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Old 03-30-2015, 09:36 AM   #21
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The thread topic has changed to climate change and science with a sprinkling of politics. These discussions often become heated and political in a way that is unrelated to early retirement or our forum and violate community posting guidelines, so it has been designated a "Hot Topic" and has been moved to the "FIRE Related Political Topics" sub-forum. Members posting to this thread will see a new dialog box appear, a reminder that the topic is more sensitive.
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:41 PM   #22
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This may be a sign folks should consider spending their winter breaks elsewhere. . Maybe this means we should start building a list of reasons why Florida is not a desirable location, along the lines of what REWahoo did for Texas.
My family has wintered in the Fort Lauderdale area for several generations. It's changed a lot, OTOH, the Spring Breakers and that craziness are mostly gone.

We're also from the Boston area and after this past winter, we'll take the crowds, humidity, traffic etc any time!!! Yeah...sweating away in this outdoor restaurant while my neighbors are shoveling two and a half feet of snow in 10 degree weather...

If I can paraphrase Yogi Berra: "If this place keep being crowded like this, nobody will come here".
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:50 PM   #23
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True dat. I just get annoyed at pompous scientists, especially the ones that love the TV camera
Yep, and unfortunately that's where most folks get their "science"...

I really can't afford to live on the coast, and central Florida doesn't do much for me. My dad used to live an hour or so south of Orlando, and sang its praises, but I'd be bored sh!tless there...
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:59 PM   #24
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I lived in FL in the 70s and 80s. It was remarkable how much development occurred in that timeframe, especially in central florida. When we moved there Orlando airport was tiny, served by maybe 3-4 airlines total, no international flights. The kind of airport you'd see in a third tier city. Within just a couple of years it really skyrocketed. (no pun intended)



I recently read that in 1912 Key West was the largest city in Florida, even *before* they completed the rail line that connected it to the mainland. That speaks not so much to how big Key West was, but rather how undeveloped the rest of the state was.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:35 PM   #25
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Doesn't Florida have BUGS? Like as in REALLY BIG BUGS! My brother lived there many yrs ago and I remember him talking about continuous pest exterminators many times through out the yr to take care of all the BIG BUGS. I'd think BIG BUGS would be a population growth deterrent.

I'll take our brutal winters over BIG BUGS any day!
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:21 AM   #26
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Doesn't Florida have BUGS? Like as in REALLY BIG BUGS! My brother lived there many yrs ago and I remember him talking about continuous pest exterminators many times through out the yr to take care of all the BIG BUGS. I'd think BIG BUGS would be a population growth deterrent.

I'll take our brutal winters over BIG BUGS any day!

And REALLY BIG SNAKES!!!
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:10 AM   #27
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Doesn't Florida have BUGS? Like as in REALLY BIG BUGS! My brother lived there many yrs ago and I remember him talking about continuous pest exterminators many times through out the yr to take care of all the BIG BUGS. I'd think BIG BUGS would be a population growth deterrent.

I'll take our brutal winters over BIG BUGS any day!
I've heard that all my life too, but now that we're down here I just haven't seen it. We're in SW FL just above the Everglades, so I assume we'd be in BIG BUG territory. Maybe it's because we're snowbirds and aren't here during the summer, but I just don't see the big bugs. Or the big snakes for that matter. But we're here 6 months or more, so it's not like it doesn't get hot.

Big gators, now, that's another issue. Never seen any in the rivers I kayak, but definitely have seen them on my hikes through the swamps. BIG gators. We went to Bird Rookery Swamp last weekend, and a bike rider who did the entire 12 mile loops said he'd seen 190 gators of varying sizes. Mostly small, but a few up to about 12 feet.

You talk about the big bugs as possible population deterrents. Maybe the snowbirds with their exterminator contracts have become big bug deterrents. All the bugs must have gone to TX.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:28 AM   #28
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My observation on Florida (after spending winters here over the past 30+ years) is that there are "two Floridas".

