I'm normally a procrastinator - you know, never put off to tomorrow what you can put off to the day after tomorrow - but I'm making an exception when it comes to my retirement, and have been giving some thought to where Mrs. Paco and I might ultimately wind up. I've got another six-and-a-half years (minimum) until I can qualify for retirement from the Yankee government, so I've been scouring the country at my leisure. Basic requirements: mild winters, clean air (got to think of Mrs. Paco's asthma), congenial local government, peaceful environment. I had originally thought about southern Arizona; however, after reading Mark Steyn's new book, I'm afraid that it might be annexed, de jure, by Mexico. So, here's what I've come up with, so far:
1) St. George, Utah. Located in the southwest part of the state, the city is at the extreme fringe of the Mojave desert. Arid region, hot summers, mild winters, surrounded by striking red bluffs and not far from Utah's beautiful canyon country (also not far from the north rim of the Grand Canyon).
2) Cave Creek, Arizona. A little warmer than St. George, plenty of saguaro cactus, lovely surroundings. Not sure it's far enough away from Phoenix, though.
3) Sedona, Arizona. Gorgeous red rock country, outstanding views. Perhaps a little artsy-fartsy?
4) Cape Coral or Naples, Florida. Subtropical, on or near the beach, within an hour or two of Miami, so I can nip in for some delicious Cuban cuisine.
5) Somewhere in North Carolina. I was born there, and the call of the homeland is strong.
God willing that I do live long enough to get out of Northern Virginia, and as far away from Washington as I can.