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Old 08-27-2015, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
800 posts, read 2,215,020 times
Reputation: 898

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I have been here for 22 years, courtesy of an ex wife who wanted to move here from California. Upon arrival, the first thing I said was "my God, what have I done". I have made the best of it though. I bought a boat and jet ski, bikes and kayaks. I partake in all this state has to offer. That being said, it isn't much once you have a few years under your belt.
I have kayaked almost every natural spring. I have SCUBA'd in the same. I have ridden every off-road mountain bike trail in this state. I have visited every decent beach with the exception of the ones in the panhandle. I have criss-crossed this state in the miserable traffic, amidst the terrible drivers, through gridlocked Tampa traffic, overcrowded Jacksonville, tourist trapped Orlando, insane Miami, slow-going Key West, and all along the I10 corridor in and out and all points in between.
Florida is flat, boring, and the only refuge is a nice powdery white sandy beach. That's it. If I was retired or on vacation, my choice would be Florida--if that's all I wanted each day...a beach chair and a beach.
But I am active and I like doing stuff. Don't get me wrong, I like to unwind on New Smyrna Beach or cruise along Daytona Beach in my Jeep. But that really is the only thing left. Off roading in Florida is even worse- the scenery is all the same. Bland and green, sugar sand, flat and humid.
I am stuck here because of a career that gives me a nice retirement in 4 years. I plan on packing it up and selling my house and going west at that point. Back to the mountains, back to the endless miles of mountain bike trails, the beautiful desert or alpine lakes, where the water is crystal clear and like glass...and you can find a cove and sit all day without seeing another person. Back to the off road trails that end high on a ridge so you can watch the sunset over a valley carved out by the Colorado River millions of years ago. Back to the days of no humidity, where it may be 90 outside, but you don't feel like someone put a plastic bag over your head. Back to the places where there are miles of empty highways, towns with one traffic light, dark sky communities so you can see the Milky Way at night.
Florida is polluted with people. Because everyone comes here thinking they want to live in "paradise", and listen to Jimmy Buffet while they enjoy a drink with an umbrella in it sitting at some tiki bar. But reality sinks in for them when they realize their wages are so low they can't afford to go get that drink, or they can't afford to buy that boat to enjoy the water. Then they become angry, irritated and realize that Florida isn't all it's cracked up to be. Now you're left with angry Floridians. Trapped by a job or trapped by family. In a way, I feel trapped, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And my opinions on this place, while seemingly negative, also include the positive because I see the good in this state (since I have tried to make the best of it every day).
Bottom line? Florida has beautiful beaches and waterways. It's cheap to live, but terrible to work in. Commuting in it stinks, the traffic is awful, and the scenery away from the beaches is dull, bland, flat and uninspiring. The weather is awesome in October and November, and it's cool to be able to go to the beach in December when the rest of the country is shivering, but when August rolls around and you can't bear to set foot outside or escape you air conditioned car, you are cursing all of summer. Then when the love bugs pelt your car for a month twice a year, you want to beat your head against a wall. Oh, let's not forget the tropical weather that seems to always roll through on a weekend, but it's sunny and beautiful while you're working Monday through Friday, washing out your weekend beach/kayak,bike plans. But that is coming from someone who had lived in So Cal for 25 years, been to Lake Tahoe, been to Moab Utah, been in Colorado, cruised Lake Powell, and gambled in Vegas. To each his own, but Florida is not for me. 4 years and counting down....

 
Old 08-31-2015, 08:52 PM
 
73 posts, read 47,757 times
Reputation: 142
Interesting post Rich67. Good luck with your future retirement. Just some thoughts...I'm kind of tired of the California worship thing. People droning on and on about how it's the greatest place etc...I know it's beautiful and it's all about preferences and it suites your outdoor lifestyle but what about some of the negatives: the sky high real estate, taxes, high gasoline prices, crime....traffic, cold pacific water, earthquakes and more. I've met quite a few people who have moved from California to Florida to retire. Also, being a frequent European traveller, I like that I can go to Europe on a direct flight or hop over to Cuba and the Caribbean... If I feel a need the mountains, I can hop on a plane. And can afford to travel more living in FLA.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 01:05 AM
 
