Well, assuming everything checks out, we seem to have bought a new house in South Florida. We had not had the opportunity to see this house when we were last in Ft. Myers because it was under contract. But that sale fell through, and we saw it back on the market. Yesterday we spent ten hours (!) in the car driving there and back to tour the house, work out an offer, and come home (with intense Florida thunderstorms almost the entire way back – truly a white-knuckled ride in the middle of the night). All so no one would buy it out from under us. It’s an older house close to the Edison – Ford Winter Estates, however, so I am not counting my chickens until we get the inspection and see how the core bits have been maintained. If it falls through, you’ll probably hear me whine about it here.
The house is going to be a project for sure (alas, that’s the price you pay for character), but it’s a huge mid-century modern built in a “U” shape around a swimming pool, with virtually every room opening up to the courtyard. It kind of reminds me of old-school Southern California, actually – makes you want to put on some Sinatra and fix a martini. It also has a lot of mature tropical plants, including many large plumeria that tower over the pool. I am looking forward to taking nighttime swims with the fragrance of plumeria all around us. There are also quite a lot of fruit trees in the backyard, which I love. I spotted lemons and limes, but there were some that I could not identify. I am guessing one is a star fruit, but I have no idea. It has a giant horseshoe driveway with a mature Royal Poinciana (Pride of Barbados) tree in the center. The house is right on the Gulf – like you can see boats coming in and out from the kitchen sink – with boat slips available for community use and a neat park to watch sunsets from. And we will be a short ferry ride from Key West. Pretty cool.
But best of all, the neighborhood is full of children. A little girl our daughter’s age kept doing laps on her bike in front of the house while we were there, clearly hoping we were buying it. Even though the neighborhood is essentially downtown, the streets off of the main roads are quiet and guarded from traffic. Lots of bikes in the front yards and basketball hoops. A large YMCA and churches are walking distance away. We were seeking the exact opposite of the retired New Yorker-heavy community our current town is becoming, and we found it. The new house already has a nifty space for the ultimate homeschool room.
I am looking forward to adding to the tropical gardens around the house, and my husband bought me this book, which I highly recommend to anyone who is moving very far south. In addition to the inspiration, it identifies all the wild specimen plants in the gardens.
And for exploring the area:
Starting to pack is making me think I really need to cut back on my reading addiction, however. I bought 120 Bankers Boxes to get going on the library. Yeah, I might have a problem.
It’s perversely a lot of fun rediscovering books I have not touched in years though. When did I ever think I needed a Sumerian grammar?
We shall see. Fingers crossed.