2009 - present
Summertime - HOT! my husband described it as a sauna without the smell of cedar. But then again spring comes in like, February.
ISC at New Orleans East, the airstation is in Belle Chasse, navy facilities in Algiers.
I like the care at the Oschner Health clinics - a collection of Tricare- approved clinics in the greater New Orleans area. They have pediatrics, adult care, and specialists, and all the medical records are linked - I like that.
Complicated in my opinion. New Orleans East sustained major storm damage 4 years ago from Katrina and neighborhoods in New Orleans East and Chalmette are still damaged.
From New Orleans East you can live in New Orleans or in St Tammany parish. Two totally different ballgames.
On the NOLA side you can live perhaps in uptown or CBD or Metarie (about 30-45 minutes) OR the westbank which is further (there's a ferry across the river).
In St Tammany parish you could live perhaps in Slidell (30 minutes) or Mandeville/Covington (1 hr+).
I live in Slidell. It's in St. Tammany parish. It's flat, and suburban with a small town feel. It has local color in the form of little po boy shops, snowball shacks, mom and pop restaurants, a little library, places to get great shrimp, some nice playgrounds, and boat tours of honey island swamp. It's basically a decent choice for families and as close as you can get to the gulf beaches and still be in Louisiana. If I didn't have 3 kids I might live in New Orleans somewhere within walking distance of the Whole Foods on Magazine Street near Audobon Park - but that's not my reality.
Land of cheap gas, discount cigarettes, drive through daiquiris. On the other end of the spectrum, there's a big locally owned supermarket called Rouses where you can get your Annie's organic mac and cheese if that's your speed. Food shopping is fine and they take their food pretty seriously down here. There's a Walmart, Sam's Club and Target.
Quality varies. Here's what I've learned: Great Schools website is a decent starting point but not definitive. There are public schools, charter schools, private non-religious schools, religious schools, and home school networks.
There is one charter school in Belle Chasse on the airstation for military dependents. The Orleans parish and Jefferson parish charter schools have application deadlines in spring.
Some of the most highly rated public schools are the charter schools in New Orleans & Jefferson parish and the public schools in certain parts of St. Tammany. There are many parochial (religious) schools and some non-religious private schools. Preschool is mainly private (there is some funding for public preschool - inquire).
I chose Cypress Cove Elementary (K-1) which feeds into Honey Island Elementary, Little Oak... and then the jr and sr highs, which were beyond my concern.
Well, it is New Orleans and you will find something to do. Mississippi beaches on the gulf are about a 45 minute drive from Slidell.
For military families, Cross Gates Family Fitness
in Slidell offers a hefty military discount for club membership (pools, gym, tennis, childcare, camp, etc.).