It’s a rainy day, all day. This is fairly unusual. It’s the first time I’ve experienced a full day of rain in South Florida. I’m tired, a little hungover from the previous evening’s pub crawl. It’s Sunday. Rich is tired, too. We make French toast and bacon. Drink coffee. He watches golf, I read. Late in the afternoon he decides to work for a few hours. I write the blog about the pub crawl, then start dinner. I lay down on the bed with my book again. I’m reading Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. I love her stories of Native Americans. Back in the early eighties when I was living in Boston I discovered her first book, Love Medicine, and have loved her writing ever since. So, I don’t walk. I read. No excuses.
We are looking at a house in Lantana at 1:45. I find another house in Boynton Beach off the same road, Hypoluxo, just further west. We have decided we can’t be dragging the realtor out to one house at a time. Rich stopped by the one in Lantana on his way home yesterday and knows we will love it. It is five minutes from the beach, fifteen minutes along Route One to Delray and about ten minutes to Lake Worth. Centrally located to all things fun.
I get to Lantana early, walk the neighborhood. I love it. Old Florida houses, tree lined streets, sidewalks. The minute we step in the house, we love it. The owners have done an amazing job decorating, lots of ocean blue paint. The husband surfs. There are boards hanging on the wall, a giant pool table, a great deck with a pass through window from the kitchen. Outdoor ping pong table, dart board, bar stools, a fire pit, good size yard. The house has a fun vibe. We want it. Two hours after returning home, we make an offer. We wait.
Temping in the morning. I finish the work in two and a half hours. I really need more hours. If I’m driving to Boca to work, I might as well work. Right? Maybe, I can’t really say I’m torn up about this, but we could use the money. I walk the Rutherford Park trail along the Intracoastal.
Just as I finish my walk, my phone rings. They have accepted our offer. Holy shit. I think we just bought a house.
Day 79 ~ A Tour of Lantana
I decide to walk in Lantana, what looks to soon be our new home town. Anything can go wrong in South Florida, it’s a crazy place. But we are moving forward, hoping to close by September. I drive to Ocean Street which is five minutes from the house. The drive along Route One is Old Florida. Flat, the railroad track stretches for miles alongside the road, old concrete shopping plazas abound. The Friendly Greek Restaurant, Lantana Jack’s Bar and Restaurant, a biker bar, a barber shop with a red and white pole. Ocean Street is the home of our favorite watering hole, The Old Key Lime House, the oldest waterfront restaurant in Florida. There is a sign at the bar that says “Hemingway pissed here.” The rest room are full of wisdom.
There are several other little restaurants and shops along the short commercial street that runs into the bridge to the ocean. The bridge has been under construction for two years but is set to reopen in November. We will be a five minute drive from the beach when it does. reopen. I park the car, walk the street then hit the side streets through the neighborhood. There is a sushi restaurant:
A tapas bar, two coffee shops, an Italian pizzeria that has a sign which reads, “No Frills. Great Food. Get It?” On our trips to the Key Lime House, we have noticed this place is always hopping, people spilling out on to the sidewalk cafe. I add it on our to-do list.
Lantana is a fishing town. That explains Hemingway. Lots of charters are based out of here.
I walk through the Gerald Ford Bicentennial Park on the intracoastal.
I stop in the Second Wind consignment shop. As you may recall, I sold almost all of my furniture when I sold my house in New Hampshire. I talk to the owner, Annette. She grew up in Pawtucket, RI. I was born in Pawtucket. She was a fire woman for the town of Palm Beach for ten years, now she is running this shop with her friend. Although she tells me she loved her job with the fire department, she is really enjoying using her creativity. She reupholsters a lot of the furniture, paints the tables and chairs, arranges the displays. I tell her about working in accounting for thirty years, the cubicle ,and how I started to write. How I too love using the creative side of my brain.
I tell her I don’t want to buy anything yet, I don’t want to jinx the sale, but I will definitely be back. I love the things she has in the store. We exchange cards. She promises to keep an eye out for barstools for that pass through window. As always, coincidences abound. I see this as a good omen.