Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And The Verdict is....

Soon we will be standing in line at the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles getting Florida driver licenses. We will be registering to vote in a new state (and hoping they don't purge us from the rolls before we get a chance to cast one). We will be slowly returning to a life we thought we had left behind. While I am definitely not as excited as I'd be if, say, we were headed to Thailand (which was our original plan), I have come to terms with our decision and am certain it still qualifies as a new adventure and that it's still in the Caribbean.

We are leaving an island that is about 23 miles long and 5 miles wide for one that's 4 miles long and 2 miles wide. From 40,000 residents to about 20,000. But at least now we don't have to pay over $300 every time we want to leave. If we stay there long enough, we'll be called "Freshwater Conchs" (conks). We'll be surrounded by lots of Cubans and their culture, which makes sense since we'll only be 90 miles from there (it's closer than Miami, 127 miles away). President Truman and several authors from Hemingway (with his 6-toed cats) to Tennessee Williams have a history in Key West. Interestingly, a naval station there had the island fighting for the North during the civil war (yay), although there were many southern sympathizers (boo). I was pleased to read that the "SOUTHERNMOST POINT CONTINENTAL U.S.A." has never seen frost, sleet or snow (although temps did dip into the 40s in 1981 - hrmph). It's going to be weird living some place flat. Evacuating from hurricanes should be stimulating. Yep...a new adventure.

We started going through our things and were kind of amazed at how much stuff we had from our old State-side days - golf clubs, games, inflatable kayaks, exercise stuff, decorative pillows, swim noodles, and artwork. All but the last, finally going on to new owners. We had lots of new stuff too - mostly kitchen. Going, going....soon to be gone. I told Heather, I feel like a snake that's shedding its skin (again).

We have more miscellaneous junk we want to take than clothes, so the challenge will be packing this stuff. The kitties will be getting their shots tomorrow, and their health certificate in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we can find another cat carrier. We're still working on housing. I'm shopping online for a used Mini-Cooper - we'll decide when we get there if we're going for a convertible or hard top (we had a hard top before) and a scooter.

As soon as we get there, we'll jump in with their Hash House Harriers group. Almost all of the friends that we're leaving behind on St. Kitts (whaaaa) we met through hashing, and the sooner we can acclimate to our new surroundings the better off we'll feel about the whole move. Michael will be working with Blue Island, Inc. and feels good about getting out from under the anonymity (and politics) that comes with working for larger developments/projects. I'll figure out what I'm doing, once I get there.

So the PLAN is to leave by the end of the month. Yes, this month. We'll help set and run/walk our last St. Kitts hash (on the 25th) and then be off the following week. I'm not sure what you people are going read while drinking your morning coffee, but I'll wean you off as we go through reverse culture shock upon our return to the Excited States of America, as one blog reader calls it. I think I feel nauseous.