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Where to move Contest


My husband and I are thinking about moving to a new City/State/Country. All you have to do is let me know in an email why your City/State or country is the best place to live. From housing costs to schools and entertainment, not to mention jobs (my honey is a historian who has thought college & a Marketing Director for the past 8 years for high tech companies) This contest will go on until Jan 15, 2004. The winner will get a set of 17 beads your choice of colors/designs. If we actually move to the winner's area, I will teach that person how to make glass beads free of charge. Below are the entries so far. The winner of the contest is #4. we have decided to stay in the area for now. thanks so much for playing.


Hi Jelveh, This is a wonderful contest ! I actually live in Richland, Michigan most of the time but have a second home in the most beautiful place in the US. This is where I will move to when I can give up my "real job" !! Saint Simons Island, Georgia is a small barrier island off the southeast corner of Georgia. About half way between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida there is a group of islands called the Golden Isles. They lie between the Intercostal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. St Simons is small, has gorgeous live oaks dripping with moss and green all year ! Climate is warm and humid, cool in winter and HOT in summer. Gorgeous beaches abound and the local village is charming. Many cute shops, some in 1920's cottages. 
The Island loves artists and there are many local artists and authors and an active art association. Periodically throughout the year there are wonderful shows outside under the huge Oaks in the village just on the edge of the park by the ocean. Some of the most amazing artwork I've ever seen is found at the juried shows they have twice yearly.
My favorite activity there is to sit at the beach and watch the sun rise with my coffee in hand and total contentment in my heart. St Simons has a special feel about it not found anywhere else, the saying is "If you once get the sand of St Simons on your toes you will return again" and this is true!
Author Eugenia Price has written many wonderful novels about the history of the Island, her words convey the uniqueness of this place very well. The area abounds with history from the 1700's, parks, sites and the historical Christ Church. Methodism was started by the Wesley brothers there, the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Fort Frederica, etc.
If fishing is a fondness there are great piers to laze about on and pursue this passion. a short drive will take you to St Mary's where you can ferry to Cumberland Island a national seashore park where John Kennedy Jr was married. A short drive in the opposite direction and you can ferry to Sapelo Island where the descendents of slaves and the Gullah and Geechee culture abound. Across the channel is Jekyll Island which has the fabulous Jekyll Island Club (hotel) which is the Island developed in the 1940's by the New York high society moguls ( Vanderbilts, Mellons, etc.)and where the movie The Legend of Bagger Vance was filmed.  Sea Island, the famous resort for the ultra-rich is a short hop by causeway from St Simons.
There are too many wonderful things to see and do in the area but this gives you an idea of some I like. There are also small islands nearby, accessible by boat, where you can live.
You can find info at the Georgia High Tides Guide on the internet or just by searching for the Golden Isles. Check it out, it truly is an amazing place !! Everyone who goes there loves it !
Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about this gorgeous island,


Well, first there is culture - Symphony, Ballet, theatre, lots of clubs and concerts. Second, there is multicultural - especially in cities like Cambridge, Brookline, and the city itself. And speaking of Cambridge - there's Harvard, MIT, Lesley as well as nearby Tufts, Boston College, Boston University, Simmons, Northeastern, Emerson and on and on and on. Fourth --- there is me!  And I come with miles and miles of beautiful beach and bay, living as I do on a peninsula.  And if you like to travel, south of us is Cape Cod and Provincetown. Fifth, there is history here in MA.  Cradle of the revolution etcetera.  Plymouth Rock. And sixth, there are seasons and actual weather.  It is a great excuse to purchase winter togs! And then    seventh, well, as I told you, I could take glassmaking lessons with you. Now will     you enter me in your contests - bead and relocation. ;-)M



