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lexi

Talk to me about living in Florida...

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Does she go to the new Polytechnic University? Was wondering how that school was doing, it sounded pretty interesting.

No, sorry!

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Thanks so much for all those thoughts! You all mentioned so many things that I would not have known - especially about the insurance stuff. Really helpful!

 

This is a very hypothetical thing and we’ve only just started talking about it. But I was feeling overwhelmed since I really don’t know much about Florida and I needed some thoughts and opinions as I start researching about it.

 

As far as the homeschool laws go, they sound utterly awful since I’m coming from a state with zero regulations. So I know everyone says it’s easy but it sounds terrible compared to what I do now.

 

I’m thinking the cost of living will be quite a bit higher than what we’re used to.

 

I loathe summer and the beach. The climate sounds like what I thought it would be. Yuck.

 

I’m a mountains and snow person.

 

Oh well, we have lots of time to decide and it’s not a for-sure thing.

 

Honestly, if it's not a for-sure thing and it's a thing you can decide on (rather than a thing dictated to you), I don't know why you would consider moving somewhere that you clearly loathe the idea of. 

 

ETA: I can understand if your posting about it is your way of processing through your dislike of the idea and realizing just how strongly you don't want to live in FL. I'm just saying, at this point it seems pretty clear that you really, really don't want to live here, so in your position I'd just knock it off the list of possibilities. 

Edited by purpleowl
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 seem to be the only one who likes living here so I'll just say please don't move here if you don't want to. There are few things that get a Floridian's back up like people who willingly move here and then do nothing but complain about how much better it was where they came from. (I understand not everyone has a choice but those who do and complain are the most annoying). 

 

I'm positive that's not just a Floridian thing.

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Yeah, don't look at me. I've lived here (Orlando) for about 20 years, and I still don't like it.

 

Yeah, Florida has it's wonders, but they aren't in Central Florida, for the most part. I am a native Floridian and love this state for many reasons, but I hate Orlando with a passion. Hate it. 

 

I might actually like Lakeland more, come to think of it....less traffic I'm sure. 

 

Now, Merritt Island where my parents live, or Palm Beach County where I grew up, or Neptune Beach or even tallahassee....I'd love living there. 

 

But Orlando, bleh. 

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Everyone keeps writing about how Lakeland is only an hour away from activities for the kids. Yeah... I used to live 15 minutes from Baltimore city. I moved an hour away to mostly rural PA. I figured that the hour long drive wasn’t a biggie.

 

Well, right now I’m used to driving 25 minutes to the nearest Walmart (nearest anything). I’m used to driving the 35 minutes to my son’s Spanish class. I’m used to all our friends being 20-40 minutes from the house.

 

But that hour. That hour to get to Baltimore is just too much. There are so many restaurants and there is shopping and there are activities for the kids and classes...but I’m not going to drive a two hour round trip to them except for on special occassions.

 

You’ll need to figure out what is available for the kids in Lakeland and decide if you want to move there. Don’t figure out what’s an hour away. You’ll go to the cities, of course, but you are not driving a two-hour round trip every week to take a kid to a class or to join a club or whatever. You’ll go on a day trip every now and then. You’ll need classes and clubs within a half hour or less.

An hour from Tampa for the zoo, beaches, etc. An hour to Orlando for the theme parks. There is still plenty in Lakeland itself. It has over 100,000 people, and plenty of activities for kids. Tons of parks, children’s museum, Hollis Gardens Park is beautiful. It has a busy downtown with some awesome food options. Malls, pools, etc. Most of just meant that it is close to what people traditionally go to FL for. It is still very much a thriving city.

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The home school laws are nothing compared to some states. I had to send in a one time letter of intent, then do yearly portfolio reviews or test them out. I moved to a no reporting state and it’s weird for me.

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Tampa and St Pete I love, Lakeland not so much, but it's close enough to Tampa and Orlando. Housing is pretty cheap, though rentals are higher than they should be. There is tons of golf in Lakeland, and fishing.

