A few years back, while searching out possible retirement locations, my wife (bless her heart) and I were considering Tallahassee, Florida. Not anymore.
Florida, the often selected retirement destination for northerners who woke up one day from a Winter slumber and realized, “Hey – snow, ice, heating bills and fast paced talking is optional,” was never high on my list of retirement destinations. I’ve enjoyed visiting the glass bottom boats, reptiles shows, Flipper aquariums and sipping “all the orange juice you can drink for a dime,” but always felt that Florida was – well, not really the South. Let’s face it, you can throw a case of darts in Miami and the closest thing to a Southern you’ll hit is a South American. Don’t get me wrong, I like diversity, but I prefer the slow drawl and sweet tea of a Southern lifestyle.
Enter my wife. Although she’s not a Southerner, she married me and that makes her – well, smart and acceptable. She also grew up (read 'went through adolescence') in Florida (read 'Fort Lauderdale') and to college at Florida State University – which is in Tallahassee – which isn’t really in Florida even though it is the capital of the state. Tallahassee is located in the Florida panhandle and is very close to Georgia and Alabama. My wife suggested that it was a possible retirement location, in Florida, in the South. Today’s Sunday Coffee Cup is a souvenir of our Tallahassee considerations.
Here is what I learned about Tallahassee:
1. It is a great city with lots to do – including worshiping regularly at the Florida State University shrine of Bobby Bowden.
2. Once you leave the city – there is really nothing else. Pine and palm forests, humidity you can bath in, heat that only makes you sweat more, an abundance of biting and stinging insects and pencil thin ‘beaches’ and ocean that looks like the froth of a day old latté.
3. Hiking consists of walking across level ground for miles, dodging spider webs and large spiders between pine trees.
4. The tea isn’t sweet enough.
5. You can’t get anywhere from Tallahassee. You have to go somewhere else first (read off the beaten track).
6. There are some very nice people who live there.
So, I don’t think we will be moving to Tallahassee for retirement. You know the old saying “It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Well, the latter is true.
Go Seminoles! Heh.