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The Wrong Impression

A recent comment sparked a thought in my head recently that startled me- was I giving the wrong impression of living in FL? I didn’t think I was, but after a couple of comments left, it got me thinking about it.  I thought I would clear the air on some things, since giving the wrong impression is not what I am about- enjoy!

First off, I love living in FL. Just because I vent occasionally doesn’t mean I don’t like living here. This is so new to all of us, that every day we are learning something and driving somewhere different. It is VERY intimidating to do that so much, but that is how you learn about your surroundings. I spoke of living near a tourist area, and yes, that is correct. What I am not getting across to you, our readers, is that I live NEAR a tourist area, and not IN it.  Our neighborhood has about 400+ homes, beautiful sidewalks and palm trees, and is sort of “in the country” and away from the business of town.  My street is very quiet, especially during the week days, so I wouldn’t know I live near a touristy area until I hit 192.

We have the home town feeling of the neighborhood, but the rides out to the grocery store and such is where the tourist area is. Since I only food shop once a week, it’s not that big of a deal, but I have been finding other options that are a lot more peaceful and out of the tourist trap.  I have been asked “Didn’t we know about the tourist area before moving here?” The answer is, no. You see highways on a map when looking to move somewhere, not how busy the traffic is, etc. The WHOLE POINT to our blog is to give you a personal touch and experience on how relocating to FL REALLY is.

We live in the Kissimmee area that is closest to Celebration and WDW. Kissimmee itself is not the safest, and the schools aren’t the best either. I sometimes want to tell people my address is Celebration because it might as well be. Our area is very safe and because we are away from town, we avoid a lot of the crime as well.  Besides the hotel fire this past summer, we don’t hear a lot on the news about our end of 192, which helps me feel better when I need to shop on it for something.

I also want to reiterate the fact of WHY we moved here in the first place- to enjoy the warm weather and WDW anytime we choose. I cannot tell you how cool it is to be able to make plans with so many friends and meet up in my favorite place on the planet.  It’s almost odd how much I haven’t been to the Movies anymore, or barely walk a Mall because I have WDW to walk and play in now.  The small things I miss about WI have been replaced with rides on Spaceship Earth and Test Track.  One of my favorite things to do this past summer was to sit on the cobblestone in front of the Castle and watch the Memories show with my family and friends- just staring at that Castle in the warm night is by far the coolest experience I have had.  We do run to the Parks after Craig’s done with work, I do run to the Parks after dropping the kids off at school, and I do enjoy the breaks from them as well.

I also love the smaller things about Walt Disney World that I enjoy all to myself. I love heading into Animal Kingdom in the morning and grabbing a ride on the Safari- watching the animals and listening to those who have never been on it is so awesome. Munching on an egg roll while watching people scream on Everest is one of my favorite treats!  Grabbing a free soda at Club Cool in Epcot is refreshing, especially taking it outside and watching the Fountain of Nations. I like to buy a 10 cent caramel in Germany and see how long I can suck on it as I walk the World Showcase. In the Magic Kingdom, I like to literally putz along Main Street while I enjoying a cold Coca-Cola.  I enjoy walking into the Polynesian Resort and just hearing the waterfalls and seeing all the visitors on vacation. It’s those small Disney moments that I love the most, and am blessed to enjoy often.

If you want to live near something that you love, you have to take the pros with the cons. Nothing is perfect, and those things that aren’t, you have to learn to go with the flow and work with what you have. I love our home and our neighborhood, but like I said, shopping is a bit nuts. So I looked for other places that were more “out of the way” and was pleasantly surprised to find them. I can rent at a redbox, grab morning donuts, get gas, order pictures, pick up my prescription, grocery shop, grab Chinese, and a shake at McDonalds conveniently in an area behind our neighborhood. You have to figure out what you love to do on a daily basis, so that when you DO move here, you know that you can continue to do what you love- PLUS-adding the magic that is WDW.

One thing I want to touch on before I leave you today is that I feel I have given you the wrong impression on where to live in FL- or maybe zero impression at all. Here is the thing, you won’t know where you want to live until you get here. You can research until the cows come home, but the cold hard fact is that you can find something that “sounds” good, but you have to live it for at least a year to truly understand if it is for you or not.  Find what looks acceptable, talk to the Chamber of Commerce, research, and then hold on tight. We feel we will stay here for awhile, but give yourself the first step in finding something and then looking for a permanent solution to your residence after living here.  Know your price range, whether you want to rent or buy, and take plenty of time to make your decision.  Trust me, once you get here, it gets easier on finding what you truly had in mind in the first place.

I hope this cleared some things up, and please, feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I appreciate each and every one and do my best to answer them. God bless your day!

