This Friday I have to take Pop to have some medical procedure done in Ocala. I don't remember exactly what has to be done, but it will render him unable to drive back home and that's why he needs the ride there and back.
At minimum I've got at least 4¾ hours of doing nothing but driving and waiting. He's 75 miles away, Ocala is another 45 minutes from him and the whatever-it-is he has to do will take at least another 45 minutes.
I will totally admit this bothers me because it goes back to everything I wanted to get away from in Connecticut. You had to travel a really long time to get anywhere worth going to. I'll put it this way: The closest big mall was 30 miles away! (In comparison, the closest big mall to me now is less than 5 miles away.)
The town where Pop lives is a place I could not live in because it reminds me too much of CT. It's very small, very "charming," and to me very annoying. I just don't like it. And the fact his appointment is 45 minutes away from his house just reinforces that small-town feel. Everything is far away; something I'm desperately trying to avoid.
When you combine this with a crapload of driving, it tends to get on one's nerves. 😉
. . .
When planning my move to Florida, I absolutely insisted on purposely moving to a metro area so I would not have to drive long distances to get anywhere. I wanted everything in my face and that's exactly what I got in Tampa. I really, really like it.
Everything I could ever want or need is less than 30 minutes away.
The supermarket where I shop, the gas station I where I fill up, Walgreen's, CVS, Goodyear Tire, UPS and several other things are all literally a 2-minute drive for me. In fact, they're so close I would walk to all of them if I wanted to.
I have 10 Wal-Marts within a 10-mile radius of me, several of which are SuperCenters.
The closest mall as noted above is very close, although there is one I prefer that is slightly farther away.
My boss' place is about 20 minutes from me.
All of this is awesome. Unbelievably awesome. Total awesomeness, as it were.
Some people would consider it bad to be so close to all of that. I don't. It's absolutely wonderful and I say that very sincerely. This is exactly what I wanted.
. . .
On a sorta/kinda related note, in the past there were those who either directly said to me or implied that I'd never be able to make it in a big town. If you happen to be one of those people reading this, don't worry because it wasn't just you. There were several others who felt the same way.
I now know it is they who could never make it in a big town. It's one thing to visit but it's totally another to live in it. And when I say "live in it" I mean to be directly in the thick of things for at least a year or more.
Some talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?
I can, but I can't say the same for those who said I couldn't.