We left this:
(Okay, it wasn't really snowing in August when we left) For this:
I can't believe how the time has flown. Things haven't turned out quite as we had planned and I think if I could I would leave this place.
It is beautiful here but I miss some things. I never thought I would miss the big city but I do, not that I want to go back to Chicago. I don't miss the crime and high taxes , I do miss the variety of food, entertainment and cultural attractions. I miss the diversity of the people. I miss crisp cool autumn weather with the smell in the air only autumn has, and yes, I miss the snow.... a little. I miss my family. We are not a close family but we always have a good time when we get together. For 46 years I spent every Christmas Eve with them, I miss that.
As I said it is beautiful here, it is also very, very safe. The cost of living here for basics may be a little higher than elsewhere because we are a tourist town, but our taxes are very reasonable even though people here complain about them. They have never lived elsewhere.
The lack of food variety here is good and bad. Good because The Husband has really become a great cook and we eat out less for this and other reasons (money) but sometimes you need to get out and the choices are mediocre at best. The food is expensive, portions petite and service .....well let's not go there.
Aside from the beach there is not a lot to do here. Our only zoo, about 30 miles away, is closing for lack of funds. There are a few small museums, but once you go, you've gone. We do have some nice outdoor recreation here, when the weather isn't too hot.
The weather, I thought I could take it, but from June through September I pretty much want to stay inside. It is more pleasant in April, May, Oct and Nov but those months still can surprise. Dec, Jan , Feb and March are okay, ranging anywhere from 25 F to 80 F. But the sun, no matter what time of year can be brutal.
And then there are the hurricanes. Mostly it is just hype by the Weather Channel and Jim Cantore. We have evacuated twice, Ivan 2004 and Dennis 2005. We have been very lucky since. But it is a little disconcerting leaving everything you own and hoping it's still there in one piece when you get back. I do consider ourselves fortunate in that we was plenty of notice they are coming unlike tornados.
The people here are very friendly and polite. Almost too polite, as when you are at a 4 way stop and everyone is waving everyone else through. Being a Yankee I am always happy to oblige and go, leaving everyone there to out-polite each other. And talkative, they will tell you their life story at the drop of a "hi". Once again being a Yankee and a Midwesterner I am pretty tight-lipped about myself. It makes for short one-way conversations.
I suppose there are worse places to live and I am thankful I have a roof over my head. It just isn't what I had hoped for I guess.
Oh, did I mention I miss my basement!!! Who would have thought..........................