The three local couples are among more than 900,000 snowbirds who travel from Canada and all points north in the United States to spend their winters in the Florida sun. Most are retired.
"We usually go in September," says Joe Ann Barnes, adding they spend from six to nine months.
They bought property in a mobile home park about seven years ago and furnished it with items from consignment shops and yard sales.
Crit likes living in Florida because it is cheaper than living in Kentucky, especially in the winter. "We don't have high heat and air conditioning bills," he says.
"It's a wonderful place to live. ... We looked all over Florida before we found this place. It's easy to find our way around."
The Barneses ride three-wheel bikes like their neighbors from all walks of life - retired lawyers, state representatives, businessmen and women and even a pig farmer - who blend together.
"It seems like a continuous vacation to me. We meet all kinds of people from all walks of life," says Crit.
"We can be at Siesta Key Beach in five minutes. We go there late in the afternoon to eat and watch the dolphins near the jetties."
Joe Ann, who was in the restaurant business in Danville, does catering and makes wedding and birthday cakes occasionally. She caters two or three parties each winter in Florida.
Last year, the couple hosted a Kentucky dinner for some northern snowbirds. The guests wore blue jeans and cowboy hats. The menu of pinto beans, fried potatoes, corn bread, onions and polish sausage was not familiar to their Canadian friends, who enjoyed it, says Joe Ann.
"We get a lot of company when it's cold in Kentucky," she says.
Friends and family show up in January and February. Joe Ann's brother and sister-in-law, Cecil and Jolene Hutchinson, come down for the winter, and Crit's brother and sister-in-law, Joey and Alene Barnes, also spend time with their relatives.
Slower pace of living
Crit and Joe Ann like the slower pace of living in Florida.
"We realize we have a limited time to live there," says Joe Ann, adding there will be a time when they will not be flying south. They are making it last as long as they can.
The Barneses like the tropical Sarasota where poinsettia and hibiscus are in bloom and they can pick fresh grapefruit and oranges out their back door.
"It's like living in paradise in the winter compared to Danville," says Crit.
However, when the Kentucky weather begins to thaw, they will be back.
"We won't give up Danville in the summer," says Joe Ann.
Jane and Jerry Boyd of Danville spend 10 weeks from mid-January to the end of March in the Florida panhandle.
"We have been snowbirds for seven years," says Jane. "We were introduced to Port Saint Joe by friends. We like it because it is a small town with a beach and few houses. There are no tourist attractions. It has two traffic lights and one grocery store."
Port Saint Joe is about 50 miles southeast of Panama City and near Apalachicola - "Home of the World's Best Oysters."
The Boyds rent a pet-friendly house so they take their four-legged friend, Miss Belle.
"It is quality time for us as a couple," says Jane. "It's also a great family time, too. Our children visit us each year."
"I never thought we'd be snowbirds and reach the age of wanting to go south," says Jerry.
Back in the spring
"It's been a joy," says Jane.
Fred and Joyce VanArsdall usually leave the last weekend in January and return to Kentucky the middle of March. They rent a condo in Bonita Springs on the Gulf Coast.
"Fred has to come back and mow the yard," says Joyce, adding "he really wants to come home to play golf."
They get home in time to see the spring flowers in bloom.
They have been spending winters in Bonita Springs between Naples and Fort Myers for about 10 years. They can walk to the beach from their condo.
The VanArsdalls chose Bonita Springs after friends recommended it a good place to live. They spend their winters playing cards, going to the beach and shopping.
They also meet once a month for a Kentucky breakfast at Shoneys and enjoy time with friends.
"We've met so many friends over the years," says Joyce.
They are not just winter friends; they get together in August for a reunion. About 30 met in Bloomington, Ill., this year for a weekend.
"It's really nice, We keep up with each other via e-mail during the year," she says.