Charlottesville really is a lovely little city, although we don't live right in it. I'd have loved to, but that's another story. There are some really good things about where we ended up, and I'll survive without being able to walk to places for a year.
Charlottesville has a lovely downtown that's near UVA. Even though I have to drive to get near there, I can park a few blocks away, skip the parking fees, and walk to all sorts of things. There's also a free bus that loops around Main Street and UVA. The whole thing is a nice mix between interesting shopping (there's a decent international store and a pretty good spice store, plus lots of used book stores), history (this city loves Thomas Jefferson), and community things (swimming pool, library, UVA stuff).
There are still a few things I'll want to drive to Washington for, especially a better selection of international food. I'm not impressed with Charlottesville's options so far, although it could be much worse.
We're all enjoying the trees and wildflowers which help make up for the lack of mountains. When I told my son that he was looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains, he informed me that they couldn't be mountains because they were completely covered with trees. I tend to agree. They're still pretty though.
And I love that I can see the stars from my house.