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Old 10-26-2017, 08:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Travis AFB/Nor Cal Area

Received orders to Travis AFB, won't be there until next September. Seems to be an abundance of info on the web, but I know that there are a lot of people on here from that area. We plan on buying a home and staying around the Vacaville area or about 30 minutes from the base. Other than shit being on fire around the area anything we should know, recommendations on realtors, jobs for the wife, whatever you have throw it out here. Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good area. You’ll like it. Close proximity to SF, Sacramento & Tahoe. Lots of affordable housing options. Just depends on what you’re looking for.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was there from 92-06. Loved the area. Winters seemed to be a great place to live. I lived in 3 different base housing units. The last one was brand new and pretty nice.

What squadron will you be in?


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Old 10-26-2017, 10:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I lived in vv for 25y.

Stay away from houses on aout alamo, brown and markham rds. Other wise its mellow neighbor hoods mostly built in the 80s.

Little bit of everything you could want located in pretty much the center of every day trip you could possibly want to go to.

2hrs to the beach, 2hrs to the snow.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Received orders to Travis AFB, won't be there until next September. Seems to be an abundance of info on the web, but I know that there are a lot of people on here from that area. We plan on buying a home and staying around the Vacaville area or about 30 minutes from the base. Other than shit being on fire around the area anything we should know, recommendations on realtors, jobs for the wife, whatever you have throw it out here. Thanks!
Flew out of Travis AFB via a C-5A Galaxy in '80 bound for Andersen AFB Guam.

Returned flight to Travis AFB via C-141B Starlifter from Yokota AFB Japan.



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Old 10-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah Vacaville isn't terrible. Not great either.

Lots of cool stuff is always going on at UC Davis. Its okay there in small doses.

For hiking/lake stuff there is Lake Berryessa which has many surrounding trails at Cold Canyon Reserve. Good day hike area. It was burned in a fire a few years ago not sure its status but should be regrown by now. Otherwise there isn't much out that way.

Killer breakfast/lunch & a steakhouse in Winters.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah Vacaville isn't terrible. Not great either.

Lots of cool stuff is always going on at UC Davis. Its okay there in small doses.

For hiking/lake stuff there is Lake Berryessa which has many surrounding trails at Cold Canyon Reserve. Good day hike area. It was burned in a fire a few years ago not sure its status but should be regrown by now. Otherwise there isn't much out that way.

Killer breakfast/lunch & a steakhouse in Winters.
If I'm not prying, what town are you in? Woodland maybe?
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Vertigo seems to be the resident pirate realitor. Check the nor cal section, he could probably recommend somebody.

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Old 10-26-2017, 03:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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NW Vacaville is great with late afternoon shade because of the mountain range and little to no wind. Weather like Napa with coastal fog coming over the hill in the mornings some parts of the year. More gentrified population than Fairfield. People come from all over to retire there because it's a great place to retire and close to TAFB. 15-20 minutes to TAFB.

SE Vacaville is windy and sun into late evening, with weather more like Stockton/Modesto/Central Valley. Somewhat hotter than NW Vacaville. 10-15 minutes to TAFB. Lots of great Mexican restaurants. Tons of city sponsored concerts in the park, civic concerts at the performing arts theater, Festival of the Trees at Christmas with the downtown Christmas celebration. It's pretty much, "It's A Wonderful Life" around Christmas from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Vacaville has low crime, great restaurants, largest factory outlets in the western 2/3 of the U.S. Good schools, etc. On I-80 halfway between San Francisco and Sac. Right on I-505 shortcut to I-5 and 15 miles from SR-680 to East Bay. 2 hours from Tahoe, 1 hour from the Pacific Ocean, 2 hours from Santa Cruz.

Every Fire Fighter in Vacaville is Paramedic certified (98.5% of all Fire call outs are medical related. Lots of retired people live in VV). If you get injured, you get an engine or ladder truck, plus a Paramedic unit responding. In other words, 4 Paramedics minimum. You get injured or call for an ambulance in Fairfield and you'll get a contracted ambulance company with 2 minimum wage EMT's to respond. Solano County.