There's the one that is a two mile wide strip that runs along the entire coast --and the Orlando area-- that is made up of condos, beaches, Bentleys and more or less an imported environment from NY and New England. Bugs, snakes, alligators are an occasional novelty. You're more likely to be hassled by a homeless person than a mosquito.

Two miles inland and Florida is a different place entirely.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:10 AM   #29
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I live in the Villages. I love it. No matter who your tribe is, you can find people like you. Interested in bike riding? Lots of competitive to friendly groups that ride around. 6,000 people play softball. Tennis, competitive swimming, pickleball and tennis, card games galore, lots of entertainment. We even have a philharmonic that rivals most mid size city philharmonics. Huge amount of philanthropic groups. Lots of inexpensive golf. And if you choose you can sit in your recliner and watch TV but chances are you won't. It is meticulously maintained.

Occasionally someone moves from here but it is rare. Before you knock it come visit. I never thought we would like it here but it was the best move we made.

It is 7:03 and I am off to work in an art studio with fellow artists, I'll swim today in one of the 70 or so pools, and tonight a bunch of neighbors are getting together. On my way to my art club I'll drive my golf cart on paths and see people walking, bike riding, walking dogs, running etc. every day I meet people who tell me how old they are an I am amazed they look and act so young.

The only negative comments I hear are from people who have not spent time here. It is truly a wonderful place and our kids are thrilled that we have such an active and fulfilling life after working so hard so many years. They love to visit this Disneyland for adults.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:27 AM   #30
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Ever wonder where Floridians go on vacation?

It's the mountains of North Georgia, Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. You wouldn't believe how many Florida license plates you'll see there. Life's easier, quieter and so much more inexpensive for the most part in the mountains.
Shhhhhh!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:27 AM   #31
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Doesn't Florida have BUGS? Like as in REALLY BIG BUGS! My brother lived there many yrs ago and I remember him talking about continuous pest exterminators many times through out the yr to take care of all the BIG BUGS. I'd think BIG BUGS would be a population growth deterrent.

I'll take our brutal winters over BIG BUGS any day!
We have our share of cockroaches, maybe a few each season. We used to joke that even the rich people have cockroaches. Have had several lizards in the kitchen. One snake in the kitchen. A citrus rat in a shoe box in the garage that my wife picked up. Lots of alligators. Hit my golf ball a little too close to this one.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:29 AM   #32
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I live in the Villages. I love it. No matter who your tribe is, you can find people like you. Interested in bike riding? Lots of competitive to friendly groups that ride around. 6,000 people play softball. Tennis, competitive swimming, pickleball and tennis, card games galore, lots of entertainment. We even have a philharmonic that rivals most mid size city philharmonics. Huge amount of philanthropic groups. Lots of inexpensive golf. And if you choose you can sit in your recliner and watch TV but chances are you won't. It is meticulously maintained.

Occasionally someone moves from here but it is rare. Before you knock it come visit. I never thought we would like it here but it was the best move we made.

It is 7:03 and I am off to work in an art studio with fellow artists, I'll swim today in one of the 70 or so pools, and tonight a bunch of neighbors are getting together. On my way to my art club I'll drive my golf cart on paths and see people walking, bike riding, walking dogs, running etc. every day I meet people who tell me how old they are an I am amazed they look and act so young.

The only negative comments I hear are from people who have not spent time here. It is truly a wonderful place and our kids are thrilled that we have such an active and fulfilling life after working so hard so many years. They love to visit this Disneyland for adults.
Sounds like an extrovert's paradise, but many of us are introverts...
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:32 AM   #33
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Sounds like an extrovert's paradise, but many of us are introverts...
+1

I'm sure it is wonderful for those who enjoy the lifestyle, but living in "Disneyland for adults" is my idea of Hell on earth.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:15 AM   #34
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+1

I'm sure it is wonderful for those who enjoy the lifestyle, but living in "Disneyland for adults" is my idea of Hell on earth.
Disneyland and that many people. No my idea of a good time. Glad that many do enjoy, just not my personal idea of fun.