 

Tampa has a great aquarium, Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, the U of S Florida (I think there may be a Lakeland campus?), Florida Orchestra, Tampa Art museum, and lots of art, music, and theatre at the university.

 

Sports include NFL TB Buccaneers, NHL YB Lightning, NBA TB Rays. Orlando has the basketball, Lol.

 

St Petersburg has a cool and growing downtown. Very artsy, new places springing up all the time. The Dali Museum is world class. The beaches are the best. Warm baby powder sand, (safe for kids) easy little waves in the gulf, beaches you can walk for miles.

 

Weather--gorgeous half the year, hot and humid with afternoon spectacular lightning storms all summer. Beautiful water birds, palm trees, alligators (no worries), huge roaches (not hard to keep away, not as wily as the little ones go north), and this time of year, gorgeous flowering trees.

 

In Lakeland you'll find some rednecks, some transplanted northerners, some retirees, and just regular people. Don't fear the rednecks, for if a tree comes down blocking your driveway, they'll just show up with a truck and some chainsaws and get it out of the way for you. And clean up afterward, then they're on to the next job. (True story, happened to my cousin after a storm).

 

Speaking of storms, you're inland in Lakeland, so if a big hurricane hits there, it'll be a wind event. I don't remember Lakeland ever taking a hit. People say the Tampa Bay area has some kind of mystical protection from a direct hit, bit I suspect it's the geography of the place.

 

Anyway, I recommend Florida except for the public schools. I mostly homeschooled, dd went to public high school for the last 3 years, ds was hs. Homeschool community was great back then, but I've been out of the loop for years.

M

Edited by Sandwalker
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Everyone keeps writing about how Lakeland is only an hour away from activities for the kids. Yeah... I used to live 15 minutes from Baltimore city. I moved an hour away to mostly rural PA. I figured that the hour long drive wasn’t a biggie.

 

Well, right now I’m used to driving 25 minutes to the nearest Walmart (nearest anything). I’m used to driving the 35 minutes to my son’s Spanish class. I’m used to all our friends being 20-40 minutes from the house.

 

But that hour. That hour to get to Baltimore is just too much. There are so many restaurants and there is shopping and there are activities for the kids and classes...but I’m not going to drive a two hour round trip to them except for on special occassions.

 

I drove 45 -60 minutes to our homeschool activities for 10 years. There's a homeschool group in my city but I would have had to sign a statement of faith plus one of the adults told my son he was going to hell because he watched Harry Potter. The group in the southern end of my county was inclusive. I guess to me the drive was worth it. The end result though is that both he and I made friends in that group and now, long after homeschooling is over we still have to drive to get together with our friends, or they have to drive here to see us. 

 

As much as I love Florida I hate the city where I live, and want to move about 30-45 minutes south (besides our friends it would also put us closer to the grandkids and other family members).

 

 

Now, Merritt Island where my parents live,

Ugh. I hate Merritt Island traffic. Living in Orlando you'll probably laugh at my use of the word traffic in relation to MI but the thing is, it has none of the good stuff that a city with traffic has, but all of the annoying traffic tie-ups. There are beautiful areas of Merritt Island, but at some point you still have to get on the roads and shop or go other places.

Edited by Lady Florida.

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I might actually like Lakeland more, come to think of it....less traffic I'm sure. 

 

 

Due to kids' activities, I've spent a fair amount of time in Lakeland over the years. It is less crowded than Orlando, and I have met some nice people who live there, but those would be the extent of the positive comments I could make about the area.

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I'm positive that's not just a Floridian thing.

Word. It’s not a pretty quality. Bloom where you’re planted!

 

We live in Orlando for 8 years and I loved it. I would not say I am a heat person, but somehow I acclimated.

 

My biggest piece of advice is get a house with a pool. It makes alllll the difference.

 

I loved the people. Central Florida has a lot of transplants and I personally find places like that great to live. There’s something friendly about it.

 

Homeschooling there is awesome. Just so many opportunities.

