Full Circle

Lots of changes have been happening in the past month for team Sansbury!  The biggest being that we’ve returned home from Key West and are living in Annapolis again!  Wait… What?!

We get it… February probably isn’t the most ideal time to leave a tropical paradise and take up residency in an area that just got hit with a record-breaking snowstorm.  And we definitely weren’t prepared for just how cold 40 degrees actually feels like.  Let’s be honest, we’ve been calling our sweatshirts “outerwear” for the past two years, and our feet feel uncomfortably confined in anything other than flip flops.  However, even in our gilded cage of the tropics, we really, *really*, missed our family and friends and nothing – not even sipping a mojito while watching a famous Key West sunset – could replace the fact that it just wasn’t home to us.  So, we made the decision to leave, packed up the U-Haul, hopped on I-95, and drove north as fast as we could until the palm trees turned into stick trees and the flat sandy beaches gave way to hills of dead brown grass.  God, how we missed it.

Will we ever return to KW? Absolutely. We don’t regret our decision to live there one bit.  It’s a nice entry onto our life resume, logged right after 1.selling everything and 2.sailing our catamaran through the Bahamas.  However, we found that while it’s a great place to visit, it wasn’t the best place (for us at least) to make roots and live. KW is a wild, crazy, uninhibited place…. all things that can either strike you as being completely awesome (as a tourist) or completely annoying (as a resident).  Our time there can best be described as “the lost months” since we were fresh off our sailing trip and weren’t quite ready to enter back into reality as we formerly knew it.  It kinda felt like we were drifting for a while. What we learned is that sometimes you need to lose yourself in order to find yourself. And find ourselves we did…

Which brings us to the second part of our exciting news!  We’ve returned to work at Annapolis Yacht Sales, the very same company that we bought our Lagoon catamaran from a few years ago.  Talk about coming full circle! Our sailing adventure has introduced us to such a fascinating lifestyle and lead us to so many opportunities and great people along the way.  There really is nothing better than a day spent on the water with the wind at your back, the sun on your face and the sound of a sailboat sliding gracefully through the waves.  It’s a drug and we’re hooked.

We’re become quite the power team with Matt returning into his role in the service department and me on the sales end as a yacht broker.  I’ll sell ’em and he’ll service ’em!  Ha!  It’s a very exciting endeavor for us and we’re beyond excited to be working together and alongside a team of people who are absolute rockstars both in the office and on the water.

Not a bad place to play every day, no?  Most of the boats are still tucked away under their winter shrink wrap, but spring is just around the corner and pretty soon these cocoons will unveil the beautiful Beneteau sailboats that lie waiting inside.

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These boats are seriously MASSIVE when they’re out of the water and on the hard.

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I swear, Matt’s space is the best looking area in the shop.  He even found a huge Beneteau light up sign to hang as a piece of art.  I’m trying to convince him that it would look great in our dining room.  He’s got a good eye, that one does!

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And let’s not forget about our Bimini bear, the yard’s cutest shop apprentice.  We bring her with us in the afternoon, where she sniffs around the shop and keeps a close eye on Dad while he’s out in the yard working on boats.

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Found him! Great job, Bim!

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Pretty cool, right?  We’re so happy to be back and are beyond grateful that life just keeps getting more interesting for us.

If you’re looking for a way to get out on the water this season or are interested in upgrading or selling your boat please let me know!  Call me at 410.629.9186, or email me at deanna@annapolisyachtsales.com.  We’ve have a TON of both new and used boats in the yard now and more are coming on the market everyday!  If you enjoy reading about our adventures, then perhaps now is the time to have one of your own!  Don’t just Wanderlust… get out and DO IT!

Party of Three

The Sansbury’s are officially a party of three.

Introducing Bimini, our nine week old Irish Goldendoodle, who is a tiny bundle of awesomeness covered in soft auburn fur.  Fur that doesn’t shed.

#winning  #nomorelintrollers

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We honestly wrestled with getting another dog for a very long time… We really missed having a fur baby in our lives but felt like we were cheating on Yingling & Corona, even though they were happily living their golden years with their foster family who loves them to pieces.  Even after we ended our sailing trip and moved back on land, we knew that taking them back wasn’t an option.  They have a new home in which they are loved and well cared for, and that’s all we could ever ask for.  When got the news this fall that Corona had passed away after 13 wonderful years, we were devastated.  The end of an era had come.  Perhaps it was time we allow ourselves to move on as well.

Welcome, Bimini.  Named after one of our favorite islands in the Exumas, she entered our lives and filled it instantly.  She’s the fresh start that we’d been searching for since we moved to Key West almost a year ago.

But boy, did we forget about the puppy stage!  The razor sharp teeth and new puppy smell; the boundless energy; the crate training.  Oh, how I hate the crate training!  She’ll cry and whine to be let out, but we want to avoid any accidents in the house.  It seriously breaks my heart  to hear her get so worked up.   But I know that proper training is absolutely necessary to having a well behaved companion dog in the future. It just kills us to have her unhappy 🙁

So far she loves socializing with people and strutting her stuff down Duval Street.  She’s already an Island dog who enjoys the beach, chewing on coconuts and chasing the roosters that roam the streets of Key West. Funny, because most of them are bigger than she is right now.  Wonder how she’d do at the Hemingway House with all of those six toed cats?

