2nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL
In 1994 my husband and I moved to St. Petersburg, FL. We were interested in moving to a warm climate and starting our own business. We bought into a cruise only travel program. Then we bought our house, and opened our Exclusively Cruises, travel agency. We operated it out of our office that we made out of our garage. We made a lot of business type friends and joined the Home Based Business Association in St. Petersburg.
During all this time we were employed by Home Shopping Network, as they had plenty of jobs available back then. My husband was a Telecommunications Operator, and I worked as a network call representative. Our hours though, were really long and was mostly night shift work. I changed jobs and went to work at a CPA firm near my home. Computers were part of our life, but the internet had not come into its own yet, and was not that easy to work with back then.
He visited us almost daily for a hand fed snack!
Having been raised in Florida myself, I had a special bond with the sunshine state. My husband of course, loved the warm weather and the water. He is certified scuba diver and loves the beach.
Our cute little house that we bought on a camping trip to FL!
We bought a very small house, and then our kids all wanted to live in Florida with us. We really had no room for them and a business too. It was a hardship having just moved somewhere to start a business, and have three kids move in on us. It is not like they were little kids, that would have been completely different. The two of us know how and can sacrifice when the need arrives, but not our kids. So it wasn't easy for a time.
The scenery in FL can not be beat!
Luckily, going to the beach was pretty much free. All we had to pay for was the parking! Can't beat that. We spent many days off languishing on the white sandy beaches around St. Petersburg.
Larry & Hollie exploring one of the many marinas.
There were other things to do around St. Petersburg. We would go shopping at the beautiful malls. Visit us the nearby marinas and just being around the water was so refreshing. We loved eating at Morrison's Cafeteria, it was one place we went to almost every week. Two other places we liked to get food from was Church's Chicken, and for hamburgers, without a doubt, was Checkers. We still miss those places. We hardly ever go out to eat anymore. But back then we were not into the homesteading lifestyle yet.
Miss those beaches of the Gulf!
We have not been back to Florida since we left in 1995. Having pets and horses sort of keeps us at home now. We talk of getting a "snow bird" house in Florida someday. With the oil spill business we aren't too sure about that at the moment. We will see what happens in the future. We have thought of getting one in the area I grew up, in Crescent City as I have found so many of my old friends from there. It would be really nice to have a place to go, to get away from the cold and snow of NY, in the coldest months. For now..............I will just dream..............
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole