You should know, dear readers, that I have a horrible affliction. The greatest difficulty of my condition is not the associated pain I experience, but the guilt that I feel for the anguish it causes my husband every time my sickness rears its ugly head. For he has to sit idly by, helpless, and watch me suffer through yet another exhausting episode with my disease. It is completely unbearable for him. What is this dreadful condition which brings so much agony to my family and me? I will tell you. In my mind we are always moving to a new place, whatever is the last place we went for our vacation. Every single time we are visiting some new destination, I am looking up real estate and scoping out neighborhoods. My mind considers the glorious possibilities of being within walking distance of charming cafes and sublime restaurants, near beautiful and majestic landscapes, and living within the walls of impressive historical architecture while church bells chime in the distance. It’s true! I fall down this rabbit hole each and every time we take a vacation.
Without fail, I am always checking my Zillow app to see what houses are selling for when we are in an enchanted neighborhood. I start researching the prices of cute houses we pass by with a violent ferver, and in a manner that is something much less than subtle I start the same familiar dialog with my husband. “We should move here!” I will proclaim. Then I start talking about the type of compromises (all very minor of course!) that we can easily make in order to secure a life in this prestigious or up-and-coming zip code. We can get transfers with our jobs (likely to result in promotions), fix up a darling little abode, have access to amazing concerts and dining options…in short, our new lives will be nothing short of perpetual perfection. My husband is all too cognizant of the warning signs of my condition, and he knows there is nothing he can do but to nod along indulgently as I gush on about our future until eventually the idea slowly fades back away.
In my own mind, I have constructed new lives in Santa Barbra, Monterey, and Petaluma, California. All of which are pleasant communities with astronomical costs of living, which even I must acknowledge in my alternative reality is a huge barrier to entry. I also have plead cases for the wide open spaces of Texas (close to my dad! We are the next Chip and Joanna!), the hedonistic indulgences of New Orleans (amazing food and beautiful architecture!), Savannah (it’s smaller and cleaner than New Orleans, with similar charisma!), or the mountains of Asheville, NC (the hiking and views are stunning, and shaving your legs is completely optional!) I have constructed elaborate realities in all of these places, and more.
Alas, we still live here in the panhandle of Florida. Which is a beautiful area where people from all over the country come to visit. We have soft sugar white sand and beautiful emerald green water at our beaches. The fishing here is world class, and there are plenty of lovely golf courses to play if that is your thing. We have the prettiest little beach side towns scattered along a 24-mile stretch of scenic highway 30A, which hugs the shoreline line. I mean, it’s pretty nice here too! And I do take that for granted sometimes. Mainly when I am sitting in traffic bottlenecks that inch along at a crawl in the summertime when our roads are too congested with tourists arriving, when the humidity is 95% day after day, when I pay tourist prices for a crappy meal because restaurants don’t need good food – just a good location…that is when I take this area for granted.
There is a certain time of year, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when I start to resent living in a resort area. It begins when I have to compete with all of the out of towners to get to enjoy the amenities of my own community. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to live in such a picturesque place that so many people appreciate, and our entire economy is based on tourism. But sometimes I just want to find a parking spot on the beach, or be able to make a quick stop in the grocery store that isn’t overrun with large families trying to find everything they need to survive
the apocalypse a week of binge eating in their condo. (Seriously, I am astounded by how many bags of Doritos people will consume on vacation) That’s all. I know I sound crabby, but think about if your local grocery store was overrun by shoppers in packs of 5-10 people wandering about aimlessly, with no idea of what they needed, much less where it was located in the store, pushing around 2 or 3 overflowing carts. Every single day of the summer. You might start to feel…a little on edge, right?
With that in mind, I have created a vision for us in this impeccable house listed for sale in New Orleans. I love everything about it, and it seems to have more than enough room and style to bring us everlasting joy, peace, and Namaste vibes. I found it about a year ago, and I took screen shots of all the pictures from the listing. At $650K…well, listen: I never said I wasn’t delusional. But take a look! Isn’t this place the total dream? I know I am crazy for wanting to move some place new all the time, but I need a distraction from some of the realities of my town during this hectic season! This house comforts me, and allows me to escape.