this glorious maze

because life is full of twists and turns

Tag: nebraska (page 1 of 3)

Everything You Need To Know About Offutt AFB

Just found out that you’re PCSing to Offutt AFB, Nebraska?  Great!  I have you covered with information about everything from base housing to our favorite restaurants and activities!

Offutt AFB

BASE HOUSING:

COMMUNITY INFORMATION:

  • Here’s my collection of our favorite attractions and restaurants in Omaha (with something for every age group and every budget – check out the comments for extra ideas too!)
  • My review of Click2Go, the option to order your groceries online from the commissary and pick them up without ever leaving your car or tipping anyone!

NEBRASKA-LOVE:

We’ve since PCSed to Wright-Patt AFB in Ohio,  but if you’re headed to Offutt, I’d still love to answer any questions you have!  Connect with me on Facebook or send me an email!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

Final Thoughts on Base Housing at Offutt AFB

Final Thoughts on Rising View (1)

Now that we’re in Ohio and our HHGs have arrived, I wanted to give one more update to my previous posts about base housing.

We moved to Offutt AFB in May 2012 and in September I shared this post with pictures and information about our house.  The following May, when we’d lived there for a year, I wrote an update.

For the three years that we lived at Offutt AFB, we lived in base housing, which is run by a private company and called Rising View.  I’ve heard many horror stories about Rising View (RV), but our experience was a very positive one.  I have good things to say about the neighborhood and (mostly) the staff.  Most of what I’ve said in previous posts holds true, but I wanted to reiterate a few points and add a few more.  So here are my final thoughts about base housing at Offutt AFB:

 

FullSizeRender (9)

Our home in Rising View (Offutt AFB base housing)

MAINTENANCE:

I loved having maintenance available 24/7.  I already miss having them in our new house!!  Most of the maintenance workers sent to my house were very friendly.  When things broke, I called right away and they were fixed quickly (usually within a couple of days if it wasn’t an emergency).

HOUSES:

The thing to realize about Rising View is that there are no frills in the houses.  At our new base, we decided to rent a house in the community rather than live in base housing.  And our new house has lots of added perks like ceiling fans, an ice maker in the refrigerator, and a water purifier at the sink.  You won’t find those things in RV houses.  I didn’t really miss having those when we lived at Offutt, but I definitely appreciate having them now.

 

IMG_0014

Master Bedroom

COMMUNITY:

My FAVORITE part of living in base housing was the community.  By the time we moved we were great friends with many our neighbors.  We would congregate in someone’s yard or on their porch, watch each other’s children, meet at the playground, and maybe share a bottle of wine that we couldn’t finish on our own.  🙂  Those neighbors are some of the people that I miss the most.

MOVING OUT:

When it was time to move out of RV, I was NERVOUS!  Again, people told so many horror stories about being charged ridiculous amounts of money for (what they claimed) were small damages.

Since my husband was deployed when we moved, we opted to hired cleaners to clean the outside of the house, the garage, and the entire inside of the house.  My brother came out to help me move and made sure the yard was up to code.

A couple weeks before you move out, RV will do a pre-inspection.  They come to the house and tell you exactly what needs to be fixed before your “final out”.  My pre-inspection went great.  The man who checked my house was thorough, but kind.  He was very happy with the condition the house was in so he didn’t think we’d have any problems at our final out as long as the cleaning was done.

The day of the final out, I was still so, so nervous about it.  But it went great!  We weren’t charged for anything (damages or mistakes on cleaning).  I am so glad that we hired cleaners (I’d love to give out the name of my interior cleaner because she did a great job, so message me if you’d like her info) and glad that we kept our house in good condition while we lived there.

 

5-Kitchen-5

One side of our kitchen in Rising View

Would we move back??  Would we recommend it to others?

This is the question I keep coming back to:  If we got orders back to Offutt, would we choose to live in Rising View again?

No.  If we were sent back to Offutt, we probably would choose to rent a house in the community.

But I WOULD recommend Rising View to other people and I AM happy that we lived there for three years.

Here’s the long answer why:  Everyone in the military receives a BAH (basic allowance for housing) based on their rank.  If you live in base housing, your BAH goes directly to the company running the housing (in our case, Rising View) and covers both your rent and your basic utilities.

When we arrived at Offutt, my husband was an O-1, the lowest ranking officer.  His BAH was decent, better than lots of people in the military, so I’m not complaining.  But…I think it would have been difficult for us to find a good house to rent in the community where BAH covered both rent and the utilities.  In base housing, we had a fairly new, three bedroom home and never had to worry about utilities or maintenance.  It was GREAT!

My husband will be promoting to O-3 this fall, which means our BAH has gone up.  If we went back to Rising View, we’d be giving them a good bit more money for the exact same type of house we lived in before.  Additionally, I think that with an O-3’s BAH we could probably find a good rental in that area.

Final, Final Thoughts:

We had a very positive experience in Rising View and I would definitely recommend it to other people.  If you’re considering renting, take a few weeks to watch the rentals in the area (I recommend using AHRN or Military By Owner) to see if you can find a good rental option that would use part of your BAH and allow you to spend the rest on utilities.  If you don’t see many good rentals in your price range, I think Rising View would be a great option, especially if you know you’ll only be there for a couple years.

If you do live in Rising View, take care of the house and call maintenance right away if anything is broken.  This will make the move-out process go a lot smoother.  Use it as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and enjoy the close-knit military community.

And if you happen to get assigned a house on Larson Circle, start celebrating now!  You’re getting some awesome neighbors and I’m a little jealous of you!!

