As we completed our 10 week tour of Florida we realized we had fallen in love with the city of St. Petersburg. We found a wonderful community in St. Pete Beach and bought a condo in Captiva Cay. The people in the community are the kindest, most friendly folks we’ve ever met; we already feel we have family in Florida. We put Clyde in storage for a month (see business hours below at Big Toy Storage) to settle into our new home in St Pete. We cleaned, painted, stocked our kitchen, and exploited our Amazon Prime account. I scoured the shelves of every Homegoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls in the area. We enjoyed views of the Boca Ciega Bay: wild dolphins, manatees, boats, paddleboarders, and kayakers. We even got a special visit from family from Chicago who happened to be staying in Naples at the time. Alice and Dan, (my aunt and uncle), their daughter (and my cousin) Duck, and our good friends (who may as well be blood related), Sue and Bob, came to spend an afternoon and an evening exploring St. Pete with us. We can’t wait for everyone to return, especially because we insisted dolphins swam in “our bay” ALL the time, but yet the whole time the family was there, not one surfaced. Of course the minute everyone left, dolphins frolicked in the bay morning, noon, and night – I saw one laughing at me.
Johan volunteered for three days at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, rounding out the racing trifecta of GT cars, dirt bikes, and Indycars all in a 30-day period. If ever anyone doubted the cool factor of Florida, let it not be someone who appreciates the sweet smell of burning rubber and gasoline. Grand Prix volunteers earn their role in the race working back to back 10 hour days but Johan enjoyed every minute of raising money for the Moffitt Cancer Center and eventually getting promoted to work the Rahal Letterman Lanigan box for the last two days. He is already excited to work the race again next year.
A month came and went so fast. We got quite a lot done, but there is quite a lot more to do. We are thankful for our realtor Steve and his wife Roni, who are now our friends, as well as special friends from Captiva Cay: Danny, Jonas, Martha, Karl, and many others we briefly met and look forward to getting to know over the coming years. For now it is time to resume our travels but we look forward to returning to St Pete to make more great memories, and we hope to recruit family and friends to visit us there as well!