OK - I have an idea where to move - Chicago area.  You have the city with an awesome array of blues clubs, Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium and more - such a historic place.  Also, you could never match the Christmas display put on downtown on Michigan Avenue, especially at Marshall Fields with the 7 story Christmas tree!.  Also home to the most incredible chocolates - Frango Mints - Hershey came close with their choco mint kisses, but still can't hold a candle.  The chocolate may be the best reason to move there.  Then of course, there is Taste of Chicago in August with the best foods and music the city has to offer with a great fireworks display, the autumn colors, the spring is beautiful and then the winter (OK, maybe this is the reason I don't live there).  But 3/4 of the year..... Chicago also offers Italian Beefs (the best at Portillos), deep dish pizza (Gino's East or Lou Malnati's), Chicago Dogs (You will never look at a hotdog the same again), incredible steaks and ribs (Carson Ribs), great seafood (Chins' and the Crab House) and almost any ethnic dish/restaurant you can think of.  
I think the state is pretty diverse and tolerant - more so than most midwestern states - considering it's called the melting pot.  The housing is also fairly reasonable - you can get a decent house (2000-2200 sq ft) on a nice piece of land (1/2 - 1 acre) in a good neighborhood (Elgin, Lincoln Park) for $300,000 or so.  The schools ar decent, though all are suffering around the country.  In Ill., they start the gifted program at 2nd grade, unlike here where it is 4th or 5th grade. 
The best part, besides the chocolate, is the fact the Bears, Bulls and Hawks play there.  They may not be any good at the moment, but the fans are the best - they are die hard and are never fair weather, even in 20 below or with scores of 0 to 50.  Also, you get to participate in the greatest Illinois sports activity - booing the GreenBay Packers and the fans wearing pieces of cheese on their head and hissing at the New York Knicks!  
Enough said - I may not live there any more as California was always my dream destination, but Chicago is my roots and still the place I call home. Take care and good luck in the decision. Kim

 Entry #4 is the winner of the contest, thanks to all of you who played...

Well, glad you asked about gr---r-r--r-reat places to live.  Let me invite you to entertain thoughts of moving to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The weather here is fantastic.  Today the wind blew so hard it knocked the leaves right over into the neighbor's yard.  Saves a lot on raking, you know?  Where else do you get to have four early dismissals during the first two weeks of school due to extreme heat, and un air-conditioned school buildings, followed by at least four days of school cancellation in the winter due to extreme blizzard conditions.  Makes life interesting for the kids.
As far as beauty, yep, we got it.  General Dodge's house, once visited by President Lincoln, is a real beauty.  Lots of other gorgeous historic homes (that's the good part), the not so good part is the inner-city area where my school is located.  I am an elementary principal and I have been told by the police to stop visiting student homes without an escort.  (And you asked if we are open-minded?)  Political and social views - lots of excitement here.  We have one civic-minded individual who has run for school board election eight years running and has not been elected yet.  She attends every school board meeting and watching her address the board on televised local news is better than a greased pig contest any day.  Cultural attributes include all the wonderful performers we get at the three casinos that opened within the past eight years.  Yes, sirree, how many communities can boast an Elvis impersonator contest every single year?  Cost of living is hard to determine since so many locals live on food stamps and welfare, but I am guessing it is lots cheaper than California.  The newest and nicest homes in the community are selling for about $400,000.  (Beginning teachers make over $28,000 but that's my only reference on salaries.) 
Actually, all the above has ben tongue-in-cheek.  Iowa is a beautiful place to live and the people who live here are very open and friendly.  I believe we came in 8th on the list of the ten friendliest cities in the U.S.  Our community is growing by leaps and bounds with the addition of the casinos, a new 16-plex movie theater, community theater, beautification project to enter the city, etc.  We are a community on the grow---Council Bluffs, the Leading Edge is our new logo.
We are directly across the river from Omaha, Nebraska and there are numerous fine restaurants, museums, auditoriums, convention center, etc.


