What’s next you ask?? 🏡🏠

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!

Yes you read that right. I am finally allowed to announce the big news. It has passed inspection with flying colors and we are safely in escrow. It will be ours March 31. This has been a long process of looking and we are super excited to begin a new chapter. We know its hot in Florida during the summer. Our plans are to leave! The months from June-Sept will be our travel months. Our California months. Maybe we will stay and see how hot it really is. We are prepared and aware. We understand the whole “snowbird thing” and we will probably become one of them. I ready to root again.

HOME SWEET HOME!!!!

Andy and I have been looking at homes, talking a lot about our next chapter of life, all while still enjoying our boat here in the Keys. We both decided on an area that we really loved and drew a big circle on the map. This area covered as north as St. Petersburg and as south as Fort Meyers/Cape Coral. It was a big area. We love the ICW in this whole zone. I LOVE the beaches with white sand and loaded with sea shells. We began to dream of what our ideal day would look like and then decided on what kind of small house would fill those needs. We talked and talked, dreamed and dreamed. House, condo, townhouse, beach house, dock house??? We really didn’t know. We became Zillow and Realtor.com experts and searching became our daily activity. I would see something and show Andy. He would see something and show me. We did a lot of “Too old, NOPE! This is interesting! We can’t afford this area! How about this one??” It became a game. We looked at what new ones came up and what ones sold. I spent hours searching. Some nights I even woke up dreaming of where this next house would be and open my apps to see if anything came up. Yes….. I was obsessed. I pictured the house. I knew it existed. I just had to find it. Honestly, it was me that really wanted to settle into a home again. My nesting needs and my desire for longer breaks from the boat fueled this, I will honestly admit. Andy agreed but he was much more patient about the whole process. I had angsts!! Some days I felt that if we didn’t drive up to those areas to see the homes in person they would be sold before we were ready and it was starting to happen. I would open my app to see one I had liked say “pending.” My heart would drop and I’d say to Andy, “there goes another one.” Then one day this pretty blue house came up. The first thing I saw were these beautiful blue doors (blue doors were in my visions!). OMG…… As I looked at all 51 pictures that were expertly taken and posted, my heart dropped. This is EXACTLY what WE wanted. It was perfect, every paint color, every light fixture, everything on my list. A big outdoor lanai, a pool and jacuzzi, a master on one side and 2 guest rooms on the other, (I want a lot of company), an office space that would become my jewelry studio, a boat dock for easy access to the water to kayak, a small day boat lift. The list goes on but you get the point. It was perfect. We called a realtor, rented a car and set out to drive up to see it.

These blue front doors and here waiting to greet me! PERFECT!! I couldn’t wait to see what was behind them.

We walked into the big, open great room and I was instantly in love. You could see straight out to the back lanai through large glass door that pocket open. I looked to the kitchen to a backsplash done in teal blue sea glass. I turned to see a front room office that had built in cabinets for the perfect studio. Master on one side, guest rooms on the other. Me and Andy looked at each other and both thought the same thing. The lady who decorated this home is my soul sister. It looked just like me. Honestly, all I needed was my clothes. Too bad they were not selling it furnished but I did take note of a few things that would have to stay.

The vintage doors in this room are a perfect headboard.
These vintage columns on the French door the lead to the pool are just the perfect touch!
The pool area and note the outside shower!
I will probably use this outside kitchen more then the inside. I cannot wait to grill up some meat!
My dream backsplash of teal sea glass and crispy white cabinets. Very Florida!!

We looked at the house and property. We loved everything about the layout and quality of the home. Andy walked across the street to a neighbors house and knocked on the door. To our surprise a lady opened the door and her husband came out to see who was knocking. A little odd in todays age and the street is gated so I am sure they were thinking “what the heck.” Andy asked a bunch of questions about the area and Jennifer (I can call her that now because we will become good friends) was so sweet, talkative and honest. They are retired at a young age like us and, to make this chance encounter even sweeter, she is the membership coordinator to the Venice Yacht Club!!!! This was WAY to serendipitous because we had discussed this very thing. Joining a local club to meet local boating people as well as socializing, being new to this are. It would also get us a place to put AQUAMAN!!!

This is an aerial view of the house and you can see how close we are to Venice and the beach in the distance.

The house has no one to the right and total privacy to the back. Across the street are mangroves that cannot new removed. The creek leads to the ocean but also up into a state park. I am totally freaked out about Alligators but I am sure I will get over this and I am thankful for that “Floridian cage” surrounding our pool. As long as they stay on the other side we will get along just fine! I can ride my bike to the beach, which was a big must on my list.

Some of the questions that are coming up are about our boat and about the weather. Hurricane’s to be exact and how we will handle that.

In our searching we came to realize that moving to Florida did not prove to be “cheaper.” Anything on or close to the water was costly. After searching for quite some time, in the areas we had circled, we realized we would never be able to have AQUAMAN in the backyard. It just wasn’t going to happen. We decided that this criteria would be taken off the list and we would find a place to put the boat, preferably a local yacht club.

Andy did however want a home on a canal with a lift for a smaller boat and easy access to the water. We want to enjoy the water, beach the boat or cruise the ICW looking for dolphins easily from our home. This home checked that box.

As for the weather, this was a huge concern of mine. A lot of homes we saw were built in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s. They were not to code and would need a total retrofit with storm glass. Old Floridian homes are also not elevated for storm surge. Very costly for flood insurance. This home was build in 2017, basically brand new, and was built for Cat 5 hurricane codes. The windows are all impact glass. The house is built from concrete walls and siding and all to todays codes. Another amazing blessing. Not only did I find a house in my most desired area, it’s a house build to withstand a big storm. The inspector called it a “brick shit house!”

I am so super grateful. I am so ready for the next chapter. I am ready to root again. This year has taught me so much about myself. I can do without so much but I really need a place to call home. I do not need fancy. I have turned into a simple girl, grey hair, no polish toes and not the latest styles. I have learned that gathering up stuff doesn’t fill the soul but just for a moment. I have realized its not a garage full of cars and a house full of possessions that make me happy. It is truly freeing. BUT, that being said, I am ready for a simple home, comfortable and a place to rest from all this adventure.

We are not at all done boating. I just need a break for awhile and a place to return, put up my feet and spread out. Andy feels the same and for that I am grateful. We want lots of company. We have 2 guest rooms and I will take you to all the beautiful beaches that Florida has to offer. I am excited to decorate (yes we need everything like newlyweds!). I am also excited to explore a whole new area, new restaurants, new shops, new beaches, new everything. This excites us both. We love exploring. We have miles and miles of uncharted territory ahead.

We are currently in Marathon at a beautiful resort marina. Our plan is to get to Fort Lauderdale and cross our wake, earning us a Gold Burgee! This is where the trip began. We are about 3 travel days away. Then we will take a route that goes across Lake Okeechobee to Fort Meyers and end in Venice. Andys working out the travel plans, routes and weather days. He is also working on a place to park AQUAMAN while we wait for a slip to open up at the yacht club. Things are suddenly moving very fast and it’s all very exciting. Somewhat surreal. This brings everyone up to date. I haven’t shared until this was solid and now it is!

We will be home in March to pack up the belongings I did save and figure out how to move them across the country.

A new journey is ahead! So blessed. What a year it has been!!

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