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!