|How can you not fall in love?|
First, an apology to anyone who reads this blog with regularity and enjoys getting updates on our little adventure. The month of December seems to have gotten away from me, but not for the usual reasons of shopping and holiday preparation.
After my last post in which I talked about us not knowing which way to go, we spent a lot of time brainstorming and soul searching to find what we really thought would be the best option for us at this time. We looked at boats again, but ultimately came to the conclusion that we just can’t afford that right now. We talked about going West, but with the weather this time of year we ultimately decided to get as far south as we could and stay as warm as possible this winter.
So, we headed back to the Florida Keys, this time to find a place to stay. When we first visited the Keys in November we knew there was something special for us there. It’s the water, it’s the coconut palms, and it’s the laid back free-spirited vibe that one gets down here. Short of moving to the actual Caribbean, this is the closest you can get and still drive to it, and it’s pretty great.
We looked at a half dozen apartments between Key Largo at the northern end of the keys and Stock Island, which is next to Key West at the southern end of the keys. We ultimately settled on a small (400 sq. ft. or so) studio in Key Largo, with a deck that is twice the size of the apartment on a corner lot with two canals running by. Included in the lease is 25’ of dock space, so some sort of boat is definitely in our future.
|See, dock space!|
After the whirlwind second tour of the Keys and a few days unpacking the RV and settling into the apartment, we made a mad dash back to NY to return the Rialta to my family and pick up our Honda Element and two kayaks and some other things we had been storing. It was a brief visit, but enough to see both of our families, visit some friends, and give us a taste of the winter we have left behind. After freezing our butts off in NY for most of a week, driving back into south Florida felt like driving into spring time; layers were shed, windows were opened, the sun came out, and it was good!
We have been settling in nicely in our new digs. After living in the 150 sqare feet of the motor home for two months, a studio apartment feels downright palatial. It’s great to have a kitchen again, and a full sized shower. What really sold us on this place though was the tremendous amount of deck and dock space with it being right on the canals. We have already been visited by manatees a couple of times.
**Manatee Trivia: Manatees live in salt water, but love fresh water to drink. So if you see some swimming by and turn on a hose they will come right up to you and take the hose and greedily drink in all the fresh water they can take.
As I write this, we are experiencing something of a cold front in the Keys, today’s daytime high is only expected to be in the upper 50s! Imagine that! At the end of December, we are experiencing the same weather we wouldn’t have seen in NY until late March. Sold.
So, what does this mean for this blog? Has our change in course been completed?
In short, I don’t think so. Living on a sailboat and cruising still loom large in our dreams. Our new life in the Keys is probably just a port of call on our meandering journey through life. But it is definitely a nice stop.
I will keep posting about our adventures, and this may turn into a more frequent "here is the cool place to kayak that we found today" type of blog for a while. But I want to keep everyone updated on where we stand on our journey at large, how we are able to live this life because we chose to live simply, and ultimately how these “crazy” decisions have enabled us to live a life closer to our dreams.