So, we had arrived all nice and safe, house was in good shape, and we started our mandatory 14 day quarantine. This kicked off with a large home delivery on our day of arrival, from Publix the local supermarket – a service we would use on several more occasions. Although a little more expensive, availability is much better than in the U.K. as delivery seems to be provided by independent contractors rather than the store themselves. Whatever. It works and we were glad it did.
Of course, on arrival, we were dealing with the usual jet lag, so the first few days were sort of a blur, as we caught up on sleep, and slowly reacquainted ourselves with our home, and cleaned what needed cleaning after 5 months. There are certainly worse places to have to quarantine in my view –
Weather was of course very nice but, being August, hot and wet very often. Still, we did our various jobs around the house, electrician visit, ‘tree man’ to deal with tidying up palm trees etc., and gradually, the two weeks of quarantine passed. Interestingly though, without ANY contact from ANYONE in some sort of authority. Not phone call, text, email, home visit – nothing. Slightly frightening, but I suppose not unsurprising really 🤷♂️🤷♂️
We started to venture out slowly. Sort of relieved that the county our home is in, has mandated mask wearing. That is good, but my impression was that there is a lot more awareness needed of the whole ‘social distancing’ need, as that struck me as pretty poor. But anyway, it was nice to gradually get out and about, and see some interesting things along the way –
(A link will show when you click on one or other of the above – click on that link)
Interesting to see what was open and functioning versus what wasn’t. Even our visit to Hooters was interesting – paper, disposable menus for example, bar closed so only dining, but no recording of names or phone numbers as we might experience in Britain. Still, it was ok. Did our customary visit to Target, East Lake Cafe, Macy’s etc 😊
Down near Hooters New Port Richey
Then, off we drove up to Alabama. We had rented a nice little town house in Birmingham, where we arrived late after a long drive up (left a little later than we normally would, plus had a ‘distraction’ or two along the way). Stopped to see Jake and Brianna, Mia and the new (well, for us anyway) baby along the way also. Next morning we saw Claire, went over to see Betsy’s mother through the window, and saw Jeanie that evening to hear her engagement news 😊 and meet Doug.
Next morning, we went for a return visit to see Betsy’s mother, who was woken up to be told we were there, but wasn’t thrilled about it 😊😊. But that’s ok, she needed her sleep. Then, off we went to Pursell Farms for lunch, as it is the wedding venue for Claire and Matthew’s wedding in March. Claire showed us around a bit after lunch – nice place.
Then, a quick stop off at Jake and Brianna’s place, and we headed back to Palm Harbor. It was 3.00/3.30 by the time we left, so a fun +/-550 miles journey lay ahead. After the required 300 toilet stops along the way (mine isn’t the weak bladder by the way 😂), we finally got back about 100am Florida time, to find an alligator 🐊 resting in our driveway. He seemed reluctant to move at first, but finally conceded and slowly trudged off around the back of the house, presumably to our pond. Interesting 😳😳😳😳😳