Since our previous long-haul driver lived in New Smyrna Beach, we’d hoped we’d get him for the trip back to Las Vegas. Sadly, it was not to be. I mean, he was incredible! It would have relieved our minds to have had him at the helm. The guy who showed up and his two helpers were very slow!! Friendly, but oh so slow.
I think he overheard us and he tried to say he’d be done by 1:00 but it was more like 3:00. The other driver, Chris, had been done by noon. I was running behind them cleaning and vacuuming, mostly because we had an open house the next day.
Eventually, they were all loaded up so we loaded the car and the cats (yes, Daisy was in her cage the entire morning), and we headed for Residence Inn #1 in Jacksonville. We wanted to get a head start but make it a short day, having planned out each day.
I took photos of each room of the house and said good-bye to our dream kitchen. And then we were off!
Really hard to see this kitchen, especially after living with this one for a month now. Sigh…
Looking back on our time here in Florida this time around, we see that this was Skipper’s house. At 18 years old and never a fan of stairs, he loved ruling the single-story. We were able to give him the extra care he needed. He thrived here as much as an 18-year-old cat can for the last year of his life. And when Daisy joined us, he enjoyed the little girl’s company, and the way she would walk underneath the big guy. Skipper knew all the cats – those who came before home and those who followed him. It isn’t the same in this house without him.
Skipper’s house is now on the market. We’ve met with the movers. We’re finalizing a house with our realtor in Las Vegas for the Shadow and Daisy chapter of our lives. We’re very excited to do Vegas a bit differently this time around. Rich’s boss, direct reports, and co-workers are ecstatic. I’ll have a dedicated music studio in a casita-type feature of the new property. And I’m ecstatic about that!
I won’t miss the mosquitoes in Florida. I’m one of those people mosquitoes feast on. It’s been a hot and humid fall this year and I can’t seem to go outside without getting eaten alive. I’m up scratching as I write this. It wasn’t this bad this time last year.
We’ve got a couple of days planned for our Disney finale. I’m pretty sure we’ll miss the access to Disney and the beach, which are always the draw for us. And then we should be home for Christmas.
Thumbing through our photos on my phone over the past year and a half, I can see that we’ve had one heck of a Florida vacation. We started this chapter chasing Margaritaville and we certainly found it.
But now I’m looking forward to our next adventures together, and the comfort of being home.
I will miss the morning sunlight peeking through the trees,
Soaring birds chirping their morning wakefulness,
Squawking gulls flapping their wings,
Treading shore birds scanning the pond for breakfast.
I will miss sipping my coffee on the lanai greeting the dawn with prayer,
Scribbling my early thoughts,
Clearing my mind of nighttime fears,
Making room for gratitude and thankfulness.
I will miss cocktails and apps overlooking the springs at the BoatHouse,
Strolling World Showcase,
Martinis in the Wilderness,
Dipping my toes in the ocean.
I will miss our dream kitchen,
White cabinets and quartz countertops,
Undermount lights with a view,
Morning walkers and evening golf carts.
But most of all I will miss
The last house where Skipper lived.
The best reason for living in Florida is waking up before the sun is up, sipping my first cup of coffee out on the Lanai, soaking in the quiet, the pond tranquility, the fascinating, moving clouds, and the many hues displayed in the morning sky. Absolutely breathtaking! It’s like having a mini vacay before daylight.
Being an early riser these days, I often do this alone, but sometimes, like yesterday and this morning before work, Rich joined me. I’ve been snapping pics from my iPhone but I’ve dug out the regular camera and may be taking some photos using it next.
Once the sun was bright enough to blind us, we drove off to the beach and enjoyed a morning walk on the beach and then Rich got our “Margaritaville” beach chairs, and we sat on the beach, enjoying the smell, feel, and sounds of the ocean. Heaven!
Oh yes, and then we opened up the “Director’s Cut” from the latest Coppola shipment, celebrating the California birthday plans Rich has made for me.
Rich worked a short day on Thanksgiving Eve so we stopped by the house. Right away we noticed the shutters and doors (including garage door) had been painted. I find the Craftsman style and colors to be quite fascinating, opening up a whole new world to me, having grown up with the then new Mid-Century Modern, replacing the earlier California Bungalow.
I’m curious how we will furnish the inside – it seems every house calls for its own furnishings.
The funny thing is that the house seems to have two different facades – the rear seems more Florida contemporary than Craftsman. But if you look closely at the older homes in our little beach town, you see the original Craftsman.
Landscapers were working on the sprinkler system so I didn’t want to poke around too much but Rich did peek in and noticed the carpet had been installed. Still no appliances but that and window blinds are all that’s left to be done on the inside.
The train whistle keeps me company as I lie awake counting the days left in November. The screeching sirens that follow are a bit more jarring. They fade fade into the distance to be replaced by rap music blaring from car radios from revelers entering the gates returning home after closing time. Each day stretches beyond my limits but I remind myself that I will surely look back on this fondly.
JBs celebrated its full re-opening post Hurricane Irma on Saturday so we stopped by after our usual house tour. The A/C man was installing the A/C unit so when he left for an early lunch break, we peeked in the windows.
Door fixtures, toilets, porch lights, coach lights, driveway and sidewalks are the latest additions.
We managed to arrive early at JBs and sat outside as Canadian snow birds began arriving, boisterously greeting old friends.
I had my usual Salted Sea Dog with shrimp basket and Rich had his usual Rum Runner and clam basket, indulging ourselves on such an occasion.
It was a beautiful day and we strolled on the beach after lunch before heading back to Orlando.