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Old 03-08-2015, 06:59 PM
15,225 posts, read 31,226,395 times
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Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Since this thread is about Florida, permit me to share an experience I had there last summer.

In late June 2014 I went down to St. Petersburg to vacation and visit my older brother who lives in Tampa. I did not stay in a hotel, but rather in a bed-n-breakfast guesthouse. It was a 1920's Mediterranean-style mansion that was once the home of a former mayor of St. Pete, in an older, shady, historic neighborhood near the Central Ave. restaurant and shopping district. Anyway, late one afternoon I drove my rented car to a parking space behind the guesthouse I was staying at and the sun was setting. The sunset was an indescribable display of coral, salmon, orange, lavender and purple. It was gorgeous. This view was framed by Spanish-moss draped live oak trees that was pierced by tall elegant palms. Then - out of nowhere! - a large flock of snowy white egrets flew by. This unbelievable panorama seemed too magnificent to happen by chance ... it was as if it was staged on a Hollywood movie set.

My point: Florida can be one of the most beautiful places you'll visit in the US. As a former Floridian I could also tell you about the mosquitoes, the palmetto bugs, the fire ants and other annoyances ... but that's another story.
Ahhh, Clark Park, that sounds so lovely, and SOOO Florida! I am a Florida native, 65 y. o. born and raised in Tampa and now living in Sarasota. I love this whole Gulf coast area SOOOOO MUCH. There is no other place in the country I would live.

But as many have pointed out, there is something here for everyone, assuming you want to be in Florida, with its hot/humid weather and other things that go along with the beauty and beaches etc. For me Jax is not that interesting, it is too much like Georgia. Nothing against Georgia, it's just I like my "tropical looking" Florida. I love the calm turquoise waters of the Gulf with the snowy white sand and all the beautiful fauna and flora. I also love the architecture here, especially the vintage mediterranean style and the 1950s mid-century. This place is just "me." I am glad I am already here.

Hubby and I live in Sarasota, one of the most beautiful towns in Florida, IMO. and we are only two blocks from the bay in a small 1950s home. Yes, insurance is sky-high here, but taxes and other costs are low, so it balances out. Living here all my life I have experienced only fringes of hurricanes, never had to evacuate. This neighborhood near the coast dates back to 1920s and has never seen a problem. Sure, the possibility exists, just as possiblity of earthquakes in CA, tornadoes in the plains and midwest, dust storms in the west, ice storms in the north etc. Mother nature is everywhere, there is no place 100% safe.

Lastly I will just say, try to get a realistic picture of what it is like to actually live here - too many people come here thinking it is all paradise and quickly become sour and unhappy. It is good to make many trips at different times of year and try to live as if you lived here, not on vacation.

Hope this helps.
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