"When I get to a place
for the first time and know it like home, this is when I know my journey
will be over"
'True religion is real living; living with
all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness'
Cindy's December 2009 Blog
Feel Free to browse past blogs for plenty of travel ideas and many of the places we've been in our first 12 months on the road - Past Blog's
Solar Tips, Fact's and Trick's we've learned while on the road
Well-behaved women seldom make history
Monday December 14th
Arrgh, here it is the 14th of December and this is my first post of the month. It seems like the past few weeks have been such a whirlwind of new places, new faces and new challenges that I haven't had a second to even stop and smell the roses.
Our trek across the country was spent doing nothing but thinking about how we are going to redecorate, change, modify, paint and resurrect this little place that we are going to be calling home. Neither Pat nor I made small talk like we usually do about our surroundings, we talked only of big improvements and big plans, and it was nasty weather the entire time, so we didn't have much to look at.
On our arrival here in Cedar Key, we had even more ways to improve on this place that has held our thoughts for many years in one way or another. We had to refurnish the rooms to make them all look the same, maybe more hotel like, but not corporate style. We thought we needed to tone down the colors on the outside and make it look more like a cottage than an art deco funky little spot on the map.
We started redoing the place last Tuesday afternoon, Pat cleaning up the outside which was in desperate need of some attention, while I was working on the inside. I started with the king room, room #5 and worked my way backward to #1, leaving no crack or crevice unclean.
It pretty much took me one full day per room, waking up anywhere from 2am-4am to get my day started. I worked until 10pm, sometimes all the way to midnight to get these babies cleaned and ready for the big transformation. As I went from room to room, I watched the sun come up in front of us over the Gulf of Mexico and the set right behind us over the blue ocean waters in the west every day that the weather would allow.
One morning was so incredible that I brought my coffee mug and a chair from the inside of a room and sat, watching the sun rise while the pelicans flew in the moist, salty, warm air. That particular morning, a bald eagle did loops around the sky above me and I'm sure it was strictly for my pleasure.
I heard the mockingbirds call their cries of their neighbors while fooling me into thinking they are someone else. The smell of the sea air over powered my now stale coffee and filled my senses with what I've been longing for these past few months. Change, roots, responsibility, purpose, yes all of those things that I've found here in this little town and my heart is full.
I worked my way down the rooms and did the same thing out the back door which walks out onto a patio, overlooking the quiet bay. The sunsets here are just spectacular with the orange-red hues casting over the waters of high tide, throwing rainbows into the air.
By the time I got to the final room cleaning, which was on our 6th day here, I told Pat that we can't change the color of the place, it screams Cedar Key with it's funky, quirky colors. The interior of the rooms all have their own special feel to them so we can't take the life out of the rooms to make them all look the same.
The beds are comfortable as well as clean now, the comforts of home or even the cottage up north are in each and every room. You know how the get-a-way place that has been purchased on a thin dime always gets the hand-me-downs like a favorite old chair that is oh soo comfortable, but no longer suits your home decor? Well that goes to the cottage.
The picture that your grandma bought you when she went to the islands and has never matched any of your decor? Well that goes to the cottage. When you put all of those things together, the cottage is filled with warmth and memories that your house is too full to hold. That is what this place makes me think of, the place we fell in love with 3 years ago, the one that has held our imaginations captive for the past 6 months.
This means our job has just become easier, the paint will remain the same colors, just a new coat or two to brighten it up. The inside will remain the same warm atmosphere as it has been, we'll just add a few more eclectic things to bring out its character, but not take any away from it.
Repairs remain our biggest hurtle at this point, oh and customers of course. We've heard from the locals we spoken with that the month of December and January are our slowest time here in Cedar Key which is good and bad. The income would be warmly welcomed but this slow time is giving us room to do the cleaning and repairs without disturbing our honored guests.
I hope I'm not away from the website for this long before I post again, but please understand, I have a one project mind, unlike Patrick who can multi-task juggling 3 or 4 things at a time.
To give an update on the rest of our lives, Bill, our 1st guest that had the heart attack, returned yesterday looking fit as a fiddle. He says he feels great and has the great positive attitude that drew us to his friendship in the first place.
