I’ve been meaning to write a post on how we have been liking Florida since we moved here in mid-January. I still get questions about how we’re liking it. I also get lots of questions about our favorite family activities so I’ve included some of those too. The move from Utah to Florida was a big one so I thought I’d dive in and share all about it today!
We went to Pinto’s Farm for Easter
why did you move?
My husband and I have been married 10.5 years and for the last 9, we lived in the same condo. We loved that place, but we were itching for a change. Winter is not fun in Utah (for us, at least)- there’s snow and because of the way Salt Lake is shaped with the mountains on one side and the lake on the other, it traps in bad air. It actually gets unhealthy to go outside.
I was reading the book “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines. They talk about how, before the show, they’d move into a run down house and the minute they had got it all fixed up, Chip would buy a new house in need of repairs and they’d have to move the family all over again.
Chip said it was to keep them from being too comfortable. It made me stop and think- maybe being in the same place for too long can be bad. You fall into the same habits and see the same things. Maybe, as PT Barnum says, comfort is the enemy of progress.
My husband and I have always dreamed about being snow birds- leaving Utah in the winter and coming back when the weather is nice again. So we saved up, started looking for opportunities and finally found one for work! Once that was nailed down, less than a month before the big move, my husband headed down and found us a beautiful place to rent.
how was the move?
We ended up having to sign a longer lease than we had originally planned- we’ll be here until the end of May. This place is so beautiful, that we said yes anyway. So we packed up and moved. It was a pain in the butt! Going through our stuff, packing up, storing what we couldn’t bring, but it was all worth it.
For the drive to Florida from Utah we split it up over a week so we’d be driving 5-6 hours most days. With Don and the dogs, that ended up being the best fit. We mostly stayed in cheap hotels on the way, but we had fun seeing the local scenes along the way (click here for our visit to Waco, Texas, and here for our New Orleans stop).
When we first got to Penacola, Florida we headed to a dog beach and made it just in time for sunset. I watched the sky turn to orange and pink and just cried. Somehow, I had changed my life, just like that. My life wasn’t bad, but it sure felt good to feel like I was in charge of this adventure called life.
how did the transition go?
A few days later, we arrived at the house we now call home. We walked through with the landlord and our realtor and signed papers. And then, it was time to unpack! We only had what we had brought in the back of our truck and even that was a pain to put away (so much random stuff! So little storage space! Here’s a tour of the house when we arrived).
One thing that I haven’t really talked about is that we didn’t bring any furniture. I worked with various companies to share their furniture on here and Instagram. That meant that it was slow going getting our house furnished. I’m not complaining one bit because it was a fun challenge and I’m the luckiest girl to have the opportunity!
The Little Farm– a petting zoo
We did buy a few pieces of furniture and countless accessories and plants to make it feel like a home. But it meant weeks of sleeping on an air mattress and months without somewhere to watch TV at night. Turns out, a sofa and mattress are pretty important for comfort!
One day, when we first arrived, I went out to grab pizza for dinner. I got lost and turned around on the drive. At the pizza place, someone blocked in my car while they were getting food, it was all so frustrating! I was tired and arrived home crying. I can laugh at it now, but I sure missed home then!
how are you liking Florida?
Slowly, everything came together and we fell into a new routine! At least 3 days a week we go to the beach and ride bikes to get there (its only a 12 minute ride). We LOVE having the beach so close by! Its fun to try new things and discover what’s fun to do around here. It is much more expensive to do things here- at least $100 for all three of us so we try to only do one big activity like that a week.
We did get passes to Disney World since we are so close (a 3.5 hour drive). Each month, we block out a few days to go to Disney World. Don and I love it and I feel like that my husband is starting to like it more (he wasn’t raised to love Disney like I was- lol). We all have our favorite rides and since Don just now is 40″ tall, he can ride some of the bigger ones. That was an exciting milestone!
the cutest pink house from Palm Beach. Use this guide if you want to explore Palm Beach
how has Don been doing?
When we first arrived, Don had a bit of a transition with sleeping. He can turn on the lights here and will do that and play instead of just going to sleep like he did before. While we’ve been here, he has given up diapers and his binky here which makes him seem so grown up. Don loves the beach and having a backyard (he spends a lot of time at his playhouse). He does miss his grandparents and cousins and we make sure to call back home at least once a week.
at one of our favorite public parks- Amelia Earhart Park
what do you miss?
My husband and I miss our family and friends back home too. Holidays are the hardest because who would you rather spend a holiday with than your family? I miss that my mother in law gave my husband haircuts. I had to learn how to do it and he’s had a few unexpected bald spots- oops! The three of us have grown really close together since we spend so much time together and I love that.
what has surprised you about Florida?
I love Florida! I love all of the different plants and bugs and animals that are here! And the palm trees! They are so beautiful! It feels so different, in a good way! The traffic here is terrible though- especially in January-March when all of the snow birds were here. And, in general, the drivers are a little scary. I guess that people’s car insurance goes way up here because there are so many accidents.
It takes much longer to get places than I’m used to. If you’re going somewhere 10 miles away, plan on 30-45 minutes for the drive! Everything is a bit more expensive here too (our rent is about 3 times what it was in Utah!). We have met so many nice people here and over all love it, but its not perfect 😉 .
I’m also surprised by little things- like that home improvement stores don’t give you a paint stirrer with your paint. I thought everywhere you got a free one!
what’s your plan next
At the end of May, we are still planning on packing up and moving back to Utah. It’ll be so hot and humid by then! Once again, we’ll take our time on the drive back. We’re toying around with the idea of doing a short cruise to Cuba before we head back, but we’ll see if we have the budget for that.
The Fruit and Spice park– it has a huge collection of trees that can grow in Florida
I will let you know more about where we’ll live closer to June, so stay tuned! Thank you for reading! It has been a BLAST to decorate a home in 4 months. I still have some to do on the master bedroom and the patio, just in time for use to leave! If you have any more questions, please leave them below. I’m happy to answer them.
his favorite of the Dezer Collection– a car museum
If you are thinking about making a big move too, I’ll be the first one to say to do it! Life is so short. Too short! You might as well see new things- there’ll always be laundry to do and dishes to wash, but man, it is sure fun doing them somewhere different, even for a short time!
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