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2020 Part 4: Return to Vero Beach, Florida

So I left my hometown of Vero Beach, Florida (well, actually, I grew up 20 mins away in Sebastian, but have lived in Vero since I was 20) on January 1, 2020. I swore I’d never return. I’d recently survived my kid almost dying, a messy divorce, and a freshly emptied nest. I was ready to finally spread my wings, go somewhere different, and figure out what I want in life.

Turns out leaving everything and everyone you know and moving to a literal island in Georgia is way harder than I expected. Read about the tough transition to cold, wet Tybee Island here.

And then the pandemic hit and my daughter joined me. Those months were actually pretty great. Read about that here.

Then we spent two months in a creepy house in Savannah. Read about that here.

Returning to Vero Beach.

I was offered a staff editor position for a website I’d been freelancing for, but they wanted me local. Being back where my friends were and having a bit of financial stability sounded pretty good. So I drove my daughter back to college in Texas and the dogs and I returned to Florida.

I’d secured a temporary rental sight unseen and it was perfect! It was a 2 bedroom second floor condo of a tennis resort.

Do I play tennis? Nope. Did I take lessons during the two months I lived there? Also nope.

This was the view from the living room (and adjacent patio) and my bedroom. Tennis players woke me up with grunts and bouncing balls by 8 a.m. every morning.

The Boulevard Tennis Club Vero Beach, Florida

The pool was a short walk from my unit and I usually had it all to myself. I often swam twice a day.

The Boulevard Tennis Club Vero Beach, FL

Shadow floating

It was near a church that looks like a gothic castle! Kind of weird in a beach town. I enjoyed hearing the bells, though.

Vero Beach, Florida church

Time with friends

It was good to get back to my spot at the fire pit at our local tiki bar with my besties. My friends James, Nicole and I spent the gorgeous Florida fall months watching sunsets over the water and talking for hours.

I was excited to host a wine and snack night. I love snack dinners.

Snack dinner!

Slumber party girls weekend

Adult slumber parties are THE BEST. We had literal buckets of fruity cocktails, hung by the pool, went to the beach, brunched, and more. So many great conversations and laughs!

Adult slumber party with cocktail buckets

Vero Beach, Florida

I started cooking for myself again!

Eggs with boursin cheese and chives

After not being able to cook in Savannah, it felt good to have a functional kitchen! I loved my solo, leisurely breakfasts at the table. Scrambled eggs with Boursin cheese and green onions was a favorite. The condo was so bright, open, and uncluttered. I really loved it there.

And it had a banana stand! I’ve never had one. I felt so adult!

Banana stand! We're adults now!

Doggie time!

I took the dogs to the dog park most days. They loved it! They also had Starbucks pup cups for the first time.

Vero Beach, FL dog park

Buffy met a twin at the dog park!

Dog park fun!
Pup cup fun!

I got to visit my favorite Vero Beach places

The job took longer to start than I expected, so I got to really settle into being back in Vero Beach. Like my favorite coffee shop and thrift shops, where I picked up this dress that gives me big Ursula vibes.

Breakfast sandwich and latte
Goodwill dress

I got to see the Kelli Randell mural.

Kelli Randell mural

And this cool RBG art installation.

RBG art installation by Megan Hoots

I took ballet classes!

I signed up for adult ballet classes at Lindsay School of the Arts. My knee started really bothering me so I only did a few classes, but I was proud to try something outside of my comfort zone and had a blast!

Adult ballet classes at Lindsay School of the Arts
If you stumble, make it part of the dance

There were lots of naps.

The bed was so comfy! With all the swimming, yummy food, thrift shopping, ballet, and time with friends I was exhausted and napped more than ever. It was delicious. I felt like I was on vacation for two months.

(It wasn’t all play. I was teaching night classes at the college and still freelance writing.)

NAPS! And sexy legs
Sleeping dog with cute belly

And lots of baths

Bath time!

This was my view most of the time:

Puppy dog eyes

Returning to Vero Beach was certainly not the plan, but the two months in those condo were a great way to transition back.

Which is good because the end of 2020 was ROUGH and it had nothing to do with the pandemic. More on that soon.

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