Exploring Island Life

Ahhhh……

We are now on island time.

The destination is a familiar place. In fact, we fell in love with Hutchinson Island in the early nineties when our family spent time here during several consecutive summers. It was a great place to host ‘mommy camp’ as our daughter called it and we all have fond memories of enjoying family time and simple pleasures here.

Our positive memories of this place, all those summers ago, was one of the many reasons we moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Martin County prior to our early retirement in 2006. Our recently sold home (of twenty years) is a half hour from this island and Malcolm and I have come here often throughout the years.

My favorite beach, which is just behind the House of Refuge Museum is a bike ride away from our little bungalow and our favorite place to watch a sunset on the river is here too. People come here to relax and enjoy pleasant surroundings. We will be doing that too, but mostly we will be experimenting with change.

Play Time

As you can see in the gallery of past and present photos, this island is all about making the most of its natural resources; water and sunshine.

Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge this week is sports and hobbies and I can’t think of a better theme for our first two weeks on the island. Golf, tennis, bird watching, bike riding, bridge walking (yes, that’s a thing), kayaking and paddle boarding make up the myriad of activities we enjoy here.

Our daily routine includes a bike ride, breakfast at the newly renovated Seaside Café, (thank you Martin County Parks System), followed by an afternoon beach walk, dinner prep and a robust game of Rummikub. Mixing in a round of golf, tennis game or bridge walk complete the week. It is a pretty easy lifestyle.

Social Time

Social interactions have been frequent and fulfilling. We cooked dinner for a couple of friends, (severely scaled back from our usual company meal) met up at a local beach bar with another couple and hosted my MIL for her 92nd birthday (simple but elegant dinner) during our first two weeks here.

Reading

I have been reading ‘Stupid Things I Won’t Do when I Get Old‘ by Steven Petrow. After two weeks, I am only half way through it. Not because I am not enjoying it, but because I am. Like a nice glass of wine, or a piece of exquisite chocolate, it is the kind of book that should be savored. Laced with humor, wisdom and personal experiences, it shares a message that many of us may need to hear. With chapters like, ‘I Won’t Pass up a Chance to Pee’ , ‘I Won’t Avoid Looking at Myself Naked in the Mirror’ and ‘I Won’t Turn My House into a Sweat Lodge’ it will resonate on some level of discomfort. This book is not a novel and does not need to be read in chapter order – just pick one and dive in.

Watching

Birds…lots of birds and a couple of new TV shows – The Big Leap (Fox TV), and Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). Leap is about a reality show which features mostly untrained dancers with big dreams and how the shows producers manipulate the characters to create drama. Only Murders stars Martin Short, Selena Gomez and Steve Martin – enough said. You will have to tune to see how that happened.

Our Place

Our little two bedroom, 1200 sf townhouse by the sea, is great for a vacation, but we already know that we want more space in a future home. The floorplan is fine, but a ‘one butt kitchen’ just won’t work for us!

Sometimes the romantic notions we carry around in our heads don’t match up with reality. And, that’s fine, as long as there are no impulse decisions to reflect that confusion. The best thing about this home-free time is that we can physically experiment (just like Goldilocks) until we get it right.

Until then, we will continue to refine the list of our wants/needs and take one day at a time as we keep a watchful eye on the market.

Travel Update: our Vrbo host cancelled the home we had rented in Nantucket (didn’t know that could happen) for Thanksgiving week, so we have spent the past couple of days canceling and rescheduling Ferry transports, and relocating that trip to a home on Martha’s Vineyard via a Real Estate company rather than Vrbo. Truthfully, it does say in the fine print that a host can cancel 30 days prior to arrival, but seriously, who does that? Especially for a holiday week.

Anyway, we are back on track and busy planning the road trip to Boston, where we will meet-up with the kids and ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard for the holiday week. We are entertaining stops in Asheville, North Carolina and Annapolis, Maryland with a possible third stop somewhere along the way. Since all our road trips have themes, (like these) this one will be appropriately titled; Counting our Blessings.

Until next time…..

39 Comments on “Exploring Island Life

  1. It looks like such a lovely place Suzanne – it reminds me of our Rottnest Island holidays – your island is classier but you don’t have quokkas 🙂 Sorry to hear about the accommodation cancellation (that really sucks) but glad you’ve found an alternative and will get to spend some wonderful family time together – nothing beats family and it’s so good to see that covid isn’t getting in the way. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and I hope you share some pictures with us x

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    • Leanne, of course I had to Google quokkas. I think I might die if I saw one here. Looks kinda like a rat! Yikes! We do have big lizards that creep me out almost as much. It is pretty here and we are enjoying the calmness of it all, but I’m glad we agree it isn’t a forever home.

