The big move is this Sunday! Our schedule for the rest of the week is set:
Matt’s parents have arrived in Minneapolis. They’re staying in a hotel near the airport. They’ll hang out while we finish packing, and we’ll have dinner at Brasserie Zentral tonight.
Tomorrow we both have a going-away party at work, and then will haul our computers home, pick up the moving truck, and then go have dinner with the family at my parents’ house.
Saturday, the movers will show up and load the truck from our apartment and storage unit. We’ll finish cleaning the apartment and turn in the keys. Then we’ll head to Rich’s house for our going-away party, after which we’ll take the train to the in-laws’ hotel, where we conveniently also have a room booked.
Sunday, we’ll do some hugging and crying and then get on the road in our gigantic 26-foot moving truck. We’ll meet Wendy along the way (she’ll have Matt’s car), and begin our long 2000-mile journey.
…We’ll get the new place on October 1.
People keep asking me the same questions, so here are the answers:
- No, I don’t hate Minnesota. In fact, I love Minneapolis (re: great tech city, low cost of living, outdoorsiness, liberalness, culture…), but there’s that one gigantic downside that’s driving everything: it’s godawfully miserable here six months out of the year. I hate winter, as one of those humans who’s perpetually freezing cold at anything below 70 degrees. I handle it less and less well every year, and therefore it’s time to go.
Also, we want to live by the ocean. It’s our happy place, and it’s been our dream for a long time to own a bar on the beach. So this is one huge step closer to that reality.
- We’ll both keep our current jobs and work remotely. I don’t think this would be a realistic plan if we didn’t have that option. It’s an expensive place to live. (My feeling on that is that we should do it while we can afford it. Right?)
- Yes, both working from home will be a big change and will take some getting used to. I don’t think it’ll be a problem, but that’s mostly because I already have dibs on the patio as my office. (Matt may not agree.)
- We picked Key West for several reasons. There are lots of places we’ve thought about moving (almost all in the Caribbean), but this makes the most sense right now.
- While it’s in Florida, one of America’s most ass-backwards states, it’s in the most liberal place in Florida. The Keys are very different from the mainland, and Key West is very different from the rest of the Keys. It’s very Caribbean in attitude, and very progressive/gay-friendly/anything-goes. So culturally it’s kind of perfect, and not that different from here.
- It’s an actual city. I’m not ready to not be in a city yet. It’s a small city, but it has all the trappings. (There’s 2 Publix, Home Depot, K-mart, Walgreens, etc.) We’ll be a 3-hour drive from the mainland, where we can find any other shopping we need in Miami.
- The first time we drove down the Keys, I had a guide that provided information about every mile marker along the way. (That’s how you tell where things are there, not by address , but MM.) And at nearly every single mile marker, there’s a spot where you can launch kayaks. Gulfside, Atlantic side, mangroves, flats, channels, a million tiny little keys… that’s so exciting I can’t handle it. (Our Florida Keys Paddling Atlas , already partially memorized, will be with us everywhere we go.)Just the drive down the Keys is spectacular, and everyone should do it. It’s hard to believe it exists sometimes.
- I would move to Vieques in a second, but they have problems with regular power and internet outages. Reference our working-from-home plan above. We’ll have Comcast internet, which is hopefully reliable, with T-Mobile Hotspot as a backup.
- Having this view as an option on a daily basis:
- Key West is 2 miles wide by 4 miles long. We won’t need to drive unless we’re leaving the island. Publix is 1 mile away on a route where we barely have to ride on the street (which is a good thing when the route involves highway 1, even if it is just a 4-lane road at that point). There are three good beaches within 2 miles. We can even ride our bikes to the airport, which I fully intend to do. We’re a quick walk from the Historic Seaport and Duval Street; while those are the touristy areas, they’re also where a ton of great restaurants and bars are.
- All the Cuban coffee we can drink.
- This wasn’t really on the ‘reasons why’ list, but the fact that we’ll have palm trees, chickens, ibis, and iguanas hanging out in our yard is a huge plus. Take that, squirrels.
Next time I post here, I’ll be a resident of Key West. How awesome is that?