Fairfield is going to crap, 2x the crime of Vacaville across every category and just kind of dirty. Some nice areas on the North side of town. Decent mall. Blue collar town. Some gang activity. Tons of Mexican Carnicerias (Mexican Meat Markets), tons of smoke shops, tattoo shops, payroll loan shops, and pawn shops. Get my drift? Way more commute traffic to deal with than Vacaville. Terrible police policy with Zero Tolerance Areas in town to fight gangs, etc. You get pulled over, you get a ticket without an explanation. Vacaville cops are pretty reasonable and listen to what you have to say. If you get pulled over in Fairfield, it's just to get your license and to hand you the ticket. I would NEVER live in Fairfield. Solano County.

Davis is nice. Additional 20 minute commute to get to Vacaville. Expensive. Tons of liberal hippy types. Super competitive schools with helicopter parents. Cops are jaded from being in a college town. I graduated from UC Davis, but wouldn't care to ever live in that town. Yolo County.

Vallejo is garbage. Great weather but garbage. Crime, awful schools. Did I mention crime? Let me mention it again. They almost declared bankruptcy. Ever been in a town where the cops ride 2 to a patrol car and both cops carry a .45 ACP on each hips? Because 1 isn't enough? Apparently in Vallejo. It's not uncommon to see crazy stuff either, I saw a guy chase a dude down the street with an double bit axe downtown near the ferry building and hardly anyone batted an eye. I told a friend who works nearby, and she said, "Yeah, we call that Thursday..." Solano County.

Benicia is weird. I lived there for a decade and it's weird. Almost nobody retires there. It's a bedroom community that's in the crap shadow of 1/2 dozen pollution spewing refineries. People retire and move out. Reverse commute to Travis is a positive however. More expensive than Vacaville or Fairfield. Crap restaurants and nobody is open after 10 except McNasty's and Taco Smell. Great fire department. The P.D. is some good, some bad, mostly okay. Lots of big fish and social movers in this piddly little town. Tons of internal politics with the local schools and city hall. Lots of Vallejo kids go to school here as well. Solano County.

Dixon is cool. Between Davis and Vacaville. Mostly farming and lots of commuters live there. Good vibe. Some petty crime. Big Hispanic community which is pretty cool. Lots of great Mexican restaurants. Yolo County.

Winters is great. Right next to the mountain and Lake Berryessa off I-505, 10 minutes from Vacaville. Like Dixon but a little more rural and smaller off the beaten path. A few great restaurants, great weekend nightlife, and a cool little concert venue. Tons of activities in the park, many related to Mexican or cowboy / farm culture. Cool town. Pretty quiet and very pretty. Also cheaper than any of the other areas mentioned. Solano County.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Received orders to Travis AFB, won't be there until next September. Seems to be an abundance of info on the web, but I know that there are a lot of people on here from that area. We plan on buying a home and staying around the Vacaville area or about 30 minutes from the base. Other than shit being on fire around the area anything we should know, recommendations on realtors, jobs for the wife, whatever you have throw it out here. Thanks!
If I used a Realtor in Vacaville, I'd use either one of these Realtors. I have no affiliation with either, nor any professional or other acquaintance beyond past business transactions.

My mom has used Elizabeth Fry on a couple properties and my inlaws have used the Rapisardas. I worked in the Mortgage field years ago and both are straight ace and people I'd use myself.

Elizabeth Fry works a lot with rural properties but she does everything else as well. My mom had been having no luck with a few other people and I told her to give Elizabeth Fry a call based on what I'd heard about her, and she got the property sold inside of two weeks with a really difficult scenario to deal with. I was impressed to say the least. She would be my first choice.
Elizabeth Fry | Intero Real Estate Services

The Rapisardas are a whole family that do Mortgage, Real Estate, and Accounting, and these guys are great. They really went to the mat when my in-laws sold a big custom house in Fairfield. Drawings, staging, construction take-offs for potential remodeling scenarios, the works. They know the market really well and are worth talking to.

Vacaville Homes for Sale Vacaville CA Real Estate Rapisarda Real Estate
https://www.facebook.com/rapisardarealestate/

If it's available, you can bet that Fry or the Rapisardas have a handle on it.


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Old 10-26-2017, 04:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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NW Vacaville is great with late afternoon shade because of the mountain range and little to no wind. Weather like Napa with coastal fog coming over the hill in the mornings some parts of the year. More gentrified population than Fairfield. People come from all over to retire there because it's a great place to retire and close to TAFB. 15-20 minutes to TAFB.

