To Florida

To Florida — its dreamers, its builders, its mavericks, and its scoundrels (Sometimes all four at once).
Beatriz Williams

“I never thought you would leave Las Vegas,” my friend Mary said to me the other day. “I thought you’d be here forever.”

She was a little incorrect on both points. We did buy a condo in Florida, but we aren’t really leaving Las Vegas. That said, I did think I would be here forever, but that was before I discovered my heart wants to be elsewhere.

A lot of this started when I fell in love with my roots in Italy. I discovered that I could live elsewhere and that I really love living in a city. Don’t get me wrong; I do like living in Las Vegas, but I miss certain things when I’m here.

In Italia

What it comes down to, though, is that when we moved back here 10 years ago, we didn’t stop to think that we were getting older. We also didn’t consider how far away from Jason—and family and friends—we would be. During the times we lived in Atlanta, Las Vegas (the first time), and Nashville, my mother and mother-in-law’s comments that they missed us tended to irritate me. “You can visit anytime you want,” I would tell them. Of course, they did, but it was different.

Now, with Jason and Sandra 2000+ miles from us, I understand how our mothers felt. I don’t want to be in their backyard, but I do want to be closer. I want to be able to see them more than two times per year. (They may have other thoughts, but…..) I also started thinking that if something happened to one of us, it would be hard for Jason to get to us quickly.

Mike on Madeira Beach

We have been looking in the Tampa Bay area for over a year, but we decided we really wanted to be in Downtown St. Petersburg (DTSP). Actually, we really wanted to be in one particular building, and as luck would have it, the perfect condo for us became available when we were in town in August.

We’re on the 4th floor

We closed on it last month, and I started to try to put things together so that when we return in November, we’ll be on our way to making it ours. It’s small—Mike calls it a large closet— so figuring out where to store things we want to keep there will take time.

A few friends have told me they think we are crazy buying something so small, but I have learned through my living in Italy that I do not need all of the space I live in now. Organization is the key.

So, why DTSP? What can I say? Our mid-rise building is within two blocks of the bay and two blocks of the Dali Museum. Actually, there are 11 museums downtown, all within reasonable walking distance. The University of South Florida, St. Pete is across the street, and the Tampa Bay Rays stadium is a few blocks west.

We can walk to Publix (2 blocks), Starbucks (across the street), and countless bars, restaurants, and shops. Trader Joe’s is close, and St. Pete Beach is 15 minutes away. There are two hospitals, doctors, dentists, hair salons, and more very close.

Best of all, Jason and Sandra are 18 miles away.

So, our adventure continues, and heaven only knows where this will all take us.

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