I decided to retire my personal blog that I started five years ago and start some new memories here in this space. Mark and I plan to share our transition from being Ohioans to Floridians and all the adventures that transpire. We hope that family and friends will be able to follow along and maybe we can inspire some of you to visit, vacation or even move to sunnier weather like we are!!!
We recently spent a few days in St. Petersburg, FL searching for our first place in the sunshine state and we are happy to say it was a success! For privacy reasons I won't be sharing all the details of our new home but we are very excited to say that we did sign a lease and we can now start the official transition over the next four weeks. We signed a lease in the 33716 area code which is north St. Pete. We are within 20 minutes of downtown Tampa, downtown St. Pete and the gulf beaches we love. Many of the animal and wildlife rescues we want to be apart of are equally close. Even though we downsized from our large midwestern town home we are extremely eager to make a lifestyle change. We spent a few days house hunting and all my HGTV watching paid off. Our new lease starts in a month and we are kicking it into high gear with planning and packing our move.
In case you are new to our lives here is some background to get you up to speed on how this huge life change was determined for us. I'm Brittany and I have lived in Dayton and Columbus Ohio for 30 years. Just saying that out loud makes me feel like I'm part of a twelve step program (LOL). The weather in Ohio during the long 7 months of dreary and cold winter/spring months can truly take the life out of you. My fiance Mark grew up in northern Ohio with that lovely (not) lake effect snow. He escaped for a bit to North Carolina but I believe he was ultimately brought back to Columbus, OH to meet me ;) We met at my work over five years ago and have been inseparable and taking the world by storm ever since. I took Mark to Treasure Island, FL in 2012 on our first beach vacation and we have been plotting our escape since that trip.
We started by planning our wedding on Sunset Beach - Treasure Island, FL for 9-12-15. After our wedding was booked we both realized that just wasn't going to be enough. We needed to be near sun and warmth, ocean and wildlife on a daily basis. Other people live in paradise, why can't we?!?! So began the research... I spent the better part of two years looking into the "best places to live in FL" and "the safest places to live in FL" and the "most affordable places to live in FL". We knew we wanted to be on the Gulf of Mexico side over being on the Atlantic Ocean. We knew we wanted to be within 20 minutes of the beaches so beach trips didn't have to take an entire week or even an entire weekend anymore. We could even go every morning and run or walk if we wanted too. We both knew we wanted to be able to get involved with conservation, animal rescue and rehabilitation. I have also always wanted to be a beach wedding photographer and explore my passion in an environment that has year round potential, not just 4 months out of the year. The more research I did, the more I realized our ideal vacation spot was going to be our future home. All signs kept pointing to the Tampa and the St. Pete areas. So then I started looking for affordable housing options. We didn't want to break the bank since moving 5 states away was already going to be pricy. Yet we still wanted a safe and convenient area for the outdoor active lifestyle we wanted. We aren't rich so obviously ocean front was out of the question ;) However in St. Pete you are surrounded by water... It's literally everywhere you look and that's good enough for us! Above all else we knew we didn't want to wait any longer. Neither of us wanted to spend 40 or 50 years planning our retirement down there when we could just start living that way NOW. With all the pieces falling into place and lots of love and support from family I turned in my notice at work and set the plan in to motion. To say we are excited is the biggest understatement of the century :) While we were house hunting we just had to explore our new future city. We stayed in the Hilton Bayfront in St. Petersburg and explored the city as much as we could when we weren't touring apartments. It was a whirlwind of a visit and we can't wait to get moved so we can keep exploring. Here are photographs I took while visiting. I hope you like palm trees, water and birds!!!
We hope you will enjoy keeping up with our new adventures.
peace & love