SE Vacaville is windy and sun into late evening, with weather more like Stockton/Modesto/Central Valley. Somewhat hotter than NW Vacaville. 10-15 minutes to TAFB. Lots of great Mexican restaurants. Tons of city sponsored concerts in the park, civic concerts at the performing arts theater, Festival of the Trees at Christmas with the downtown Christmas celebration. It's pretty much, "It's A Wonderful Life" around Christmas from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Vacaville has low crime, great restaurants, largest factory outlets in the western 2/3 of the U.S. Good schools, etc. On I-80 halfway between San Francisco and Sac. Right on I-505 shortcut to I-5 and 15 miles from SR-680 to East Bay. 2 hours from Tahoe, 1 hour from the Pacific Ocean, 2 hours from Santa Cruz.

Every Fire Fighter in Vacaville is Paramedic certified (98.5% of all Fire call outs are medical related. Lots of retired people live in VV). If you get injured, you get an engine or ladder truck, plus a Paramedic unit responding. In other words, 4 Paramedics minimum. You get injured or call for an ambulance in Fairfield and you'll get a contracted ambulance company with 2 minimum wage EMT's to respond. Solano County.

Fairfield is going to crap, 2x the crime of Vacaville across every category and just kind of dirty. Some nice areas on the North side of town. Decent mall. Blue collar town. Some gang activity. Tons of Mexican Carnicerias (Mexican Meat Markets), tons of smoke shops, tattoo shops, payroll loan shops, and pawn shops. Get my drift? Way more commute traffic to deal with than Vacaville. Terrible police policy with Zero Tolerance Areas in town to fight gangs, etc. You get pulled over, you get a ticket without an explanation. Vacaville cops are pretty reasonable and listen to what you have to say. If you get pulled over in Fairfield, it's just to get your license and to hand you the ticket. I would NEVER live in Fairfield. Solano County.

Davis is nice. Additional 20 minute commute to get to Vacaville. Expensive. Tons of liberal hippy types. Super competitive schools with helicopter parents. Cops are jaded from being in a college town. I graduated from UC Davis, but wouldn't care to ever live in that town. Yolo County.

Vallejo is garbage. Great weather but garbage. Crime, awful schools. Did I mention crime? Let me mention it again. They almost declared bankruptcy. Ever been in a town where the cops ride 2 to a patrol car and both cops carry a .45 ACP on each hips? Because 1 isn't enough? Apparently in Vallejo. It's not uncommon to see crazy stuff either, I saw a guy chase a dude down the street with an double bit axe downtown near the ferry building and hardly anyone batted an eye. I told a friend who works nearby, and she said, "Yeah, we call that Thursday..." Solano County.

Benicia is weird. I lived there for a decade and it's weird. Almost nobody retires there. It's a bedroom community that's in the crap shadow of 1/2 dozen pollution spewing refineries. People retire and move out. Reverse commute to Travis is a positive however. More expensive than Vacaville or Fairfield. Crap restaurants and nobody is open after 10 except McNasty's and Taco Smell. Great fire department. The P.D. is some good, some bad, mostly okay. Lots of big fish and social movers in this piddly little town. Tons of internal politics with the local schools and city hall. Lots of Vallejo kids go to school here as well. Solano County.

Dixon is cool. Between Davis and Vacaville. Mostly farming and lots of commuters live there. Good vibe. Some petty crime. Big Hispanic community which is pretty cool. Lots of great Mexican restaurants. Yolo County.

Winters is great. Right next to the mountain and Lake Berryessa off I-505, 10 minutes from Vacaville. Like Dixon but a little more rural and smaller off the beaten path. A few great restaurants, great weekend nightlife, and a cool little concert venue. Tons of activities in the park, many related to Mexican or cowboy / farm culture. Cool town. Pretty quiet and very pretty. Also cheaper than any of the other areas mentioned. Solano County.


Thanks for saveing me writeing anything...
I'm a napa native, 50+ yrs uncle sam swiped some.
Spot on report right there.

Op
Thanx for serving!
Cb out
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Winters is in yolo county too.

It's getting kinda yuppie as far as the bars and downtown but its a mostly quiet town.

Gas bank and grocery store along with fast food and great sit-down restaurants.

Car show on the second Tuesday of the month during warm weather seasons. I take my old Buick down there sometimes..

Right on I-505 ten or so min north of vacaville.

Also not close to Tahoe by any standard... Or you could say "close to Redding and Fresno" too.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You all are awesome. Keep the info coming, we could be moving earlier than September and we're looking forward to it. Not to worried about the yuppie/liberal stuff as Fort Collins is getting to be like that.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Winters is in yolo county too.