I used to have to go to crowed places Boston, Orange County, New York, London, Edinburgh.... While I enjoyed the unique experiences, crowds are not for me.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:42 AM   #35
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Does anyone have any experience or insight with the Florida Keys? My only recent experience with Florida has been the Port Orange/Daytona Beach and Orlando area, and that was back in 2005.

I've always wanted to see the Florida Keys. I have heard they're over-rated...but sometimes, when my expectations get lowered, I end up finding myself pleasantly surprised!

My Mom and stepdad have a second home in Grand Island, Florida. I think they've had it since 2003. I've never been down there, and really don't have any desire to. Their original plan was to move down there once they retired, but that was in 2011 and they're still here in Maryland, dammit! To be fair though, they stayed around because of aging, sick relatives (his mother, who got sick and then died, and now Grandmom), and Mom has a horse that's old, sick, and feeble, and I think she's holding off until it dies.

I'm curious to see if they'll stay down there once they move, though. It's one thing to go someplace and visit for awhile, even a long while. But picking up your roots and then calling it your new home is totally different. And my Mom, at the age of 66, has lived her whole life here in Maryland. She did mention that if my stepdad died, she'd move back up to Maryland in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #36
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We used to go to the Keys in early 80's, loved it but only went to K West once. Sort of like what a Jimmy Buffett song would evoke. Then in 2003 went there on a job interview w DW and saw pretty amazing changes that made it much less attractive. We spent most of the time in Key West and just found it a bit too touristy. The interview was with a local government agency; let's just say they think differently in the Conch Republic! At least we got a free trip out of it.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:08 AM   #37
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The keys are great, we used to visit Key West frequently, Key West can be party central. I would avoid around Halloween, unless you want to see a bunch of naked drunks. Past that, IMHO the keys are more like old Florida. Very high COL.

My MIL/FIL had a place on Marathon Key (about half way to Key West). Fantastic, one balcony you could see the Gulf, the other balcony the Atlantic. Marvelous home. FIL fished, dove for spiny lobsters, lived in paradise. Then came 1992 and hurricane Andrew. They were stuck, sure all traffic goes North when there's a storm. FIL panicked didn't get to the highway before running out of gas.

BIL has a private plane, single engine Piper, VFR. FIL calls and begs his son to fly down into the storm to rescue them. BIL did pull it off, Ft. Myers to Marathon and back before the storm hits. Andrew had gone north, totally missing the Keys. FIL/MIL moved back to Ft. Myers within six months. They couldn't handle the thought of another hurricane. FIL quit giving his son crap about why did he need an airplane, after the rescue.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:17 AM   #38
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That was me on the porch... blue shirt, back to the camera... and my golf cart... 5th from the left.
I pegged you for a skinny man. Perhaps, it was the previous avatar that gave me the impression. Looking at the picture, you look like a 200+ lb, 6'2" burly kind of man.

BTW, I look exactly like my current avatar.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:51 AM   #39
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WRT Key West: Went once with fairly low expectations and actually had a great time. We stayed at the Southernmost Hotel which has basically the only beach. DW and I are semi-parrotheads and did the Jimmy Buffett walking tour.

We flew direct from ATL. DW and I agreed that we might like to drive from MIA and stop at some of the other keys for a night or two after retiring. Many have told me that while the pictures of A1A stretching across expanses of blue water look enticing, it is mostly a long drive with few changes in scenery. So ideally, two day leisurely drive stopping for a night or two on the way to Key West, a night or two in Key West and drop off a rental car and fly back. This is not on the bucket list, just the "nice to maybe do" list.

The airport in Key West is the shortest runway in the entire Delta route system and the pilots draw straws NOT to get the Key West run. I knew this ahead of time and did not warn my family (as they would only worry). The landing in particular will get your attention.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #40
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The drive to KW is one of my favorites. As long as there's no accidents. Then you sit. The view changes some, but strips of sand and blue water, 7 mile bridge, all pretty amazing. I've always been the driver, just once I'd love to be the passenger.

Watch out for the endangered Key Deer. Even with huge fences one of those jumped out right in front of us, middle of the day too. The speed limit was slow and we were following it, but it was too close.

Yes I do remember the landing in Key West on several flights. Really short.
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