A Travellerspoint blog

Nice to Meet You!...You're Doing What?

We moved our home/community research to Ft Myers on Monday morning. It was a great drive south over the bay on the Skyway Bridge! It's a manmade marvel and bucket list item! And with all the tolls--it was a little bit of "home" on the road. You can see it in the distance, off to the left.
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And then the long climb.
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We stopped in Sarasota for a walk and some lunch...and gather more information. Couldn't help but have a little fun in the restroom!
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We will roll through Sarasota again on our way back to Tampa. For now, we are just driving neighborhoods, searching Realtor.com and Zillow, going to open houses, talking with realtors, talking to anyone we meet, enjoying outdoor cafes (Pancake makes us sit outside), and talking to each other. Hours and hours of talking to each other. And If that doesn't sound enchanting, then the bright sunshine, 77 degrees, with a gentle breeze certainly is enchanting.
Our afternoon wrap up in historic Ft Myers included a walk by the Edison Theater (because Edison had a large summer house here), and the Ford Garage Bar & Grill. This is the Women's bathroom.
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We have found mixed reactions when we talk with people. Some, smile, nod and say Yeah-that's what I did! Sold everything and moved here. Heard a new one today: the realtor shared her story of coming to Ft Myers for vacation from Boston, and never going back. Well that's a little extreme!

We walked to breakfast, smelling something...Kelly thought it was hot car brakes, but then wondered, cremation? No, it wasn't that; there are 50 acres of mulch burning north of Ft Myers and the smoke is in the air. It's dry season.

We spent the entire day looking over Cape Coral--beautiful, but not sure that the largest land mass city in Florida is the one for us. We're heading up the river Caloosahatchee tomorrow! (because we can spell it.)

Posted by SouzScott 19:57 Comments (0)

Weekend Update!

or March Madness?

After the day off for St Patrick's Day--we got busy. Planning our work, and working our plan. We identified and visited several apartment communities, and confirmed a location that we felt comfortable, could afford, and had the amenities for our situation. Then we visited several open houses and talked with realtors--got a feel for the market, neighborhoods, and just an idea of how it works here. We needed some of that. We looked through Dunedin--hot market, like Carrollton, but with many investors buying property to rent, not live. So we looked north: Palm Harbor.
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Found a great gelato and coffee bar. Also met the owners and heard their story of downsizing, re-imagining, and happiness. We kinda like Palm Harbor!
We spent the evening in downtown St. Petersburg listening to live music, watching the people, and sharing the vibe. There was a vibe--just not ours. There was a poster about a guy Shawn Brown--just not our nephew Shawn Brown.
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We went "home" to our Red Roof Inn. And we finally live near our friends the Murphy's.
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Hard to see, but we are also near the Salvation Army Correctional Center! and the Gateway Inn. We know all about these places...they help reintegrate people into society. Proud to help them, and not ashamed to live near them. (okay, have to admit, proud to live here temporarily).

We worshiped at a Community Church in Dunedin: Clearwater Community Church. Met one of the pastors, heard a meaningful message, and started to feel at home. And then we visited Safety Harbor. Got there for the Chalk Art Festival--we ate, talked with dog lovers, and visited the bay. Pancake got to see the ocean...the little, bitty waves...scared her. She is so brave!
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We decided to continue our data gathering...we are going to Ft. Myers in the morning.

Posted by SouzScott 07:13 Comments (0)

Homeless...the nightly discussion!

We do not want to make light of the homeless situation. We have experienced it in Florida, know it in Texas, and hear of it across the US. But we ARE homeless--we talk about where we will be tomorrow--nightly. (or at least when the reservation runs out.) AND, that is the difference. We have reservations--limited to where we can take the dog. It's a "first world" problem. However, it's a new discussion for us...where are we going to stay tomorrow. We can't keep this exercise up for long, but it's life for now.

