Thursday, June 4, 2009

Retiring From Florida

When my husband and I retired and left Florida, we selected half a dozen cities to visit across the United States before making a final decision. We knew we wanted to live in a college town, and preferred a population of 100,000 to 125,000. After eleven years in South Florida, we also wanted interesting terrain and less humidity.

Because of my childhood love for cowboy movies and Zane Grey western novels, I had my eye on Laramie, Wyoming. The reality of Wyoming, however, is its wind, its fierce winters, and its altitude. My husband convinced me we'd best enjoy Wyoming's beauty during occasional summer visits.

This time of year, wildflowers burst into bloom in the western states. This photo was taken a few years ago in Wyoming not far north of the Colorado border.

Wyoming can be green and lush or dry and brown. When the rains do come, the colors are spectacular. This photo was taken near Hole in the Wall while we were on a driving trip that went from Colorado to South Dakota and then down through Wyoming.

But enough about Wyoming, as beautiful as it is. We've now lived in Northern Colorado for eleven years and still haven't seen everything it has to offer. But Rocky Mountain National Park is only forty-five minutes away, so we've taken that drive many times.

Most people laugh when they hear we moved away from Florida when we retired. But we grew up in Illinois and I had also spent quite a few years in Indiana. Change of seasons feels right. We especially enjoy fall and winter, even when it snows. And now that it's June, I'm ready to take the new camera (which I'm confident will never give me a blurry photo) into the hills and search for wildflowers.

Permission must be obtained from Patricia Stoltey before copying or using these photographs.


Terry Odell said...

Well, I for one, hear you. We followed my husband's job(s) to Florida, both Miami and Orlando. He's facing imminent retirement and we can't wait to get out of here. Colorado is at the top of our potential relocation sites.

But first, we have to sell our house. That's created some major lifestyle upheavals.

Anonymous said...

Wow, beautiful photos!

My parents are doing the same thing right now -- Looking for a college town, but one on the East Coast. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

Karen Walker said...

My parents moved from NYC to Florida when they retired in 1974. I vowed never to do the same. Living now in Albuquerque, NM, I can't really imagine living anywhere else, but I'm a gypsy at heart, so who knows. Glad you are happy in Colorado - it's beautiful.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I enjoyed the photos. I've only been in Florida six years but I can't imagine living anywhere else simply because I find it's so convenient to only need one wardrobe that I can wear year round! But, I have moved around all my life, so who knows...

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Galen Kindley said...

This is familiar. My wife and I did a comprehensive, country-wide search using specific criteria. We could have picked, literally, anywhere to live. We narrowed our choices to Colorado Springs and Albuquerque. We settled on the latter. No where is perfect, but so far, the area has met or surpassed our expectations. It’s very, very nice here. (The strong afternoon wind is a surprise. I’m told, however, it’s limited to the spring) Life is good. Now, if our Seattle house would sell…again.

Best Regards, Galen.

Helen Ginger said...

I love both Colorado and Wyoming - the red rock of Wyoming is really something to look at. Such a brilliant red.

How do you like the winters? Both states can get really cold.


N A Sharpe said...

First...LOVE the pictures. They are gorgeous!! Florida to Colorado - bold move my friend! You chose to leave the flat terrain for mountains and ridiculous humidity for a slice of heaven. Can't say that I blame you. But don't you miss our wonderful hurricane season (pouring liquid sunshine and thundering as I type) our wonderful state bird: the mosquito? How about the irrepressible love bugs...hey wait...want some company?!

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Patricia Stoltey said...

Nancy, I do occasionally miss walking by the ocean, which is why I'm thinking real hard about attending the mystery convention Sleuthfest in Florida early next year. I don't miss hurricanes, though, and I especially don't miss Palmetto Bugs (Florida euphemism for giant cockroaches).

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alexis -- anywhere on the east coast is off my list of good places to live because of the hurricanes.

Karen and Galen -- I visited Albuquerque once and liked it a lot. Someday I want to go to the balloon festival.

Helen -- I don't mind the winter cold now, but maybe that's because I'm retired and can choose to stay inside if I want. Back in my working days in Illinois and Indiana, winters were worse than they are here, and I had to go out. Not so much fun then.