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Ugh. I hate Merritt Island traffic. Living in Orlando you'll probably laugh at my use of the word traffic in relation to MI but the thing is, it has none of the good stuff that a city with traffic has, but all of the annoying traffic tie-ups. There are beautiful areas of Merritt Island, but at some point you still have to get on the roads and shop or go other places.

 

HAAAAAA!!!!!!  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

Yeah, I'm laughing. Merritt Island has some slow downs, but heck you never are driving more than a few miles anyway, lol. It doesn't ahve traffic.

 

More to the point, cars going slow is preferable to cars trying to kill you.

 

I'm from Palm Beach area, where snowbirds drive 20 miles an hour on the highway half the year. I miss that kind of traffic. Orlando traffic means taking your life in your hands every time you leave the house. People have never heard of road rules, and now I-4 has been messed with so much there are areas without any lane lines, so people just kind of guess. 

 

But yeah, the barrier islands over there ,or melbourne even, would be better than Orlando. Man I hate Orlando. I actually live in an outlying suburb to the west, where people are somewhat red neck or I wouldn't survive. I drive past a house with horses and chickens every day and that helps.

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Okay, so I now live in florida. 5.5years. I did not want to move here. I always told dh- I’ll move anywhere so long as no heat, humidity, or bugs. Ha ha.

 

The big vacation we took before moving here was 3 weeks skiing. I love snow, love the mountains, grew up with 4 seasons in PA. I’m not a huge beach or heat person. But I do love Florida now and can’t picture moving back to the cold. There is something so awesome about just knowing what to wear each days- the shorts and tees, or a comfy dress. No bundling up, chipping ice off cars, gloomy weather... the sunshine is wonderful. It’s easy. We have a pool. A wonderful screened in lanai. 13 big shady oak trees, and a nice tree lined street. Walking distance to library, parks, gym, and a golf course. And ac of course :).

 

However, we live in Pinellas and only 5 miles from the beach. We get a nice breeze. I think the hot weather here is much more doable than when we lived in DC because it gets cooler at night here with the breeze. And the mosquitos are less.

 

But Lakeland? I don’t know. I don’t think I’d like living inland Florida. It seems like there is no relief from the heat, and it’s not as pretty imo. So Florida, yes. Lakeland, probably not.

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Y’all are making me want to move there... and I’m super close already. Every time one of you mentions the word, ‘beach’, my heart beats a little faster. My parents have a home on amelia island, which is great and pretty close to us. But my word, it is getting crazy-busy there! Mexico Beach, Port St Joe, Appalachicola... now that is the perfect speed for me.

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Not trying to hijack.... is there a beachtown on the gulf side, but further down south, that reminds y’all of Mexico beach or port st Joe? Something small and quiet?

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Why is Florida the state you either love or hate?

 

I had one set of grandparents that lasted 2 years before leaving. The other set moved there and never left. My parents hated Florida, I love it.

 

It was on my short list of places to move to and my kids said they wouldn't move with me 😄

 

I love the beach, palm trees make me happy and I love early bird specials.

 

I've been in love with Publix since I was a little kid.

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Mexico Beach, Port St Joe, Appalachicola... now that is the perfect speed for me.

Us too! And fortunately it’s right about where we liveðŸ‘🻠And if we want a little more hustle, we can drive to Panama City or Tallahassee. We really like the panhandle!

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Us too! And fortunately it’s right about where we liveðŸ‘🻠And if we want a little more hustle, we can drive to Panama City or Tallahassee. We really like the panhandle!

I’m jealous!!! We were last there in September and stayed on cape San blas. Dh and I are planning to go back in March or April and stay in Mexico beach.

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So the consensus is, lots of people LOVE Florida. No one seems to love Lakeland :)

Lol...I was in a smaller (4000ish) town close to there, so Lakeland was huge to me. I just liked my bubble of a small town. It is very much small town, country, in a city there. Not bad, just may be tough to assimilate. Now if you don’t mind the first question you get being “what church do ya’ll go to....you might could check ours outâ€, then my little town there might be right up your alley. 😉

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Wow....I didn't know so many of you lived in the Tampa/Clearwater/St Petersburg area. My girls have bio siblings that live in that area. We have been to visit twice and loved it...granted it was April and Dec when we visited.

