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Things People From Northern Virginia Say (And Do)

Updated on November 24, 2020
caseymel profile image

Hello! I am a stay-at-home mom to two wonderful children who keep me very busy.

Welcome to Virginia!

Main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD/KIAD), in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia
Main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD/KIAD), in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia | Source

How Do I Know?

My family and I moved to Northern Virginia about a year and a half ago from the Midwest.

It was a huge change.

There are so many things that are normal in Northern Virginia that you don't really see in other parts of the country.

I am going to share some of the fun (and not so fun) things people in Northern Virginia say and do. I hope you enjoy!

Picture of Wegman's Grocery Store

Picture of Wegman's Grocery Store
Picture of Wegman's Grocery Store | Source

I Love Wegman's!

Wegman's is the Number 1 grocery store in the United States.

They have everything a normal store has, but that is where the comparison ends.

They have a top-notch butcher with a variety of harder to find meats and seafoods, a wonderful bakery, a sushi bar is located in the Seafood market area.

Their produce section looks like a huge farmers market.

They have a large Organic Section and a huge wine cellar!

They have a coffee shop and a row of restaurants where you can buy their freshly prepared foods for a great price.

It even has a train that goes around the tracks in the air by the dairy section which toots when it goes around the corner.

The kids love it!

Washington DC Traffic

Have You Ever Had To Sit Through Traffic In The Washington, D.C. Area?

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I hate 66!

Route 66 is the main corridor that runs through Prince William County, through Fairfax County and into D.C.

It is a mess during rush hour (which lasts three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening).

The only other road you could take is Rt 29 and it is mostly a two-lane road.

If there is an accident on 66, the freeway comes to a standstill and everyone tries to get on 29 and then that gets bogged down.

There are even bumper stickers that say "I hate 66"!

Washington D.C. Metro Station

Washington D.C. Metro Station
Washington D.C. Metro Station | Source

I'm Taking The Orange Line Into D.C.

The Orange Line of the Metro begins in the Vienna/Fairfax area and extends into DC.

It is the end of the line in Virginia.

The Vienna Metro has a huge parking garage where you can park, but it costs money on the weekdays.

My Allergies Are Killing Me!!!

Almost everyone who moves here suffers from allergies.

I, myself, didn't know I had asthma until I moved here because the severe allergies

I started having exacerbated my asthma and now I am on tons of medicine and getting allergy shots every week.

My ENT and Allergist and other Doctors have told me that the reason people develop such bad allergies when they move here is because Virginia has a mixture of Northern and Southern plants and the winters don't get cold enough to kill off all of the pollen from the year before.

Plus, the air quality isn't that great.

Where Are You From?

Barely anyone is actually from here.

This is a very transient area. Many people come here for work, but then end up getting relocated again after a few years.

Also, there are tons of military bases in Northern Virginia.

People are actually shocked when they hear that someone grew up around here!

Those people are few are far between.

Buying A Fix-Upper For A Half A Million And Thinking You Got A Deal!

Homes out here are ridiculously priced!

We moved here from the Midwest were you could get a very nice single family house with a big yard and great schools close to work for around $200,000.

You will not find that here! You need to spend over a half a million on a house to be in a decent neighborhood.

Otherwise, you will be living in a townhouse or renting.

We couldn't fathom paying a half a million dollars for a house after we moved out of our beautiful $160,000 house in the Midwest.

We ended up buying a townhouse an hour away from my husbands work and we still paid twice as much!

There are tons of Foreclosures in Northern Virginia.

If you are willing to deal with the pain of the Foreclosure process and get a fixer-upper with no guarantees, then you may get lucky and pay slightly less than half a million for a single family house!

Why Do They Call It Rush Hour When Nobody Is Moving?

Since there are so many people from different parts of the country and world living here, there are also a lot of different driving styles.

Also, since a lot of people are from out of town, they don't know where they are going.

We also get a lot of visitors since we are so close to DC.

You put those three factors together and you get a parking lot on the freeway during rush hour!

Even a little snow could cause people from non-snow areas to ditch their car in the middle of the freeway.

Yes, you heard that right! They literally get out of the car and walk off the freeway, leaving the car in the middle of a lane.

