For those just tuning in, here’s a quick summary:
–Rosemarie and I have decided to move after 22 years in our current home. We want to/need to downsize.
–Because we don’t have a gazillion bucks stashed away, we need to sell before we buy. So we plan to pack up, store what we will take with us, and then live somewhere temporarily while we look for a new home.
–We are considering moving to the west coast of Florida (we are on the east coast right now) or we could move around the corner. We really don’t know yet.
So we have put in a few days of packing and have found it a million times more daunting and exhaustive than the last time we did it…when we were 22 years younger and free of backaches and failing stamina. We needed a break, yes already! So we decided to take two days for a road trip to the west coast of Florida and look around a little to see if there are some locations we might consider.
We spent the first day touring Ft. Myers which is the largest “city” in the area we were investigating. While we spent the most time there, we left without anything yelling “buy me.” That actually happened, 45 minutes south of Ft. Myers, near Naples. We took a side trip to Naples, a place we have visited in the past and would roam around there for most of day two. It is a major South Florida attraction because it is high-end, a great place to vacation and extremely attractive…it has all the elements. South of Naples is Marco Island, another place to worship if you have the money. Houses in these two areas typically look like the one below. They are large, beautiful and cost a lot to keep that way.
Downtown Naples is “botique headquarters” for clothing, jewelry, gift shops, and just about any retailer you would like to frequent. The architecture lives up to expectation as you drive through the main shopping are of downtown Naples. In the winter the traffic is ten times heavier than during the summer as “snowbirds” from the cold north descend upon the their second homes from about November through April.
North of Naples if Bonita Springs, another area we like. The beaches on the west coast of Florida are much different from those on the east. First of all, the water is on the left instead of the right, a much repeated joke in these parts. The water is much calmer than the “wavy” east coast surf. Next, the sand is whiter and much finer (like Jersey beach sand). Below are two beachy scenes of Bonita Beach.
So what said “buy me” was a new development we visited midway between Marco Island and Naples. It was a huge development with all kinds of housing environments, single homes to condos. We went through two condo units and would have been happy in either one. The location was good, the local shopping was good, the scenery was good, the price was not good. It is horrible when you come upon something you want but it’s not practical and in keeping with your goals. But it was nice to dream for an hour or so until we floated back down to the sidewalk, got in our car and left for the trip back home. We could still eventually wind up living in this area, it would just have to be a little farther away from the beach were the prices are more in range.
Okay, road trip #1 is done, as is Update #2. It’s back to packing more boxes…and more boxes…and more…..