From Play Time to Reality

Even as the heat and humidity descended upon South Florida, June got off to an entertaining start. A belated Mother’s Day celebration in Palm Beach, followed by a weekend in Boca Grande quickly became our first and likely our last hurrah of the summer. Life happens.

In early June our daughter treated me to an overnight stay at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. Our weekend included dinner, shopping, cocktails by the pool and a fun bike ride around the island. It was the perfect girl trip.

Since we were celebrating Mother’s Day, she obliged my request and played ‘model’ for a few fun photos. The architecture in Palm Beach is world renowned, but adding a pretty girl to the scene kicks it up a notch.

I have always been enamored with the doors of Palm Beach and this one is a favorite, mostly due to its color. It is one of three similar doors in Villa Giardino, a Venetian style estate built in 1931. The villa is privately owned, but the owners seem to not mind that the door has become something of a tourist attraction. You know your home is famous when you Google ‘blue door Palm Beach’ and an image similar to this one pops up!

The photo on the left is from a building just one street over, and highlights the pecky cypress ceiling and wrought iron hanging lanterns that are synonymous with the Addison Mizner style that is dominant in Palm Beach architecture. What I love about this photo is that with or without a subject, the leading lines capture your attention.

Spending this time with Morgan was energizing and just the reminder I needed that frivolous fun is still allowed in a post-COVID world.

B-4 Weekend

Speaking of frivolous fun; our B4 weekend in Boca Grande celebrated Beaches, Bourbon, Barbecue and Beer! Hosted by the Gasparilla Inn, this was a fun filled weekend of cooking demonstrations, bourbon and beer tastings and lots of amazing food. Sharing the weekend with the fifth B (Buddies) made it even more special.

Back to the Real World

Two days after returning from Boca Grande, we received a contract to purchase our house. Okay, that was fast – five weeks from the date we listed it with a realtor. In this market that might seem like an eternity to some, but to us it was fast. We still have a long way to go in the process, but considering all goes well, we will close on August 3rd. And so the fun begins.

If you have been in this situation, you know that there is nothing to celebrate until the ink is dry and in our case the ink won’t be dry until mid July, which will leave us about two weeks to pack up and move out. We have a very large home that we have lived in for twenty years and that simply is not possible. Soooo…. Malcolm and I have begun the pre-packing phase commonly referred to as ‘Pitch, Donate, Keep’ starting in a sweltering hot garage. So much for being all lady-like and feeling frivolous!

What made me smile this week and what I want to share with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Crew is a simple reminder to stay positive, even when life reveals its not-so-attractive underbelly. Getting ready for the next chapter. Fingers crossed.


P.S. Wanna buy a used Golf Cart? How about a tandem kayak?

Addendum: As the world mourns with Florida, our hearts go out to the victims of the Miami Surfside Condominium tragedy. The unimaginable happened in the blink of an eye and changed lives forever. Yet another reminder to live every single day with joy and thanksgiving.

42 Comments on “From Play Time to Reality

  1. Hi Suzanne – well, lots has been happening in your world – two lovely away times (and your daughter was so lovely to take you away for Mothers Day) and then an offer on your house – exciting times. I hope it all goes through smoothly and good luck with the sorting and culling of 20 years worth of stuff. It’ll be worth it in the end, but will be a massive pain in the butt for the interim. And yes, life can change in the blink of an eye – so we need to live every day with a dollop of gratitude.


    • Hi Leanne, I am glad we had those two outings before life got crazy. We are not feeling very social right now and are consumed with sorting, without going too far just in case things don’t work out. It’s all stuff that needed to be done anyway. Thanks for the good wishes.


  2. You’ve been busy socializing in style. Very nice. I’ve been sorting through all our stuff here, too. Slowly over time, with no particular goal of selling the house. It’s freeing to see the unwanted stuff go. Fingers crossed that August 3 happens as planned.


    • Ally, this past year I have sorted and reorganized every closet in our home, plus the pantry and part of the garage, but we still have stuff. The difference between then and now is that I don’t look at everything and ask myself ‘will I need this?’ and put it back on the shelf. Being forced to make decisions has been good for me. And yes, it is freeing to see it go. As far as socializing goes, I am so glad that happened when it did. Our focus will be elsewhere for quite some time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne, you had two fun celebrations! A girl’s trip with your daughter is always fun! Congratulations on getting a contract on your home! Wishing you great happiness in your next chapter!


    • Thank you Beth. Morgan lived with us during COVID, but she and I were never truly alone. It was nice to just have fun with her and not think about anything serious. Thanks for your good wishes. We are hopeful that the process will go forward without a hitch and are proceeding as if it will. So much to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pitch/donate/keep….not heard that phrase before but we get the gist, and actually that process can be cathartic and rewarding. Good luck with it all guys…hope all goes well.


    • Hi Guys, sorting is cathartic and I love the process when applied to a closet or pantry, but when applied to an entire house it’s making my head dizzy. We are pacing ourselves, starting with the garage and a few areas inside the house just to stay ahead of the deluge that will come once the ink is dry. Thanks for your good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your photos of your daughter as model in Palm Beach. That door reminds me of one I photographed in Oman a couple of years ago!

    Good luck with the move, and yes, that Miami tragedy is like all such events a reminder that life can throw anything at us and we must make the most of the good times and look for the positives every day 🙂


    • Hi Sarah, it was fun to play photographer with Morgan in such a beautiful setting. I’m sure you could find that door in many of the places you have traveled to. I appreciate your good wishes.


  6. Those are great photos Suzanne. Either you’ve made some good progress or things aren’t as bad as they seem, I can see lots of floor in that garage 😉

    Congrats on selling the house. I’m sure moving will be physically and emotionally tiring. In any case, be safe.


    • Hi Dan, we are making good progress. This photo is embarrassing enough, so no way I could have shown the before. It even looks a little better today. We have been alternating our time between inside and out due to the heat – trying to pace ourselves and not get too overwhelmed or too far ahead of ourselves. The closing is weeks away so we should be fine. Thanks for the caution.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning,
    Four (and five) B’s…I would go all in!!! Looks like a great time. Your daughter is lovely, and thanks for sharing your time with her. I’ve experienced the move you are facing. We had a three-day estate sale to rid ourselves of 40 plus years of accumulations.What didn’t sell went to Goodwill. It was the most liberating time of my long life. Hang in there, you’ll be so glad to have this one behind you. Joe


    • Joe, it is liberating, although daunting at the moment. I sold the golf cart and the kayak within hours of posting on our neighborhood forum. That felt good. We are not allowed to have an ‘estate sale’ in the neighborhood, so I have to rely on pickups from Habitat, and an auction house and we are making daily runs to Goodwill. It will all get done and then we’ll breathe. Until then, I’ll remember how much fun the 5B’s weekend was!

      I’m sure you guys must have encountered some heat during your travels. Will pop over and see how things are going for you this afternoon. Thanks for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Deb. Things are moving along. The garage work is nearly done, so now we can move inside to AC and work a little each day. The move date is set, the closing date is set – fingers crossed that we avoid hiccups along the way. Thanks for your good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Suzanne, It’s great timing that you had your perfect girl trip and B4- weekend with friends before your house sale. Your photos of Morgan at the hotel are beautiful like those in Architectural Digest and Travel + Leisure magazines. Congrats on your house sale! Pace yourself in the next few weeks, especially in hot and humid weather. I hope all goes well with your sale and move. Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.


    • Hi Natalie, thank you for your very generous compliments re the photographs. We had a lot of fun playing around. Thanks for the advice to ‘pace ourselves.’ That is definitely the key to making this happen seamlessly. Always my pleasure to link up with your #weekendcoffeeshare!


  9. What a wonderful girl’s trip with you daughter. She makes a very beautiful model. My heart also goes out to the victims of the Miami Surfside Condominium tragedy. You’ve left us with a great reminder to fully LIVE every single day.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The good news/bad news moment when you sell your house. Good luck going through all of your possessions; I know it’s a big job. Good that you had your fun before you got the word on the sale so you could enjoy your time away without stressing. I hope everything goes smoothly for you!


  11. Truly enjoyable – and pretty – times with family and friends. And good food and drink. One day, I’ll have to check out “your” Palm Beach doors. Congratulations on the house offer. Yep, it’s not done until it’s done. Fingers crossed. Downsizing is so much fun, though. 🙂


    • Liesbet, based on your recent experience, I know you understand our angst. We are actually looking forward to being downsized – the process of getting there, not so much.

