It’s been a long cold winter and you’re thinking of packing it in and moving to Florida. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Here are a few tips. Things to consider. Things to know. Things to do. And things to not do.
1 – Don’t feed the alligators. Seriously.
2 – It’s hot here. Don’t leave your pets (or your kids or your grandma) in the car.
3 – Each area is unique. Uncle Bernie’s Fort Myers is nothing like cousin Sally’s Ocala. Two different worlds. Visit before you decide.
3 – The shiny new houses are tempting. Consider a rescue. At least think about it.
4 – Get the one with a guest room. You’ll need it.
5 – You’ll miss the cold, eventually, and the process of warming up. Consider a fireplace. You’ll enjoy it when temps drop below 60.
6 – That beautiful green lawn requires lots of maintenance, chemicals and water. Just sayin.
7 – Don’t worry about setting aside an entire day for the DMV. You’ll be in and out in under an hour. For real!
8 – Old people live here. They drive. Allow a few extra minutes to get where you’re going and lay off the freakin horn.
9 – It’s not true about the pizza. There’s no shortage of Tonys down here and we have pizza. Good pizza.
10- Hard buttered rolls are another story. That’s a New York thing. We don’t have em. Try not to act like a big baby about it.
11- Hash browns are different here and that’s okay. Try the grits. They’re good.
12-When you’re new, people invite you to their church. It’s what they do. They’re just being hospitable. Thank them graciously. Go if you want to. Or don’t. The end.
13-Tourists are a good thing. They drive the economy. Be a nice Floridian. Offer to take a group photo, help with directions and steer them toward the little known but great hole in the wall.
14-Prepare to be homesick. That’s part of the deal. Budget in some airfare. You’ll need it.
15-We’ve got lots of yankees. It’s comforting. Still, it’s the south. The southerners were here first. Don’t be a jerk. (As a native New Yorker, I know how we can be)