Two years ago right before COVID really hit in the US my Mom moved from Myrtle Beach to Venice Florida. Closing on two houses in a 30 day period is no mean feat under normal circumstances, but she did it in the middle of a pandemic and despite the challenges managed to move to Venice right before things got really bad. Unfortunately although her brother lived there, right when she arrived no vaccines were available and everyone was social distancing so she was in a new place without any of the traditional means of meeting new people.
Thankfully the folks in her condo complex were really great and with some inventive social distancing (carport happy hour) she managed to meet some folks. Then over time they all got vaccinated so things loosened up even more and at the time of this writing she has made lots of friends, found a church, and has a schedule of activities that makes me tired!
Because of a variety of factors though I had not been able to see her new place, so when her plans opened up for Thanksgiving and I had a few extra vacation days I decided to drive down. Well that was my initial plan but it was going to cost $650 for a rental car for 5 days (4X the amount for a non holiday week) and despite my misgivings I looked for flights. Ultimately I found a round trip fare through Charlotte (no way was I messing with Atlanta) for $345 through American Airlines into Tampa and I booked it. Mom was nice enough to drive the 1hr and 15 minutes to come pick me up and over the next few days I got to see how she lived.
I absolutely loved her new condo which has a screened in front porch AND back porch and beautiful high ceilings. It backs up to a nature preserve so no one is behind her and at night we could hear the rustling in the wilderness. Made me glad we were on the second floor.
By choice we ate out almost every day (she cooked Thanksgiving dinner) and I tried several new places. We also had a chance to see my Dad’s sister and brother-in-law and my mom’s brother. I have family on both sides in Venice which is pretty cool.
Despite the evidence, we didn’t just eat though. We visited a very cool Amish farmers market (yes there are Mennonites who winter in Venice Florida) , we went to the ocean and the pier. We also went to a couple of thrift stores and even hit up the outlet store on Weds so I could get a new piece of luggage. It was alot of fun seeing the area and I really like that Venice isn’t super overdeveloped.
It was great seeing Mom and most importantly I now feel really comfortable that she is in a safe place. I know she thinks I am silly for worrying, but hey that’s what daughters do. At least this one does!
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