I have lived from the eastern seaboard (North Carolina) to the western seaboard (California).   
No. . .I am not running from the law. 
In my 38 years, I've lived in 6 different states and over 15 cities.  Even though I inhabited all those places, I never appreciated or learned anything about them.  I lived in a vacuum.
No. . .my family wasn't in the military.
When Jelveh asked customers to send in an email/essay explaining why our city or state was the best, I asked myself, what makes a city the "best?"  And then I said to myself "Well, that shouldn't be hard to write and I could win some of Jelveh's beads!!"  Who knew!!!
You see, I moved here seven years ago from Phoenix, Arizona to be with my husband.  I cried most of the way.  I didn't want to move from Arizona because it was the first place I ever felt was my home.  Now, we have a house, three dogs and we both own our own businesses.  His family is here, my family is here. We live a simple life.  We stay home most weekends (unless I am crafting or he's hunting). While writing this for Jelveh's contest, I realized we're happy here.  And that statement goes a long way these days.
I think it took me 13 of my 38 years to figure out the answer to Jelveh's question.  What makes my city, Bartlesville, Oklahoma best is me. 
No. . .I am not tooting my own horn, hang with me here!
My city/state has red clay, green grass, brown dirt, hills, mountains, lakes (muddy and clear), great hunting, fishing and recreation but don't let that sway your decision!  We also have industry; Phillips Petroleum was founded in this town. We also have low crime, scores of land for sale, great schools and housing, two movie theatres and two malls.  One of the movie theatres is a $1.00 theatre, which is my favorite!  An added bonus is I know my postal carrier; UPS driver, USPS workers, FED EX and most of the local wait staff by first name!
In addition to the small town, everyone knows everyone; neighbors helping neighbors; one newspaper mentality, we shouldn't mention the 7-minute drive to get across town with no traffic to speak of "ever!"  It wouldn't be fair to add the fact that my family now lives here (we've lived apart from each other for most of our lives).  Disregard the fact that we have 4 full seasons, not two like other cities/states!  I'll even let you exclude the fact that we have the best "hot hamburgers" this side of the Mississippi.  Moreover, I'm beseeching you to rule out the fact that your children can generally play in their yards without fear of consequence. 
My point being is that any number of people can name the same likenesses regarding their city/state.  What differentiates any city/state from another are the people who reside and do business there.  Since I live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, my city/state is the best.  What should make any city greater than just another average city should be you!
With all that said, I hope you find your special place Jelveh.  Whether it is my town or someone else's, you'll be happy where you are, because you're there.
For more information on my town go to Thank you for your consideration.K~

I KNOW you would love Charleston, South Carolina.  The temperature here now is 72 degrees....tomorrow will be 75 and 77 the next day.  Our medium temperature YEAR ROUND is 68 degrees averaging winter and summer. 

We have many colleges here including College of Charleston, Baptist College, Trident, The Citadel, and others.  Our city has unlimited culture as well as so much HISTORY that you will never see it all.  Horses and buggies, tours of centuries old homes (mansions).  Fabulous antiques are abound as well as cobblestone streets.

You must know that we are the ONLY city other than Italy that has the SPOLETO FESTIVAL here every spring.  It attracts thousands of tourists and is fabulous.  I could go on and on but I think you get the idea that this is a lovely city surrounded by luxurious islands such as Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, and many many more.  I live on Headquarters Island.  I hope you'll consider this beautiful city that God has given us and given us abundantly.  Sincerely, Rachel


