Part 2…Photos and info about our temporary home in The Villages, Florida….

The fully-equipped granite and stainless steel kitchen is terrific, although there isn’t a specific cupboard for food storage. I will use the storage closet in the hallway for packaged items.

After an awful night’s sleep, we were out of bed by 6:00 am. We had passport documents on our minds, and knowing we had to start the process today of preparing all the necessary paperwork must have impacted our ability to sleep. Tonight’s another night; hopefully, we’ll both get a good night’s rest.

Shortly after getting up and having our coffee, we began paying for CIBT, a passport and visa processing company we’d used in the past. The cost for both passports was over $1650, including US State Department fees, which were necessary to expedite the passports to ensure we got them sent to us in time for our departure in a few months.

The four-person dining room table is of excellent quality, with beautiful placemats and napkins.

Apparently, like in South Africa, passport renewal services are grossly backed-up, supposedly due to staff shortages from the pandemic. We couldn’t risk sending our applications directly to the State Department, which could take over 90 days to process.

We both cringed about paying such exorbitant fees, which have tripled in the past few years, but this was the only way to ensure we’d get the passports on time. The process is time-consuming and cumbersome, and we still have work to do. But, after this morning, we put a good dent in it. In the next week, we’ll deliver everything to a local FedEx store and send everything to the company.

The queen-sized bed is smaller than we’re used to, but it’s comfortable along with the bedding.

Also, this morning, our first Instacart grocery order was delivered. When the order arrived this morning (we placed the order last night), everything we ordered was there except for a few odds and ends, which we can pick up next time we go out. Again, we cringed at the fees for shopping online, but in comparison to renting a car in Florida when the golf cart doesn’t have enough room for a week’s groceries, it is well worth it.

So far, we’ve spent over $500 on groceries, although we have enough food to get us through the next ten days. We’re planning on going out to dinner on both Friday and Saturday nights, a habit we acquired going to Jabula on both nights. We have a schedule of activities, including live bands in The Village, that occur every night of the week. That should be fun, along with going out to dinner.

It’s a wonderful treat having a walk-in closet with lots of hangers.

We haven’t planned any social events yet, other than with our friends Karen and Rich, coming to stay overnight next Friday. In the next week or so, we’ll start contacting the many locals that contacted us to get together.

We’ve been starting our day on the lanai and ending it there in the evenings. In the past few days, we’ve been spending time on the screened lanai, where we can watch a mating pair of birds, overseeing the care of their chicks tucked into a dense bush in the back garden. It’s small but quite lovely. Of course, there are no animals to observe other than a few birds.

There is one dresser and one chest of drawers in the primary bedroom. I am using the tall chest of drawers, and Tom is using the other. Each had more room than we needed. The en suite bathroom is perfect. Tom is using the second full bath. It’s excellent for each of us to have our own bathroom.

With Florida heating up in the spring, we keep the central air on day and night but don’t change the temperatures the owner sets. It’s actually perfect for us, and we’re enjoying the comfort day and night. We’re both still a little sluggish from lack of sleep but overall are feeling well. With the time difference from South Africa, I have been napping here and there and need to stop doing this to ensure a good night’s sleep.

This house is very comfortable, and we like everything about it. The conveniences are way more than we’re used to. We’re in awe of the simplest things many take for granted. We’ll make every effort to ensure we don’t get spoiled by the extras we haven’t had for years.

More house photos will be coming tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 3, 2013:

No photos were posted on this date ten years ago. For the posted story, please click here.

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