Tag Archives: Key West

Back To Mile 0

23 Mar

After leaving Daytona, we arrived in Miami and welcomed to this:

our crap!

our crap!

and this:

family!

family!

My parents threw us an awesome welcome home party the day after we got to Miami, just enough time to dig through our bags of “new” 2-year-old clothes and find something hole and stain free to wear. (Seriously don’t remember keeping so much stuff!) It was FAN-TASTIC to see our friends and family after being away for so long.

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we finally met our godson Ethan

we finally met our godson Ethan

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the sweetest gift!

the sweetest gift!

We spent the next few days readjusting (more on that later), taking the dogs for a vet check up, getting an oil change on our car and other random welcome-to-reality tasks (like getting new batteries for all 5 of my watches that died during our 2 year absence).

Then, on March 5, 2015, back to Key West, where it all began. We decided to drive Skyhorse because, well, why wouldn’t you take an impractically large vehicle a tiny island during Spring Break. No, it just seemed fitting to return with Skyhorse.

The water looked bluer. The sky clearer. I had forgotten how amazingly captivating the drive down the Keys is.

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look at that big smile!!

look at that big smile!!

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The normally 3 hour drive took us 5 hours, as we stopped to visit friends all along the way down. And after 680 days–1.5 months shy of 2 years–we returned to Key West for a long weekend visit.

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Our 5 days in Key West were filled with surprising this one for her 25th 29th 31st birthday

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this adorable face’s 1st birthday

happy 1st birthday Ava!!

meeting the newest generation of Key West Conchs, going out on the boat (a million thanks Lori and Kevin!!), wandering our old neighborhood, drinking at our favorite watering holes, and reconnecting with old friends. 

baby whisperer?

baby whisperer?

give me back my bow!

give me back my bow!

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fighting over who is going to wash the dishes. some things never change...

fighting over who is going to wash the dishes. some things never change…

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the Robertson Resort

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We even camped a night at the office. 

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The conversations picked up right where we had left off and though circumstances had changed (new addresses, new jobs…) all the people were the same. Those that we had laughed with for years before we left on our adventure were still standing there with open arms welcoming Hani and I back. The only measure of the passage of time was all the new little ones that have sprung up in the last 2 years.

The city and its unique character will always hold such a special place in our hearts. I know our visits to Key West will always continue. But for now, the wind is pulling us in a different direction.

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A day of thanks

30 Nov

Thursday morning was tough. It was the first day I really felt homesick. Yes, I know, home is where the heart is. But my heart was stuck somewhere between Miami and Key West. It was the first Thanksgiving that I hadn’t spent with my parents in Miami. We were missing the cooking, the laughter, the ordeal of setting the table and choosing the right wine. The turkey, the homemade cranberry sauce and my favorite dessert: my dad’s pumpkin pie.

The day before we had received emails from two friends in Key West with updates on everyone’s happenings. I was so happy to hear what’s been going on but at the same time it made me miss Key West and our life there. Since we’ve left, a few friends have bought homes, 3 engagements and 2 weddings have been celebrated, and 5 babies have been born with a few more on the way. I am beyond thrilled to hear about all these joyful occasions but sad I can’t be there in person celebrating. And I feel like an email, text or Facebook message doesn’t adequately relay my excitement but unfortunately it will have to do for the next few months. And while we are celebrating in spirit, we can’t wait to celebrate in person at some point in time.

Our Thanksgiving day was very untraditional but a lot of fun. We spent the day in San Roque parked at a new friend’s house with Toby and Chloe of Carpe Viam.

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We explored the coast on the motorcycle, walked the beach and collected firewood for our evening cookout. We feasted on gifted lobsters and fish, veggies and baked potatoes, our favorite wine, and even managed to bake a pumpkin-bread-oat thing accurately named the “thanksgiving miracle”.

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In all, it was a fabulous day with wonderful new friends. We truly have a lot to be thankful for today and always.

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Random thoughts/ month 1

29 May

We left Key West one month ago but it really feels like a lifetime ago. Each day feels like 5 Saturdays. It’s awesome.

