Monday, July 20, 2020

Life in Florida



As I have said before, I never ever thought of moving to Florida. GG wanted to play golf every day and I was looking for a fresh start after the loss of both my husband and best friend in Virginia. But now that I have moved here, I love it! I live in paradise.

I thought as a little departure from my home escapades, I would share a little more about what I have learned about life here.

1. I have always been completely and totally neurotic about my hair being perfect at all times. I went to my hairdresser in Alexandria twice a week and NEVER washed or blow dried my own hair. Here it's "Beach Hair, Don't Care." I wash my hair once a week, let in dry naturally, and it looks great. Blond and beachy. Beach hair, don't care.

2. High heels that I wore every day because I am petite are a thing of the past. Jack Rogers sandals and Tory Burch flip-flops. Bye bye stilettos.

3. Bras are also adios. In this heat, they are so annoying. Seriously not comfortable.

4. Here is my Florida look above. A loose breezy dress, sunglasses, straw bag, jewelry, done.

5. My skin here looks fantastic. I always wear sunscreen and sunglasses, but my skin is dewy and radiant - must be the humidity.

6. I love the sunshine 365 days a year. It makes me happy.

7. The skies here are stunning, so blue and amazing clouds.

8. The food is so good and so cheap - Everything is local and fresh and delicious. Fish, crabs, produce, the quality and prices down here are fantastic. I love cooking,

9. Palm trees everywhere. Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. HomeGoods is the best.

11. No state income taxes.

12. Real estate is so much cheaper than DC.

13. Gardening here is delightful. You can garden 365 day a year. Everything grows like crazy with the heat and rain. And so easy to plant with the sandy soil after the clay soil of NOVA.

14. The style here is very casual both in fashion and interior design. The look here is not Palm Beach, although mine is very Palm Beach.

15. People tend to be from Canada and the Midwest, although this area has been discovered by New Yorkers, so that is changing.

16. People are very physically fit - lots of walking, jogging, biking, golfing, tennis, swimming, etc.

17. Everyone wants to come visit - a problem now of course with the pandemic, but hopefully that will change.

Well, I have a busy week planned. The painters will be finishing up and I have lots more to move before the movers come next week for the furniture. Furniture deliveries will be starting in a couple of weeks. I need to get a handyman in for some projects. The handyman I used here is quarantined because his wife is having hip surgery. I interviewed someone highly recommended on Friday and he gave me the creeps. He showed up with no mask and was a bit too familiar. He ended with "Call me anytime, day or night." Yuck. Any handyman recommendations in my hood would be greatly appreciated.



39 comments:

  1. I saw this chandelier and thought of you. The crystal drops might be a bit too much. Or maybe too much is just the right amount? It's certainly one of a kind.

    https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/87373213_art-deco-palm-chandelier

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    1. That is stunning. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. After moving to Florida from NW Pennsylvania I completely agree with your observations on living here
    with the exception of the annoying but necessary bra!🤣 One thing that I didn’t expect was the slight change in seasons, I love that! In the “winter” I can break out my boots and light jackets/sweaters for a few weeks. Then right back to dresses and flips! Love it here!
    Just hearing about that “handyman” creeped me out! I hope that you can find a good one soon.
    Michelle

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    1. Yes, there are seasons here, but all are beautiful - no snow and ice. I went to college in PA and my puppies are from Pittsburgh. I love both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh - great cities.

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  3. I'm glad you love where you landed. I especially like the no-bra! I retired in 1995 and gave up bras and panty hose (except for the later used to tie up tomato plants!).Braless is actually healthier for your breasts and who needs the sweat entrapment feature? I decided when it happened, I'd let my hair go gray naturally. Don't regret it for a minute.That handyman sounds like a creep!

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  4. I'm glad you're happy! I sometimes miss pre-2001 DC, but I really don't miss post-2001 DC. Have you found any specific brands of dresses you like? I live in vintage Fresh Produce dresses(pre-private equity takeover), but those are getting harder and harder to track down. The MBAs who took over the the company really blew it when they downgraded fabrication; very used 15-year-old Fresh Produce dresses sell for more than the original purchase prices!

