We just moved to Naples, FL from San Francisco, CA. Culture shock, to say the least.
I thought I'd put some words to this move and explain our decision. This blog does have the word diary in its title after all.
My G introduced his idea to move to FL Thanksgiving of 2014. He had a list of good reasons because he is my G. Logical, well-thought, strategic.
I wasn't ready to listen though because first I was heartbroken about leaving SF. I was heartbroken through Christmas and sunny, beautiful January and February. My heartbreak let up a bit by March because it was my birthday month. But I wasn't able to actually discuss this idea with G until April. And I wasn't able to discuss it with my dear ones until June. I just didn't want to say it out loud because it really would be a plan. It would be real.
SF and I were like peas and carrots. Organic, farm raised peas and carrots. I had always wanted to try being a city girl and I took to it right away. I loved living in a high rise with a 24-hour concierge desk. I loved not having a car and walking everywhere. I loved being by the bay. I loved the weather...hardly reaching 70 most of the time. Jeans, a blouse, a cardigan and good walking shoes being my daily wardrobe. I loved volunteering at the farm market on Saturdays at the world famous Ferry Building. I loved having Napa and Sonoma practically in my backyard. I loved discovering that SF was a coffee city and I was highly caffeinated throughout my stay. Needless to say, I loved the food scene in SF. Three words: to die for.
I loved walking into a yarn store my first month in the city and ultimately finding some lifelong friends. Clementine, Rachel, and Emily, you rule and I love you.
The headline news was that I finally found some help and guidance for my anxiety and depression issues that weren't diagnosed until I was in my late 30's. My time in SF was all about me learning how to cope, learning how to forgive, learning how to mourn, learning how to breathe. Learning how to be myself again, but a newer, and hopefully better, version.
So back to G's proposed plan for moving to FL. I'm going to use bullet points because that's what he would do.
- Mom's health and parents that routinely spend time in FL
- Cost of living
- Relaxing environment
My mom's health took a nose dive the summer of 2014. The poor thing has had a few surgeries and procedures, major fixes, minor setbacks, you name it. Through it all, she has been a champ. She and my stepdad have been wintering in FL for years now. Spending time together here in FL will be much easier than being all the way on the West Coast. G has family here in FL and his parents have all started to spend time down here on the Gulf Coast as well.
Our SF lease was up this month. The leasing company wanted to raise our rent 23%. That's when G's plan went into high gear. He had had enough. We lived in an 875 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment. We had no cars. And SF still priced us out.
Living in SF was a dream come true. But we have more dreams. Moving here to FL allows us to save money and travel again. Our tenth anniversary is around the corner and France might be a doable option with more money in the bank and flights across the pond instead of across the US and then the pond.
Finally, G found out he is not a city guy. The food scene, the coffee scene, the wine scene, yes. The noise, the pollution, the crowds, the public transportation...not his bag. Whenever G came to visit family in FL, he loved it here. He loved the pace, the vacation vibe, the beach and water nearby. The quiet. He loved the simplicity of being here.
So here we are. In Florida. With room for guests, a screened-in lanai, and air conditioning.
G has taken to this like I took to SF. Now it's my turn to try and get used to this new reality.