Posted by SouzScott 07:13 Comments (0)

Eating & Buying gas across the country

Leaving Pensacola, we decided to take it easy and view the coast. We're easygoing like that! US98 to 30A back on 98 to US 19: down thru Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Ft. Walton, Destin, Miramar, Sandestin, we stopped for lunch at Seaside (think of The Truman Show). This was a very homogeneous village, and not only did all the houses look the same, so did all the people. Struck us humorous that with the cold snap that blew thru causing the rain in Pensacola, dropped temps into the high 30s overnight, and all the spring breakers got up that morning and said, "I'm at the beach on spring break, so I'm gonna dress like it." Yep, mid 40's to 50's and they were all in flip flops, tanks, swimsuits and short shorts. They all looked cold. We, on the other hand were layered and looked like we were dressed for 45 degree windy weather. We look out of place, but we weren't freezing. And we found a nice little restaurant in the center of the village that was pet friendly so Pancake could join us on the covered & sheltered patio. She enjoyed all the kids nearby who would hold their food too low. She's such a good girl!
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Back on the road thru Panama City, jet fighter training at Tyndall AFB, Port St. Joe, and afternoon break in Apalachicola for a little puppy shop which had a play yard for the Cakers & so many treats; who knew she'd like the salmon treats?
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Back on the road again: Carrabelle, St. Teresa, Sopchoppy, Medart & overnight accommodations at Crawfordville. Questioning the hotel clerk, the only real restaurant was next door, but "you have to be prepared...it's bingo night." Must a been 100 players who, when we walked in late, all looked at us like, "you're not from around here are ya?" But, the blackened fish & shrimp dinner was awesome. And the beer turned green as the night wore on.
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Next morning, we hopped on 98 to Perry and turned right on 19 heading down toward the Tampa area. Athena, Tennille, Cross City, Chiefland, Inglis stopping for a late lunch at Crystal River. Nice little cafe that Amy ran with her "old lady" friends. Sat on the patio, but they had something against Pancake. It was ok, after all that riding in the car, she needed a nap anyway. Back in" Homosassa Springs, Weeki Wachee (we didn't stop to see the mermaids but we will be back), Hudson (home of the infamous crematorium story), Port Richey, New Port Richey and the start of a search for a storage unit & apartment (maybe).

The old 2000 F150 made the whole trip pulling the Uhaul trailer with no issues, other than how hungry it was (make that 9 refueling stops). The passenger in the Lincoln was very quiet. Nice! As we get into the city, we're finding it harder to find pet friendly locations. We still don't know what they have against Pancake. She's a good little girl!
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Posted by kfscott 13:59 Comments (0)

Time to Blend!

or International Day of Happiness!

We said that we wanted to try out communities and see where we fit in. You know what that means? We have to go out and meet people. First, we had to reduce our drive time. So we packed up, dropped off the bikes, bike rack, and more stuff at the storage unit, parked the truck at a Walmart and went to the St Patrick's Day Festival in Dunedin. (We visited two apartment communities yesterday, so we aren't total slackers!--one was full and the other was not "us".)
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We met people. Not people that live here, but they spend a couple of months a year here, and then return to Wisconsin or Massachusetts or places North like that. We saved the wait list by joining a couple for lunch, Barb & Wally. Pancake was welcome at the restaurant, and we had a great time visiting with this fun couple on their next to last week in Florida (until next year.) We met another couple, one week from returning to the Great North, at another bar, meeting them through "love of dogs". I think we have found the common denominator for older couples: dogs. No more having to to go to kids soccer games, school events, children's birthday parties to meet people--it's dogs! We had a great time! and are feeling the Dunedin vibe.
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Locals at the festival. Mix of ages. Fun people willing to talk to strangers. But the relaxed ones like us were either retired or on a vacation. We are keeping an open mind.
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And we had to keep an open mind as we relocated from New Port Richey to St Petersburg; closer to Dunedin, Belleair, and Largo. (our areas of current interest) You would not describe our new digs (Red Roof Inn) as luxurious, but it's cozy...for now...tomorrow begins the big bad apartment hunt. And then who knows? We may take a drive to Ft Myers?

Posted by SouzScott 19:48 Comments (1)

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