Hey Jupiter Neighbors!
Just a quick “Thanks” to everyone that has been sharing our new “Jupiter Fun” site with friends. We have big plans to keep everyone informed and entertained in Jupiter, while boosting our local economy at the same time. Jupiter is your town too, so get involved—contact me at JupiterFun3@gmail.com with your ideas, questions or comments.
Relocating, and Discovering Jupiter Florida
Many years ago while heading back to New Jersey after my Florida vacation, I was watching a little girl crying her eyes out at the airport; begging: “Mom; Please, Please, Please—Not New Jersey Again!”
I was so impressed with her young insight, but then felt bad for her; then it struck me ‘I was also trapped living in New Jersey’ because of family obligations.
New Jersey is not all bad, but in overall comparison to Florida—there is no comparison to the quality of life. We were living in Jersey to be close to our family and friends, however, everyone was too busy working to ever visit us, so it seemed pointless. (Not their faults, but you have to work harder to keep up with the higher cost of living in New Jersey.)
One day Doug (my husband) and I decided to take the plunge. We were so fed up with the corruption, dreary weather, unhappy people and living conditions in New Jersey, that we sold our Jersey home and drove to Florida with no intentions of ever returning. We just wanted to come to Florida with what fit in our cars and sell or donate the rest of the contents of our home. I didn’t even know I was a hoarder because our house had mega closet space to make everything disappear, but I learned the contents was massive. Now I understand how I had accumulated so much stuff; I tried to compensate for my dismal environment by habitually shopping for things I really didn’t need. Now we live as “minimalists” and instead of our home owning us, we own our home.
The first thing I noticed driving into Florida was that the clouds were so fluffy and super-bright-white in front of a deep blue sky, with such depth, like a 3-D effect. In Jersey we usually had a flat blanket of dark, grey toxic clouds hanging low and making me feel closed in. Okay-okay, I do have a bit of claustrophobia. We continued to explore Florida towns en-route, and then we reached Jupiter, and we knew we were home!
Coming from Jersey, my first impression of Jupiter was “This town is too perfect” it was starting to feel like “The Truman Show” or “The Stepford Wives” but I found it very entertaining. Every inch of Jupiter is perfectly landscaped and so picturesque and the weather is dreamy most of the time. Jupiter residents are so friendly. Most of them also came from up north, but they adapted to this lifestyle and became a product of their new environment— very un-Jersey-like.
The Florida natives have no clue what the real world is like up north. They never had to shovel snow until there was no more room to stack any more snow, bundle up in layers of coats, or try to walk on icy sidewalks without slipping and falling, or drive on icy roads wondering if you will make it home safely or not, or wake up to grey skies and wonder what day the sun might appear again.
Floridians wake up to sunny blue skies and cheerful people around them nearly every day. Watching the local news doesn’t always put you in a state of depression here, as there is a higher ratio of good to bad news. Floridians never have to pay state income tax or state capital gains taxes, or super-high property taxes. Perhaps the cost of living is higher in NJ because it doesn’t have as much tourism as Florida. I’m not sure, but our cost of living seemed to drop since moving here.
We settled into a rental while home shopping, and excitedly attended some of Jupiter’s festive events. The first event was the Christmas Boat Parade. I will never forget how friendly the police officers were while making sure we crossed the streets safely. One cop actually came up to us just to tell us a joke. Coming from New Jersey, that was funnier than the joke itself. In Jersey, cops see so much gore daily that they rarely ever smile. I know because I used to bartend in NJ and became friends with cops who drowned themselves in alcohol every night to try to forget what they saw that day. The sad thing is, I recently learned that more than half of my NJ cop friends died young of liver problems because of this.
The Jersey police also admitted that there were perks given to cops who produced the most revenue from tickets. The perks were that the higher producers got to choose their shifts. This was why they would hide and wait for someone to make an illegal u-turn so they could score a ticket. I was really surprised that Florida has u-turn lanes on almost every block. In Jersey you have to check to make sure no cops are around, then sneak a u-turn, or drive for miles to find a way to change direction.
Another difference I observed in Florida is that you don’t see big gaudy street signs with bright colors everywhere s-c-r-e-a-m-ing at you: “Buy Lottery Here” “Casino Here” or “Huge Clearance Sale” conveying so much desperation, and contributing to the promotion of gambling and frivolous spending which leads people to desperation. Even the real estate signs used in Florida are very small and simply dark green to blend in with the landscaping.
I appreciated that Florida has sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere. In Jersey, people walk their dogs and jog in the road because there are no sidewalks in most towns. Frequently walkers and joggers got hit by drivers who were distracted or didn’t have good night vision. The one thing I do disagree with in Florida though, is that they don’t require all motorcycle drivers to wear helmets. I think they should.
I was also surprised that they actually power-wash our sidewalks white with bleach in our community—so pristine. And as an animal lover, it is a relief not to have to see road kill everywhere as it was in Jersey.
The next event we attended was the Jupiter Jubilee, where they had a live band and other entertainment and many tents were set up from local business owners giving out freebies and introducing themselves. We went there and had a great time getting to know our new town, and our money was still in our wallet when we got home. In NJ we would have paid steep road tolls, parking fees and admission fees, and then came home with purchased items that were pushed on us that we didn’t really need or want. The Italian Feast was another free fun event.
When in Jersey, I used to think I could never survive the Florida heat in the Summer, but then I noticed on my Accuweather app that Jersey had the same high temperatures in Summer; some days ever hotter, so it was only the higher humidity in June-through-November that we had to adjust to. The humidity does typically go away from December-through-May though. You can tell the difference between Floridians that have been here for a long time because they wear a heavy sweater when it’s 70 degrees outside while tourists are dressed for summer because they haven’t acclimated yet. I had to laugh out loud once; when we had a rare 59-degree day and a Florida native said “OMG! I can’t feel my nose!”
Jupiter is literally “Pleasantville USA”. I have traveled a lot in my days, but no place else compares to Jupiter. Don’t get me wrong, no city or town is perfect, but there is no place I’d rather be right now. Maybe I appreciate Jupiter more than people who grew up here and never realized the difference. I am grateful to be here, and also kicking myself for not coming here many years ago when I was young enough to go kite-boarding.
Now I help others relocate: www.RealTerrific.com
If you know of any homes not on the MLS yet, please let me know, buyers are patiently waiting for the right home.
Let’s Chat Soon…