Saturday, November 30, 2019

Moving to Stuart and Becoming Floridians

November has been an unbelievably busy month starting with our big 50th anniversary celebration on Hatteras Island. We left Avon on November 7th and drove to the Cummins dealer in Kenly, North Carolina for our annual service. From there we took four days and drove back home to Stuart. Once there we began the process of moving ALL our stuff into our Lexington Lakes condo and becoming Florida residents.
We did not realize how much stuff we had in Opus and the CRV which included several boxes we picked up this summer that have been stored in Georgie's basement since we left WashPA in 2007. In the first four days we made 10 trips to where Opus is stored to bring things home. It was almost like Christmas for Nanc finding things she did not remember we had saved.
Of course it was not all moving in and getting things in place. We also got together with Nan and George at the Pelican for this month's full-moon party. It was a great evening of food, music and just getting caught up on what we have all been doing since we left Florida last spring.  
A big part of moving in was making the condo look like ours and not some place we were staying for a few days. Here are a few before and after pictures. This is what we had when we moved in and.....
...this is what it looks like now. The furniture is the same but all the pictures on the walls are now ours. We had a lot of them hanging in Opus and taking them down sure made it hit home that we were moving on to a new phase of our lives.
We had moved the armoire into the bedroom and put this new wall unit in its place in the spring, But now it is full of our things. I sure did put a lot of holes in the walls.
This was the guest bedroom when we moved in with a futon that looked like it was going to swallow you alive if you dared sit on it. 
We purchased the bed, headboard and the not very comfortable guest room mattress in the spring. We moved the big picture from the living room and the two small pictures are ones that our friends Karen and George Pelkey bought from us when we sold things before going on the road. They gifted them back to us for our anniversary. Nanc was so happy to see them when she opened that gift and they fit in very well with the nautical theme.
This was the second extra bedroom when we moved in. We did not want too many guest beds....
.... sooo we turned it into an office. We moved the desk from our bedroom and bought a comfortable chair and shelves for more of our stuff. It's a nice room we both use and a place where I can watch sports without bothering Nanc.
Looking down the hallway the walls now have our things making the condo so comfortable for us. We still have some things to do, but we like the way our new home is shaping up.
More fun and music with friends. High on our list of reasons we love this area is the Sunday Jupiter Jazz Society jam sessions. Walking into the Double Roads Tavern on Sunday it felt like we had not missed a beat.
Joe and Kathy, who we met at the Florida Keys Elks a few years ago, are in the area for a couple weeks on their way south so they joined us for the music.
We have stayed at their place in Nevada so we had the chance to return the favor. They came over for Nanc's famous linguine and seafood dinner. 
We knew we had to become residents to take advantage of the tax breaks given to Floridian homeowners. Our first stop was the Martin County office to get our Declaration of Domicile where we had to swear that our condo was our permanent home. After nearly 73 years of being a Pennsylvanian that was a little strange. We had one very small snafu as we needed to change auto insurance companies since Erie doesn't insure vehicles in Florida.
After getting insurance through the agent we used for our homeowners policy, we were able to do everything else in two very painless stops. The first was the Department of Motor Vehicles where, in less than an hour and half, we both had our Florida driver's license, were registered to vote (to help turn Florida blue), got a new plate for the CRV and my free senior fishing license. Our second stop was the Martin County Property Appraiser's office to get our homestead exemption on the condo. Unlike some of the horror stories we had heard, the staff at both offices were very friendly, efficient and helpful. 
We opted for the Save the Turtles Florida plate. While our plan is to still travel in Opus in the summer, we are looking forward to becoming part of the Stuart community and learning more about our new hometown.
The Rockin' River concerts on Sundays are one of the things that made Stuart an attractive place to settle. There is a small farmers market and a concert 50 Sundays a year. This week was the Nouveaux Honkies, a band we saw last spring. As you can see, the place was packed.
Another thing we love is all the different birds we see in the area. This little blue heron had the place along the river to itself.
We went out to dinner with Joe and Kathy a few times and decided to get together for Thanksgiving. They came over on Wednesday and Kathy and Nanc went shopping while Joe and I checked out the new Ocean Republic Brewery. On Thanksgiving morning it was a short drive to Hutchinson Island for a walk on the beach. It is great having the ocean so close. What a beautiful way to spend the day.
For dinner we decided to stay home and cook rather than go out to dinner. Joe is a great cook and he prepared a pot of seafood stew.
No turkey for us when we can have mussels, crab, scallops and shrimp. It was a wonderful meals and a fun day with friends.
We are getting more settled into our new home everyday and loving it. We have been so busy we decided we need a break, so next month we are going to Mexico for a vacation. We are looking forward to just kickin back and relaxing.


Palamine said...

It's so nice to make it your own, isn't it.

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

Its amazing how much stuff you can store in you rv. Did you find any rocks?