24 March, 2008

To Each Their Own

Ah, the beach, the sand, the surf, the food...Each year she talks endlessly about the reasons she hates Virginia and how much Florida is "paradise.  
There are times when I want to pick up my best boxing gloves and defend Virginia.  Granted, the traffic is bad and humidity... well, July and August have unbearable days, but... Virginia is a wonderful state.  (And I am not even a native!)
There are the mountains.  They are not mountains in accordance with western standards, but they are lush mountains with caves and trees and views that are equally as breath taking.  
Water is in abundance for those who enjoy the coast, fishing, boating, or simply sitting on the banks of a body of water pondering life and love.  
Vegetation and wildlife are everywhere in Virginia.  From the monkeys and donkeys (oh yes, and the elephants) that live within the Belt Way to the bear, deer, birds, snakes... to name just a few. 
As for vegetation, Virginia is green.  But it isn't just green, there are loads of different shades of green that are not seen in many other states.  Any flower can grow in Virginia meaning that the spring and early summer are awash with colors - from the vivid to the pastel.
Virginians enjoy proximity to beaches, mountains, farms...a short ride on the metro finds us in the midst of free entertainment, whether it be observing arguments before the Supreme Court, a heated Congressional hearings, any of the numerous museums, or the variety of festivals and events on the Mall.  
And history... one can not go anywhere in Virginia without being bombarded with history.  For a "want to be historian," such as myself, Virginia is a wonderful place to live.  
With all this in mind, there are times when I want to tell my neighbors and friends to stop complaining about the things that they can't change about Virginia and start looking at all the things that they could be enjoying!
But they don't.  Very few take advantage of all that lies just outside their front door preferring to travel to Maryland or to the Outer Banks or to... Florida. 
I get so tired of hearing about Florida that I want to take Florida and tie it in a knot or perhaps sell it to a willing buyer for a good price! (Any takers???)  
But Florida, like Virginia has its attributes just as it has its downfalls.  
For me, Virginia is a wonderful place to live and raise a child.  The abundance of opportunities, exposure to nature and history, and close proximity to domestic and international travel... what more could I want?
But for others, such as my friend, perhaps Virginia is just a temporary location where she lives until the day comes when she can move to Florida.  Maybe she is simply not going to fall in love with her adopted state as I have.  And, just perhaps, she needs to complain about how awful it is to live in Virginia in order to survive this temporary period and tell she moves.  
To each their own. 
Now excuse me, I am going to spend some time enjoying Virginia!


pneumoniaBoy said...

My roommate is from Florida. He likes to bitch-n-moan, bitch-n-moan about Georgia this, Atlanta that and so on and so forth about how much more wonderous FL is. Dude, I didn't twist your arm to come up here. If you hate it so bad, move already and save us all the grief of hearing about it.

It's not like he ever goes outside anyway -- he's always playing video games. :P

Mike said...

Woohoo go Virginia! Doesn't the Diva know that only old people live in Florida. I mean really old people.

KennethSF said...

I like Florida oranges. I'd be willing to put in a bid for Florida ;-)

There's a curious phenomenon with the San Franciscans here. When they meet other San Franciscans, they complain about the city: Oh, how high the rent is, how difficult it is to meet new people here, and how difficult it is to find a parking spot downtown. But when they meet a New Yorker, they brag that they live in the best city in the whole wide world.

SonjaB said...

I live in Florida and trust me, Its not THAT great. In the next few months it will become so unbearably hot and humid you don't want to leave the house. We also have nasty bug that attack in your own home.

I'd love to move to NC if I could.

Michael C said...

I am so glad I decided to reread your post before writing this comment. The first time around, I thought you were writing Virgin. Man, your post reads a lot differently now...

Lad Litter said...

Sounds lovely, the Old Dominion and Mother of Presidents. All of those romantic-sounding place-names too. Which of the four regions are you in: Tidewater; Piedmont; Ridge and Valley; or Appalachian Plateau?

Kat Wilder said...

I've always found that no matter where you go, there you are. If you surround yourself with people you care about, and learn to appreciate the secret beauty and joys of where you live (and each place has them, even Florida and other weird places), you'll always be happy where you are.

And Virginia sounds lovely ...

Jeni said...

You know, all your comments about Virginia are true, very, very true. It is indeed a state with great natural beauty and a wealth of it too. I've never been to Florida so I can't offer any comparisions but having been born, raised, still living in my grandparents homestead here in the wonderful Keystone State, where we too have many of the same attractions as Virginia -except of course, no sandy beaches at our doorstep -we let New Jersey and Delaware have that bonus -but I feel very much the same way about my home state and even the little village too where I live -especially when I hear others tell me that this or that place or another is well, just sooooo much better! Home is indeed, where the heart is. Mine is pretty well rooted in Pennsylvania but I can appreciate the beauty in other places and enjoy them very much. Just bring me back here though.
Great post, by the way. Ever think of working in PR for the state of Virginia? I think you'd do very well in that type of work -bragging, yes a bit but not overly, not pushy -just nice!

cathouse teri said...

Since moving to Virginia almost five months ago, I have discovered some lovely things. But overwhelmingly, the main thing I've found here is smoke. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Every time I go out to a restaurant or a club, or even someone's house, I have to shower as soon as I get home and toss my clothings into the washer! It's all I can do to keep from wearing a coat into buildings, because it would create a far too expensive dry cleaning bill!

All this was hard for me, having come from California. Where you are hardly even allowed to smoke NEAR a building, let alone IN one!

Weird, huh? I was breathing cleaner air in California? ;)