Last spring we followed the journey of Larry and Carolann Hunter as they left the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of a tropical paradise. Eventually, their travels led them to Florida and The Villages.
Best of the ‘Gest
Larry and Carolann set off in Pursuit of Paradise
by Silverback Larry Hunter
After over 30 years working in sales for major toy companies, I finally decided it was time to give up-selling Easy Bake Ovens, Playdoh and the like. It’s a business like any other, with all the pressures and challenges of any sales job, but … how serious can you take it, when you’re selling Mr. Potato Head? In any case, I was tired of having 5-year-olds determine my success, so I made the decision to call it quits.
I had lived all my life in the northern part of the country (Boston, New Hampshire, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul). Time now to give up the bone-chilling cold and head to somewhere I could bronze this pasty-white Irish/Scottish body. Off my wife and I went to search America for the perfect retirement location. Most Minnesotans head to Arizona. We visited Phoenix, but saw too much sand, too many cacti, no grass, just too much desert. Plus, everyone looked so old! I was “only” 60, and not ready to play shuffleboard all day. And it was too hot for most of the year. Dry heat? One of the biggest cons ever!
Next stop, California. I loved the state and all it offered, seeing myself as a Carmel/Malibu kinda dude. But, finding an affordable home? Not going to happen. Unless we were willing to live in a storage shed, our California dreamin’ days were over quickly.
We were not optimistic heading to Florida. That’s where the parents of our friends went to die amongst the palm trees in their loud shorts pulled up to their chests. We stayed on the Atlantic coast, right on the beach, but concluded it would get old pretty fast, and so would we. Yes, there were long sandy beaches, with so many people who don’t own mirrors set out on our search again.
The Gulf coast was better … maybe there were more mirrors available … but people seemed to think they were smarter and better-looking than they really were. Then came the Red Tide, so named because it was a Russian plot to convince people that hacking and coughing are healthful substitutes for daily exercise. Bye, bye Gulf of Mexico.
Then, we heard about The Villages. To be continued tomorrow.