It's getting kinda yuppie as far as the bars and downtown but its a mostly quiet town.

Gas bank and grocery store along with fast food and great sit-down restaurants.

Car show on the second Tuesday of the month during warm weather seasons. I take my old Buick down there sometimes..

Right on I-505 ten or so min north of vacaville.

Also not close to Tahoe by any standard... Or you could say "close to Redding and Fresno" too.
True, Winters proper is barely in Yolo as the divider is Putah Creek, pretty much making it Solano County for the most part by association, but Yolo as a technicality.

It is close to Tahoe though. Exactly 2 hours to Boreal, 2 hours, 15 minutes to Truckee. That's pretty close considering Fresno is 3 hours 45 minutes from Winters and Redding is the same distance as Truckee. Driving to L.A. is a fair drive as is Portland. Redding and Tahoe are local by NorCal standards.


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Old 10-26-2017, 11:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Keep the info coming!
I just started work in this area last week. Currently staying with family (Fairfield), but eventually need to get my own place. Any cool things to check out or do around here? At this point I do not have much going on after work and on weekends so open to ideas as well.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for saveing me writeing anything...
I'm a napa native, 50+ yrs uncle sam swiped some.
Spot on report right there.

Op
Thanx for serving!
Cb out
Napa is a great town too. Spendy, a lot of weird wine politics and really rich influential people who like to get their way. Suckfest roads though on weekends when the wine tasting crowds screw everything up. Terrible commutes in and out on weekdays.

Great to work locally, but 29, 37, 12, 121, and Jamieson Canyon are all a nightmare during commute hours. Great restaurants and a great downtown theater venue, but all of your relatives will insist on visiting.

Expensive real estate. Beautiful countryside but crap soil on the hills to grow things on, that's why it's great for grapes; awesome for producing high sugar grapes with lousy soil and deficit irrigation. Good soil makes for greenery and big leaves, but not sugar in the grapes.

Lots of cool wineries if that's your deal. Temperate beautiful weather like NW Vacaville but also hot in summer.

Napa is not gun friendly. You can get a CCW pretty easy with time in Solano County (3-6 months), but it's almost impossible in Napa, and super hard / almost impossible in Yolo.

You could also live in Rio Vista on the river but Highway 12 is crazy dangerous, it's always windy, and river people can be weird. Lots of tweakers and meth types hang out in that area and the town is a huge speed trap. Good fishing though and a good jump off point for stripper and sturgeon fishing.

Cordelia is between Fairfield and Vallejo and actually part of Fairfield. Right on 80 and 680 which goes to the East Bay. Lots of traffic, especially on weekends and three day holidays. Hours and hours of stop and go traffic in the highway transitions and local streets. It's gridlock. Lots of fast food and pizza, not a lot of "restaurants". Always super windy. Like this is an awesome place to have a massive windmill farm windy, just like Rio Vista. The world's largest windmill used to be here in the 1980's.

Rockville, Suisun Valley to Gordon Valley, and Mankas Corners, are all rural and super pretty. Lots of ranches and farms. Beautiful area but getting pretty expensive. Green Valley is in the also in the area and it probably one of the most expensive areas in Solano County.

Suisun is a dump. Lots of 70's and 80's neighborhoods for the most part. Some new housing, but mostly large breadbox neighborhoods without character. Trees grow sideways here like Cordelia. Lots of wind...like all the time wind. Ghetto Section 8 housing was the main deal here for years. Crap apartments have mostly been remodeled and phased out. More wind. Think open plains off the marsh just West-southwest of Travis. Very close to base. Crime like Fairfield, not a lot of restaurants beyond fast food, but a nice waterfront and fishing. Boat ramp like Rio Vista and Benicia.


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Old 10-26-2017, 11:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Keep the info coming!
I just started work in this area last week. Currently staying with family (Fairfield), but eventually need to get my own place. Any cool things to check out or do around here? At this point I do not have much going on after work and on weekends so open to ideas as well.
Good surfing in Pacifica and Bolinas. Tahoe has skiing, snowboarding, and downhill mountain biking. Berryessa has good fishing and waterskiing.

Carquinez Straits are good for stripper and sturgeon. Go to Marin to Tiburon or San Pablo for great shark fishing off the piers. Marin has Muir Woods and lots of cool state parks. Santa Cruz is 2 hours away.

