Thursday, June 6, 2019

Feeling Like Home

We arrived back in Stuart from Betty's for a six-week stay before heading out again. We had a pretty long to do list to get the condo feeling more like our home than a B&B. High on the list was getting to know the neighbors better. We had some people over for drinks and snacks. We are happy to report that the people we have met here are much more welcoming than the ones we wrote about in Tallahassee. When we are out for our morning walks people wave and are genuinely friendly. Just before we left, one of our neighbors had a few people to their place so we are making new friends. I have read a couple articles about the area in the Washington Post and Travel and Leisure. One comment I liked in one of the articles was that Martin County was a part of Florida for people who think they don't like Florida. We find this to be true. Even though we have all the conveniences such as stores, restaurants, ocean and beach nearby, we are mostly north of the Homestead to Palm Beach urban sprawl of South Florida. 
As soon as we got back we had Nis Air install the new air conditioning cooling coil. They discovered the problem when doing annual maintenance in February. The good news was the part was under warranty and the insurance that was part of the home inspection paid the labor. 
Another Sunday we went downtown for another Stuart Main Street Rock'n Riverwalk. The band Burnt Biscuit was fantastic. We really like the local music scene and much of it is free.
This is the river walk along the banks of the St. Lucie River. It is great being where one can be outside year round. The weather in May was warmer with highs in the 80's, but still not too hot to be outside.  
We had Consider It Done take care of several small issues the home inspector had found. They installed two new ceiling fans, changed a couple light switches, installed new door locks and repaired the grout in both showers.  
The biggest job we had for them was installing a storm door.  Since we now live in a condo, we had to have this project approved by the HOA architectural committee.
The big reason we wanted the door was to let more light inside. We are now able to leave the door open and when it is cool we can lower the glass and get fresh air. 
The new door looks great. Most days we had the door open and set the AC high enough that it did not run most of the day. With the ceiling fans on it remained very comfortable.
In some ways condo living is like RV park living. There are many rules, we have to take our trash to the dumpster and, as you can see, not everyone picks up after their dog. 
Did you know Wayfair has free shipping? True but everything we bought came with a "some assembly required" warning. This was the easiest to put together.
The new headboard in the guest bedroom looks great. Both our guests said the bed was very comfortable, so we may need to get a different mattress:-)
The entertainment center was the biggest assembly challenge with many parts. We took two days to put it together and only had to take one piece apart as we put one board in backwards.
Here is the finished product. It takes up much less space than the armoire, which we moved into the bedroom. When we return in the fall the shelves will be filled with many nick knacks we have collected during our travels. I also see a bigger TV in my future. The heron print was my house warming gift to my wife.
The hall table also required assembly. We found the welcoming pineapple lamp at a thrift store and the crawfish bowl came from a potter in Louisiana. These small improvements are starting to make the place feel more like our home.
We had not been to the Jupiter Jazz Society Sunday jam since getting back in the area. The day we went the featured players were young students, some only 10 years old. Getting young people interested in Jazz is one of the missions of the society.
When the regular jam started we were surprised at how few players there were. Turns out, here in South Florida "the season" is over and many of the musicians have headed to their homes up north. Even though many of the regulars weren't there, the music was still great. 
One day we took advantage of the nearby beach (about a 20 minute drive) and went to Hutchinson Island for our morning walk. I wanted to walk to the St. Lucie Inlet where the river flows into the Atlantic. Across the Inlet is Long Island, a state preserve that will never be developed. While Florida's population has grown, the state has set aside a lot of land as preserves.
There are many huge homes on this part of Hutchinson Island but the beach is still open to the public. The wind was from the east the day we walked so the beach was covered with seaweed. We heard this happens every spring.
When we started our walk we saw all these stalks with ribbons and thought the were surveyor markers. Turns out they are marking turtle nest. They come ashore, usually at night, and lay their eggs which will hatch in sixty days. The date the nest was built is written on the stalks so they have a good idea when they will hatch. Going out to see this some time is now on our bucket list. 
George and Nan recommended another music venue for us to check out, the Sneaki Tiki in downtown Stuart. It's a neat little outdoor restaurant that we discovered and it's also a Pittsburgh bar with Steeler and Penguin banners. We will sure be back there even with our Pats friends.

We have been in and out of the condo three times since January, but this time we will be gone for five and a half months so there was much more preparation. The number one priority was getting someone to keep an eye on the place, even though we have a security system. Our neighbor Nick told us he checks on several places and would be happy to add us to his list. He will go in every week or so to look the place over and take care of anything that needs done. In addition, June 1 starts the beginning of Hurricane season, a season we have never worried about before. Hurricane shutters came with the condo, but they need to be put up and taken down with each storm. (You can't leave the shutters on because if there was a fire the fire department could not get into the building.) Nick has someone lined up to do that job so we are very comfortable leaving our new home until November. 

As we post this we are now near Asheville, NC after stops in St. Augustine and near St, Marys, GA. We are happy that it is much cooler in the mountains than it has been along the coast. Next week we will be going to Berea, KY for a wedding. It is great being back on the road.   

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Now as to the beach, was there anyone fishing or digging for sharks teeth? Perhaps Nancy would love a shovel and sifter for her next birthday? Megalodon teeth have dramatically increased in price. Metal detectors are also a nice gift....