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    • Thanks Beth. It is a pretty place to escape to and we are enjoying our time here. We were pretty bummed about the Thanksgiving cancellation and were ready to call it quits until we decided to take a look at Martha’s Vineyard as an alternative. Now we are all set – again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely informative post Suzanne and those photos are wonderful. What a pain planning everything all over again. Enjoy your trip🙂

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    • Alison, I feel like we have canceled more trips than we have taken during the past two years. Actually, I know we have. It never gets easy though. I’m just glad this one worked out and hopefully we will have a similar experience to what we were expecting. We are not used to scrambling this close to the departure date. Take care and thanks for visiting.

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      • My dear husband is now refusing to travel anywhere even when the international border is down as he refuses to wear a mask on a plane, so I will be travelling overseas on my own sadly.

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    • Sarah, the townhouse we are in is absolutely liveable, by anyone’s standards, but it would require that we adapt and change in ways that we are not willing to do just yet. In the long run, downsizing shouldn’t mean sacrificing what makes one happy. Take care.

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  3. Daily cafe breakfasts, beach walks, bike rides and outdoor sports sound wonderful. I am so glad that you are enjoying your island days. Thank you for the book recommendation. It sounds like something that I would enjoy.

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    • Hi Donna, there is nothing not to love. Well, almost – the kitchen sucks! I am still struggling with how I might link to ‘what’s on your plate’ and bookshelf with my sporadic posts, but I will eventually figure out how to make it work. Also, I have a thought that I will PM you about later on. Still percolating…

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  4. Wonderful to see your link, Suzanne, and it’s chock full of hobbies and pastimes! As I read your last paragraph, canceling and rescheduling travel plans can be a hobby unto itself, been there done that when snowy weather in the southwest disrupted plans a few years ago–hope all that goes well for you! Wonderful shots of you out in the water, biking, and playing! You live a rich, full retirement lifestyle and I will envy your warm-weather options this winter (a wee bit). THanks again for sharing with Sunday Stills!

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    • Terri, and I will envy your cold weather and snow – just for a little while. I can’t imagine living anywhere that I wouldn’t want to get away from once in a while. For me, that place does not exist! Late October is the beginning of ‘season’ in Florida, so I expect to be doing much more of the same in the coming months. Today’s bridge walk (4 miles rt) was a killer in this heat and humidity. We had a couple of teaser days last week when the humidity actually dropped to 40% – heaven on earth!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely pictures as usual. Even though my husband and I have no plans to move, we often look at locations and accommodations with the question: “could we live here?” Since a move is in your future, it’s smart to consider what works and what doesn’t as you travel. I’m sorry your Thanksgiving plans had to change but it sounds like you’ve made good (maybe better) alternate bookings.

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    • Hi Janis, you live in a pretty ideal climate, and as long as you are thriving in your environment, there would be no need to even consider a move. I hear you about the ‘could we live here’ question. Malcolm and I play that game every time we visit a new place. The answer has always been, ‘no’, but we can visit. And, we do. There is a reason why Block Island, Jekyll Island, and Miramar Beach turn up frequently on our blog.

      We are hopeful that the new booking for Thanksgiving will be everything we are expecting. Malcolm is very excited about cooking in the kitchen, which looks pretty awesome in the pictures!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Suzanne,
    Island time is something I could get used to in a hurry, and it appears you and Malcolm have the routine down pat. Canceling and rebooking reservations has been the norm for RVers for all too long now, but something always seems to pop up. So glad you had Martha’s Vineyard as an option–sounds lovely. Keep the pictures coming, they’re awesome. Joe

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    • Joe, we had actually looked at Martha’s Vineyard when we booked Nantucket and ruled it out because there was really nothing available that suited our family. When we looked this time there were several good options. I guess it was meant to be.

      Thanks for complementing the photos. The current ones are not the best I can do since I have been in a camera slump lately. My favorite editing software (add-on) is no longer compatible with Photoshop Elements so I can’t fine-tune the way I like. Seems like Light Room is my only option at this point and I don’t know if I’m up for the learning curve.

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      • Suzanne,
        I have enjoyed using an editing program from Skylum Software called Luminar. I use either Luminar 4 or Luminar AI. Both are similar and have a small learning curve, but not nearly as intricate and detailed (busy) as Lightroom. Here is a link to the homepage: https://skylum.com/luminar-ai-b

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I can hear your exhalation from here. Love the term “one butt kitchen” and yes, who does cancel a holiday booking in peak time so close to the holiday?