  • Have you ever lived in base housing at Offutt or another base?  What did you think?
  • Do you prefer to rent or own your home?
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon

What To Do In OMAHA

As our time at Offutt AFB is winding down, I’m thinking about my favorite things to do in Omaha and hoping to squeeze in visits to each place before we move!  After living here for three years, my attitude towards this city has certainly changed (and so has Caleb’s).

Today I’m sharing recommendations of what to do when you’re in Omaha.  These are things that we’ve enjoying doing or places

I’m only recommending things that we’ve actually done and enjoyed, but if you have additional things, I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

 

What To Do in Omaha

 

When You First Move Here:

Start with the zoo!   It is currently ranked as the best zoo in the world!  If you’re a military family, go ahead and get a membership.  Military members pay $65 for an annual family pass and it is worth every penny.  We love to go in the summer, but go fairly often in the winter as well since there are many indoor exhibits (our favorites are the Jungle and the aquarium).

If the weather is nice, eat at the Omaha Steaks patio (outside the Jungle).  And make sure you take a carousel or train ride (or both!).

When You Have Out-of-Town Guests:

We’ve taken guests to do almost everything on this list, but there’s one place that we take all our guests to: The Old Market.

There’s a shop for everyone here.  My sister and brother-in-law found some great stuff in the record shop.  Another sister loved the vintage clothing store.  We always stop in the toy store to let Hadden play for a few minutes, but his favorite place to go is the candy store that has a mechanical horse.  We save up our nickels if we know we’re headed up there!

There are lots of great places to eat in the Old Market, so we always take guests to one of those restaurants.  We really like Plank and have eaten there several times with our toddler and with guests (get the artichoke appetizer and the blackened catfish entree!).  But also recommend Blue (try the Hotel Cali roll) and Roja (it’s a margarita bar, so I’m a bit partial!).  If your party only includes adults, you should definitely eat at La Buvette, especially if the weather is nice and you can sit outside.

Plan to stop at Ted and Wally’s for a scoop of ice cream.  Their flavors change often, but my favorite was a blueberry custard so if you see it on the menu, get it and thank me later.

Tip: if you’re bringing a baby with you, plan on wearing them in a sling or a carrier.  The stores are not stroller-friendly!

When You Want to Learn About the City:

We love the Durham Museum.  It’s just outside of the Old Market so you can do those at the same time.  It’s located in the old Union Station terminal, which means it is a fabulous art deco building.  And a yearly membership for a military family is only $35.  We both have learned a lot about the area from visiting this museum and Hadden loves it too because there are many train exhibits.

Boys Town is another interesting place to visit.  We’ve taken guests on several occasions and they all liked it as well.  The village is set up so you can do a driving tour through it, but there are opportunities to get out and walk through the museum, chapels, and Father Flanagan’s house.

Tip:  If you’re headed up to Boys Town anyway, have a meal at Pig & Finch!  We had a great brunch there!

parade ground at Offutt AFB

parade grounds at Offutt AFB

When You’re Pinching Pennies:

Here are a few ideas that are completely free for those days when the money is tight, but you still want to get out and do something!

Walk the Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Missouri River, connecting Nebraska and Iowa.  We often take visitors here the first night they arrive so they get to stretch their legs after a long drive (or flight) and then head to Ted and Wally’s (mentioned above) for ice cream.

If the weather isn’t cooperating with plans to be outside, you could visit the Joselyn Art Musuem and easily spend a full day there.

Finally, if you have access to base, the Heartland of America band puts on a series of concerts on the parade ground in the summer.  We actually took Hadden to one of these when he was just 8 days old and have gone every summer since.  Everyone brings lawn chairs or blankets and sits on the parade grounds.  It’s a relaxed, fun environment and we always enjoy the concerts.

When You’re Looking For Something New To Do:

Head to Dundee!  Mark’s Bistro or Pitch Pizzeria are both good picks in the area for dinner.  At Pitch, make sure you try the Basil Pesto Chicken Pie and get a carafe of sangria.  If you have a bit of time before your table is ready, stroll the street and explore the shops.

Looking for a casual place to eat?  Check out Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob.  One thing we haven’t tried in Dundee is eCreamery, a famous ice cream shop, but we’ve heard great things.

When the Weather is Nice And You Can’t Bear to Stay Inside:

If it’s one of the days where the sky is perfectly blue and you want to soak it up, head to Lauritzen Gardens and spend an afternoon amidst beauty.  If you have little ones, walk up the hill to Kenefick Park and see two huge steam engines.  (Kenefick Park is actually free and you don’t have to pay admission to the gardens to see it, so we’ve gone before just to see the trains)

You could also check out the farmers market at Aksarben Village or in the Old Market.

When You Have Something to Celebrate

Make reservations for an elegant dinner for two at V. Mertz.  Caleb and I ate here in January to celebrate his birthday and to have one last date before he deployed.  It was the best meal I ever had and I am incredibly disappointed that we won’t have a chance to go again before we move! Plan to drop a good chunk of change here, but know that it will be worth every cent.  It’s located in the passageway of the Old Market.

While we’ve been in Omaha, we’ve also been to the Orpheum Theatre a couple times to see traveling Broadway shows.

When You Don’t Want to Drive Into the City

Driving into the city from base is ridiculously easy, but still, there are days when you want to stay close to home.  You can’t be stationed at Offutt AFB without eating at Stella’s at least once so take a day to do that.

Also you can visit Fontenelle Forest, located right in Bellevue.  We’ve only been once so I can’t say much about this, but I’ve heard the the trails are beautiful so I’m hoping to make it out there again before we move.

Okay!  Those are MY favorite things to do in Omaha.  What are yours??

P.S.  If you’re moving to Offutt AFB, you might also be interested in my posts about base housing found here and here!
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon
Older posts

© 2017 this glorious maze

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