that you really won't get to many of them unless you have a couple of rodents. He also reminded me about the lizards. Yep! We have a few resident lizards in and around our garden. They are harmless and really good pest control but they do still make me jump when I am not looking for them.

Hope everything with the move is going well. Let me know if you have any other questions about the area - you can e-mail directly through this website too :)
~ Jes
I have a big veggie garden and have "edible landscaping" around too. We have a king snake near our garden but we love him :) Snakes tend to stay away from all the action.

This is a great climate for growing. Last year I put in a bunch of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

There are lots of gardeners here. I think there is a thread for it somewhere.

Hi Sarah,

Welcome! Are you already in Charlotte? I see that in March you said you were moving down next month. It has been beautiful weather here so hope you are on your way. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about renting and buying in the Charlotte area. I am a "holistic mom" and just happen to be a Realtor too. I moved here from NY as well almost 12 years ago and love it. I live in Union County, near Matthews so I know the area you are speaking about well. There may be rentals that would give you a short term lease if you decided not to do the InTown Suites. Let me know what you would be looking for (# of bedrooms, baths etc...) and I can see what is out there. Please feel free to contact me directly so we can talk. gloria@gloriafridrich.com

Hope to hear from you.


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