Number 10 - Martin
And just who is Martin, you ask? Get your minds out of the gutter, I'm not confessing to anything...yet. ;-) No, Martin is my gator friend. You don't have a gator friend? You don't know what you're missing. I love Martin.
He was purchased in a shop in Carmel that was going out of business. I'd had my eye on him for years but wasn't really tempted until he was 40% off, then I knew he had to be mine. And, of course, he would eventually belong in Florida, being a gator and all. He got his chance to travel last December when we drove across country for Christmas. Now he's a permanent resident in Florida and I look forward to seeing his smiling face each time I visit. Maybe you're wondering why he's called Martin? It's in honor of my favorite explorer from the 1920s and 1930s Martin Johnson.
Number 9 - outdoor furniture
The last time I was in Florida I got some really great Adirondack chairs in fun colors. I'd been coveting them ever since I saw these in Pepin, Wisconsin last summer
|chairs outside Harbor View Cafe in Pepin|
I spent the whole meal trying to figure out how I could smuggle a couple of those chairs on the plane so I was thrilled to find similar ones in Florida and now I have my very own.
Number 8 - On Demand TV
Our Florida cable system has this On Demand thing for primetime shows and old movies - it's awesome! I never have to worry about having forgotten to DVR something because it's probably going to show up in On Demand the next day and stay there for a few weeks. Not that I'm a couch potato addicted to TV or anything.
Number 7 - Sweet Tomatoes
My friends Cliff and Mary Evelyn introduced me to this place earlier this year and now I'm hooked, I love their salad bar, flatbreads and soups. They took me to the one in LBV but just before we came back to California in May, they started building a new one just down the street from us. I can't wait to try it out!
Number 6 - Flip Flops
I grew up running barefoot everywhere. Even as a teenager I would walk up our long gravel driveway with no shoes...boy I was glad when my dad finally got it paved! I love wearing strappy sandals and flip flops in the summer because that's as close to barefoot as I can get and not be kicked out of shops and restaurants. But my part of California is a no flip flop zone. Not because there's a law, it's because your feet would freeze, turn blue and fall off. Summer along the central coast is foggy, damp and chilly. Not the refreshing kind of chilly that most of the country dreams about in the summer but the feel it deep in your bones kind of chill that makes you want to crawl under a blanket and not come out until fall, which is our "summer"...except it's often foggy and chilly then too but nobody wants to admit it.
Now there are beautiful, spectacular days in CA that make you wonder why you'd ever live anywhere else but more often than not it's more jacket weather than flip flops. So a trip to Florida is a chance to throw away the jackets and break out the flip flops. I have a lovely collection in Florida and I long to wear them again.
Number 5 - Dine In Theater
Dinner and a movie? How about dinner WITH your movie? The local movie theater has a new offering called Fork and Screen. I'll be blogging about it next week but lets just say - it's wonderful. I don't think I'll be able to go back to the regular theater after trying it.
|time to order lunch before the movie starts|
Number 4 - Uncle Leslie cookies
Number 3 - Warm Summer Evenings
It's not always chilly in California. On days when the sun is shining it can get downright toasty...although toasty in CA is around 70 which would be kinda chilly in Florida, it's the darndest thing. Anyway, during the day, it can be awfully nice but no matter what time of year, when the sun goes down for the day it's COLD. There are no twilight walks, no al fresco evening dinners, no sitting out to watch the stars. At least not without a heavy jacket and some mittens.
Summer evenings in Florida remind me of my childhood in Illinois, of late night talks with T on the deck of our first house in Virginia, of evening strolls on the beach during vacations. Warm summer evenings speak of happiness and contentment. No jackets required.
Number 2 - No Sad Memories
Jasper spent a lot of time in Florida - a Christmas trip in 2003, living there from 2006-2007 and another few months in 2011 (a time we now call Camelot) so the house is filled with his memory. He was always happy and well in this house, there are no sad memories like there are now in California. It's a restful place for my mind.
Number 1 - THE POOL!
I can't stress this enough - I love my pool. LOVE, love, l*o*v*e my pool! I always wanted a house with a pool so the house in Florida is my house of dreams. Whenever I daydream about being there, I am always in the pool. I have gone there on trips when it was too cold to swim, I swam anyway.
|As you can see, Jasper was not a fan of the pool|
|Tug is one of my pool buddies|