Family living the Viera dream

Patrick, right, and Vanessa Karcher along with Vanessa’s children, Jordan and Ilona Zimmer, made their dream come true when they moved from France to Orlando, then Viera.

A lady named Vanessa grew up in France, spending her youth watching American TV shows such as “Beverly Hills, 90210.” From a young age, she had dreams of living in America.

When she was in high school, she received an award that provided her an opportunity to travel to the United States. She visited Grand Rapids, Michigan and vowed to return to the U.S. one day.

“I was American in my heart,” said Vanessa Karcher. “I promised myself I would come back and live here.”

“The funny part is that when I met (my husband) Patrick (Karcher), one of the first subjects we talked about was the U.S. We promised each other we would find a way to come and live here.”

The couple have been married seven years. They met at a wedding. Vanessa was the beautician in charge of the bride’s makeup. Patrick’s brother was the groom.

Five years ago, Vanessa and Patrick, along with Vanessa’s children, Jordan and Ilona Zimmer, made that dream come true. They moved to Orlando, then Viera, first in Capron Ridge, then Bayhill.

In France, the family’s hometown of Strasbourg was 10 hours away from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Now that they live in Viera, the family enjoys having easy access to the beach. Patrick, who is employed at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club as a pastry chef, also feels that Viera is much safer than Orlando and has less traffic.

Patrick calls himself a foodie. He enjoys discussing anything about food, beer, wine and cheese.

During the pandemic, he started a YouTube channel called “Cooking with Patrick.” He enjoys teaching people how to cook French and American food, always emphasizing the history of the dish he is presenting.

Vanessa began a business eight years ago as a coach for health and wellness, as well as business, while living in France. She continues working from her home office in Viera.

Jordan and Ilona quickly adjusted to school life when they first arrived in the United States, learning English within three months through the school system’s English as a Second Language program. They are 19 and 17, respectively.

Jordan will graduate with an associates degree in December from Eastern Florida State College. Vanessa, a recent graduate of Viera High School, will attend EFSC in the fall.

“It’s calm. There are not a lot of people,” Jordan said of Viera, where he enjoys going to The Avenue Viera. He plans on applying to the college’s EMT program and wants to become a firefighter.

Ilona would like to be a dermatologist or a forensic scientist.

“I love everything to do with the skin,” she said.

She took a course in forensic science at Viera High and immediately became interested.

“I’m not scared of blood and don’t find anything disgusting,” she said.

The family feels that everyday living in Viera is an adventure. They have seen sea turtles nesting at night on the beach. They enjoy visiting the Brevard Zoo, and watching sunrises and sunsets together.

“It’s been my dream to live in the U.S. since I was a little girl,” said Vanessa Karcher. “It’s such a huge accomplishment for me.”