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    • Jo, OBK is the only way to accurately describe our current space. With that said, we aren’t missing any meals! We will never know the ‘why’ behind the cancellation. After a few days of feeling disappointed, and starting over with our search, we are happy to have secured a new place that seems pretty perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah Suzanne, this lifestyle couldn’t sound more enticing to me right now…and your photos are beautiful! I’m glad you were able to adjust your plans for Thanksgiving and go with the flow. My husband and I are also watching Only Murders in the Building and loving it! Enjoy your home-free time! What a great way to explore and discover what you want when you are ready to settle in.

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    • Hi Christie, we are happy that the cancellation was a short-lived disappointment and not a permanent alteration to the plan. This home-free time has given us much to think about. Still sorting…..

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  9. Hutchison Island looks lovely! I’m a native Floridian and I had never heard of it. Something else for us to check out now that we are living in Florida. 🙂 It’s so good that you’re taking the opportunity to discover what works for you by temporarily living in different places and in varying accommodations. We’ve been living/traveling in our RV for so many years that our 1600 sq. ft current home is more than we need! But I definitely appreciate the bigger kitchen.

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    • Laurel, as a native myself, I am always stumbling onto places I have never heard of. Hutchinson Island is on the East Coast, between Vero Beach and Jupiter. The barrier island is split into North Hutchinson Island and South Hutchinson Island. We are on the south end, just off the coast of Stuart.

      1600 SF sounds very manageable, but it truly is all about the kitchen!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful island and relaxing time, Suzanne. How long will you stay there and what is the closest city on the mainland, so I can get an idea of the location of Hutchinson Island.

    I’m so sorry to read about the Nantucket cancellation… Yes, who does that, especially over a well-planned holiday week? They should get punished by VRBO in my opinion, unless it was a totally legitimate reason. But that would more be a last-minute thing.

    Have fun on Martha’s Vineyard and on your road trip north. Will you drive all the way to Boston or turn around at the cape?

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    • Hi Liesbet, to answer your questions; we will be at the beach for one month and the nearest town on the mainland is Stuart. Yes, we will be in Boston for one night. The kids are flying into Logan and we will pick them up there.

      After probing Vrbo, we were told that the owner decided to use the property for the holiday. I agree, there should be a way to leave a bad review on the listing, but there is no avenue for that unless you have actually stayed at the property. I see a flaw in the system.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, I remember Stuart. We spent a month of so on a mooring ball there, way back when, preparing our Irie to sail to the Bahamas. Too bad Mark and I aren’t in MA anymore. Have fun on your family vacation!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such a beautiful island through your lens, Suzanne. Cycling, bird watching, seaside cafe, sandy beaches all sound wonderful to me. It’s great that you experiment different places and do long stays here and there before you choose to buy your new home. I’m glad you found a suitable place in Martha’s Vineyard for your family holiday. It is another beautiful location. Safe travels!

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    • Natalie, we have been to Martha’s Vineyard, but only for a day trip. It is pretty. This will be the first time we have stayed there. We are all looking forward to the cold weather.

      It is nice to have this time to experiment and evaluate what we truly want and need in terms of housing. The island is a good place to start thinking about the next step.

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  13. Pingback: Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Burnt or Blood #Orange – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  14. Absolutely love your photos and this post. That looks like an amazing island. Love the “one butt kitchen” lol. Bummer about the vacation rental. I think many are allowed to do that especially now. Which is a bummer.

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    • Hi Kirsten, thanks for complimenting my photos. I have been in a bit of a slump lately and haven’t been producing great quality. Yep, the old ‘one butt kitchen.’ I’ll cook if you clean works best right now!

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  15. Hey Suzanne! It sounds like you are practicing the art of “flux” during your recent travel plans. May we all learn from your example. And good for you for recognizing what you like in a home/kitchen so that if/when you find something more permanent that you will find something “rightsized” just for you. And I also want to congratulate you for easing into your new location. Plus, like so many others, it is great to see your photos and follow along on your adventure. ~Kathy

    P.S. I heard about the book you are reading and it definitely caught my interest. Are you going to do a blog post about it???

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  16. Kathy, the end-game is definitely to be ‘rightsized’ so yes, we want to be as thoughtful and purposeful about it as we can be.

    I just finished the book yesterday and while I won’t be writing a review on the blog, I thought I might incorporate a few of the messages in my posts from time to time. I’d be interested in your take on it.

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  17. I’m pleased to read this, all of this [well maybe not the Thanksgiving week cancellation mess]. It looks like you’ve landed well and that you’re settling into a new phase of your lives. I’ve never heard of the book you’re reading, but it sounds intriguing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  18. Thank you dear lady, we have mostly good days. The book was interesting, but not riveting. It did help me to understand my MIL a bit better and hopefully will keep me from making some of the same mistakes. It’s a bitch to get old.

    Like

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