• Amanda René Marchesello

WTF-What the Florida!

Updated: Sep 1

Florida stole my heart from the time I was a kid and we vacationed at Sanibel Island. As a Michigander, the snow bird life was the only life. Summers at the Great Lakes and frigid winters in sunny south Florida.

I was California dreamin for about 11 years before I found my need for a Florida home. The warm water and pristine beaches just felt like vacation. Even going down to the beach for a few hours had me totally relaxed and de-stressed.

But you live in California, what else could you possibly want? They asked. A babysitter. Family birthday parties. Quality time with the people who mean the most. But not bad enough to freeze our behinds off in Michigan. Everyone has their limits.

So Florida seemed like the only other option. My family was there half the year and my husband's family was 75% already there year round. Now, polite disclaimer and this is not an ad. If I had it my way, I'd like right next door to my mother. She's incredibly helpful and I just like her around. However, I also like my mother in law and she's also very helpful and kind. Bonus, my daughter LOVES her and additional bonus, she's retired. Score and score.

So after 4 months of parenting alone, we decided. We need a big family home set up for guests and we need it on the east coast. But we had the entire state to search through. Miami was fun, but too fun. Naples was extremely nice, but not really big enough for us. Tampa was too....sketch. It's my blog and I'll be honest if i want to. But Sarasota, home of the US #1 beach Siesta Key, was just right. Oddly enough it was the very first beach my feet ever touched at 18 months old visiting my paternal Grandparents. It's big but has a small town feel, everyone knows whos who but there are always more people to meet. It boasts crystal clear waters and beaches having me flashing back to exotic vacations in Tulum and the Caribbean. It has a downtown and suburbia. Bridges and boats galore and it was consistent, meaning it was all pretty darn nice. It has an airport. It has a large base of families, an aquarium, a big cat habitat for you Tiger King fans and a luxury mall. It even has that large statue of the navy soldier kissing the nurse from world war...I'll need to look that up, just like downtown San Diego.

First Floridian lesson; you have to play tennis or golf. The outfits are about the same, but I myself prefer tennis as seen here. Florida is all about the country clubs. It's a social spot. You see, much of Florida is like a jungle. That's a technical term. So amenities that offer shade, chilled refreshments and groomed landscaping are a must to really enjoy the outdoors. Did I say it's hot? It's hot. So just randomly walking around the jungle really isn't an option.

To be honest I knew a few things about the life I was signing up for. I knew we'd save a bunch of money on taxes because there are no state income tax in Florida. So it was like giving ourselves a raise. Pretty cool. I knew I'd be closer to family and that would make a huge difference in my daughters life and mine. I knew my hubby would be happy because he likes to be right and had been preaching Florida for years.

But what I really didn't know if that I would feel calm and peaceful. There is something about Florida that I can only describe as VACATION. California had ocean views even from my grocery store and it made me feel prestigious. But it is a very different feeling from vacation. I go to the beach here and actually get IN the water because it so warm. It's not just that though, it's a vibe. It's laid back luxury. It's comfortable here. It's like they thought of everything. I mean the amenties in the sunshine state! We have a boathouse with water taxis to the downtown. We have a gym and by gym I mean live classes on demand, top of the line spin bikes and all with water views. In Naples they pick you up in a golf cart and drive you the very short distance to the beach where they put lounge chairs out for you. It's truly resort living but every day. I can't get enough.

Florida Myths: It's all old people. Truth: See "Siesta Key" Show in MTV (clip shown below)

Myth #2-It's cheap. Truth-President Trump lives here.

A word about the real estate. Its NEW NEW NEW. Not your Grandma's house, you know? These homes are NICE. Again, comfortable. See our neighborhood here:

Making a move from west coast to east coast is a huge move. Many similarities but many differences too. Luckily, for me, the shoe ( or sandal ) fit. It's clean, green and LUSH. It's Florida and WTF, I'm a Floridian!

Until Next Time, May all your vacations be in Florida!




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