Monday, July 6, 2020

Special Edition - House Sitting vs Coronavirus - July 6, 2020

irony [ahy-ruh-nee] - an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
So, I ended my last post in March with this... "Besides, how long can a pandemic last? I mean come on."

Uh... ya. Allow me to update what we've been up to since then.

When I wrote that post I mentioned that 3 of our house sits had already cancelled, but it didn't take long until the remaining U.S. sits cancelled as well. And after Canada closed its borders indefinitely our hopes of staying in Victoria Island and Vancouver were over. But what really stung was that we also had to cancel our vacation plans to Banff, especially after getting so lucky with our 1-in-4500 chance of securing our campsite. But hey, losing out on a little R&R when 130,000 people have died kind of puts your problems in perspective. Sure we would have to make other plans, but there's always next year. God I hope there's next year.

So what happened after we lost our entire calendar of house sits for the next 5 months? Nothing short of a miracle actually.

Shortly after that last post, a couple from Punta Gorda, FL listed an ad for a 4-month house sit that started less than 3 weeks after our current house in CA. Yeah, it was during the blistering hot summer but we didn't care. It was a house to live in and it was for 4 months! So apply we did and accepted we got. Yay!

Then, when it came time to leave, we rented an Airbnb for a few weeks in Phoenix so we could spend time with our son and his wife before we headed over to FL. Because when you only get to see your kids a few times a year, opportunities like this are a dream come true!

From there we pointed our car eastward and headed to Florida. But in these times you don't just come barging across the border, you now have to stop and promise the folks at the reception center that you'll be good and stay inside for 2 weeks. THEN you can go out and get infected by the locals. Fair enough.
Do you promise not to spread the virus?
Ok, we've got your information. Now go to your room!
On April 24th we arrived at our new "home" and settled in quickly. The bottom line is that we absolutely love it here. The Gulf coast is ripe with "old Florida" landscape, rivers and mangrove forests, all teaming with wildlife and beautiful flora. And because this house sits right on the Peace River, Charli and I bought inflatable kayaks right away. This has allowed us to immerse ourselves in the area and experience incredible encounters with animals of all types, from sweet, playful dolphins to scary looking alligators and sharks, who just want to be left alone.

Navigating the mangrove tunnels in Ted Sperling Park

Flipper flipped me out!

See ya later...

Grand Ole Osprey
Ibis Elba

My next post will be a photo journal of our time here in Florida, which will not be easy, seeing as how I've already posted 350 pictures to our Google Photo album for this house sit alone. But that is a good problem to have. And don't worry, I'm not going to make you look at all of them.

Two hundred at the most. I promise.

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