A great Bay Area concert scene. Lots of College sports with UC Davis, Sac State, UC Berkeley, Stanford, St Mary's, and other schools in the area. Tons of cheap to super expensive golf courses around.

White water rafting on the Sacramento River and loads of bird watching, whale watching, and marine mammal areas around. Charter Boat fishing out of Berkeley, Alameda, Half Moon Bay, and Bodega Bay. Giants and A's Baseball games. 49ers games.

Wine tasting. Epic countryside to drive in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Great 4-wheeling on the Rubicon and throughout Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness area. Motorcycle riding everywhere, including cool river beds in Yuba County, forest trails outside of Auburn and Foresthill, and other areas.

Raft up with jet boats in summer on Lake Berryessa or in the Suisun Bay Delta area and party. San Francisco. Golden Gate Park. Museums. Tons of hiking around the Bay in Marin, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa (Mt. Diablo), Santa Cruz Mountains, Tahoe, etc.

Tons and tons of bike races from Cyclocross in Berkeley to Double Centuries in Davis, lots of roadie races, and mountain bike events.

People come from all over the world to hang out in this area. There's always something going on.


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Old 10-27-2017, 06:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Keep the info coming!
I just started work in this area last week. Currently staying with family (Fairfield), but eventually need to get my own place. Any cool things to check out or do around here? At this point I do not have much going on after work and on weekends so open to ideas as well.
What sort of stuff are you into?

If youre into hiking or mountain biking, Rockville regional park is small but has some good trails.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Sounds like we're transplanting from Northern Colorado right into the same place except California. Pretty stoked to see that we can kayak and I can mountain bike and fish so close by. My big question is guns? I think I'm good minus my 30 rd mags for my AR, I know that I need to register them within 60 days of arrival and I can't travel with anything bigger than a 10 rd mag. I have a federal carry permit so I'm not worried about myself, but I know my wife's Colorado CCW won't carry over and she'll hopefully only have to apply for a permit and not go through classes.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The traffic is shitty. That's all I got.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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You could also live in Rio Vista on the river but Highway 12 is crazy dangerous, it's always windy, and river people can be weird. Lots of tweakers and meth types hang out in that area and the town is a huge speed trap. Good fishing though and a good jump off point for stripper and sturgeon fishing.



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This would be my choice, but I like most of those river people.
I also like American Canyon area as well.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:37 AM   #22 (permalink)
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This may not apply to you since you are married, but Davis nightlife (bar/club) has changed over the last 2 years after someone was killed Vacaville gang bangers. I used to DJ 2 night a week where a lot of Travis AFB people would hang out. Davis put a lot of restrictions killing business, and now I just do special events. Homeless people downtown have gotten out of hand as well. It seemed a lot of people came in camping out during the Occupy Davis thing and never left. I wouldn't live in Davis again. I know several realtors in Davis if you are so inclined.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:52 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Sounds like we're transplanting from Northern Colorado right into the same place except California. Pretty stoked to see that we can kayak and I can mountain bike and fish so close by. My big question is guns? I think I'm good minus my 30 rd mags for my AR, I know that I need to register them within 60 days of arrival and I can't travel with anything bigger than a 10 rd mag. I have a federal carry permit so I'm not worried about myself, but I know my wife's Colorado CCW won't carry over and she'll hopefully only have to apply for a permit and not go through classes.
Bullet button, non-collapsible stock, 10 round fixed mag. And every gun has to be in the approved drop test list.
CCW is by county. I wouldn't be surprised if most counties in the Bay Area don't give a shit about a federal permit and I'll bet the wife will have to go through the whole clsss and interview process. Takes about a yesr.
Or just be an outlaw. It is called conceal carry...
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Last edited by dirtyjed; 10-27-2017 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:09 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dirtyjed View Post
Bullet button, non-collapsible stock, 10 round fixed mag. And every gun has to be in the approved drop test list.
CCW is by county. I wouldn't be surprised if most counties in the Bay Area don't give a shit about a federal permit and I'll bet the wife will have to go through the whole clsss and interview process. Takes about a yesr.
Or just be an outlaw. It is called conceal carry...
I think I can skirt the bullet button laws and all of it because I won't be a resident of CA, not to sure though I always read conflicting information.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by despain85 View Post
I think I can skirt the bullet button laws and all of it because I won't be a resident of CA, not to sure though I always read conflicting information.
Nope. You won't even be able to use a bullet button now. It will need to be a fixed magazine.
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