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This month I:

+ am totally impressed with what amazing travelers the pups are. They are adjusting to life on the road, love exploring and are game driving around for as long as necessary. Olivia is off Dramamine and hasn’t puked once!

+ got sunburnt twice. I just can’t seem to recognize I’m frying until its too late.

+ can’t get over how many Capital One banks (didn’t even know they exist), DQs, and Dollar General/ Family Dollar are in rural America. To the point that we started a punch-buggy Dollar/Family Dollar game. My left arm is kinda sore. It’s rare to find a BOA, Starbucks or Target. Toto, we’re not in suburban Miami anymore.

+ forgot what a clutz I am. Apparently, Hani had no clue. Not sure who he’s been living with the past 6plus years. I ruined one shirt. I smacked the top of my head twice. I missed a step on the ladder and have a huge knot on my knee. And I’ve banged up my legs getting in and out of the truck more times then I can count.

+ will scream if I hear Bruno Mars again. I can’t reach the radio fast enough once I hear those opening piano notes. Sorry Betsy.

+ have been underestimating people. I guess growing up in Miami where everyone ignores each other, you learn to not confront strangers. But everyone we’ve meet north of south Florida has been incredibly welcoming and sincere. We’ve been constantly greeted with a smile and thumbs up everywhere we go. We’ve met some fabulous people so far and I know that will continue. Skyhorse brings out the best in people we meet.

+ drove Skyhorse! On my first time behind the wheel, I drove over 100 miles and over a state line all at a steady 45mph. #speeddeamon

+ resolve to check the weather before beginning a day of driving. No joke, EVER long day of driving has been in the rain.

+ traveled through 5 states and just entered the 6th. Bring on month 2!!

Messages in an envelope

16 May

For our going away party, our great friends Loriellen and Dustin (and their spouses, Kevin and Allison) hosted a fabulous party at their law office. As our gift, Lori had everyone in attendance fill out a “ballot” listing where they thought I would bail, along with a farewell message. She sealed up the envelope with everyone’s notes with the instruction to read it all once we got on the road.

Tonight, on Toledo Bend Lake, the lake that separates Louisiana and Texas, we broke open the envelope while listing to Howard Livingston. Not going to lie, the notes brought a tear to my eye, mostly because all your jerks thought I was going to get out before we even left the state of Florida! Out of 79 ballots, 23 of you said I wouldn’t make it out of Florida, with 3 of you writing that I would barely make it out of Key West (thanks Susan, Karole and MOM!)!!! 9 of you thought I would make it to New Orleans. I do love my Jazz Fest and good fatty bacony cooking but PUH-LEASE people! The majority of you wrote I would bail anywhere from Texas (Rhonda, I guess I’ll be moving in with your parents?) to Wyoming (Kuypers, you won’t be saying good riddance come May 31!) to Alaska to somewhere in Cali (Mamasabi, I’ll definitely be taking a prolonged stop in wine country) to Mexico. Toula, I can’t even repeat yours! Betsy, spa date in Arizona? And Tam tam, Aaron and Tiffany both thought I’d leave Hani for you in Kentucky!

To the 14 of you that are still my friends (Lori, Nancy, Justin, Kasey, Jerry, Eddie, Janet, Ashley, Maggie, Tom, Christina, Scott, Cat, and Drew) that said I’d make it all the way, AND THEN to Austin, I love you and can’t wait to see you all! You guys are more than welcome to come visit us on the road or in Austin anytime!

Lori, thank you so much for the best gift! I knew you were rooting for me! xo

On the road…FINALLY!!

27 Apr

My sister said it best in her recent facebook post: “Never thought this day would actually come. What started as an ambulance 2+ years ago has finally embarked on its year-long journey through north and central America.”

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We finally left Key West on Thursday April 25.  It was completely anticlimactic. Hani left for the mechanic early in the morning and I stayed back and walked aimlessly around a depressingly empty apartment. I followed up a few hours later with all the animals in tow, after I couldn’t bear to sit (on the floor) there anymore. We waited at the mechanic for a few more hours for them to fix (the last?) thing, AND THEN we were finally off. By that point, my tears had dried (I’m such a sap) and we were both antsy to get moving. But not without a few stops on our way out of the Keys for yet one more last goodbye.

