Friday, December 30, 2011

A Celebration of the New Year 2012

It's hard to believe that it's nearly 2012 already, not just because 2011 went by so fast, but also because it's been nearly eight years since I started this blog. I remember wanting to move to Celebration so badly and wondering what it would be like to live in Florida. That seems like only yesterday, but in the blink of an eye I'm suddenly a (fairly) long-time Florida resident.

On the plus side, living in Florida is everything I ever hoped it would be. It's late December, yet the sun is shiny, the grass is green, and I don't even need a coat. I spent the entire season visiting the Christmas celebrations at Disney World, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Universal/Islands of Adventure, and Legoland Florida, and before that it was another year of fun at Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream. I'm still not tired of hearing the Illuminations fireworks while sitting in my family room every night.

But some things have changed for the negative here in Celebration. We were lucky enough to buy Duloc Manor before the real estate bubble peaked. After that peak, there was the big bust, with aftershocks that are still affecting Celebration and all the rest of Florida. If you drive around our once immaculate town, you'll quickly be able to pick out the foreclosures, with their ragged appearance and overgrown lawns.

Still, I've never once regretted my decision to move to Celebration, Florida. It's my home now; Publix has replaced "da Jewels" as my grocery store of choice, I no longer long for a basement, I ask for "unsweetened tea" because I barely remember that I used to live where that was the default, and my regret at no longer getting to eat at Lawry's anymore is dampened by places like Sweet Tomatoes, Sunny's BBQ. I even found a Mexican restaurant in Kissimmee, called El Tenampa, where the food rivals anything you can get in Chicago's Hispanic neighborhoods. They even have horchata and a wide array of aguas frescas.

I've been very busy with my writing career and other endeavors. I'm building up a list of ebooks on with topics ranging from Disney World and the other theme parks to personal finance and becoming a travel agent. I'm going to try to find the time to post to my Celebration, Florida, blog more regularly, too. I think it's an appropriate time because life in Florida has entered a new phase...well, actually, it's been in that phase for a while now. It's still a great place to live, and you can get some fantastic bargains if you move to Celebration now, but it's very different from the place I blogged about in 2004. Welcome to Phase Two!


Denise in PA said...

Great to hear from you again, Barb! Best to you in 2012!

Geren in Santa Barbara, CA said...

Hi Barb! What a thrill to see you post again. I'm so glad that everything continues to go well for you. Thanks for continuing to let us in on your experience. Wishing you a great start to the new year, with many good things to follow.

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll write more about the changes in Celebration. It is still my dream place to live! Looking forward to your ebooks.