We had a dream…to move to Florida and be able to hit the Disney parks any time we felt like it. We were giddy to never have to shovel snow again, but with pros do come some cons- just a part of life. I like to be a positive force in many of your lives, but I also like to keep things grounded and real. I thought I would let you in on my personal pros and cons on moving here to FL and how I am dealing with them- enjoy!
It is impossible to not compare WI to FL- trust me, I have tried. Everything I have ever known is still inside my head, so whenever I come across anything I was used to, the comparison just pops out. School has been a big one and I am trying to focus on the pros. Emily’s school is beautiful, and the walk every morning from the car is gorgeous. It’s our little time every day to be together before life gets a hold of us, so I do really treasure and enjoy that. In WI I dropped her off, so even though its not ideal to be with her so much as an older student, I believe she needs me right now and I am there for her no matter what. The cons of school is that it has so many kids, so the attention for kids with Emily’s needs and personality is quite limited. But with Middle School anywhere, it is a bit chaotic for kids to learn how to get from class to class on their own anyways, so new school plus middle school equals grey hair for Mom. I wish school was a bit closer to home, we are about 10 minutes out from it- but thanks to emergency contacts living closer to school than we do, I feel a bit better we have a back-up plan.
The pro for Kyra having her Senior year in FL was that she had the access to several FL Colleges she is interested in, within miles reach. Being in WI and having FL College interests would have been costly to fly back and forth to check out, so that was a big reason we all decided on her Senior year here. The con is the obvious, it is her Senior year. This is the year you feel you are on top of the school and the world, and that real life is a year away from happening. After Kyra’s first day here, I came home and cried. All I kept thinking is “What did I do? It would have been so much easier to let her finish out in WI and then come.” We have other personal reasons why we wanted her to finish out in FL as well that we are not sharing, but I know that God wants us here for some reason, or we wouldn’t be here. I am trying to find peace in the school situations and I want both girls happy.
The obvious pros to living here are being able to head to WDW anytime I feel like it. Living 5 minutes away, we hear Wishes and Illuminations from our home every night. Walking into the Poly, shopping in the Magic Kingdom, or having ice cream at Beaches n Cream is exhilarating and very enjoyable. We have options galore on what to do every single weekend, with nothing being the same thing twice. If we go to Epcot one day, it may be a different ride or show than days before. With school in session now, kids and Craig are both busy during the day, so I have found that I like to get into the Parks after taking Emmy to school and get out by lunch time to get home and eat and relax before picking up the kids from school. I don’t mind hanging out at home all day, but it is Craig’s work space, so I try to give him his room to concentrate and breathe while the kids and I are gone. Along with being close to WDW, we are also close to Sea World, Universal, and 20 minutes from a major Airport. Before it would take us over an hour to get to Milwaukee’s Airport, even though we had a small regional one in Appleton. MCO being a huge Airport that has flights to and from around the world is great for those visiting us, and for us to travel out when the time comes.
The Con of living close to Walt Disney World is living with all the tourists. Our neighborhood has several vacation homes, which we keep an eye on so we know who is coming and going in our area. The homes don’t bother us, but the traffic and store congestion due to the tourists takes some getting used to. We have been told it tapers off after Labor Day, so we are holding on waiting for the less crowds everywhere. The only traffic I ever really had to deal with in WI was either on College Avenue area during Christmas time, or the Milwaukee area on the way to events there or in IL. Dealing with it on a daily basis gets old, so we have found side streets and such to get around it- one for the pro list!
Meeting new and old friends since we have gotten here is definitely a pro! I have had so much fun getting to meet readers of our blog, Disney fans, and old friends from past trips. Nothing is more fun than making a new friend in a Disney park and sharing our experiences over a meal or ride. It warms my heart to see someone excited to meet me and want to know how we moved here- I have always said that if we help one person move to FL, then the blog has totally been worth it.
The cons on the subject of people would have to be missing my loved ones I left behind. You can’t replace people, you CAN meet new people, but the imprint that those in the past have left can be quite strong. Many days I have wished I could still see Mom for lunch, Kelly for a crochet day, and Angie for an Arbys night. I love those who I have met here, but no one I have met here as come close to the friendships I had in WI. It will take time, patience, and effort to ever have those again, and I am being honest, I don’t think anyone can come close to Kelly or Angie. For that, I can get can quite depressed sometimes. It takes a real friend to be trustworthy and know that you can confide in them about anything and know they hold that close to their hearts, and not loose on their lips. To have a friend you have to be a friend, and I am being the best friend I can to those around me here. But, I have days where I don’t feel it does any good and I still feel alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living here, but I am still adjusting. It will take me a year or more to really feel like this is home. I still refer to WI as home which I know isn’t true anymore, but it’s habit. I can’t stress enough how prepared mentally you have to be when you relocate here. Not only do you have new jobs to worry about, but kids in new schools, living in a new neighborhood, shopping in a new grocery store, and worshipping among believers that are still strangers. You have to be strong and hopeful or it will all crash down around you- trust me, ask anyone who has moved here. Don’t let the rawness of my honesty about it scare you, it’s just how I personally feel right now.
I have had days that I think “It would have been so much easier to just stay in WI” but then I am on a ride with my kids, or holding Craig’s hand walking around Epcot, and I feel I am where I am supposed to be. I think I get bothered by some who can’t believe I would have apprehensions when this was our dream, what WE wanted. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but dreams don’t come wrapped up in pretty bows. You have to work at them, and when they are realized, sometimes you have to deal with the uglies that come along for the ride. It has been an incredible experience so far, and I do look forward to what God has in store for us. I’m human and I will keep moving forward.