1,331 posts, read 1,032,739 times
Reputation: 2813
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich67 View Post
I have been here for 22 years, courtesy of an ex wife who wanted to move here from California. Upon arrival, the first thing I said was "my God, what have I done". I have made the best of it though. I bought a boat and jet ski, bikes and kayaks. I partake in all this state has to offer. That being said, it isn't much once you have a few years under your belt.
I have kayaked almost every natural spring. I have SCUBA'd in the same. I have ridden every off-road mountain bike trail in this state. I have visited every decent beach with the exception of the ones in the panhandle. I have criss-crossed this state in the miserable traffic, amidst the terrible drivers, through gridlocked Tampa traffic, overcrowded Jacksonville, tourist trapped Orlando, insane Miami, slow-going Key West, and all along the I10 corridor in and out and all points in between.
Florida is flat, boring, and the only refuge is a nice powdery white sandy beach. That's it. If I was retired or on vacation, my choice would be Florida--if that's all I wanted each day...a beach chair and a beach.
But I am active and I like doing stuff. Don't get me wrong, I like to unwind on New Smyrna Beach or cruise along Daytona Beach in my Jeep. But that really is the only thing left. Off roading in Florida is even worse- the scenery is all the same. Bland and green, sugar sand, flat and humid.
I am stuck here because of a career that gives me a nice retirement in 4 years. I plan on packing it up and selling my house and going west at that point. Back to the mountains, back to the endless miles of mountain bike trails, the beautiful desert or alpine lakes, where the water is crystal clear and like glass...and you can find a cove and sit all day without seeing another person. Back to the off road trails that end high on a ridge so you can watch the sunset over a valley carved out by the Colorado River millions of years ago. Back to the days of no humidity, where it may be 90 outside, but you don't feel like someone put a plastic bag over your head. Back to the places where there are miles of empty highways, towns with one traffic light, dark sky communities so you can see the Milky Way at night.
Florida is polluted with people. Because everyone comes here thinking they want to live in "paradise", and listen to Jimmy Buffet while they enjoy a drink with an umbrella in it sitting at some tiki bar. But reality sinks in for them when they realize their wages are so low they can't afford to go get that drink, or they can't afford to buy that boat to enjoy the water. Then they become angry, irritated and realize that Florida isn't all it's cracked up to be. Now you're left with angry Floridians. Trapped by a job or trapped by family. In a way, I feel trapped, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And my opinions on this place, while seemingly negative, also include the positive because I see the good in this state (since I have tried to make the best of it every day).
Bottom line? Florida has beautiful beaches and waterways. It's cheap to live, but terrible to work in. Commuting in it stinks, the traffic is awful, and the scenery away from the beaches is dull, bland, flat and uninspiring. The weather is awesome in October and November, and it's cool to be able to go to the beach in December when the rest of the country is shivering, but when August rolls around and you can't bear to set foot outside or escape you air conditioned car, you are cursing all of summer. Then when the love bugs pelt your car for a month twice a year, you want to beat your head against a wall. Oh, let's not forget the tropical weather that seems to always roll through on a weekend, but it's sunny and beautiful while you're working Monday through Friday, washing out your weekend beach/kayak,bike plans. But that is coming from someone who had lived in So Cal for 25 years, been to Lake Tahoe, been to Moab Utah, been in Colorado, cruised Lake Powell, and gambled in Vegas. To each his own, but Florida is not for me. 4 years and counting down....
I was a little apprehensive when you opened up by blaming your 22 YEARS stay in Florida on an ex-wife.
And more than confused when you reckoned Florida was terrible to work in but you've had a very good career that gives you a nice retirement in four years time.
And I was kinda understanding where you're coming from until the point where you reckon good weather only coincides with the Monday-Friday working week.
Then I understood.
You like isolation and you're a loner.You don't like the " pollution of people."
That's fair enough but the Florida I enjoy is remarkably different to the one you appear to inhabit.
Give me the beach chair and umbrella'd drink and great social life any time.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 04:35 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
22,311 posts, read 18,600,518 times
Reputation: 9390
I had the chance to drive up along the east coast this past month and actually felt "at home" when returning to FLA.....every state has something for someone. If you don't like FLA, don't hesitate to leave. We definitely have more than enough population here without you.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
8,021 posts, read 5,555,214 times
Reputation: 22778
If you think it is bad now, just wait until January, when there is still sunshine, and all your Northern buddies are enjoying being trapped in all that beautiful snow and ice ! Yep, it is really horrible here.

