I live in Paradise, times two. Nine months of the year I live in Paradise 1, and three months of the year in Paradise 2.
Not every one agrees with my vision of Paradise. In fact, a friend recently ticked off the reasons why she hates living in Paradise 1. Well, every reason she had for hating it, is a reason why I love it. I realized that most of her reasons also applied to Paradise 2. These reasons are:
- There are no chain restaurants. This is no longer true for Paradise 1, but it is still true for Paradise 2. Instead of going to a restaurant where I can order the exact same oily, cheesy foods and beakers of dayglo drinks that commercials sell to me, I get to choose from a variety of chef-owned, local restaurants. These chefs make fresh cooked meals and appetizers paired with small vineyard wines. The quality is superb and creativity abounds. Paradise to me; not paradise if you want to order the exact same food every where you eat.
- The newspaper is lousy. Well, true, a small-town press does not provide the same investigative reporting that the Los Angeles Times does. It does provide the chance to really know the reporters. I ignore everything by Tiffany. Peter Guinta could probably work for the LA Times if he wanted to. Chad Smith has grown from an over-embellishing writer to an accomplished reporter in just a year or so. Brian Thompson, lover of dogs, babies, and downtown, could become the next Dave Barry. And I can always read the Times on-line.
- The tourists are always in the way. Yeah, they remind me that other people have to take vacation time and pay good money to spend time here. I am sooo lucky.
- One week late is two weeks early. Okay, sometimes I get irritated with this one too. I get around it by not scheduling any repairs when 1) the mullet are running 2) it’s a powder day 3) it’s deer season or 4) the Kingfish Tournament is going on. We all have to decide on our priorities.
- It takes 20 minutes to drive anywhere on these local roads. Yep, the bad news is it takes 20 minutes to drive anywhere (about as long as it takes to walk to most places). The good news is it also takes 20 minutes to drive anywhere. After living in Washington, DC and Cairo, Egypt, I get downright giddy when I get stuck during Paradise’s rush-quarter-hour. Why? Because I know that in seven minutes it will be over.
There are a few reasons I love Paradise 1 and Paradise 2 that my friend didn’t mention. Depending on which one I’m at, I go to the beach 2-3 times a week, I go skiing 3-5 days a week, and I have moose/dolphins/manatee in my backyard.
In conclusion, paradise isn’t for everybody. What are your reasons for loving where you live?