We have met a few of the locals here and really enjoy the small town feeling that Cedar Key has to offer. If I need anything, I can tell one person and everyone will know what I need and try to accommodate me, now that could be a good thing or a bad thing but we will have to see. Pat and I are real fortunate to have a stable, loving, monogamous relationship because any indiscretions would be aired like dirty laundry all over town in a split second....so no worries in that department.
My hair is now in a permanent semi-afro stage since the humidity allows for nothing else to be done with it. Pat asked me the other day if I had dread locks since the curls have already wound up inside each other. The dogs are currently being neglected of their usual long walks since I have been too busy with everything else, but I have assured them that we will have down time soon.
All the family is well and we even had some friends drop by to see us yesterday that we worked with in Yellowstone National Park! They have been following our blogs and knew by the bright colors on the motel exactly where to find us. What a pleasant, unexpected surprise that was.
I don't know if you guys remember our friend John that had the car accident a while back, well he has decided that life is too short and he is taking advantage of what God gives us before he is 80. He should be here in Cedar Key sometime this afternoon.
He has semi-retired, bought himself a vehicle to travel in and we are fortunate enough to be one of his first stops. I am excited to see him, even though we have never met, I am very close to him already from our hundreds of online chats.
I guess that wraps it up for now, my next goal is to get some pictures taken so I can share our little place with all of you. Soon we should have some, ready to post, thanks for following along with us on our crazy twists and turn of life.
Tuesday December 15th
What an awesome day I had today! Our friend John came in around 2pm today and we all spent some time getting acquainted since this is the first time we have actually met face to face. What a nice guy, I am so glad that he has come to visit. After awhile of chit chat, and giving him the grand tour, I excused myself so I could finish up a few phone calls I needed to make and let the boys sit outback in the Tiki Bar talking about manly things like Turbines and the Ideal Camper.
A little while later, I got a phone call in the office from Pat, he was telling me to come outside quick because we had a dolphin swimming in front of our dock.
I ran out there and sure enough we had not only one dolphin but two these friendly, playful things swimming in circles, herding some fish and eating lunch. I had no idea that we would have these awesome creatures as back yard animals!! As I was standing on the end of the dock watching the dolphin swim, I saw a big ray swimming through the water, right under my feet.
What an amazing sight, and it put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. When we lived in Michigan we had tons of Deer that would be in our yard daily. When we lived in Yellowstone, we had Elk that lived right in our campground, now that we've moved to Cedar Key, we have Dolphin and Osprey as backyard guests. How wonderful.
Around five o'clock in the afternoon, Pat, myself, Billy, his girlfriend Susan who has come down from Michigan and John all congregated on the back deck with some beverages, a bunch of snacks and the non-existent sunset that was clouded in by the fog. Billy played his guitar and sang us some tunes which was top notch entertainment. This man knows his guitar and the sounds he creates are magic to the ears.
John had brought me a special bottle of Makers Mark that he had poured from his personal cask at the distillery on his way down from Illinois. When he gave it to me, he said "Drink this only on special occasions."
I couldn't think of a more special occasion than tonight, so we all had a glass of the golden bourbon and toasted to friendships and miracles.
I mean think about it, John has just recovered from an accident where he rear ended the back of a semi on the interstate while he was doing 70mph, Billy has just had a heart attack three days ago where he had 100% blockage in his main artery, and Pat and I are sitting in Florida in the one places that we have dreamed of for years.
All of us are together, sharing drinks, breaking bread and enjoying the hell out of life. I am actually tearing up right now just thinking about how blessed we all are. We sat for hours talking and listening to Bill play and sing which is a miracle in its self since he has only recently recovered from throat cancer 2 years ago. And he can sing some tunes let me tell you...with a very strong voice.
I love having company, with all of them enjoying themselves and me being able to have them here is such a joy to me that I can't even explain it. Our night came to an end when the chilly moist air got too much for us and we turned in for the night.
Pat and I thought we were going to watch a movie but we were both asleep before the previews were over. I slept like a log, I don't think I even turned over last night which is extremely unusual for me. Go figure, I don't get on here for a month and now I'm on here twice in one day!!