Monday, March 3, 2014

On Our Own in Gulfport Florida

Mark and Mary left this morning. It was fun having them here, but now it's just me and Lee. When we are not hosting guests we can be pretty laid back. It doesn't take that much to entertain us!

While Lee took the Beckers to the airport I took the dogs on their morning walk. There is a chance of rain the next few days. Clouds have rolled in and it's humid. The dogs and I ambled over to the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve. It's only about a 10 minute walk from the house, and it's not very big, but there are lots of birds to watch and things for dogs to sniff.

I've been thinking about the pluses and minuses of our stay in Florida so far. On the plus side I've got the following:

1) The weather. It's nice to wear shorts and sun dresses and enjoy the sun.

2) The location. Gulfport is darling. A little town, with a cute downtown and a nice beach, all within walking distance. There's a good beach for dogs not far away, and St. Pete Beach is close by too. St. Petersburg is available for more of a small city experience.

3) The Tuesday market. Great crafts and good food. Fun!

4) The dogs can sit outside with us at restaurants.

5) The nearby hike and bike trail.

Then there are the minuses:

1) The weather. It doesn't take much for it to get hot, sticky and humid. I sure wouldn't want to be here in the summer. Everything feels damp, and towels never dry.

2) This house is dirty, mainly the floor. You can't go barefoot unless you want to have your feet turn black. The owners are space cadets, the garage is a trash heap, and there is only 1 bathroom. If (when) we come back next year we will find another place.

3) Although coming for a longer time would be nice in some ways, I'm a little concerned about getting bored. I'll see how I feel after two weeks.

4) Initially I thought the fenced in yard was great, but every time the dogs go outside they get filthy. It's that damp black dirt. They've already had one bath and I bet they get another before we head back north.

(We found a solution for number 4, by using the puppy playpen to block off the muddier part of the yard. Where there's a will....!)

That's really all I can think of right now, and when I write it down it doesn't really seem like that big of a deal. There are also things I would do differently next year:

1) More shorts, fewer pants.

2) More sun dresses, fewer dressy dresses.

3) More hot weather running clothes. I just can't re-wear things as much when I'm getting so hot and sweaty.

4) Download more files to Dropbox. Why not? It's better than feeling frustrated because I can't look up certain things.

And if we are really here for a month I'm going to plan an activity of some kind, some kind of class perhaps. An art or dance class, something I wouldn't normally do at home. I can't just be a tourist for an entire month!

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