Well, this is it. After two weeks at Bahia Honda State Park followed by three months in our house rental on Big Pine Key, toady we say goodbye to the Keys and start our slow journey north. It’s been a good winter. Actually, it’s been a great winter! Perfect weather nearly every day, tropical water for swimming and kayaking, an abundance of locally grown produce, and beauty around every corner.
Of course, while all of that has been wonderful, the real reason this winter has been so special is because of the people. Not only is my dad down here but we’ve been welcomed in by his “gang” of local friends. The “Bocce Regulars” as we call them are a mix of snowbird types who spend winter here and summer in the north, along with a few true locals who live here year round. They not only welcomed us in for their weekly bocce/ potluck nights, but we’ve also had the pleasure of joining them at the beach, out to dinner, on the water, over at our place for a superbowl and birthday celebration, and we even all went to the Dry Tortugas together.
Having a regular group of people who we know and enjoy spending time with certainly contributed to the success of our stay in one place for 3.5 months experiment. Aside from the locals, we also had a blast with visiting relatives and friends along with an incredible amount of RV friends. I guess you could say that it’s been a very social winter!
As far as the results of house rental experiment…it was a resounding success. Did it make us want to live full-time in a house again? Nope, not at all. Did it make us want to settle in the Florida Keys? Kind of, sort of, maybe? There’s no doubt that this is a special place that we will return to one day (maybe even for another winter long stay), but right now we’re not ready to commit to one place.
However, this winter has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us. A world where full-time RVing doesn’t have to mean RVing all the time. The idea of mixing things up with a house or apartment rental every once in awhile is very appealing. We’ve talked a lot about short term rentals in places where the Airstream is not able to go. Places like the middle of a large city, or a maybe a cabin in snowy Colorado during the winter. Who knows what the future will bring, but for know, we’re excited to get back on the road!