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Old 01-03-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Ft. Walton Beach/Gulf Breeze
130 posts, read 550,842 times
Reputation: 48

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Having lived for 5 years in NorCal (SanFrancisco/Geary Blvd, the Peninsula/Foster City, and Sunnyvale/Santa Clara), and having come back to Northwest Florida.. here are my thoughts.
Though I miss hiking/driving Mt. Tamalpaias & El Diabo, no Cali beach I've seen can match my old home towns soft pure white as snow beaches. I can still hike/camp and 4 wheel just five hours away up in the North Georgia mountains.

Our Gulf Coast blue green waters are AMAZING to me, even moreso now as I've compared them to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. YES, Monterey is very impressive, but I'll take our nice clean beaches any day over them.

The drive over the GG bridge was indeed amazing over the San Francisco bay (drove over it every rush hour morning and night for a year), but our 3 mile bridge too has impressive sunrises and sunsets over our bay, and the beach drive of hwy 98 from Ft. Walton Beach all the way to Panama City is incredible.

I will always HATE Depeche Mode for using that term "Redneck Riviera" in that Rolling Stone interview back in the late 80's when they came out here to the Pensacola Civic Center for a concert. Those limey's were not very nice to us, even though they were making money off of us. HECK, back in the 80's/early 90's, my most favorite band in the world, RUSH, used to kick off their North American tours here!
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,512 times
Reputation: 10
Hi! I lived in San Diego until 2000 when I moved to FL. I live in Jupiter, and it is definitely not stuffy. The beaches are great- I lived in the Bluffs for 3 years. It's a walk to the beach, not on the ocean. I now live closer to the freeway in the Heights. In the winter, the beach area turns into a snowbird haven- lots of retirees from up north. The rest of the year, it's very quiet, no waiting at restaurants.

I don't know much about Hutchinson Island. I've only been there once when I went to a resort. I think that doing a "drive-through" is a great idea. Get a good feel for the different communities, check out the nightlife, the restaurants, etc.

Also, I am a teacher in PBC. It was quite easy to transfer the teaching credentials over. There are a few tests (basic) to take. There are also a LOT of jobs available. Jupiter has great schools- especially at the elementary level.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,926 posts, read 10,298,254 times
Reputation: 5212
I didn't read every response in detail, but when I read your post I immediately thought that West Coast Florida is definitely not the place to learn to surf...there are no waves! If it were me in your shoes, I think I would probably look from Palm Coast to Daytona Beach to New Smyrna Beach. Not too hoity toity (ha-ha, that was cute), not too congested, and not too pricey.

Enjoy your tour!
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Jupiter FL
61 posts, read 246,741 times
Reputation: 33
Default San Diego to Florida

I lived most of my life in Riverside County CA. The transisition to Jupiter FL was easy. North FL is going to be colder than what you are used to. BUT in CA it cools down every night... in FL it does not. Stays hot and humid at night.

Don't get something ON the ocean. Hurricanes must be considered. BUT a solid condo would work pretty well. The person suggesting you rent had a good idea. Prices are coming down and may be getting close to the bottom but still... rent until they come all the way down and until you really see what is important.

It is so different from CA but the casual attitude is the same. North FL is much different than South FL in many ways. The east and west coasts are different too. I found heavy traffic on main roads on the west coast of FL. I didn't particularly like it over there. Beautiful areas but lots of seasonal people and retirees all over the place. At your age... stick to South FL... Jupiter, Hobe Sound, Stuart, Palm Beach Gardens all sound like what you want. Don't go further south unless you like traffic and a lot of city type problems
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:12 AM
 
30 posts, read 148,980 times
Reputation: 29
I am an elementary teacher and would need to find out about good schools and transferring my teaching credential to Florida. I don't need a big house, can even live with a 1 bedroom 1 bath condo as long as it's on the beach. I can't pay any more than 400-500,000.

Just wondering how you could afford to spend so much on a home as a teacher; let alone a teacher in Florida? I am also a teacher living in PA, and hoping to move to the Jacksonville area this summer. I was a little shocked when I saw just how little Florida teachers made. Starting salary for a first year teacher is not too bad, but the pay increase each year is only a few hundred. Sad that us teachers have such a critical job, yet it is almost never reflected in our paycheck.

Good Luck with the move.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:41 PM
 
9 posts, read 20,612 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks to everyone for all your help! I leave for my trip on Thursday, and now feel I have some idea where to focus my efforts. Thanks again and be sure to keep any last minute advice coming!
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,926 posts, read 10,298,254 times
Reputation: 5212
Please write back after your trip and let us know how it went!
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:39 AM
 
9 posts, read 20,612 times
Reputation: 13
I absolutely will! Leaving for the airport now, thanks everyone!
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,486 posts, read 19,892,827 times
Reputation: 2804
Good luck with your search! Look forward to hearing about your travels
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Orange Park Florida
19 posts, read 70,165 times
Reputation: 17
Default CA to Florida!

From a girl born and raised in Ca and transplanted in FL (which I love). Big changes, not just the ocean. The culture out here is completely different.
If you like the CA lifestyle but are looking for a slower pace, this is it! I would seriously consider a more metropolitan area, like Orlando, Miami, etc. Jacksonville is where we are at, and it's great, but lacks healthy places to eat (like Wild Oats, etc) but the above mentioned has those amenities.

Also, having been to San Diego, both to visit and live, you'll find the traffic patterns different here. So, Orlando may be an alternative and you'd have access to both coasts fairly equally, all the city lights, and more what you're used to.

If I had money, and time, and choices.......I'd head to the Keys!! I love it there and it may meet your needs. Again, not the amenities you'll be used to, but then sometimes we trade off:-)

After reading the above I can comment on Venice. We love to vacation there, but the median age is older (than I am). I cannot comment on the others as I haven't been there.
Email if you would like more info!
Christa
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