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    1. I am going to have to check out the vintage Fresh Produce idea. Is pre 2001 a Bill Clinton reference or did I miss something?

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    2. After 9/11, when they started closing streets in DC and then the Pentagon disbursed its offices all over Northern Virginia, surface street traffic and parking became unbearable for me. Then, with rising property values, a lot of my favorite small businesses closed. The insides of government buildings became very unfriendly, too, exacerbated by the arrival of email. I used to walk the halls of the State Department, run into my friends, wave at people through open doors. With email, people weren't walking around as much, and after the Hanson affair, all the doors were closed and locked. I realize I sound like a crank opposed to change, but the difference in DC from say 1995 to 2005 was massive. I'm guessing you were mostly in Alexandria, since I think you said you were a patent attorney? I do miss Old Town very much. I lived nearby.

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    3. I was at the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission both pre 9/11. My husband was a commodities and securities litigator with his own practice in Old Town. So we lived and worked in Alexandria, and saw little difference pre and post 9/11 except for airport security and the like. I miss Old Town very much.

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  5. We are bought recently in the Landings and have used Grayhawk to remodel, not sure if the do handyman jobs. They are very professional and extremely COVID aware and careful

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  6. Oh boy. Bingo on every comment! You are truly enjoying and embracing the "salt life"of Florida.

    I actually let my hair grow longer in summer sporting pony tails all day long. Nothing worse than hair hanging in your face when temps are in the 90's. Winters are less humid and quite cooler as I am in the NE corner of Florida. Better hair days and shorter lengths prevail.

    Have a look at Bernardo's Miami sandals. I wore them all through HS and now upon return to Florida have been wearing them once again. They are extremely comfortable, stylish, all leather, classic and come in many colors. Very Palm Beach-y, I might add. Lilly and Jackie wore them.

    Sunscreen is a must especially applied to the face, for sure. I have IPL treatments once a year to rid my facial skin of sun damage caused in the 60's-70's. I like to be sun-kissed though not on my face.

    Fresh air, sunshine, blue skies...cannot beat the Florida out of doors. If you don't like the weather in Florida, wait five minutes. My lanai is screened in (or the bugs would overtake). We live, eat, watch tv and read out there in the spring and fall months.

    We buy fresh shrimp and a chunk of grouper or snapper every couple of weeks from the local fish market. Amazingly fresh. You are getting that fabulous gulf shrimp I bet.

    Many, many varieties of palms here...all beauties! My house is named 6Palms. No income tax, however the property taxes tend to be a bit higher than NoVA. No state income tax means your dollar buys more to spend at HG. ;)

    Your observation of Florida's lush plant growth is so true. With a long growing season, landscapers stay busy! Be cautious of snakes lurking in the gardens and many are venomous here. I don't ask them their names.

    Yes, "Florida Man" as he is known as, creeps around everywhere hoping for a bite back from their much too friendly comments and stares. I do not wear my wedding rings daily as I have pared down my fine jewelry here. Sometimes I regret not having them on. More snakes lurking around every corner, if you know what I mean.

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    1. I love the Bernardo's Miami sandals idea - I will go investigate. I too have stopped with the fine jewelry here - more fun colorful pieces instead. We have both embraced the Florid life for sure and it is wonderful.

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    2. And yes, property taxes are high, but real estate prices are much better than NOVA so my taxes here are way less.

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  7. Beth, I am glad that you have landed in a great spot that you love. I especially enjoyed this post because I would like to retire in FL. Living in a far northern state, when I mention it, I get lots of comments, too hot and humid! But I love warm weather, palm trees, and sunny skies. Summer is my favorite season so I think I would love it there. The handyman sounds very creepy! Ugh! I would also love to know what loose fitting, cool dresses you enjoy wearing.

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    1. I love Anthropologie for maxi dresses - I have lots of caftans from them that are perfect for here.

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  8. Ask your realtor for recommendations on handymen. They usually are good sources since everyone who buys a house wants to change something.

