I was born an Air Force brat in Abilene, TX. in 1967. I was the 4th living daughter with one more to come 3 years later. My mom says I was spoiled rotten, mostly because my sister before me (Diana Dinon), was a still-born in 1964. My mom pursued my dad relentlessly those 3 years to "fill that crib". My dad passed in 2000 but my mom is still around. She turned 87 just 2 weeks ago and loves to tell me how he would come home and hold me for hours on end, not allowing anyone else to.
In late 1969 he came home from Korea to visit for a few days and 9 months later came home to my 3-day old baby sister Patricia. Now with 5 daughters to raise, my mom begged him to retire and spend more time at home. He did, and we moved to Tulsa, OK. He was bored there and hit some hard times financially trying to figure out what do with his life. He found out about a teaching program in Florida and the lure of the sun and hope for a new life brought us to Miami in early 1973.
My first recollection was heading south on US1 and passing the famous Miami Serpentarium. It was hard to forget this huge snake head coming out of the roof of a building! My second recollection was spending weekends on the beach. My dad LOVED the beach.
My oldest sister took a job out of state years later and was the first of us to leave Florida. In 1992, right after Hurricane Andrew struck, 2 more sisters moved to Georgia. Not long after that mom and dad followed suit; needing to be near a military base to utilize his benefits. After Hurricane Andrew Homestead Air Force Base become a reserve base and no longer offered active benefits, so off they went. I was married with 2 kids and we would visit my family in Georgia often.
I admit there was a time I wanted to move out of the city and actually disliked Miami a lot! I wanted some place more family-oriented and everytime I went to Georgia I longed to move more and more each time we visited. Well, my Cuban husband wasn't moving so I tried my best to adapt to the fast-paced lifestyle of Miami. In 2011 I separated and found myself wanting to move again, but for different reasons. My kids were nearly grown and I was rather unhappy in general at this point. All I can say is that here I am 6 years later and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I love the diverse culture, the weather, the people and this city in general. It has grown on me and now when I visit Georgia I long to come home.
And, now that I am on the real estate end here I am really enjoying exploring Miami in more ways than I ever have and discovering its true splendor. Miami has its very own unique charm. Many may not find Miami charming or not even associate that word with Miami, but I have seen this city (especially downtown) become such a great place to live and work, filled with so much life and vitality. 15 years ago downtown Miami was non-existent in regards to anything to do and even most of Miami Beach was falling apart. To see its revival and mind-blowing growth is so wonderful! This past Sunday I spent the afternoon at South Pointe Park reading, watching the cruise ships leave and being so grateful to have my toes in warm sand in February.
So, I have slowly but surely fallen in love with Miami (that's usually how it works here). Here's a pic from my walk into South Pointe, my view on the beach and on my way out of the boardwalk which is lit so gorgeously at night...it's easy to see why: