We arrived in Florida approximately 11 years, 3 months and 8 days ago. Somewhere around there – give or take.
We left Denver in the dead of winter where the landscape was brown and bare. We drove for four days straight through the flatlands of Kansas, into the lush of Kentucky and Tennessee.
We arrived in South Florida on a sunny and cool afternoon. The sort of days that make it living here worth while. I noticed the “local strawberries for sale” stands on the side of the road and wonder where I had landed. It seemed like such contrast with the lush landscapes, the white beaches and sunny skies. Winter was flourishing and I was excited about what future held for us here.
It now seems like a lifetime away.
In the process, I enrolled in culinary school, worked at some of the best restaurants and hotels in the area, we had children, C. started experimenting with southern barbecue and I started this blog. I think the rest you know quite well.
During our time here, we met some wonderful people. My dear friends Karen, Jenny, Alex, Amy, Deena… all of which have been so important in our lives. We went fishing and camping, we picked citrus and strawberries in the middle of winter, we escaped the scorching summers and Jon and Miren ran around barefoot most of the time. There was lots here for us indeed, but in all honestly, it never felt like home. Perhaps no place will ever feel like home to me besides the Basque Country.
About two years ago we started really thinking about where it was that we wanted to live. What place would gather most of the attributes that we cannot live without. We knew it wasn’t here. I missed the seasons terribly and I realized I love a bit of rain and a bit less heat. Heat drains me. But our lives were very busy C. with work and I had the book to finish. So we waited.
After a few trips to Seattle in the last year, we realized we needed a combination of city life, nature, the forests that resemble those that I hiked as a child… It felt closer to the place I love and miss. C. was on board. After all he grew up in Northern California and his family is now in Montana.
So we settled on Seattle.
For the last year, we have been arranging our life to make this move possible and it is finally happening. In only a few days away, I will be writing this blog from about 3,000 miles away and a 3-hour time difference. It’s hard to imagine. But I am excited for spring in Seattle. Cherry blossom season, berries, camping and rain jackets.
So here is a little homage to our time in Florida. The beaches, the farms, the people we have visited. We will certainly miss them.
But needless to say, we are thrilled about what awaits us.
And the new light… ah, the new light.