• comfortingkeepsake

Our Escape to Sand and Sea on the Island of Manasota Key

I am tired. Between hate, violence, and frustration with the human race in general,

I’m exhausted.

Can I just bury my head in the sand? YES

We all need a break. An escape. Why not a Florida Beach House?

Last weekend, my husband and I snuck away for 3 days to Florida. We had 3 days of no social media, no news, no conversations regarding recent events, no kids (thanks to our friends and family for helping), nothing. It was AMAZING. I know I can’t run away from the problems and stresses of the world—believe me, I tried that after I lost Kyle. You always have to come home and face the issues, whatever they are.

Think about all the titles you carry in your life.

Wife and Mother being my top two, I always feel as if I am being pulled in a million directions with no end in sight. A reprieve from the majority of the titles is like coming up for air. I don’t want to sound ungrateful–but a break from reality is good for the soul.

Actually, 2 close friends of ours have been through a lot in this life as well. They have had traumatic experiences that reminds them every day that life is short. They made the decision to purchase a condo in Gulf Shores, AL, as an investment rental, BUT mostly for an escape from day to day life. (Here is the link if you’re looking!) A place they can go where they don’t know many people and not many people know them.

The only goal when they are there is to enjoy each other and enjoy not being “available” to the world.

At first, I didn’t understand why they would want their oasis to be so far away. I mean, packing kids–ugh, never mind the worst part, un-packing. That, my friends, was it.

We needed a consistent location where we could leave the essentials, and travel with backpacks. This is the only way for us to stop working, running, and keeping up….to be too far away for AJ to answer a call for plumbing, or me needing to fill and rush an order. My hope is to have a place where I never hear “I’m bored”–although, without a doubt, that day will come.

WE made a HUGE decision to GO FOR IT.

AJ and I had been tossing the idea back and forth of investing in a place to escape with the kids. We have spent months talking about what this space would look like and where it would be. Of course, it had to financially make sense. The recent tanks in the stocks and investment markets were enough to make us was to consider diversifying and investing in a vacation rental property. I also need something positive to come from this and help others. We plan to offer the condo rental to first responder families and survivors at a discounted rate.

Then Quarantine Sealed the Deal

We not only needed somewhere that wasn’t home, it needed to be easily accessed. We settled on an area in Florida. We are fortunate to have an airport 20 minutes away that flies directly to Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers airport. After contacting a realtor, within 2 weeks, we put a contract on the perfect place. We were fortunate to stay in the actual condo we were looking at buying. It is a smaller complex with friendly neighbors. It had everything on our list including a heated pool.

There are several walkable great restaurants that are foodie-worthy nearby that deliver. The complex is called The Boardwalk on Manasota Key.

It was perfect, tropical artificial floral in abundance and red carpet floated across the 1990’s decor.

Was red carpet EVER in style?! Maybe?

If you know us personally, we are do-it-your-selfers. (I say that, but it’s mainly AJ. He is talented in so many areas of the trades. I just hang around and he tells me what to do.) The property we found is ON THE BEACH, ON AN ISLAND. Manasota Key to be exact!

How much better can it get? Yes, it’s a tad outdated, but that’s small stuff. What we have focused on is that we can have a little piece of paradise to escape to (whenever it’s not rented, of course).

Who Doesn't Love a Good Before and After?

Granted, we will be updated in phases due to time and finances–so I’m not yet putting a time frame on completion. I’ll keep you posted on the renovation and when it is all said and done, maybe you can use it as an escape too! Oh, and did I mention that on Manasota Key, where our condo is located, is one of the largest nesting areas for sea turtles?!?! How cool is that?!?! We actually got to see sea turtle eggs in their nest while we were there. A turtle patrol is out every morning scanning the beach for new nests. I collected turtle-themed everything when I was a kid–so I took this as part 1 of my sign. Part 2 was seeing Kyle’s name (as the artist) on a painting. That, and Part 3, my favorite game to play as a kid was Monopoly…and I finally found my Boardwalk.

Here’s to many more days of passing GO and collecting $200. There is always a CHANCE that today is our last. We never know when we are going to get wiped out of this game called life. I’m hoping to continue to build memories with everyone I love.

Until the next nap time,


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