End of Chapter One

Hobe Sound & Fort Lauderdale

Writing this on our cruise ship as we motor closer to the Azores, I can now look back on our last few days in the US. We’ve had an interesting, fulfilling and fun time working, playing and making lasting friendships in Silicon Valley California for 20 years, and now it’s time to begin a new chapter in our lives. We’ve spent 5 months driving across the US from coast to coast, met some fascinating people, and had some truly wonderful experiences.

Before we left California, Chris had the heart-wrenching task of selling most of his guitars. However, he really wanted to keep the beautiful Gibson 335, but was nervous about driving cross-country with it. Luckily our dear friends Don & Sue stepped in with a great suggestion: send it to their friends Marion and George in Florida, who will look after it for you, and you can pick it up before you board the cruise ship. Marion and George kindly agreed to this plan, and have been carefully looking after the Gibson for nearly six months.

As we neared Fort Lauderdale, they graciously invited us to stay with them for a couple of days, while Chris reconciled with the Gibson. What a delightful two days that was! We loved swimming in their open air, yet screened in solar-heated pool, and slept so well in the very comfortable guest room in their beautiful home. We had asked Marion and George to choose a restaurant so we could take them out to dinner, and we were delighted with the walk along the riverfront to the Sailor’s Return restaurant in Stuart. We had great fun watching the high school seniors out to dinner on their prom night!

Hobe Sound (2)
our new friends Marion & George, Danila & Chris

The next day our hosts suggested a trip to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We took a boat trip up river, and were thrilled to see so many ospreys, both flying, and sitting on their huge messy nests. There were turtles on the river banks, and a sleepy alligator too. We got off and were led through an old encampment settled by a fur trapper back in the 30’s. The ranger had lots of good stories about Trapper Nelson. Back on the boat,for a leisurely trip back down the river. This place is so beautiful and peaceful, green and lush. Florida has so much natural beauty, and we’ve only seen a small fragment of it. We’ll have to come back!

Hobe Sound (11)
Osprey nest

Hobe Sound (26) Hobe Sound (25) Hobe Sound (23) Hobe Sound (22) Hobe Sound (21) Hobe Sound (20) Hobe Sound (19) Hobe Sound (14) Hobe Sound (10) Hobe Sound (6) Hobe Sound (28) Hobe Sound (29) Hobe Sound (27) That evening chef George cooked up a delicious dinner for us. Starting with stone crab claws (yes again!) and drinks on the patio, moving on to blackened mahi mahi with all the fixin’s, and followed by George’s own recipe lemon tiramisu, which I have to say almost rivals my mother’s! Hobe Sound (30) Hobe Sound (34) After a lovely relaxing weekend with George and Marion, we drove the short distance to Fort Lauderdale, where we had booked an airbnb stay on yet another boat! We thought we needed to get used to boats, as the cruise was coming up! Jeff’s boat was a delightful 30 foot motorboat, well-equipped and certainly big enough for the two of us.

plenty of room for 2 for a few days!
all our bags on the boat, we sold the car on the first day in Fort Lauderdale!

The marina the boat was docked in was rather luxurious, with an extensive air-conditioned clubhouse (with free wifi!) a nice pool and Jacuzzi, and a terrific restaurant and bar, that we ended up eating at every evening. We sold the car the very day we arrived in Fort Lauderdale, and didn’t see any need to get taxis out, as the Rendezvous restaurant had friendly people and great food!

Fort Lauderdale (6)
dinner in the Rendezvous
Fort Lauderdale (7)
relaxing in the Rendezvous restaurant
Fort Lauderdale (8)
moonrise over the marina

Fort Lauderdale (3) Boat people are very friendly, and in between doing a final sorting through of our suitcases, and disposing of a few unwanted items, we enjoyed chatting with our boat neighbours. Fort Lauderdale (5) Fort Lauderdale (4) On our last morning, our airbnb host Jeff very kindly offered to drive us to Port Everglades, where we unloaded our suitcases and guitars, and had a smooth process boarding the Celebrity Eclipse, our new home for the following two weeks’ transatlantic crossing! Kings Wharf (5) (1024x633) Goodbye for now America! We’ll be back to visit for sure.

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4 thoughts on “End of Chapter One”

  1. Thank you for the kind words. We love our Florida home and lifestyle but don’t think of it as quite as special as you have made it! Perhaps it is, thank you for making me see my everyday in a different way! Stay in touch and we’ll see you again!

    1. ah Marion, it was delightful to meet you, and thank you for your hospitality! Hope to meet up again, somewhere along the road, or in Florida! xx

  2. Hi Danila….I am so jealous…first I found Lynn and now a few more on he blog. What is your blog…since you became home free so recently, I want to know how you did it, how long did it take….I want to know it all. We moved out of Oregon in Nov, 2012 to return to CA and lived home free while we house hunted. Now I feel like we are strapped down and not free like before. My hubby isn’t quite on board but he thinks a mobile home might afford us more flexibility. I would love to sell all. We are 71 and 72. My email is JLSEELHORST@yahoo.com. Please tell all…or send blog of your adventures. It sound so exciting…we were in Italy for 3 weeks last year with friends on our own tour. Love in travel, Linda

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