Moving from CA to FL

I am up for a promotion that would involve moving from Fresno, CA to Orlando, FL. Flying out for my final interview in about a week.

I was wondering what significant legal, social, societal differences there are. I would especially appreciate anything quirky like jaywalking being strictly enforced (I dont think anyone has ever been cited that I have heard of in CA.)

Example: FL has no state income taxes. Its humid as all hell, and there is this nasty propensity for multiple hurricanes to batter the state. :eek:

Either way, good, bad, please share your experiences or let me know things I should know about florida if considering moving there.

Just an off the cuff example, I have no idea what FL’s general propensity is for citing anyone for anything.

I got a ticket a few weeks back for parking within 30 feet of an intersection (I was about 20 feet away). I think that was just the Clearwater Beach folks generating revenue.

In general Florida is older and more socially conservative than California. You’ll have to wear clothes and put out that joint, young man. :slight_smile: Orlando is probably one of the more conservative parts of Florida, sort of our own little mini Bible belt. That’s not to say that there are no sinners there. Plenty of sinning to be done out there, I believe (go forth and do works, young man… oh, or young woman, whichever you are). Cost of living is going to be lower. Insurance rates are somewhat high (see Excuses for raising insurance rates: Hurricanes) but probably still cheaper than California. Not sure about Fresno. Traffic in Orlando can be a bitch. Lots of tourists and theme parks nearby. Not much in the way of labor protections, if you’re labor. Oh, and we have a Bush for governor.

In summer, it’s hot, humid, and we have thunderstorms a lot. Winter is very short, and not usually very cold. We have bugs. Lots of bugs. Mosquitoes, cockroaches (palmetto bugs), silverfish. We have alligators that don’t care much for the fact that we’ve encroached on their habitats. We have lots and lots of old people, and lots and lots of them are from up north. Driving anywhere is a nightmare, and I-4 doubly so. Legally…well, I can’t think of anything. Societally, Shib is right. Very much conservative. Also, very Southern in places. Your bigger cities it’s not so noticeable, since just about everyone is from somewhere else, but in smaller towns, yeah, buddy, we’re Southern.

5th Generation Floridian

It could be worse. I moved to the Orlando area (Casselberry) around Thanksgiving, and so far, I like it. The traffic is usually horrendous, especially I-4 around the rush hours, but the city isn’t as bad as all that. I haven’t noticed an overly-conservative feel to the area, but I’m a 26-year-old liberal Jewish professional, I live with a buddy from high school, and I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart.

Orlando (Orange County, but you could stretch it to include Seminole County to the north, where I live) has anything you could need, depending on how old you are and what you’re interested in: nice malls, plenty of restaurants, movie theaters, hospitals, and plenty of goofy and garish touristy things to do. Apparently there are bars and clubs for nightlife if that is your thing, but I haven’t had much of a chance to go out on the town since I’ve been here. If you like to go out and see live music, the House of Blues at Disney and Hard Rock Live at Universal will pull in national acts every so often. Also, I’ve found everyone here to be EXTREMELY friendly, especially in the service industry. Of course, I came from Miami, a city famous for its rude people, but so far Orlando has been a very pleasant surprise in that regard.

Yeah, we have horribly humid summers, mosquitos, big flying roaches, and hurricanes, but you could do a hell of a lot worse than Florida.

Thank you everyone for replying…anyone else with life in florida advice would be highly appreciated. I will actually be working in Lake Mary, FL a few miles north of Big Bad Vodoo Lou prolly looking for houses somewhere near there…new boos to be is reccomending a city named Deltona, that is apparently a big expansion area in the last few years with reasonably priced houses.

I have a feeling that [c]Cyn** is not going to like palmetto bugs…or alligators…

folks say “I” in front of interstates instead of “the”.

You can practice now while you are still at home. “Take I-5”. I know it is difficult. I know you really want to say “take the 5.”

over time you get used to it. :wink:

That sounded a little odd…new BOSS…

And lots of sinkholes! Seriously, do a Google search on “Deltona sinkholes” and check out some of the recent news stories about houses collapsing and ground giving way. Maybe it’s a very nice city just the same, but be sure to thoroughly research the recent sinkhole problems. Is that Volusia County, do you know, or Seminole?

Don’t worry about the palmetto bugs. They’re mostly harmless, and besides the snakes usually take care of them.

We also have geckoes, which I love, an opinion that is apparently not universally held. Oh, and there are lots and lots of big birds, especially near me… storks, herons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, ibises, cormorants, etc. I find them fascinating as well. You don’t actually see gators all that often, unless you’re looking, but they are there. Lots of turtles, too.

Or the bats!

No fooling: a few weeks after my roof got halfway torn off by Charley, the palmetto bugs figured out they could just crawl right in to the house and make a nice safe place in the rafters, with no barriers to prevent them from scrounging for food in my house.

But then a group of bats moved in on my roof, and funny, not too many roaches since…

drachillix I live in Lake Mary. e-mail me if you want, my e-mail is in my profile.

Lake Mary is a nice little suburban community with a growing business sector. Couple of big companies have their corp. headquarters here AAA and Fiserv and Veritas are the ones that immediately come to mind.

I’ve lived in Central Florida (Orlando area) since 1968. Last year was the first time we’d gotten a significant hit from a hurricane so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Though last year may have been the start of a new trend.