Don
 
Old 09-01-2015, 05:02 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
7,367 posts, read 4,334,782 times
Reputation: 8824
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
If you think it is bad now, just wait until January, when there is still sunshine, and all your Northern buddies are enjoying being trapped in all that beautiful snow and ice ! Yep, it is really horrible here.

Don
Unfortunately, way too many of them come down here as snowbirds, making the crowds even worse.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 05:34 AM
 
3,715 posts, read 2,419,141 times
Reputation: 2382
People act like snow is lava, taking a day off during a snow day to go sledding with the kids it's fun.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
800 posts, read 2,215,020 times
Reputation: 898
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgtguy111 View Post
Interesting post Rich67. Good luck with your future retirement. Just some thoughts...I'm kind of tired of the California worship thing. People droning on and on about how it's the greatest place etc...I know it's beautiful and it's all about preferences and it suites your outdoor lifestyle but what about some of the negatives: the sky high real estate, taxes, high gasoline prices, crime....traffic, cold pacific water, earthquakes and more. I've met quite a few people who have moved from California to Florida to retire. Also, being a frequent European traveller, I like that I can go to Europe on a direct flight or hop over to Cuba and the Caribbean... If I feel a need the mountains, I can hop on a plane. And can afford to travel more living in FLA.
I'm not a California worshipper. I hated it, and that's why I left. There are plenty of places referred to as "out west" that don't have to touch the Pacific Ocean. Hopping on a plane to go to the mountains is not economically feasible to some of us, and not emotionally feasible to others.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 07:04 AM
 
2,598 posts, read 1,462,505 times
Reputation: 1361
I see where this guy is coming from, kinda. I'm from the "Make the Best of It" crowd also. There are many good people in Florida, and there are certainly good aspects about here for many as well. I have to say though, I am not a beach person. At all. I just feel like apart from relaxing and sitting down with a drink, or strolling along the sand/floating there isn't all that much you can do there. I get more out of going kayaking or swimming or tubing down one of Florida's freshwater springs, those really are great. One thing I will say is this: At very least, the Orlando area has a lot going for it in regards to bike paths, and TBH, biking is great on a flat surface. So I can say that the biking in Orlando is maybe not quite as good as up north, but still I have 8 trails to choose from, and critical mass can be fun, so I definitely do have options. As far as trails, there is a unique charm about a somewhat tropical/swampy trail, but for me, it's not my preferred aesthetic. I will say to the OP, that if you have not yet been to areas like Gainesville, Palatka, Lake Wales, Clermont, Dade City (I haven't even checked out all of them yet), the scenery and vibe you will get there is somewhat different. Don't get me wrong, it's not gonna be like the hills out west (or even much of the Great Lakes for that matter), but it is pretty, and since everything else around is SO FLAT, it gives an opportunity to see out over the horizon, even to the skyline itself. Also, people there are more into hiking and the stuff you are into in said locales. Bok Tower Gardens, if you have never been, looks gorgeous, and it would be a shame for you to not see it at least once. Heck, even Orlando/Winter Park seems to have way more in the way of mature tree cover through certain sections of town than do places further south. Have you been to Lake Eola/Thornton Park? I'd also tend to say that in general, being a history/neighborhood person and a foodie, Florida in general has improved in that sense in recent years. I'm also a big museum/culture guy, and so one of the things that really keeps me satisfied here (family ties are primary reason why I'm here), is being able to make trips over to Kennedy Space Center, and checking out the Tampa Theatre. That's what it's all about, plus, being a sports fan I have UCF, Lightning, etc. Even though if I was hypothetically picking a dream area, Florida may not be the one I'd pick, there are certainly things about living here that I do enjoy.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Land O' Lakes, FL
469 posts, read 313,274 times
Reputation: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgtguy111 View Post
I like that I can go to Europe on a direct flight or hop over to Cuba and the Caribbean... If I feel a need the mountains, I can hop on a plane. And can afford to travel more living in FLA.

Great point. Another plus to this area is definitely the convenience of traveling from Tampa to Mexico the Caribbean etc.
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