14 Comments »

  1. Great post! I love reading your blog, the ups AND the downs. That’s a part of life, even at WDW. It is nice to get a realistic view and I don’t at all get the impression you hate it or anything- i just get the impression you are having a great time, enjoying life and adjusting to a new lifestyle, which can bring about its own pains and challenges, even amid the magic. You may live near the magic, but real life still goes on, school, work, traffic etc. So it’s nice to hear it all, good and bad, no sugar coating. 🙂 Thanks for sharing so much with us. The semester i lived at WDW for the WDWCP was awesome and I often regret I didn’t do more while I was there. Being able to just grab a coke and sit on main street and people watch sounds heavenly (without having to rush because you know you only have so many days here on vacation!)

    🙂

  2. Another excellent, honest blog post.

    I especially enjoyed you describing your simple delights at Walt Disney World. Slowing down is the perfect thing to do there. Just sitting back and taking it all in…. Nice!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  3. Personally, I appreciate your honesty about the move. Nothing is perfect 100% of the time and it is great that you are putting the trials and tribulations out there along with the happiness and joy so that others can learn from you. I sure know I appreciate it and it will be helpful when my time to move finally comes. Thank you, Amy!

  4. Again, thanks for your honesty, Amy! I’ve heard from so many that it is imperative to rent before buying because the Central FL area changes so rapidly.

    If I could recommend a few great sources of info to other readers of your blog: THE ORLANDO SENTINEL & THE LEDGER newspapers have real-life/real-time coverage of the area. Certain sections are neighborhood or county-specific. Both complete newspapers can be accessed on-line FOR FREE daily. As in all newspapers, coverage includes neighborhoods to jobs to politics to crime to traffic/commuting to schools to real estate to DISNEY, etc…

    Another great source is city-data.com/forum/Orlando. This is a FREE forum for discussions about the area.

    Of course, as your blog has shown us, there is A LOT of REAL-LIFE to deal with no matter where we live. Up here in the north-east, I depend upon YOU & these sources. Sometimes, there is negativity in all the sources I’ve mentioned. But these sources are helpful if someone wants to be more informed.

    Hope the school week is going well? Thinking of you & your lovely family.

  5. Well, Maureen summed it up well, so ditto to what she said.
    Responsible decisions are made with research using reliable information and knowing what is best for yourself and/or your family. Your blog is immensely helpful and we must have the truth good, bad and ugly, to make good decisions about anything! Keep on keeping on and blessing to you and your family!

  6. Amy,
    I think that your blogs are very imformative. Most people should know that living near an area like WDW has to have its share of bad spots. They should also understand the consequences. I think you do very well and I always look forward to reading your comments on your move. Having moved to Florida before I know the ups and downs. I also had a neighbor who moved down to Florida a few years ago but hated it. The kids did not like the schools and they moved back.

    You said you have to take the good with the bad and you are right. I also had a friend move to Hawaii and although the cost of living was high they still loved being there because it is what they loved.

    It is kinda like a marriage, you have to take the good with the bad for it is not always peaches and cream but you make the best of it because you love that person. God gave you the chance to be near something you love. It seems like you are doing pretty well and for the most part very happy, it is what you make of it. I wish you the best, keep up the good work many of us look forward to reading your blogs. There is a saying I might have said before but it goes, If God brings you to it he will lead you through it.

  7. Wow! Great post!!! I just had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday about our plans to move to FL this spring. She asked me where I planned to settle. I told her that we planned to rent a place in the Orlando area (which, as you know, could mean so many places!) and then spend the length of our lease figuring out the lay of the land before finding a place to settle for a longer time.

  8. A Great Post and a Great Website! I have never thought that you were trying to tell people not to move closer to the Mouse. You always give the “real” parts of relocating to Florida. I would rather know it all than just the good stuff. Because if/when we move down, We’ll know what to expect. THANKS, keep up the great work!

  9. Amy,

    You are doing a GREAT job with the blog and giving your honest opinions!! If people can’t respect that, well, that’s too bad.

    It’s like living anywhere actually, you have your good and your bad and what you dont mind dealing with and what you cant stand!!

    As always, GREAT blog sweetie, and I can’t wait to start planning my move in a few years!!

    Love and hugs!! xox

  10. Good blog. There are so many variables when moving long distance you don’t know exactly what you are getting until you get there. As much as I do enjoy going to the theme parks from time to time the summer crowds are a bit much.

    As far as living near a tourist area you have to take the good with the bad when living so close to Disney. Now as far as schools you’ll find some good schools and bad schools in all counties in Florida.

  11. well let me say I never got the impression that you were not being misleading. I have enjoyed every post you have placed on the blog. I feel like you have opened my heart and listen to it beat to the sounds of disney.

  12. I couldn’t agree with you more when you stated how important it is to rent before buying a home in FL. We moved from Mi. to Jax. FL. this last March…..wow!! What an adventure it has been to say the least. I love living here in FL. yet miss a few things from home too:( We lived in a hotel for a few days before we settled on our condo….keep in mind we have 2 cats, 2 dogs, myself, hubby, and a 10 year old son with Down Syndrome. As hectic and insane the first few months were we wouldn’t trade it for nothing!

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