      A two-hour bike ride through Palm Beach nets a lot of beautiful doors. You should absolutely do that one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on finding a buyer for your lovely home, I knew it wouldn’t take long. I wish you good luck with the sorting, but it sounds like you have it under control. I’m glad you both got a chance to have a little enjoyable down time before starting on this new adventure.


    • Thank you Karen. It happened faster than expected, but we are dealing with it. We thought it would most likely sell in early Fall. Oh well, no complaints. I am just grateful it is moving forward and we are physically able to get the work done. In retrospect, the downtime was a godsend.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My comment somehow got lost…maybe it was too long, LOL. Anyway, congratulations on the sale of your home! I understand how it’s both exciting and stressful. We just sold our home in Oregon (unexpectedly) and will close on August 6th. So Florida is now our official home, at least for now! As you said, we all need to embrace this moment and enjoy life to the fullest.

    Your mother-daughter trip was so sweet…your daughter is lovely, and so are you. And your 5-B weekend looked like so much fun!


    • Welcome to Florida! and congratulations on selling your home in Oregon. Can’t wait to hear that story! This is an interesting new phase of life and I am looking forward to the changes that it will bring. Thanks for being persistent with your comment – WP has a mind of its own sometimes. Take care.


  14. Suzanne, how fantastic that your daughter treated you to an overnight stay at a beautiful place. The photos look amazing. Moving home is super stressful, but sounds like you have it all under control. Exciting times ahead 😄


    • Gilda, life is in a bit of an upheaval, but ‘under control.’ It is an exciting time and we look forward to what’s next.

      The girl’s weekend was perfect and I am grateful that Morgan is both a generous and thoughtful daughter. She tailored those two days specific to my loves. Can’t ask for more than that.


  15. Best wishes for smooth sailing through the closing. I totally get the jitters! And I can so relate to the sorting, donating, trashing challenges. I didn’t do enough of that on the one end so am doing more on the other. It’s wonderful you got some super fun play time in before the packing. I love the photos with your daughter!


    • Hi Pat, having recently been through this, you know exactly what’s in store for us. We are slowly plugging away, hoping to be as organized as possible on the scheduled move day. I am really grateful for the time we had with our friends and with Morgan. That won’t happen again for quite some time. Thanks for your good wishes for smooth sailing – indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hello Suzanne. I am so glad you got to enjoy the two adventures before getting down to business. Moving is hard work. The building collapse in Florida is shocking and tragic…as you pointed out, a reminder to all of us to leave each day to its fullest and savor this moment, whatever it looks like. Good luck to you with the move!


  17. Love those photos….all of them. And yes, so sad about what happened in Florida. I might have missed where you will be moving to or just downsizing? Oh if I lived closer I’d buy your kayak, and how funny that my cousin was just posting looking for a golf cart…lol..but she’s in Central Florida


    • Hi Kirstin, I sold the kayak and golf cart within a few hours of posting them on our neighborhood forum. That was a big load off our shoulders.

      You didn’t miss the ‘what next’ part of our story. We are still sorting through that, along with all our belongings. In the interim we will live with my MIL, travel, do a few short term rentals and eventually build a much smaller house. The plan is a bit all over the place, but we are not ready to jump into a big commitment and are looking forward to being homeless for a while. Thanks for stopping by.


  18. Two gorgeous women, in the photo of you and your daughter, Suzanne. Girl trips are the best. Yes, pretty girl and renowned architecture result in stunning photos. I ‘get it’ now on the B4 weekend. More fun. You look gorgeous in the photos, Suzanne!

    Unfortunately, sad events. Our Canada Day is different this year, too. Good luck with the move. It will all be worth it.


    • Erica, your compliments are very kind. I did feel pretty in these photos, but I think that had everything to do with my state of being and the people I was with. My daughter always challenges me to a higher standard for myself. Besides, everyone looks better when they are happy! Since those weekends, I have lived in baggy shorts and tees, my hair may or may not get washed every third day, and I am in desperate need of a mani/pedi. Since that is all I have to complain about, I count myself fortunate. Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Congrats on your house sale. Hope the sorting goes as well as it can. I’ve been there and done that and will refrain from telling any negative stories. 🙂 Your photos show how much you enjoyed your time with family and friends. Good memories to hang on to as you work hard on the next chapter.


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