A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: SouzScott

On the Road Again

We need a break from retirement OR Celebrating Graduation and Launch of Last Child

Checking in at the International Plaza before a 5:30 am flight to NYC and Hofstra University graduation!

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We have spent all of April in Fort Myers FL: house hunting, neighborhood shopping, apartment dwelling, festival hopping, church visiting, business startup research, library card procurement, culinary sampling, alcohol induced numbing, AND making decisions! Yes, moving with hope and intent but not a location requires a lot of work! Whew! We need a break!

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Good news is we had this planned celebratory break. We have paid the last tuition check. We're having our first offspring graduation and launching our last child! We're Free! We're Free! We're Free! Free at last!

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The trip is to New York and Long Island. The family got excited, and we are being joined by Kelly's mother, Susan's brother & sister-in-law, our nephew & family, Susan's cousins, and our oldest son and girlfriend. That's a fun week!

Don't get bored. Graduation activities don't start until Sunday. Until then it's mid-west meets Florida in New York City! We have a new retiree! (May 1,2017), an octogenarian, Gen-Xers with child, millennials, and then a bunch of working boomers!
All enjoying the greatest city in the world! (Some for the first time!)

Upgraded out of Tampa! Gotta love Florida! 90_IMG_2464.jpg See you in Manhattan!

Posted by SouzScott 04:19 Comments (0)

Life Stories!

Things that happened along the way.

We got caught up in becoming responsible, and failed to share some of our "downtime" experiences.
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Walmart parking lot is always interesting.

We were walking the dog around the Red Roof Inn one late afternoon, and happened to see an older woman and her daughter searching through their car. Not an unusual experience in a motel, except the older woman was wearing her slip, knee length full slip. The two grandkids came out to join the search, and started to remove their clothes in the parking lot. The mother looked at them and snorted "keep your clothes on!" Kelly added, "because we've only got room for one kind of crazy here." Sorry, no pictures.

And then when we drove to Clearwater with the trailer: The Sunshine Skybridge is a toll bridge and pulling a trailer makes it a $3.75 charge. But Susan did not want to break a $20, so she fished in her purse and, meticulously counted into Kelly's hand 10 dimes, 3 quarters and 2 dollar bills from of her wallet while the attendant patiently watched. Kelly commented to the toll booth attendant, "We had to break open the piggy bank," who snorted---they see it all in Florida.

Steve and Connie Brown, Susan's brother and sister-in-law, invited us over to Orlando for the weekend. We weren't sure we should go, until Kelly said we really need someone new to talk to...or a referee. Connie offered to put us in separate corners, and to wear striped shirts. We're going!
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Now to catch up on our activities. Moving is...so many thoughts, feelings, bad words come to mind. It's hard work. In the past three days: Kelly has driven to Clearwater three times (to clean out our storage unit): once with a trailer in tow, once in the Lincoln needing to get the bike & bike rack, and another with the truck. Our fears that the truck was having problems after all our hauling have been reduced, having found a loose ball hitch. Thank you God! There is a Puerto Vallarta story there. Susan has cleaned, unpacked and filled the bedroom closet, cleaned the bathroom and organized personal items, cleaned and unpacked most of the kitchen and organized it. We met with a mortgage banker and got our per-approvals going, met some of the neighbors and secured a nearby, but very small storage unit and filled it up.
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For those worried about it, yes the desk is in there!

So we're off to take a vacation from our retirement because we can, because retirement is tiring and we need a rest and it will be fun to see a highway other than I75 between Ft. Myers & Tampa. Should we do our laundry at the in-laws?

Posted by SouzScott 21:18 Comments (0)

Move In Day!

Ready, Set, MOVE!

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We have given up hotel living for the time being, and are now apartment dwellers. It was a long, long, day! It began as many of our days, with continental breakfast with the Red Roof guests. Most of them are spring breakers, spring training or families visiting Florida.
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Then we picked up our apartment keys, and scooted down the road to pick up another Uhaul trailer.
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Prior to all this activity, on Monday, we confirmed our apartment lease, set up electricity service, internet and cable TV, and purchased renters insurance. On Sunday we visited a church in the morning and then attended their "Get to Know us Better" event that evening. We are starting to feel more responsible again. Hanging in a motel, though, means that you go out and sit in public much of the day. So we did business chores at a Pizza Hut, while partaking in the lunch buffet, free wifi, and excellent air conditioning. Then we drove to check out some neighborhoods, and ended up at the Nauti Parrot, our semi haunt. Our real estate agent sent us information on 19 homes, several of real interest, and some in the North Fort Myers area, near our haunt. Hey! It's on the river, has live music every night, and 2 for 1 happy hour, for (you guessed it) 2 hours.

But back to moving day.
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Our Tropicana storage unit is 2 hours north in Clearwater, so we pulled the trailer up there. This life event is a logistics puzzle: The trailer turned out to be smaller than our previous, and we didn't believe that we had room for everything in our 750 sq ft apartment. So as we loaded the trailer we had to make the take or leave decisions again. This time the determining factor was: will it fit in the truck during a later trip? If yes, it can continue to lounge at the Tropicana, but if it is too big, it must go in this (our last trailer). These are the kind of life decisions that we get to make because we decided to move ourselves. Kelly found a storage unit in Ft Myers that is smaller, air conditioned, and indoor. We learned why people like that. When we opened the Tropicana Storage door, it rained leaves, pollen, and catkins (from live oak trees.) So the items left there are now covered with multiple moving blankets.
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The ride back to Ft Myers was interesting. The trailer was maybe not as good as the trailer coming from Texas. Kelly had no problem pulling that trailer, and only a few times did it start swaying. This smaller trailer would start swaying coming down every overpass, and we could not go more than 60 mph, and sometimes not that fast. Slow trip!