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Here we are with our good friend Demetrios, who will hopefully be meeting us in Mexico.

We arrived in Miami and now the fun begins! We unloaded too many boxes from our former life into my parents’ house and I surrendered my car keys. Even though we have left, it doesn’t feel like we are on the road. Maybe it’s because I haven’t ridden in Skyhorse yet. Maybe it’s because we have been staying in my parents lovely air conditioned house.

Tomorrow we leave for Daytona to visit Hani’s parents for a few days. Then we head to New Orleans. Reality will probably sink in once we are out of Florida.

The Waiting Game

23 Apr

Today is Tuesday (feels like Saturday) and we are STILL in Key West. Almost a week of unemployment. A few months ago, I thought what was going to keep us here longer would be trying to sell our stuff (namely, Hani’s car) and not wanting to say goodbye to our friends and this awesome city. You only realize how much nonsense you have accumulated once you want/need to get rid of it. And you only realize how much you love a city once your departure is impending. Now, with the car sold last week along with practically everything else we owned and having said goodbye to the same friends over and over again for a week and a half, we are ready to leave. “We” meaning myself and Hani. And I guess the dogs too if they could talk. I never figured the thing preventing us from leaving town would be the camper. Duh.

Everything in Key West moves at a glacial pace. And the mechanics here do not disappoint. But the thingamabopper on the truck needs to be replaced and the dodado needs to be special ordered. And who knows when it will arrive. Whatever.

So with everything all packed up and day 5 (3??) of sleeping on the air mattress, we are making the most of the situation by spending as much as time as possible with friends. Each day and night has been filled with great food and drink, laughs, stories and fabulous people we will miss dearly. Our going away party Friday was a blast, with Hani arriving in Skyhorse 45 minutes late because the mechanic was still working on one.more.thing. Their entrance was epic. My parents even came down from Miami for the occasion. And every night that has followed has been the “last” dinner with friends, with no one really saying goodbye because we knew the next night would have one more “last” dinner. For real this time.

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We spent last night watching our last sunset from Mallory Square and seeing our favorite act, the Catman.

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Then off to a delicious dinner and more love and hugs and kinda goodbyes.

And the waiting continues…

Weekend recap

15 Apr

This was our last “real” weekend in Key West. Or at least I think it was. Since we figure next weekend will be filled with final packing and re-packing, we wanted to have some f-u-n!

That being said, after a fabulous office party we prepped for our early morning moving sale. Oh man, was that an experience! I don’t know what these people expected to find at our sale (buried treasure? thousand year old artifacts?) but they started LINING UP outside a half hour before we advertised to start. And, then yelled up to us through our open windows asking when we were starting. How about the time listed in the newspaper you’re holding?! Of course, the early birds didn’t buy anything. But I did get scolded about not having “yard sale prices.”

We did have a steady stream of people coming through the house and, when we ended four hours later, we had sold about half the stuff we put out. The best part of the day was when this homeless lady came in and tracked dog shit all through the house and blamed it on our pups. I thought the shit smell was just her scent. Hani was quick to push her out the door, not before she sprayed her shoe with room spray and then cleaned the bottom off right outside our front door so everyone else coming in could track the crap back through our house. Awesome. We were getting funny looks for the next 40 or so minutes as the stench lingered despite clorox and lysol. On the plus side, all of our furniture is sold except one mattress and Hani’s car is still for sale (anyone want to buy a ’94 mosaic-ed Saab beauty??) so it looks like we’ll be leaving town sooner than planned. No sense in sleeping on an air mattress and living out of bags if we don’t have to.

Day two of our sale was not as eventful. After the first few hours passed and we had only made a whooping $7, we ditched our sale and went on our friends’ boat. Here’s a picture from our last day at Mudd Key.

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I’ll miss this place but there are more beautiful waters and deserted islands to explore. I may or may not have shed a tear (or ten) on the ride back in. But it was a great way to end the weekend.

Now on for our last few days of work…