In any stage of life, there are always going to be difficulties – the “downsides” to the situation you’re in. Sometimes they’re not so bad – if you’re lucky, they’re barely noticeable. Sometimes they’re overwhelming.
We’re not in an overwhelming period, don’t get me wrong. We’re working hard and looking forward and enjoying what we have right now. But there are difficulties.. and these difficulties have made it hard to want to document what we’re doing.
Let’s start with the positives. For one, moving from a large house to a small apartment means it’s a lot quicker to clean the place from top to bottom. The kids have taken on more routine chores and we’ve never had such an easy time keeping up with it all (I’ll admit, I am not great at housekeeping). Another benefit to living in a nice apartment complex is that we don’t have to worry about pool care or lawn care. The doggie bags and barrel right outside our door make it easy to clean up after Luna. The maintenance guys here are amazing!
An unexpected benefit comes from location – we’re only about 30 minutes north of where we were before, but there are so many more stores, restaurants, parks, and even the library is very close to us. And while letting our Disney passes lapse has a downside, the upside is the benefit to our budget, obviously, but also the relief of the pressure to into the theme parks often enough to make it worthwhile.
Okay, now let’s get our whine on. Living here kind of sucks! We’re really missing the screened lanai and the pool right off the living room. One of my favorite things about living down here was being able to eat dinner outside every night and that the kids swam pretty much every day (sometimes multiple times a day). We have a tiny patio, so we can’t eat outside. The community pool, while nice, is actually down quite a big hill. Going down three flights of stairs is not a big deal, but schlepping pool stuff UP three flights of stairs is another story (ha ha, see what I did there?).
We also don’t have much furniture. We sold pretty much everything when we moved out of our house, remember? We’re using an air mattress as a couch. Our dining room set is a folding table and folding chairs. No bookcases, no dressers. The littles are sleeping on air mattresses (thankfully, they’re so small it doesn’t bother them). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not awful.. it’s just not ideal. The problem, though, is that we thought we would be getting close to hitting the road by now, and we’re not. So the whole no-furniture thing is kind of getting old.
We noticed right away that this area doesn’t have the same touristy feel as our old area. You definitely don’t see many people wearing Disney shirts in Publix or Target. At first we liked that, but then we kind of started missing it (right about the time we were hanging out at Liki Tiki Resort!). I know that the pool/lanai and Disney passes get most of the credit for this, but in our old house, we felt like we were on vacation a lot of the time. I miss that!
While I am glad that we don’t currently have Disney passes – taking a break was definitely the right move – I do still miss it. Hanging out at Disney at night, with no pressure to “get stuff done,” is truly amazing. And while we may have had some issues with the Disney homeschool group we were hanging out with, I do really miss them!
And that leads us into our final difficulty – friends. For various reasons, we’ve had quite a change in our social scene, and we’ve been having some trouble finding new friends. I know this is kind of a funny thing to complain about, because it has the potential to be much worse when we’re traveling.. but at least then, we’ll have traveling to make up for it.
When we moved to Florida, it was so we could enjoy eat dinner outside most nights and swim all the time, and go to Disney whenever we wanted. We gave up a lot to move down here – namely family and friends. What we were getting in return pretty much balanced out what we gave up.. but right now, we don’t have any of the things we moved down here for. So we’re missing our family and friends up north, without feeling like we’re getting much in return.
So we’re in a bit of a tough phase right now. We’re trying hard to make the best of it and to take advantage of the opportunities we do have here. For one, the library that’s about 5 minutes away has a fantastic summer reading program, with TONS of events and classes, and we’re planning on attending pretty much everything. This week, we’ve got Fiona’s birthday, which we’re celebrating with another trip to Clearwater. We do have plenty of good stuff going on.. but it is in kind of a pervasive air of.. meh.