In Florida, for reals!

Hello readers,

Good News!  We have not fallen off the face of the Earth.  More good news!  I’m now permanently in Florida.  *HAPPY DANCE!*

Beginning of August Tim and I road tripped back to FL in my 4Runner.  All of my possessions had been pared down to a suitcase of clothes, 1 hanging clothes thingy, my scuba BC, a few small(ish) plastic bins with assorted stuff, and 4 ZIPLOC vacuum bags with jeans and winter clothes = will be stored for months before needing, and of course snacks.  The purging of stuff I enjoyed.  I was pretty ruthless, using the hadn’t used it or worn it for 4 months rule then it got adios’d.

Back of 4Runner

Back of 4Runner

We decided to be leisurely on our way down, mostly via state highways like 98, 19, then popped over to Cedar Key to check it out.  We were kinda on the lookout for “old” Florida; Mom and Pop motels, divey beach bars, and no hoardes of humanity.  Well folks, that doesn’t really exist anymore, at least where we were.

The stretch, pretty much starting at Pensacola, along the coast, through Tallahassee is – with the exception of some national forests and wildlife areas – are condos, Starbucks, fast food, and resorts.  98, the section starting South of Tallahassee, then over on 19, that part really reminded me of East Texas.  Not very populated, small towns, homesteads on acres and acres with lush lawns, and homes tucked amongst the deep shade of tall trees.  I really liked that part since the rush rush rush of life was held at bay for a few hours.

We arrived in Bradenton Sunday afternoon and checked into the Hampton Inn.  Serenity was out of the water since she had been hauled out to have the shaft replaced – it was badly pitted thus tearing up the stuffing – the stuffing box re-packed and a new transponder for our new Garmin GPS installed.  YAY, new GPS!  No, I don’t know how to use it.  That’s going to take some practice and reading the manual.  :-/

After a wee issue with the keel leaking water(no biggie, really) Serenity was finally ready to go.  We trekked over and brought her back to the marina.  Side note:  it was crazy hot!  I’ve sweated less in a sauna.  Gross.  Anyway, Tim did a fine job of getting her into the slip and our friends John and Cathy helped us tie up.

A couple trips with the dock cart and all my junk is now on Serenity.  Is it stowed?  Er, not all of it.  We now need to go through Tim’s stuff and see what he wants to keep. I think my 4 month rule may not apply to him….

In conclusion, I miss my dog Tito Snack something terrible fierce but I’m super happy to finally be on the boat.  In my opinion living aboard is kinda like camping; in a really nice floating cabin. I wasn’t sure how fast I’d adapt to living aboard but after 2 weeks I was completely comfortable.  Kinda like I’d been here all along.


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