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Conch Livin’

Oh, hey there!  Remember us?  The crazy couple who quit their jobs, bought a boat and sailed away into the sunset? Yeah, we’re still here.

I know…. it’s been forever since I last posted. Forever being almost three months. Eek. What a slacker. I used to freak out about not posting at least once a week, and here it’s been several months since the last entry. It seems the Conch Life has relaxed us more than I thought. Guess we’re more like Type A-minus people now.

We’ve been getting quite a few emails from followers and many (not so subtle) hints from family members about the status of the blog. Will it continue? Were the Bahamas the series finale? What about the fate of Foxfire? How’s life in Key West? So many questions. So much to cover.  We really don’t think we’re that interesting, but it’s sweet that y’all do.  So, the short answer is, YES, the blog is still alive (barely. I had to give it a little CPR, but it’s recovering nicely). This is the forum we chose to document our journey for ourselves, so we can look back and smile at all of the crazy things we’ve done, and living in Key West is now another chapter in our story. It won’t be focused on sailing anymore, but there’s something about living on an island that still inspires that same sense of reckless abandonment adventure in which we now live our lives.

So what about Foxfire? Well, with a heavy heart I report that she has been SOLD. Yes, it seems that we’ve gone full circle, from Suburbs to Sailing back to the Suburbs. We tried to figure out every way possible to keep her, but with boat slips for a 23′ wide catamaran at a premium down here in the Keys and dockage fees ranging upwards of $50/ft (per day – hello!), plus the fact that we both have jobs again (what?!) means that we didn’t have the time nor the funds to keep her cruising as much as she needed.  It was a bittersweet decision for us, and we nearly backed out at the last minute, but in the end selling Foxy was the best thing for us and for her.  We’re not ruling out ever living on a boat and cruising again, but for right now, we’re landlubbers.

We’ve slowly integrated to living on land again these past few months.  I’ll admit, it IS nice going to sleep at night and not waking up regularly to check to see if our anchor has dragged.  And every time I load up our dishwasher instead of spending an hour doing piles of dishes by hand in a 12″ wide sink (with or without hot water, depending on if our generator was running or not), you may catch me doing my happy dance.  Plus I no longer have to wear cheap flip flops so my feet don’t touch the scuzzy floor of a marina shower or the fact that I don’t have to pay upwards of $4 per load of laundry is a pretty nice touch as well.  However, no more waking up and going to sleep with the gentle sound of waves lapping against the hull or having 24-7 spectacular views of the water.  Unless we want to pay some serious coin to be loaded onto a party boat with 50 other tourists all vying for deck space to take sunset photos.  Trade offs.

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Life in Key West is pretty interesting.  I’ll admit, it’s very different actually living here versus being here for a week on vacation.  You need to have a high tolerance for just about everything – quirky residents, throngs of tourists, traffic, boys that dress like girls – you know, the usual stuff.  It’s all just a little different down here.  We drive scooters instead of sedans (at least the seats are still leather!).  Sunsets are a big damn deal and are celebrated nightly.  The chickens and iguanas that roam the island and are like our pets. Expect any sort of repair or service work to take at least a month.  Suits and heels are best left on the mainland.  It takes a little getting used to, but there’s all sorts of shenanigans going on every day that reminds us just how fabulous life here can be.

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I guess the only way to describe it is…. What a life.

Key West-ers

We’ve officially been living in Key West for one week now, and we haven’t gotten lost in the 24-7 nightlife of Duval Street or attacked by any of the many lizards and chickens roaming the island.  Matt’s even found himself a job.  I’d consider that a successful first week, wouldn’t you?

But what a week it’s been! After our visit home, we made the loooong drive from MD to FL with a loaner truck from Matt’s uncle stuffed to the brim with stuff we’d need for the house (yard tools, paint supplies, tools, etc).  Google told us the trip would take us around 18 hours, so we left at 4am and started ticking off the states as we headed South.  Originally our plan was to do 3 hour driving shifts, just like we would do an overnight trip on the boat, however we both forgot how much we hate I-95 and found ourselves shortchanging our shifts as the day wore on.  I think we were down to switching every 90 minutes or so, which was timed perfectly for when we were in need of a bathroom break.  Damn coffee. We must have hit every rest stop along I-95 from North Carolina thru Florida. We ended up making it to Ft. Lauderdale in just over 16 hours, even with all those stops. No shocker here that Sansbury time trumped Google.

Since we enjoyed the drive SO much (insert sarcasm here), we decided to spend just one day on the boat before turning around and doing it all over again on the final leg to the Keys.  To say we were dreading it would be an understatement.  We’ve been on a boat for six months!  No driving!  My right shin was killing me from working the pedals and my butt was sore from all the sitting.  Pretty funny, huh?

Because the back of the truck was already filled to the brim with house stuff, we had to buck up and rent a moving truck to get the rest of our things down to the house.  We had cleared the boat of most of our belongings when we returned from the Bahamas and and shoved everything (rather haphazardly) into a small 4’x6′ storage unit.

