Though I did not mention it in our last post, there was actually one other update from the month of March. After the loooooong winter in Baltimore, it had made me realize that one of the reasons I was potentially less enthused about our future plans to return on Highwind to the west coast would be the return to another looooong winter. You see, I have become quite accustomed to following the good weather from north to south and have really enjoyed our winters in the warm weather of Florida. Apparently David had also been thinking the same when he floated the idea by me to look at buying a house in Key West that could be our winter residence.
We started looking at houses on Redfin and the more we talked about it, the more excited we got about the idea. Fast forward to the end of March, where we had an offer accepted on a house that we had only seen via remote video tour. Therefore, after we returned from Seattle, we soon found ourselves hopping on a flight down to Key West to oversee the house inspection in person! Everything went smoothly on the day, and later in the afternoon while I was working by the pool at our hotel, I was feeling very excited about our decision!
We decided to extend our trip through the weekend and enjoyed some more of the sun before we returned back to Baltimore. With nothing large discovered on the inspection, and a quick closing expected (~2 weeks), we started making plans for our move-in date, in mid-April.
We made arrangements to fly into Key West and spend 2.5 weeks getting the house set up before we would head to Orlando for a long-pre-planned Disney/Bethy and Alex visit in the first week of May.
In the time between our visit for the inspection and our move-in trip, we kept quite busy! I enjoyed a couple more classes at the pole studio here in Baltimore, before saying potentially goodbye to the new friends I had made there. Jan and Jim invited us to their house for Easter, so we arranged to rent a car for the day and drove up for a wonderful time! I also took a trip up to New York for another work planning session.
Since we had sold our condo in Seattle and cleared out our storage unit, we would be starting entirely from scratch setting up this house. We decided to fly into Miami so that we could swing by Ikea and Costco. David had been trying to find a car for us to buy, but apparently it’s a seller’s market at the moment, so we ended up putting a down payment on a car that was arriving a few days after we arrived, and we ended up with a rental mini-van in the meantime. This actually worked out well for us, since we packed it to the gills!
The next two weeks were a hectic blur of building furniture, setting up a kitchen, installing internet, getting settled, etc. One of our criteria for this house was that it needed to require essentially no renovation work – since we’d not be there full time, we needed to to be basically ready to go.
However, sprinkled between all that work, we did manage to have a little fun as well. On our first weekend, the Blue Angels were kicking off their show season at the Key West Air Show. This was my first time attending a Blue Angels show at the actual show location where someone narrates and describes all the maneuvers that they are performing. It is incredible to see what they are able to do!
That weekend, our purchased car ended up coming in early, so we drove back to Miami to return the rental car and pick up our new Kia Soul and take a second pass at Costco and Harbor Freight.
The following weekend, there was a festival in town that included a bicycle-powered kinetic-sculpture parade and a drag race through town. We loved to see this happening in spite of the recent legislature changes occurring “cracking down” on drag performances. Key West’s unique and open culture is one of the reasons we chose to move here!
In the second week, we also hosted our first guests – a couple of my team members flew in to Key West for a team planning session. We set up the outdoor table (our only furniture at the time) as a conference table and had a great working day, with dinner on Duval Street afterwards.
Finally, in the last few days, my new pole arrived from Italy and I was able to get it set up and give it a spin – literally as it’s a spin pole!!
It was an extremely busy two weeks, but by the time I was set to head to Orlando (a few days before David), we were mostly ready to shut up the house for the summer. David ended up staying around for another several days to receive/assemble the last of our ordered furniture, get the house packed away for hurricane season, and ended up finding a burgeoning termite infestation had moved in around the same time we did. The joys of home ownership!