Picture this, it’s the mid 90s and a young girl goes to Florida for the first time with her family for a beach vacation. It’s the first vacation she has ever been on and everything seems so fresh and new and fun and exciting, especially to a young girl who lives on a dairy farm in the very rural Ozarks. She left Florida vowing she would live there one day and make her living by selling beaded bracelets and tie dye shirts on the beach. She went home to Missouri and went to bed dreaming of all the beaded necklaces she would make and all the people she would meet and how much fun she would have in the sand.
That little girl was me, and it took me until I was almost 40 years old to make my dream come true. Luckily, I met somebody who not only was willing to move here, but had ties here and WANTED to move (back for him) here as badly I did.
So the love of my life and our poodle finally made our Florida dream a reality last week and I have never been so happy in my entire life! It wasn’t an easy journey to get here though so before you say “must be nice” to me, let me tell you a little bit about everything it took to get here.
In theory, selling ones home and packing all your things and moving 1200 miles seems easy. There is a LOT of work that went into it that we weren’t prepared for. James (my future husband) spent almost every hour he wasn’t at work, working on fixing up our home to sell. Some of you might think “big deal”, but it was a big deal because unlike most people who are gone 8 or 9 hours a day tops, he was gone 14 to 16 hours a day every day and STILL spent his weekends and every spare second working on painting, pressure washing, trim, and thousands of other things. I will forever be grateful to him for giving up so much of his time to make my dream become a reality.
Everything took so much longer than expected. We decided to move in April 2019 and thought we would be in Florida by August or September of that year at the latest. First we had the issue of not enough money and then we had the issue of not enough time. August or September turned into ‘hopefully by December’ and then December turned into ‘hopefully before Tornado season’ and then Tornado season happened and every day became more and more frightening for me. Did I mention that I was in an F4 tornado in April 2019 that made me never ever want to have to live through another Tornado again? Apparently I had to be frightened almost to death to put the fire in my belly to make the move to Florida that I had wanted to do for decades.
So Tornado season came and went and at the end of it, we hired a realtor team who told us that we were putting way too much work into getting our house ready for the market. They told us a few things to do to make it really pop for a buyer, and after maybe 3 weeks of James putting in literally every single spare second he didn’t even have, we had it ready for the market.
Within 48 hours of having it on the market, we accepted an offer of a little over our asking price and 27 days later were on our way to the Sunshine state. We thought we would get our house listed and then have time to relax a little and boy were we wrong! We are also ever so grateful that the process happened so fast! Ironically the day we left there was a horrible summer storm causing immense damage to the town and caused it to be out of power for 2 days, which I really took as a sign that we were meant to leave.
On the day of closing, we drove to sign the papers with the Uhaul loaded up towing our van and left from there to make the 1200 mile trek. It took us a few days and a couple of tire blow outs which Uhaul had fixed so fast it was unreal but we made it and we made it safely.
We have already been to and done so many things and ate at so many restaurants that it gave me the idea for this blog. Alot of followers on my Instagram page (@thegirlwiththevadertattoo go follow me!) are really curious and interested in what all we do as well as my family and friends on Facebook so it just makes sense to give the people what they want and we really want to show people that Florida is so much more than beaches.
My next blog will be covering a restaurant called El Toreo in Ocala, Florida and possibly another activity as well. We haven’t made it to Disney yet, we kind of have mixed feelings on going right now with Covid-19 and all, but are excited to go since I have never been and I am a huge Disney and Star Wars fan.