I think it says a lot when you can ft your whole life into less than 200 cubic feet of space. Sigh…

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Matt was wondering if the 10′ rental truck would be big enough to fit all the stuff from our storage unit.  Um…. I think we’re fine.  You could stack all of those bins in the back of the truck and still fit a dining room table for six in there. Probably should have went with a van.

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The drive from Lauderdale to Key West took about 5 hours.  Two of those hours were spent on Rt.1 from Lauderdale thru the sprawl of Miami.  Once we get a SunPass (like an EZ Pass, but for some unknown reason, Florida has to be different), we can hop on the turnpike and should be able to shave the drive down to about 3 hours or so.  Once we sell the boat, we’ll have no reason to come up to the mainland at all (except to the airport every now and then), a thought that makes me very, very happy.  The Keys are awesome.  Ft. Lauderdale/Miami is not.

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So…. here it is!  Our new house!  Isn’t it cute?  Exactly what I picture when I think of Key West.  We absolutely love it… all 780 sq. ft of it 🙂

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The past week has been spent organizing, organizing, organizing!  When we packed up the boat, we basically threw everything and anything into whatever bin/bag/box we had on hand.  Spices were mixed with socks.  Office supplies were co-mingling with toilet paper.  It was a hot mess and pretty much threw me into a meltdown whenever I tried to find anything.

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This week we’ve also been doing a lot of painting.  SO. MUCH. PAINTING.  A previous tenant must have been an artist, because both bedroom ceilings and the pantry were, uh….. artistically enhanced?  Some people will probably look at these pictures and think these murals (?) are cool/charming/beautiful.  Trust me, they are not. In fact, it looks like someone tried to get rid of the bamboo scene in the pantry, but had a change of heart at the last minute.  By day two, I took care of finishing up where they left off.

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Speaking of the pantry, that’s where our stackable washer and dryer will go one they come in.  These, combined with a full sized kitchen (including a dishwasher – thankbabyjesus) and a private bathroom are the trifecta of everything I dreamed about while living on a boat.  Unfortunately the first unit we schlepped all the way from Home Depot in the scorching heat and humidity on our own was defective. SUCH a let down.  We’ve been paying for laundry in shitty marina laundromats for TWO YEARS and I was anticipating that unit more that anyone will ever know.

HD’s customer service was awesome.  Not only did they upgrade our unit, but they threw in free pick up of the old one and free delivery of the new one as well.  I guess now that we’re back on land, Home Depot is our new West Marine. Suburbs to Sailing to Suburbs?

New Beginnings

Only a few days left back here in Maryland before we return to Florida and begin our next adventure…. one that involves a certain salty piece of land that we absolutely fell in love with early on in our travels.

Yep, we’re moving to Key West to settle down for a few years until we decide to throw it all in the blender and mix it up again.

Why Key West?  Why not?  It’s absolutely fabulous there!  We love the quirky people and the tight knit community.  We love that every street is lined with palm trees and that chickens roam everywhere.  We love that it’s the USA but doesn’t feel like the USA (like, not at all).  We love that we’ll have amazing reefs to snorkel and still have (two!) well stocked Publix grocery stores to shop from.  It’s the best of the best.  Our Bee’s Knee’s.  And if we really, really want to go someplace “more exotic”, the Bahamas and Cuba are still closer than the Florida mainland.

We’ve gotten some comments asking us why we didn’t cruise longer.  We were gone for a total of six months, only two of which were spent in the Bahamas.  Much shorter than our original plan to cruise for a year plus, and to cover more ground – water? – deeper into the Caribbean.  Truth is, we sorta ruined ourselves by going to Key West first.  The time we spent there over the holidays were completely amazing… and we ended up falling in love with it.  The Bahamas were beautiful – the water was the best I’ve ever seen in all my travels; the hundreds of islands provided literally something for everyone; the people were kind and welcoming – but in the end, all we could do was compare it to Key West.  It’s like finding the perfect dress but trying on a few more just to say you did, all the while knowing your heart was already set on that first one.

While we knew we wanted to return to the Keys, we didn’t know exactly when.  Two factors worked together to make the decision for us: our cruising budget was running low and we knew the time was approaching where we needed to get jobs again, and Matt’s uncle surprised us by buying a house in Key West and needed someone to live in it.  The stars can’t align much better than that, so we took the leap and committed.  And we can’t be more excited for the next step.  True, we didn’t sail around the world for several years, but we did have the guts to dream up something crazy and actually GO DO IT, and that alone is farther than most people get in their entire life.  Boom.

So, that means that we’ve put Foxfire on the market (view the listing here).  That’s the part that really makes us sad.  We’ve put so much love and pride into making her our own, it’s strange to think that she won’t be ours anymore.  Selling Foxy is so much harder than it ever was selling a house…. she made it possible for us to have an amazing adventure, possible for us to find ourselves in the process, and possible for us to start this new chapter in our lives, one that we have no doubt is going to be pretty f-ing fantastic.  It’s been a great two years, Foxfire.  Here’s hoping that we’re able to find you your next set of owners that will love you as much as we do.