The trashcans and paper goods did not make the cut to even come to Florida, so we didn't have paper towels, toilet paper, or trash cans when we got back to the apartment. But Downy seemed to show up on boxes and stuff. Long Day!

But every housewife raised during the 60's knows the first thing you do is make the bed!
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Good Night!

Posted by SouzScott 21:38 Comments (0)

Answer. Vote. Decision.

Our Start in Florida is...

Final Answer? Who Wants To be a Millionaire
The Tribe Has Spoken. Survivor
Pulled the Trigger. Whoa! That's not a good reference in Florida.

However, we did! We made a decision, made the deposit, did the deed... We will be calling the Fountains of Forestwood in Ft Myers our home for the next 7 months (if approved). We had a 48 hour decision window. Yes, apartment rents are priced by the day and the number of inquiries. The people that were working in the airline industry and scheduling seat prices have moved into the apartment industry. Every day, they check the rates for that apartment style. It changed +$70 a month between our visit and online registration. Lucky Us! We had a 48 hour quote that locked us in to the lower rate.

So we move in on March 28! We made the decision and then drove to St Petersburg and the Gulfport Area based on the recommendation of Reuben from Sacramento CA, our waiter at MotorworksBrewery in Bradenton (the #1 large brewery in Florida for 2017!!). He is in the know, and he is moving to St Pete (soon), and he says its the next up and coming area.
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So we went! (after confirming our apartment application, and knowing that next week we will NOT be living motel to motel, and basically homeless.)
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What we found in Gulfport: it definitely is in need of revitalization and you can see those beginnings. We think our attempt at Ft Myers for 7 months will not put us behind that curve, so Ft Myers it is.

It was a 2+ hour drive back to Ft Myers, and that put us back at the Red Roof Inn, North Ft Myers, just in time for Happy Hour live music at the Nauti Parrot! Can life get any better?

Time for some Florida observations:
1. In Florida, the women's restrooms have learned that it is best to have the hook for your purse on the side of the stall (nearer the toilet) instead of on the door. Seems Susan appreciates this. She can reach her phone, and other stuff, and spend some quality time behind "the door."
2. In Florida, often times the women's restrooms will include a handle above the toilet paper roll. It will be at an angle and sturdy, for pulling yourself up off the toilet.
3. In Florida, sometimes for convenience and lack of building codes, the restroom is in the kitchen. Helpful in checking on your order.

Did we talk about laundry? Oh yes, that goes on during this excursion. But we found the ultimate laundry! 5 stars!
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That was yesterday, before our move to Bradenton, and finding the Super 8 that was horribly dissed online. Turned out the Super 8 was GREAT! So when you see mixed reviews, we say...maybe ....go for it.

Posted by SouzScott 19:50 Comments (0)

Decisions! Decisions!

Ft Myers: Could it be Paradise for the Scott's?

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Straining to see where we fit in--(we woke up to fog)--we have driven, dined, drank, and discussed, but we have not decided. We have looked north, west, south, and now east. We visited the library to research, county and city info. Remember, we told you that we were going to make the decision on vibe (and of course, information.) So tomorrow, we meet with another apartment community AND a real estate agent. Ft Myers/Cape Coral was our original first choice, but we got swayed to the New Port Richey area. And started thinking Tampa; but now we are thinking Ft Myers. The downtown is sweet, and much more vibrant that in St Pete (even on a a Wednesday afternoon, compared to a Friday night); the art scene is more vibrant with the Edison and Ford estates nearby.

Should we? Could we? Would we "fit in"?
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That was last night, and we certainly fit in at the Nauti Parrot! Live music, 2 for 1 drinks, women just getting up dancing together because the men's hip replacements haven't healed completely; and oh, Oh, OH! the mashed potatoes in the bathrooms!
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Kelly came back from his first visit to the restroom grossed out by the Tupperware bowl full of mashed potatoes. Susan came back from her visit exclaiming how good they were! Really, she ate them? Silly man, it's a sea salt hand wash, that feels and smells great! The dancing ladies all smelled great too!

Today, we had a late start. Once we got going we visited two apartment communities, met with a realtor, found a mortgage broker, and experienced a sudden Florida storm shower. The second apartment community was a definite option. The first one we visited looked great online, but in reality was pretty old, and run down. And then when Kelly found a cluster of fleas on his ankle while walking through one of the apartments, it was a definite walk away. We had to stop and get some FrontLine for Pancake after that visit. We are still itchy.
So with an apartment approved (we also have an approved apartment in Dunedin if the decision goes that way), we met with a real estate agent. We found her online during our happy hour at the Nauti Parrot--our intellectual mind share space. We like her because she has experience with finding a house with "potential" and making it your own. We resemble that remark.
And the bonus is: her husband is a mortgage broker, so we can talk through our retired (unemployed) situation with a motivated broker. Perhaps, God is directing us here. And then the storm blew in, knocking down umbrellas, "Valet" parking signs, and really messing up our hair. BUT! the weather here was mid to high 70's, with a light breeze most of the day. It was beautiful!

Posted by SouzScott 20:08 Comments (0)

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