Our tradeoff? Rain. The wettest city in the country is here in Washington state, Quillayute. See the list below of the top ten wettest cities in the United States:
1) Quillayute, Washington State - - 105"Quillayute is on the Olympic Peninsula, that little finger sticking up on the left side of the state. But, as you can see, Florida is a lot wetter than we are: Bellingham's average annual rainfall is 35 inches, so you can see it's a LOT wetter in other parts of the country.
2) Highlands, North Carolina - - 86"
3) Astoria, Oregon - - 66"
4) Tallahassee, Florida - - 65"
5) Mobile, Alabama - - 64"
6) Pensacola, Florida - - 63"
7) New Orleans, Louisiana - - 62"
8) Baton Rouge, Louisiana - - 61"
9) West Palm Beach, Florida - - 60"
10) Meridian, Mississippi - - 57"
I was just amazed when we decided to move here and began to study the area. Our decision to retire on the west coast meant an excursion out west (which we made in the summer of 2006) and learning something about the lore. Lots of Indian tribes live here; there are reservations everywhere (and, consequently, casinos). We love the climate and the proximity of two large cities, Seattle (85 miles south) and Vancouver, BC (30 miles north). Bellingham has a college (Western Washington University) and a small-town feel.
Check out the Wikipedia page about the state of Washington, for more information about our chosen home. My husband decided to come up here in February 2008 to find our first "jumping-off place" to our retired life, and he found an apartment that so far has been wonderful. It's a small 24-unit complex on three acres. The people in the home behind us planted organic garlic last spring and I get to see the wildlife around here digging it up (the non-human kind).
I started this post to affirm what many of my fellow bloggers have been saying: it's hot out there. But I also wanted to say, with all my heart, thank you to all who responded to my last post with ideas about how to increase traffic. I added my followers to my page, now that I have a respectable 6 instead of 3 (one of whom was my husband). I also added a counter and I now know that, even if people are not leaving comments, a fair number of people do come here to see what I might have to say.
One thing I know: we are a talented bunch, we bloggers, and I am constantly impressed with the twists and turns of daily life out there. I especially like to learn about history, birds, and to remember what it was like to have small children around (and with a sense of humor at that!). Even though I had two children, one died as an infant, and the other died in 2002 while serving in the Army. He left me no grandchildren, so I am now looking at your pictures and hearing stories that fill a void I didn't even know I had.
My heart is full. Oh, and one more thing: if any of you have a Facebook page, let me know so we can become friends!