I too hated cold canaidian winters that is why I now live here.
I am glad you are thinking about scoping it out give yourselves some time to see if you like it.
Get to know the people around you and be active in the community. I find that most of us who move down here and are involved last a lot longer than people who come down and just sit at the bar all day.(nothing wrong with that either)
Well good luck and read a lot of the past posts they are usually full of great advise.