You’ll find that this town is pretty much all about the tourism industry. What little bit of culture there is takes a back seat but it’s there if you look for it.

I’m sure the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in CA but Lake Mary is pretty popular right now so it can be pricey in some areas. There are a number of high end golf communities in LM with million dollar homes but then there’s the cheapo little condos that I live in too and everything in between.

Everything you could possibly want is right at your fingertips here in terms of retail and there are some higher end night spots opening up so it’s not so much a bedroom community anymore.

If I were you I’d avoid Deltona and all areas immediately north like the plague. They may be cheap, cheap, cheap to live in but there’s a reason. You won’t like the people or the schools (if you have kids) in Volusia county. Trust me.

It’s hot and humid in the summer but everything and everywhere is fully air conditioned so it’s only slightly miserable.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about Lake Mary or the Orlando area in general (since I’ve lived here so long I’m practically a native). Heck, I’ve been here longer than Mickey.

I live down in Lee County, fours hours south of Orlando on the Gulf Coast. One thing you won’t have to worry about is State car inspections. I don’t know about your future county but Lee doesn’t care about emissions either.

You should enjoy winter. Dry and usually warm enough for comfort. But look out for brush fires. Summers are rainy. But the rainstorms are usually short and sharp.

Sinkholes are no joke. Central Florida is Karst topography, limestone baserock and shallow water tables. The water disolves the ground under your house, pool, road, etc. until it collapses.

Do not wear red and gold or blue and orange unless you like long, heated discussions of football.

Cops are way more likely to give you speeding tickets if you’re northbound.

Possums do not wear shells, those are armadillos on the side of the road. And they can carry leprosy.

Gators will leave you alone if you leave them alone. Usually.

That reminds me of one of the differences between Floridians and most other places (maybe not California). The most coveted* parking spaces are the shady ones, not the ones closest to the Mall/Wal*Mart/Publix entrance.
*In the summer, which last from approximately April through November.

FL vs LA:

No smog
People drive less than 20 MPH over the speed limit
Far fewer Mercedes and BMWs
People won’t assume you are nuts if you say hello and smile
Car horns don’t seem to work in FL, I’ve never heard one used here
One, maybe two freeways
More churches than bars
Rent under $800 a month for a real nice place
In the summer, it rains every day from 5:15 to 5:45
Generally, once a day you have to give a tourist directions

So how well do interracial marriages go over in such areas?

Since neither one of us are particularly religious, are inquiries as to what church you attend all that common.

In CA you don’t ask…sometimes you just don’t want to know…

Alright, I pretty much run things over here, so let me know what you want and I’ll see that you get it…

Just kidding.

Can’t compare it to Cali, since I’ve never been, but I moved here from England about 9 years ago and I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent here since.

'Course, I’m 22 and very much a hot-weather person; YMMV.

Don’t worry about the interracial thing. You have to go a lot farther north than Lake Mary to find the kind of people who would do more than raise an eyelid.

You shouldn’t really get asked about church until you get out of the cities. But, lemme tell you, small town Florida can have a very much insider/outsider outlook. The town I call home is that way, very closed minded.

I don’t know how it is in CA, but I like how FL doesn’t have sales tax on food.

You must, as a new Florida citizen, choose to be either a Seminoles fan or a Gators fan. You must then vehemently debate with fans of the opposite team on why your team is the best. Saying you’re not a football fan will cause you to become an immediate pariah.

My home is in the panhandle, but my experience with the people who live in Orlando is that they will either be polite saints of human beings, or snotty displaced yankees who would as soon spit on you as they would smile. You’ll notice this quickly. I am sure, of course, that all our Orlando dopers fall into the former category.

More FL vs LA:

FL is low and flat, the highest point in FL is something like 300 ft. above sea level.
The ocean gets very warm in the summmer.
Monday night football starts at 9PM.
The stock market opens at 9:30AM.
Hopefully you don’t have mold allergies.
Your commute to work can be less than a half hour.
You will probably mistakenly think Cubans are Mexicans.
Do they have flea markets larger than 10 football fields in LA?
There will be at least 20 Walgreens and 2 Walmarts within 10 miles from your house.

Well, you’re coming to Central Florida, Orlando area. I can tell you that since Lake Mary and other parts of the greater Orlando area are filled with transplants you probably won’t have all that much trouble with the interracial marriage thing but it really depends on where you are. If you get into some of the more surrounding areas it does get quite a bit more Southern and rednecky.

No one has ever asked me what church I belong to in all the years I’ve lived here. I’m not religious but even when I was but it just never came up in discussion but that of course can depend on the people you’re working with and socializing with.

Oh, and just to echo what ccwaterback said within 5 miles of my little home here in Lake Mary there are 6 grocery stores including SuperWalmart and not including the SuperTarget they’re building. Costco, Sams Club, BJs Wholesale, a major shopping mall, 4 major pharmacys, Circuit City, Best Buy, every chain restaurant you can think of, (TGIFridays, Chilis, Uno, Don Pablos, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steakhouse, you get the picture.)

There are exactly three highways, the 408, the 417 and I-4. You’ll find youself on I-4 more than any of the other two, especially if you’re working in Lake Mary.

The good thing about that is that if you live and work in LM you can probably count on a 10-15 minute commute. I don’t work in LM but I do work very near here and I really like being able to come home on my lunch hour.