Aloha Jelvah,
This is a great contest! It gives me a chance to tell about where I live!
I live in the Hawaiian Islands. The island I live on is called The Big Island. Hence the name the biggest island in the Hawaiian chain. Lived in Hawaii all my life born and raised.
This is a wonderful place to live sunshine all year long with blue skies. The ocean so blue and clear where you can swim with the tropical fish, diving and snorkeling. On one side of the island you can view fresh lava and still be fascinated everyday. The only volcano that can spew olivine. If it was bigger they call it Peridot.
 A mountain that snows only in winter and spring. When you get cold you can head down to the beach. You can ride around the island and you can always see the ocean and cliffs. On a clear day you can see Maui. The closet island to Hawaii. This is probably the only island where there is at least 5 different weather patterns, like fog, snow, rain, sunshine and sometimes in winter on a very stormy day hail. It can happen all in one day. Up on Mauna Kea you can go up the mountain to the observatory and gaze at the stars through the telescope and to also look at Mars. You can even take a helicopter ride through the valleys. On Kauai you take a ride where they filmed Jurassic park.
The restaurants around here have all kinds of ethnic diversity from Greek to Italian. You name it we got it!  feel like being a chef you can go in any supermarket store and find practically anything, no specialty stores to cook your ethnic food. 
Where I live in Kailua-Kona there is a University of the Nations, a college for people from all over the world. There is little gift shops, galleries and Hawaiian craft shows. In September there is the Hawaiian Culture Festival, and a Coffee Festival. In October world famous Ironman. People from all over the world compete to swim, bike and run - all in one day. In February Chinese Block party where there is lots of Craft Booths, food and Hawaiian music. Almost every Friday where I live free Hula lessons in the court yard or ukulele lessons. Fishing is great. Lots of recreational areas. Surfing all year around on any island. Golfing seems to be everyone's favorite sport here in Hawaii. Famous golfers have tournaments in Hawaii.
There is lots of historic towns. Kailua-Kona had the first church that the missionaries built and it is still there today. There is Captain Cook who supposedly discovered the islands, he was mistaken to be a god by the Hawaiians.  Want to visit a museum for culture in Hawaii, visit palaces where the Kings and Queen ruled Hawaii in the days of old.
There is practically all kinds of schools offered to one on one, private school, charter school and science explorer schools.
Housing is another matter. Beautiful houses in certain areas. Expensive to rent but so worth it. Everyone comes here to vacation.
Just when you discovered it all there is always something new to do. There is so much to explore from old historic sites to culture.
There is a vast array where there is always something to explore in Hawaii in all the Hawaiian Island from taking a airplane ride to another Hawaiian Island. The beauty will always take you away!
Well I'm sure where ever you choose to live, home is where the heart is.
Peace, Love and Happiness.
Mahalo, Michele


It's the best of both worlds really...sort of city-like, sort of
small-townish.... It's Madison, the capitol city of Wisconsin! (yes,
the cheese head state). But really, other than major sporting events,
you'll probably never actually see one. Madison has consistently ranked
among the best places to live in the US by national magazines, so I'll
try to explain some reasons why...

Downtown Madison is an attractive city. It has an isthmus which
separates 2 glacial lakes and rolling hills. It's well-known for it's
cycling (lots of bike lanes and trails) rollerblading, cross-country
skiing and other outdoor activities. Our lakes are a big summertime
draw. You'll see plenty of people fishing, sailing, and on Sundays, you
can even catch a free water-ski show. Downtown also boasts The
University of Wisconsin, lots of breweries, the state capitol
building... and get this, one of the country's only FREE zoos! There is
also a great theater and arts district, 13 free public beaches, and
lots of golf courses! We also have a weekly farmers market around the
Capitol as well as our yearly Art Fair on the Square and the Taste of
Madison, both of which have great free entertainment and music. You may
even be pleasantly surprised when strangers on the street smile and say
hello. Madison is very kid-friendly with a wonderful children's museum
and some of the states finest educational programs.

If you need a big-city fix, you'll find we're a drivable distance to
the big city life of Chicago or Milwaukee. I sure enjoy visiting those
cities but I'll take living in a quieter, safer, less traffic congested
community any day! Our local news usually consists of nothing more than
weather coverage (hot in the summer- cold in the winter) or the usual
urban sprawl debates.

A quick synopsis of Madison comes from its longtime residents. They
often refer to our city as "78 miles surrounded by reality". It's true.
I haven't always lived in Wisconsin- in fact, I've lived in 5 other
states- but Madison is by far the best place I've ever lived. Great for
singles, couples and families alike. I'd love to show you around! Just
let me know when you're in town.


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