I'm now living in Ormond Beach, Florida, which is a small coastal town just north of Daytona Beach. We moved here in January - and I am now past the exhaustion of moving. I have loved just being able to breathe deeply and have a sense of place. We love spending time with family - and I'm enjoying NOT commuting for a change.
Was it a difficult transition? Yes - I've never lived outside of the Midwest. But, despite my nervousness about a new town and a new state, I have to tell you: I love this place.
Here are 10 Random Things I Love about my new home town:
1) The Beach - Now I've never been a lay out and sun tan all day kind of gal. But, I adore walking on the beach. This morning we saw the sun rise over the Atlantic - and the big, calm, wide stretch of sand goes on forever. I can walk and bike for miles by the ocean. Sunrise or sunset. Stepping into the wet sand and letting waves hit my legs. Picking up sea shells. It is wide and grand and wonderful.
2) Garlic Knots - The pizza here is nothing to write home about (and NOT as good as Chicago), but they have this wondrous creation called Garlic Knots. I think it is a New York thing. They are knots of pizza dough that are then doused heavily with butter and tons of garlic. I have told the owner at Stavro's Pizza that he is going to be my downfall. I could eat enormous portions of these - and no one would want to talk to me for hours.
3) Bridge Signs - I love the signs they post on either side of the bridge that connects "beach side" to "mainland." It is our old-fashioned announcement system. This weekend is Herb Fest and Celtic Fest and a Softball Game. Just check the signs. Easy.
4) Lizards - There are tiny lizards everywhere and they scurry out of the way when you walk by. I would normally freak out at mice or snakes (and yes, we saw a few snakes) but the lizards are adorable.
5) Moxie Vintage - There is an area called Beach Street on Mainland that has antique shops, an outstanding sushi restaurant, an art cinema - and a fab vintage shop called Moxie Vintage. Sabrina bought a 1980s dress to wear to prom there.
6) Surfers - I never want to learn to surf. Now that we've got that out of the way. I adore the surfer look. There is a tall surfer guy who stands in front of us at church. The blonde tosseled, slightly unkempt hair, the tan, the laid back vibe. They are so cool...I want to be them (without the actual surfing).
7) Seafood - We have always loved Ocean Deck Restaurant in Daytona - which opens up right onto the beach. but now we have Riptides (with about six different kinds of oysters) and Hull's Seafood where you can eat outside and enjoy fish fresh off their own boat. Seafood is plentiful and fresh here - and I am eating plenty of it.
8) Being Outside - I know it will be hot all summer, but oh the joy of being outside year round. I am soaking it in. I love biking and walking and even working on our house. People are active here. I love that.
9) Our Mid-Century House - It needs some work - but we are having a blast redecorating and fixing up this fixer-upper. It is just our style - and has that 1960s charm we wanted. The terrazzo floors - the wood built-ins, the pink and blue bathroom. Oh - and Old Stuff Antiques has been very helpful in selling fabulous things to put in it.
10) Palm Trees - Such a silly thing - but they still fascinate me. My neighborhood is full of them - and when I see them swaying in the breeze I know I'm not in Indiana anymore.
The only thing that is missing is YOU - do come and visit us. We're getting a guest room ready!