This is another reason we have such bad traffic jams!

I'm Going To Pick Someone Up In The Slug Line So I Can Get In The HOV Lane

During rush hours, the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes open up only to people with multiple people in their car.

These lanes normally move a little faster than the rest of the lanes since most people drive their car alone and have to use up the regular lanes.

This is where the slug lines come in handy.

Slug lines are formed at commuter parking lots.

People may need a ride to work, so they hop in these lines and hope they get a ride.

People who have cars need another person in the car to be able to legally get into the HOV lane and hopefully move faster.

Yes, these people are picking up complete strangers in their cars and bringing them to work.

I thought that it was kinda strange that this was legal and common over here since I always was told not to pick up strangers since they could be Loonies!

Driving Over An Hour To Work And You Only Live 15 Miles From Work

We live 20 miles from my husbands work. It could take him anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 1/2 hours (normally over an hour) to get to work or to come home from work.

Where we moved from, 20 miles would have taken 20 minutes to drive!

I See A Snow Flake. Quick! Close The Schools Down!

When it snows, the schools close.

There are a lot of hills in Northern Virginia.

We are very close to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I can see them from my window!

If there is snow build-up closer to the mountains in a county, then the whole county closes it's schools down.

We have already had a snow day, an early dismissal and a 2 hour delay this week and there is no snow on the ground right now.

Northern Virginia

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Melanie Casey


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    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      4 years ago from Indiana

      BonnieJK, we used to live in Bristow! We had a town home there for over $300,000. My husband worked in Reston, but we couldn't afford to get any closer.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hi! Moved her 6 years ago from elsewhere in VA... STILL a shock. We just moved from Bristow to the northern part of Woodbridge, and still paid over $400K for our mid-range house. Couldn't find anything in that price range in Ffx, except townhomes. I'm a teacher in Ffx, and I can't afford to live there!

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Craig! You picked two great areas! Fairfax and Loudon counties are both right outside D.C. Fairfax County has a bit more of a vibe than Loudon County does, but they both have excellent school systems. If you look under my profile, you will find a few more Hubs about living in the Northern Virginia area. Happy reading!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Have managed to find a few of your blogs. Amusing, but informative. I've accepted a transfer with my company to the US from Australia (originally from South Africa) and we have the choice of places on the East Coast that we have offices. We're seriously considering NoVA as we have offices in Reston. Schooling will be important(daughter only 20 month now) too and a bit of a vibe, but not ridiculously busy. Will likely rent for a year and then buy. We were looking at Fairfax and Loudon counties, but all very confusing. Will continue to read or if you have other blogs, please point me in the right direction.

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      Briana, that is funny! I remember when we first moved to Northern Virginia, we had a play date and one of the boys was playing with his match box cars. He made a traffic jam with his cars and then started complaining about 'another traffic jam'.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've lived in Northern Virginia all my life (20 years) and I had such a good laugh at this article! It's so true! When I was a baby, one of the first things I drew, before I could even say a full sentence, was a traffic jam. Everybody thought it was hilarious.

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Hafizur!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It isn't often that an article eegagns me enough to become engrossed in its information. This one drew me in and kept me interested from beginning to end. This is very good informative reading material.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That was more than a foot.Wow, I really like the icclie in the sunlight!That has to be the best looking snowman ever. Great job! You are quite the snow artist.

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Hi Jen! Thanks for commenting! I live in Bristow, but I am in Fairfax a lot. What a small world!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! I also, about a year ago, moved from the Midwest to here- Chicago to Fairfax!- so I can relate. I find myself nodding at everything, from the snow days to the allergies to the traffic.

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Born2care2001! We have been here for two years and, other than the traffic, I am loving it!

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      7 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Caseymel!

      I'm keeping my promise to return to read your work. This hub caught my eye because I moved from Virginia to NC a couple of years ago. I enjoyed the quips about Northern Va and DC. In my 30 years in Virginia, mostly Richmond and Virginia Beach, I traveled extensively to Northern Va to work as a member of the Virginia UPS management team. You are correct! I was once in a traffic jam on the beltway at 3 AM! Oy!

      Well, enjoy your stay around our nations capital and thanks again for the great hub!

      Voted up +++


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