This is what Florida is all about
I’ve been working a lot hours lately and have lost sight of why I came to Florida in the first place. I rediscovered it a little bit this weekend and I’d like to share it with you.
First of let me tell you this, no matter what the studies tell you about why people retire to a certain location (like Florida or Arizona), and no matter how beautiful our weather, beaches and golf courses are, it’s all about PEOPLE. Retirees go to where there are people they know. For a summary of why people choose a certain retirement location CLICK HERE. You may be surprised at the list of criteria.
Anyway, I moved here not to retire, but to have closer contact with my family and to be closer to the South America Market that I was traveling to on a monthly basis. By the time I moved here I had Parents, Aunts and Uncles, and my brother living here.
A few years prior to my move here I held a sales meeting out on South Seas Plantation. I came a few days early to set up the meeting room, buy the booze for the hospitality suite and have some down time. I had not announced my arrival to my family and I remember driving to my brother Bill’s house when he lived in San Carlos Park, hoping to catch him home.
I was not disappointed for as I pulled up into his driveway I noticed his pickup truck was backed in with the tail gate down. Bill was sitting on an overturned joint compound bucket and next to him sat a cooler. He was using the tailgate as a table. As I shut my door, he put a an oyster up to his mouth and noisily slurped it down, following the oyster with a long sip from a cold beer he pulled from the ice.
“Gregg,” he smiled, “Florida is like this down here every day.”
People pay big money to visit and see and do things that I have come to take for granted (like eating fresh oysters and drinking beer in the driveway).
This past Saturday I spent the early morning answering e-mails and went in to the office for a few hours. Gail called at about 10 and said she was thinking about taking her mom for a ride to Boca Grande. Would I like to come? And bring Adi? (one of our Grandsons). Sure!
By Noon we were piled in the car with Mom and Adi in tow. By 2PM Adi and I were on the most gorgeous beach I may ever see, at low tide hunting for sharks teeth and shells. Adi planned ahead and brought a mask and snorkel and so he could dive for collectible shells. I sat in a likely spot halfway in the surf and started depositing sharks teeth in an up turned clam shell. Within ten minutes I had another four kids hunting with me.
They belonged to a tourist family that were staying further down the beach. Their parents were grateful for my sharks teeth tour and we made light conversation while they made sure their kids were safe with this happy old man.
The breeze kept us all cool while it was coming off the crystal clear water. The sand was white and soft like sugar – but with lots of shells.
By four o’clock Adi and I a few dozen sharks teeth and a bag of periwinkles and whelks and other cool looking shells. We had seen dolphins, a tarpon rolling, an iguana on the beach, two turtles, some sea turtle nests and we walked carefully by birds sitting on eggs on the beach.
We then stopped into the Loose Caboose for ice cream before heading home.
By six o’clock we were back home cooking dinner.
Florida is like this down here every day. But sometimes I forget to notice.