We’re official Floridians now, having obtained our new driver’s licenses and license plates last week. Since for some reason we got our Virginia licenses back (minus corners to avoid that whole identity theft thing) I was comparing my two portraits. I look remarkably grim in my Virginia photo, mainly because one isn’t allowed to smile. Seriously. Damn terrorists. The hangover from which I was suffering at the time, a common occurrence back then, didn’t help. One can smile in Florida, though, and so I did. Combined with my pink t-shirt and the colorful background print, it’s the most cheerful driver’s license I’ve ever owned.
At Mr. Mandalay’s behest I took a selfie later than day, sporting my black-banded fake straw sun hat and my bitchen Ray-Bans. I normally avoid being photographed except for things like driver’s licenses, but since my license picture turned out so well I was feeling vain. It was strange to see myself looking so … happy. And photogenic, enough so that I made the photo my Facebook profile picture. Immediately I got responses:
You look so rested!
Florida is agreeing with you!
Wish I could move there!
I could definitely complain about the things we don’t yet have–a pool key, mailbox access, roughly eighty percent of our possessions–but I look at the selfie and think about how different things are now. Mr. Mandalay and I go for a walk of at least three miles every morning. Our new neighborhood is very conducive to walking, with flat well-maintained sidewalks that wind through meticulous landscaping, complete with ponds and, at least to us, exotic wildlife (frogs! Lizards! Pelicans!). We’re even discussing getting bikes; I can hear Pete/Mr. Money Mustache being proud of us from here. We no longer have to make an hour round-trip drive to get groceries–or anything else for that matter. Every store you can think of and some which have never hit your radar is within a fifteen-minute driving radius, which might have to do with the major theme park three miles down the road from us. I have to admit that I enjoy seeing the turrets of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry rising over the pines on my way to Whole Foods.
I did bring most of my kitchen stuff down with me, so I’ve been able to cook. We’re keeping our meals simple; tonight’s dinner is roast chicken and salad. We’re mulling over joining a gym since there are three within two miles, but when starting from a standstill walking is doing just fine for me right now. I’m still sleeping well too. Improving my health is number one on my personal agenda right now, and I’m happy that I’m on the right track.
Mr. Mandalay has a couple of job interviews lined up this week and a couple more waiting to be scheduled. I’ve been doing some background work on my own stuff so once everything settles down (end of this week, may it please Cthulhu) I can buckle down.
It’s still kind of weird to be here, but I think in time it’ll become home.