Friday, March 11, 2005

Jan and Feb

After Bobby and the family left we had time to start considering our future plans. One thing that we realized was that the house was bigger than we really needed for the two of us. We wanted a smaller home with less responsibilities which will give us more free time (when we're here). We also wanted to not have to drive anywhere if we could help it. Just imagine it - being able to walk to shops, restaurants, bars, the grocery store, a short walk or bike ride to the beach. Yep, it sounds like we have to move to the city! We started looking for condos and finally found one in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. We've gotten used to funny looks from people...yes, we are down-sizing (2000sf to 1200sf)...and yes, we are moving south and not north. So, we're not the norm! The new condo is off of Las Olas Blvd - 2 blks to the shopping district, a block to the Art Museum, a block to the Library, a block to the New River, 2 miles to the ocean. We're excited to move in, but we dont have a date know how it is with new construction. We were suppossed to close in early March, and we're still waiting on the word.

We were fortunate that selling the house wasn't a problem. Three offers within 36 hours of our first and only Open House. We may be living in the RV sooner than we thought, considering we close on our house at the end of March!

Andy took a little trip in late January to ski in Breckenridge, CO for a long weekend with his brothers, Joe and Jimmy, and his nephew, Nick. It was a "boy's weekend" so I stayed home and contemplated our recent decisions, the home sale, and all of the 'what-in-the-world-am-I-doing' thoughts that cascaded through my mind. I do love my butterfly garden and my backyard that attracts a variety of butterflies, birds and squirrels. We will miss our backyard, that is for sure. I may just have to volunteer to get my gardening-fix.

In February my Mom visited for a week. I told her to come soon while she still had an opportunity to visit the house. I was thrilled she could make it.

At the end of February we joined some of Andy's family in a trip to Dublin, Ireland to celebrate our niece's 21st birthday. Rosie is our oldest niece and is studying abroad this semester in Dublin. Carol, Andy's sister, her daughter, Stephanie, and Chris, Andy's brother, joined us. We had a great time shopping, walking the streets, visiting several pubs (ok, maybe more than 'several'), touring the Guinness brewery, and the such.

See Pictures of Ireland

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ok, I'm still learning...

Things are different with Blogger and Hello (picture uploading program), so I'm still learning. The pictures below are for the text below it and they're not in the right order. Ooops! I'll figure out the new system in time.

Nancy and Bobby squeezing through the cypress trees.

Andy, Nat, and Matt

Maneuvering over and under tree trunks. Posted by Hello

The one thing we learned about Bobby during this visit was that his Temple diploma hasn't done him much good...the best job he has been able to get is as a Krispy Kreme delivery person!

Krispy Kreme Delivery! Posted by Hello

Just another gator Posted by Hello

Low water levels deterred us from paddling over. Posted by Hello

Catch Up!

We've had some great visits and trips since the beginning of the year, so I'd like to try to catch up on these events.

Our first visitor of the year was Bobby (Andy's brother) and his family. They had arrived in Florida before we even left Phila, but they flew into Orlando to visit Joe first. The foursome drove to Boca shortly after we flew back in.

We took them kayaking/canoeing on the Loxahatchee River off of Indiantown Road. This is one of our favorite kayaking places. The river winds through a cypress swamp with overhanging trees, alligators, turtles, etc and really throws you back in time with it's natural beauty. The cypress knees can make it a challenging paddle requiring good steering. What we didn't consider, however, was the effects of the hurricanes. So we were surprised to see that a lot of trees were knocked down. Natural debris filled the waterways - trees and branches mostly. This created obstacles of a different kind. Now not only did you have to paddle around cypress knees and under branches, but in several spots we had to scoot over logs or even get out and pull the kayaks or canoes over downed trees. The canopy overhead was also reduced so we could see a lot more sky than on previous paddles. It's still beautiful, though, and we keep praying that development will be kept at bay so this area will be preserved for years and years to come.