 

If/when we get there again maybe we can have a low key meet up somewhere.

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Yeah, Florida has it's wonders, but they aren't in Central Florida, for the most part. I am a native Floridian and love this state for many reasons, but I hate Orlando with a passion. Hate it. 

 

I might actually like Lakeland more, come to think of it....less traffic I'm sure. 

 

Now, Merritt Island where my parents live, or Palm Beach County where I grew up, or Neptune Beach or even tallahassee....I'd love living there. 

 

But Orlando, bleh. 

I grew up in Orlando and I feel the same way about it now.   I would strongly prefer never to live there again.

 

Tampa has its downsides, but I really love it here.

 

Y’all are making me want to move there... and I’m super close already. Every time one of you mentions the word, ‘beach’, my heart beats a little faster. My parents have a home on amelia island, which is great and pretty close to us. But my word, it is getting crazy-busy there! Mexico Beach, Port St Joe, Appalachicola... now that is the perfect speed for me.

 

All of those are on our list of places we'd love to retire.   DH would actually like to retire and buy a trailer in the Keys, but I'd like something a little more sturdy and a bit less hurricane-prone.  

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Another great reason...it was 85 today and we took dd's boat towable that she got for out on the lake for the afternoon.  Everyone that went had a great time and we played for several hours.  It is Feb. how can that be?  It was the first time having it out of the box.

Edited by Mama Geek
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Wow....I didn't know so many of you lived in the Tampa/Clearwater/St Petersburg area. My girls have bio siblings that live in that area. We have been to visit twice and loved it...granted it was April and Dec when we visited.

 

If/when we get there again maybe we can have a low key meet up somewhere.

a WTM meetup on the beach ðŸ–. 😀

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So the consensus is, lots of people LOVE Florida. No one seems to love Lakeland :)

 

The in-laws who live there are mixed on their feelings. BIL blooms where he's planted and is perfectly happy in Lakeland. SIL hates it and would love to move away. All the kids are married with kids. One lives there but she moved back to be near her parents after a nasty divorce. It wouldn't have been her first choice of where to live but that's where she needs to be. The other two live in Longwood and Gainesville and both consider Lakeland a nice place to be from. They would not ever want to move back. 

 

Another great reason...it was 85 today and we took dd's boat towable that she got for out on the lake for the afternoon.  Everyone that went had a great time and we played for several hours.  It is Feb. how can that be?  It was the first time having it out of the box.

 

On the other hand...it was 85 (ish) today and I was canvassing to help get some political candidates on the ballot. We kept going back to the car, cranking up the a/c and drinking our water to cool off before we went back out in the sun. February isn't normally this hot. Fortunately the humidity was low, so when we were in the shade and the breeze blew, it was beautiful. 

 

Still, I wouldn't trade today's weather or even our hottest, most humid summer days for a colder climate.

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Lakeland is my hometown, but I moved away when I was 17. Dh recently retired, and we just did a MAJOR downsize and (hopefully) permanently moved to our condo south of Clearwater. I can't stand to be cold, and we wanted to live in a state that had no state income tax.

 

I have fond memories of growing up in Lakeland and still have friends there. 

 

Depending on your age it's very possible you know our nephew or one of our nieces.

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Another great reason...it was 85 today and we took dd's boat towable that she got for out on the lake for the afternoon.  Everyone that went had a great time and we played for several hours.  It is Feb. how can that be?  It was the first time having it out of the box.

 

Yeah, but I was out yesterday helping my son try to fix a problem with the filter in a friend's backyard pond, and we were both sweaty and miserable after a couple of hours. His girlfriend got queasy sitting in the sun and had to go recuperate by sitting in my car with the engine and A/C running. 

 

In February.

 

I'm already dreading summer. 

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