Not knowing exactly what you mean by "mild," I'm not quite sure I
could give you a definitive answer, so I'm going to just pass along
what I know by way of my own experience, in hopes it might be of some
help to you.
To begin with, I *know* exactly what you mean about the Wisconsin
climate. I was born in Stevens Point, grew up in Wausau and Point,
lived in Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, and had relatives in Rhinelander,
Appleton, Chilton and other points. I *know.* Believe me. Shudder.
But I've been gone for a long time now, since '84 to be exact, and
sometimes shake my head in amazement that people up there s-t-a-y when
there are so many more human-friendly places to go ....
I couldn't imagine ever going back to that harsh climate ever again,
though I might make a trip in September (after the first frost has
killed off the bugs) to see the colors ...
At the moment (and for the past fifteen years) I live in Texas, in the
greater Austin area, and absolutely love it. Doesn't hurt, I suppose,
that I have deep family ties to this state, but it goes beyond that.
First of all, yes there are parts of Texas that are just miserable as
far as heat, humidity and mosquitoes go. But the Austin area isn't
one of them, being on the Eastern edge of what is known as the "Texas
Hill Country," a part of the state many outsiders aren't familiar
with, and some haven't even heard of. It's hilly and green, with lots
of lakes and rivers and trees. Ever been to Madison? Austin would
remind you of that - they're incredibly similar, not just in overall
ambience, but in appearance and amenities.
Yah, there ARE some mosquitoes. But unlike Wisconsin, and I know
you'll know what I mean, you can actually sit out in your yard in the
evening without being eaten alive. If you do venture into a wooded
area, a little "Off" will do ya just fine; you don't have to bathe in
the stuff. And there are no deer flies or no-see-ums, precious few
ticks, and I've never gotten a bloodsucker here from wading in a
creek. Yup, there are snakes, but they just flat out don't cramp your
style. You learn to listen for the rattlers, and check out creek
banks for moccasins, and I don't know anyone who's ever been bitten.
Scorpions are pretty gross, we've got brown recluse and black widow
spiders, but again, they simply aren't a real factor. You just learn
to look before you reach, that's all.
YES it gets hot in the summer. VERY hot. July and August can be
pretty bad. But here's the thing - two months out of the year you
stay indoors during the daytime, and nearly every house, apartment and
building has central air-conditioning, so it's comfortable to be
indoors. Go out in the evening near sunset and it's lovely. The
humidity gets a little uncomfortably high sometimes, but not as bad as
Houston. Now compare that to Wisconsin where you have to hibernate
six months of the year (usually without any sun) .... The standard
summer forecast here, June through September, is "highs in the 90s,
lows in the 70s, chance of a t-storm in the afternoon." And your
blood really DOES thin out - I used to think that was a myth, but it
ain't so. You get acclimated to the heat to where you don't think
anything under 100 is that bad.
Oh yeah, t-storms - that's another thing. They talk about t-storms
here and I have to laugh. They are NOTHING like the huge old
thunder-boomers up there; they're very mild, pass quickly and don't
change the overall weather much. The one thing you have to watch out
for here are flash floods, but you learn that early on and just stay
away 'til they pass. It'll only be a day or so. The hurricanes down
on the coast usually only bring a little rain up this way. If fact,
we're a destination for evacution from Galveston, so we're pretty
insulated from hurricanes.
The winters are wonderful. Know how it can get below zero in November
there? Well, I think November is one of the nicest months here.
Temps are usually in the 70s and it's beautiful. Now that's not to
say there aren't freakish things that go on - but hey! keeps it
interesting. For instance, back in '93 we had a bunch of family from
all over visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. For two days we were
housebound due to an ice storm that left power lines down, snarled
traffic and did all kinds of mischief. Then that weekend we were down
at the park in shirtsleeves in sunny, balmy 70 degree temps ... The
saying goes, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait a minute,
it'll change." Lotta truth to that!
Ah, the Blue Northers. Yep, they roll in and you'd laugh your socks
off at the fuss people kick up about 'em, well, you'd laugh until your
own blood thinned out, that is. Once that happened, you'd be
shivering too in the 30-40 degree temps. Meanwhile, for a handful of
days each winter it'll freeze, there're usually one or maybe two ice
storms, and a bit of gray weather. Nothing at all like what you're
used to. Gotta watch out for February - it's tricky. The trees'll be
budding out, birds singing, one year we even had a 99 degree day, then
wham! it'll be sleet and freezing rain for a day or so. Then it's
gone. And spring comes here in earnest in March when the bluebonnets
bloom. I used to think I'd seen wildflowers -- until I moved to
Texas. Lemme tellya, you ain't seen wildflowers 'til you've seen
Texas in the springtime. It's breathtaking.
Well, guess I've gone on and on, haven't I? Didn't mean to sound like
a commercial for Texas - but hey, as the commercial actually says,
"It's a whole other country." :-) Check it out - Texas Hill
Country. I shouldn't advertise in a public forum like this I guess,
'cause I'd hate to see it get any more overrun than it already is, but
it's a piece of heaven on earth, that's for sure.
Okay, other places would have to include Hawaii, where my youngest son
was stationed for three years with the Army. I visited him a couple
of times and of course had conversations and emails a plenty with him.
Very mild climate, I'm sure I don't have to rave about its beauty, it
has no mosquitoes or poisonous creatures at all, and has so many other
virtues to recommend it, I could go on for hours. The only downside,
from my perspective, is the winter rainy season. I was in Oahu in
December 2001 for the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and found it
MUCH cooler than my previous summer visit two years earlier, and I did
not like the daily rain. Daily? In some places, nearly continuous.
My son was sharing a house with some friends at the top of a hill in
Aiea, a very desirable area near Honolulu. Yikes, it rained every day
nearly all day, or else sat in the middle of a cloud ... Also, I
wouldn't care for being permanently on an island - I'm afraid my
claustrophobia would lead to quite a case of what is known as "rock
fever" in fairly short order. But that's me. You might love it.
Other places I'd recommend are Arizona and parts of New Mexico.
Again, though, that's personal. You either love the desert or hate
it. I love it. Go have a look and see what it does for you.
Guess I'm rambling, but you really got me going being from Wisconsin
and all. Best wishes to you in your plans to escape. I can
definitely tell you you won't be sorry, and you'll never look back.
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