Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Florida

The weather here on Anna Maria Island in Florida has been lovely. It is in the mid 60's and sunny. The perfect place to celebrate my 35th birthday today. 











Our favorite beach in the US

We have a rental set up for six months starting in April. We are so excited! Thank you to Pat who has made my dream of living on AMI a reality. Now the long trip back to PA. We have two months to rent our home and pack up our personal items. I am really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. But for now, more pictures!

Gotta love the "beauty face" feature on the Samung cell phones which blurs out all the wrinkles and lines. Thanks Samsung for giving into our vanity.


It was WAY to windy for balloons on the beach. In fact, one of the balloons flew away within minutes of being there.




Last night we took friends out to eat on the Anna Maria City Pier. They had really helped us out with this rental thing. Their daughters made these wonderful drawings for us. 



It has been a wonderful two days here in FL. We will hate to leave the sunshine but we will be back soon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Snow to Sea

On Friday we decided to drive down to FL...on Sunday. This wasn't going to be a regular vacation; it was going to be a trip to check out a rental. We live in PA right now but our hope is to live in FL for awhile. The doctors think it is a good idea for my CRPS. I think it is a good idea because we hate the cold.

Here is what our area looked like when we left. And this was BEFORE the "super storm" which is hitting our area right now. We have no idea of what it will look like when we return in a few days. 




 Most of these were taken from our front or back porch. Walking in the snow is not a great idea when you have mobility issues.

 This tree is one of my favorites. It sits on our neighbors property and it is what we see when we sit on our living room couch.

 Our side neighbors have a large farm. Their property has been hit by a twister and then their barn burned down. Thankfully they have rebuilt and the farm is a gorgeous back drop for the snow.


We left Sunday morning. We got on the road at 8am and by 8pm we were exhausted. We stopped at a hotel we found at Mapquest which will now be our "go to" hotel when we drive to FL. It was clean, bug free, right off the highway and $55 with the taxes. Awesome. 


We accidentally missed our exit in PA and wound up by Forbes State Forest.
Someone (me) may have had the GPS muted. Oops.

West Virginia


West Virginia feels like it is the largest state when you are driving through the mountains.
The roads weave back and forth over the mountains. If they could straighten out the highway, I would greatly appreciate it.



Virginia's trees were covered in ice.

Virginia


Driving through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina in one day was a bit rough on my body. Okay...it was more than a bit rough. We were both ready to sleep when we checked into the hotel. I was at the point where I couldn't put weight on my knee. To "keep it real" so you don't think I am living in a fairy tale (which I sometimes think I am), the pain was overwhelming. It was a 10 on the 1-10 scale at times. Thankfully those times last only seconds to minutes. I try to breathe through them and am thankful when the pain subsides a bit. You cannot think about the beauty of the landscape when you are trying not to scream. Okay...enough being real. 








During the second day of travel, we drove through South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. I love when you start to recognize landmarks when traveling. We have driven to FL atleast a dozen times over the years. We stopped almost every hour to allow me to stretch and walk a bit. We stopped at places we have never been. Hardee's has some amazing thick burgers. We picked up oranges at a citrus stand. I then proceeded to eat way too many oranges.


South Carolina




Florida



One of our friends owns a condo on Anna Maria Island. Actually, we have never met her. We had belonged to HomeExchange.com and she stayed in our home years ago. We have stayed in touch through email since she lives in the Netherlands. We almost met her two years ago but we had to cancel our trip overseas due to my silly knee. She now rents us her condo ridiculously cheap. Except this time she let us use it for FREE. Let me say that she is getting a large thank you box sent to her. (Thanks again Franca!) 






Florida

Florida



It was fun to see the scenery change from snow in PA and WV to ice in VA to barrenness in NC. Driving 20 hours in two days is never fun due to my health but it kind of was this time. I love seeing God's creation. The mountains covered with snow to the orange trees in the sunshine all within two days. 

Florida

We are here for two days and then we drive back to PA. The hubby's band plays on Friday night. Hopefully we are going to leave a deposit for "our" rental and move here for at least six months starting in April. We have two months to pack up our personal belongings, rent our home and travel back to the sunshine.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Our Home - For Rent

There is a really good chance we have found a rental in Florida. We have been so incredibly blessed. God seriously boggles my mind. How He cares for us continues to amaze me. 

Now, onto our home. While in FL, we will be renting our home. We have lived here for 13 years and have fully renovated the house. I am blogging with a TON of photos so we can send this link to those that may be interested in renting it. 

The cost per month will be $800 plus utilities. Utilities will be wireless cable internet & cable (around $80), electric (around $100-$150), water ($40), garbage ($20) and we will split the cost of having the yard mowed (cost is about $30/week which will cost you approx. $60 a month).

If you have any interest, feel free to email me at: fbc@inbox.com.




Our home is located about a mile from Route 22. The mailing address is Seward but we are actually closer to Dilltown, PA. There is a grill on the back porch. The school district is United which has a rating of a 7 which we have been told is quite good.



Our home neighbors a farm and has some great views. 




The grounds are very low maintenance. It was built in 1983 and has a full basement/garage underneath. There is a front and back porch. It sits on just under 2 acres. The home is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom. We have turned the 4th (and smallest) bedroom into a laundry room. 


Our home is built on a hill. It is a quiet street with about 14 houses.


Sorry about the white rectangle on our back lawn. I spray painted something this summer. Oops! As you can imagine, it has since grown out.

