Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Moving Milestone

our dining room
These stacks of empty boxes and plastic bins explain why I haven't  written a blog post since last Sunday. We've been busy! 

When we made our recent overnight trip to see family, we gave them empty plastic bins, something like 5 (I think).  Since then we have emptied many more and those will go to more family members.

The Banker's Boxes in this picture are empty, but as we come across items to donate to Good Will, we reclaim as many of these boxes as we need to carry the donations to the drop off place.  As of this evening I am officially done with unpacking!  Yay!!!! Beloved is pretty much done, too. He is still deciding how to arrange his garage and that is coming along very well.

my car says good bye to the Rocky Mountain license plate
But today is noteworthy in another way -- we got our Florida car license plates and our Florida driver's licenses. This is a big deal. Around here, they strongly urge us to make an appointment online ahead of time for both of these things.  

That is a good idea and we did. When we arrived (plenty early, I should add), we had a bit of a time finding parking spaces for both of our cars. After circling (and praying) a couple of times, that need was met and we went inside. Fortunately the wait was not long because when Beloved got to the window first, he found out we did not have all the correct paper work with us, in spite of his super-diligent efforts to comply with the requirements. It turns out he was getting the information from an unofficial website! 

The clerk was very kind and told us she would hold our paperwork while we drove back home to get what we needed (a 25-minute drive, one way). This ruffled our nerves, of course, as we try to be very responsible, following all the rules, dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.

So we headed back home in one car, leaving the other at the licensing place.  As if this weren't bad enough, as we were exiting the freeway near our house, some [jerk] in the left lane nearly hit us as he made an extremely sharp cut across our path to the right. Scared the beejeemies out of us and I cried the rest of the way home. We were unharmed, our car was untouched, and the [jerk] continued on his way, apparently completely unaware of what he had just done.

At home the required paperwork was easily found and we headed out again.  Blessedly, the clerk took us immediately upon our arrival and led us through the lengthy process of re-titling and registering both of our cars for the state of Florida, and then took the eye test to get our operator's licenses. 

I am pleased to report that I am now rid of the awful (truly awful) photo on my Colorado license and now have a decent (not overly flattering, but acceptable) picture on my new Florida license. 

This process took well over an hour, with us standing the entire time, but we were just so glad to be getting it over with that we hung in there. Our clerk was very good at what she does, AND would you believe she invited us to her church before we were all done?!!!  That is the second person in the marketplace to invite us to church since we moved here two weeks ago. Are we in the Bible belt or what?! I love it!

my new Florida plate
After we opted to not get vanity plates, we were surprised to be given a choice of what is printed at the very bottom of our plates:

1) the name of our county
2) "The Sunshine State"
3) "In God We Trust"

As you can see, we went with choice #3!

over a bridge into St. Augustine
From the time we left home the first time this morning until we got home from the entire procedure, Nearly 4 hours had passed. We were both thankful and worn out and needed to do something other than unpack more boxes.

cresting the bridge for a view of the Atlantic Ocean
Our realtor had told us about a great restaurant he and his wife discovered recently, so we decided to go find it and have a celebratory lunch.

sand dunes, Sea Oats, and ocean on the horizon
St. Augustine is some 30-45 minutes south of us. By all reports, it is a destination with much to offer. Beloved and I spent a weekend viewing the historical parts in 1996 and don't remember much else about it. We look forward to poking around more as time allows.

a long narrow road off the highway
Aunt Kate's, as this place is called, is off the beaten path, literally, but well worth the trip. It felt "old Florida" to me, void of gaudy commercialism and dense with trees, palms and thick, thick underbrush. Hanging Spanish Moss. They have it in abundance, draping down from tree branches and swaying gently in the breezes. 

Beloved stands under some Spanish Moss
We got out of the car and marveled once again at our license plate. We don't look like tourists any more! We are real Floridians!

me, outside Aunt Kate's
Aunt Kate's was all our realtor friend told us it would be. Quaint, charming, out-of-the-way with white trim, hanging flower baskets, and trees everywhere. Oh how I love living and moving among trees. (my former homeland of Colorado is, unfortunately, very hard on trees with its snow, ice, hail, and fierce winds, which is why trees are much fewer in number)

the view from our table

Once inside, the hostess gave us a choice of dining inside or out. We may be Floridians now, but it will be a long time before we can eat outdoors in this humidity and heat, so we asked for an indoor table with a view. We were not disappointed.

The choices of entrees included beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. All of it looked good, and we were hungry after a stressful morning.

Beloved's chicken sandwich
Beloved chose the chicken sandwich with a side of potato salad. He also was given a small, delicious sampler of Kate's breads: pumpkin, cornbread, and fritters.

my plate of tuna salad
My plate was soo good!  To quote the menu:

Blackened Ahi Tuna set over
mixed greens,
topped with roasted red peppers and salsa.

Due to my dietary restrictions, I asked them to omit the cheese, and instead of the ranch-type dressing, they gave me their citrusy house vinaigrette. Ooooh! It was so good!! I restrained from picking up the plate and licking it when I was done.

"our live bait is guaranteed to catch fish or die trying"
After lunch we walked the boardwalk just beyond the dining area, which I forgot to mention earlier is on the Tolomoto River, located just west of the Atlantic.

Aunt Kate's, as seen from the boat dock/pier 

We enjoyed leaning out over the rail to see hundreds of tiny minnows swarming about.

helping with shore erosion?
What appeared to be net bags of sea shells were positioned in the water along the shoreline. We assume this was an effort to strengthen the river bank from erosion.

cleaning station for fishermen

Beloved recognized this table immediately. Cleaning the fish before taking them home is always a good idea!

more sea oats and ocean

We drove home a different way from how we came so we could further familiarize ourselves with this wonderful new area we now call 'home.'

It was nostalgic (even felt shocking) to remove the Colorado license plates from our cars but we are committed to making a success of this huge relocation. So far, things are going well. We thank the Lord for His continued and abundant grace.


  1. Wow! I'm so impressed that you are already unpacked. And, now officially Floridian. Great progress and it will soon feel just like home. Blessings abundant!

  2. Old Florida...that does sound lovely. You folks are settling in like a couple of old-timers, but then you have lived there before, right? You must be very familiar with Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' book "Cross Creek." It is an Old Florida read.

  3. Awesome...I just love this post, Barbara...funny, we felt the same way when we finally got to remove the Alabama license plate to New York, smiles. (and our drivers licenses as well.)

    I am so happy to see you are happy, friend. Have a beautiful Friday.

  4. We have "In God We Trust" tags too! I'll have to remember Aunt Kate's for next time we are up that way. I'm so happy you are unpacked and starting to enjoy our beautiful Florida!

  5. Congrats on the move! I enjoyed the photos very much and I wish you much happiness.