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    1. I did and I spoke with him today - he sounds great and not creepy. Thanks!

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  9. You are maturing into a younger woman! No more obsessing about perfect hair and enduring uncomfortable shoes. Amen. Glad to hear you are wearing sunscreen. Apply to your hands and decolletage, you'll be happy that you did one day. Be careful not to wear flip flops too much. They cause as many problems as high heels. Do ask your neighbors about the creepy crawlys to avoid in the neighborhood.

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    1. All great advice ad you are correct about flip flops - and I seem to be developing a latex allergy.

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  10. I was born and grew up in the San Francisco bay area, and every day I think about leaving California. It's too crowded, and yet people just keep coming. Traffic is gridlock. Politicians have taken control from local governments in order to build high density housing. They are trying to eliminate construction of single family homes. HIGH TAXES! It's too expensive, the power grid is failing, and whether or not we will have enough water is an issue, but mostly EVERYTHING IS POLITICIZED!!! My apologies for going on a rant.

    Florida sounds wonderful. Sunny, pretty, "tropically" - if there is such a word. Beautiful beaches. Amazing flora and fauna. A gardener's paradise. I love the colors and the casual style - people look as if they care about their appearance, but are still relaxed. It sounds perfect in every way.

    Sorry about the handyman experience. ICK!

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    1. I agree about California. Florida is not problem free but no place is and the good things here far outweigh the bad.

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  11. Quite a change from VA/DC area and it's good to know you're digging it. I would like to believe that I would too, and it is one of the destinations under consideration down the road. A visit with a friend in the fall (fingers crossed re. travel) will be a true, up close and personal test.

    btw, I somehow missed the handyman story. Which post is it?

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    1. I hope for fall travel too - I am dying for my daughter and my friends to come visit. There was not another post about the handyman - just what I said at the end of this post.

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  12. You sound very happy. Nice to see you landing on your feet after so much heartache.
    Enjoy your new life! And "yuck!" to the handyman...

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    1. Thank you and I have learned that I am pretty tough.

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    2. Had a similar handyman situation - I had him come anyway, because I was desperate. No mask, and he explained to me fist that women cannot think critically, then that he only believed science coming from the 700 Club. You were right to say "No!"

      Also, although unsightly, I adore the television in my master. Use it way more than the larger screen in the den - late at night, early morning, as I'm getting dressed, etc...

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    3. Boy, that is a bad handyman story. I agree on the TV, I think I would use it the most.

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  13. Oh it just sounds so wonderful there..... its winter here at the moment and I could do with some sun and fun but ..... you can keep that "handyman" to yourself!!! LOL

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    1. Florida is all about sun and fun if we can get through this mess we are in.

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  14. Please do tell, how did you meet GG?

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  15. I loved this post.....and I'd kill for that green dress in the picture! It all sounds completely divine and I am overjoyed for you! You are 'blooming where you are planted". Keep these updates coming....they are a sweet part of each of my days!

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  16. MXC in Osprey, FLJuly 21, 2020 at 8:20 PM

    I still can't believe we both came from No. VA to basically the same part of FL. I don't miss DC at all. Like another posted, I miss pre 2001 DC. Post 2001 DC was so different. I go back fairly regularly because I serve on a board. I'm so happy to come home to FL. I never in a million years thought I would move to FL. Now that I'm here (just celebrated 5 years), I absolutely love it.

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    1. Interesting perspective. I agree that society changed after 9/11 but not DC in particular for me. I loved it until the last few years. My daughter and her SO are house hunting in Annapolis and I would very much enjoy spending time there with them and visiting all my friends in NOVA. But I love my life here and I am shocked to be saying that.

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  17. I love your FL observations as a Floridian who has resided in Chicago the past 16 years.
    Lilly Pulitzer designed her first shifts so she could go braless standing in the FL heat at her juice stand!

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  18. Any chance that you know the origin of that wonderful green dress pictured? I found the Loewe bag, but the dress doesn't seem to be theirs... It is really too wonderful.

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    1. I know - find it so we both can buy it. I tried, but no luck.

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