You can drive completely around the home and we usually park at the back sliding glass doors. This is great for those with mobility issues (like me!). There is gravel the entire way around the house.


The sliding glass doors enter right into the open dining room/kitchen. You can rent this furnished or unfurnished. The house has a beach-y feel since our hearts are already in FL.

The refrigerator has an in-door ice and water dispenser. We have freshly painted white cabinets and updated laminate counter tops. There is under counter lighting which is motion activated.




The floor is new and has been sealed. 







The dining room opens to a large living room which has also been updated. There is a sofa, couch and entertainment center with a 32" TV. The home has a high speed Cable internet and a Sprint cell phone tower box for great cell reception. We have basic Cable in the master bedroom, guest bedroom and office (third bedroom). We have an antennae box in the living room so we can watch local channels. We can easily order a fourth Cable box if you would prefer Cable in the living room.





The living room has a large bay window which looks out onto the front porch and allows sunlight to stream in. 


 The front door leads to the front porch but the back door is usually more convenient. 


 The living room is painted a light yellow color. We have Wii set up in the office but it could easily be changed to the living room. We also have a ton of Wii remotes, nunchucks, a few games and the Wii fitness board.


The living room also has a small coat closet which we are using right now for our luggage and board games (by the way - see the Life on the Farm game? It is so fun! Okay...back to the house.)



The master suite is 25' x 25'. The door to the master is off the kitchen. It is separate from the rest of the bedrooms. 
 For some reason I only have tiny photos of the master. There is a 70" TV which we most likely will be leaving. This TV has a Blu-Ray player, Netflix and a Bose sound system. There is a white couch, a large ottoman, a mini fridge, a long dresser and a desk.

I do have these photos which show the master but please know we have upgraded the couch and it is now a white leather couch, as shown in the tiny photo above. 


We have since added a Blu Ray player and a Bose sound system.


The home has high speed Comcast and there is a desk and office chair. We may also be leaving a 24" touch screen Dell computer which was purchased in 2014.



King sized bed. 




There are two doors in the master - one is a large walk-in closet (approx. 9' x 12') and the other is a full bathroom. 

Again, I have somehow deleted the photos I took when it was updated. I will retake them soon but here are a few small ones. 

The bathroom has a walk-in shower with two seats. We upgraded the shower head as well. There is a handicap toilet which is a few inches taller than a normal toilet. Two vanities with a small cabinet in between. We have a dresser which holds towels and additional items. 



The large walk-in closet has upgraded shelving and clothing racks. A photo will be added soon.

If you walk back through the kitchen/dining room, there is a hallway. There is a door that goes down to the basement. The next door on the left is the laundry room. 




The laundry room may be my favorite room in the house honestly. We upgraded the washer and dryer in December 2013. The double closet has a Dyson vacuum, a Bissell carpet cleaner and a toolbox on wheels. We keep the toolbox in the house for easy repairs. 





The next room on the right is the full bathroom. This bathroom has two vanities, a regular toilet and a brand new deep soaking tub with a new surround. The bathroom was remodeled in January 2015. 






 There is also a nice sized linen closet in this bathroom. 



The room at the end of the hall is the third bedroom which is currently set up as an office. There is a desk, wireless printer (it uses toner so you won't have to constantly pay for ink) and a great long dresser with a 32" flat screen TV with a Blu Ray player and Wii. The room has a double closet as well. 



We do have a single bed which includes the newer mattress, box spring & frame which can be set up under the mirror. It is being stored in the master closet right now. 





The last door on the left is the guest bedroom. This use to be the master and it has an attached half bathroom. It is now the second bedroom. This bedroom has a new adjustable queen sized bed, a small vanity with stool and a longer dresser with a 26" TV/DVD combo. 


Bed shown without sheets. There is an adjustment for the feet, head and even a massage feature. This was purchased in July 2014.


This next photo is a bit old. We have since upgraded the drapes and now both windows have gray damask black out curtains to match the closet. 
Their are two windows in this room. We have five window A/C units which are currently being store in the basement. We usually put them in the master bedroom, living room, office, guest bedroom and the laundry room. All the heat is electric and every room has its own digital temperature control.


The guest room has a double closet as well. We still need to pack up our items but the above photo shows the space. 



I will be taking better photos of the 1/2 bathroom as well. It has a single vanity, pretty mirror, regular toilet and a wood storage wall unit. 



Now to the basement. We believe the house is around 1500 square feet. The basement is about the same size as the house but is entirely open. It is unfinished and you can park several cars in there. 

Here is the front part of the basement. We have several industrial racks which have alphabetized bins. Each bin holds different tools. So, if you need a sander, you would look under the "S" section. Each bin has a complete list of what is inside. 





The basement also includes a work out area with bench and weights. 




Even the peg board is alphabetized. Bolt cutters to yard sticks - it is all neatly organized.




Again, I don't have a photo of the back part of the garage/basement. It is wide enough for two cars to fit side by side (it is a bit tight but doable). We also have that organized. 

Our home owners insurance will not let a pet in the house. We do have the necessary dead bolt on the front door. You would need to get rental insurance (it costs about $10-$12 a month).

We will be storing some of our personal items in boxes in the basement while we are in Florida. Again, we can rent this with or without furniture. We are going to be down in Florida starting April 1 and at least for six months. Our hope is to move down there if we can.