Today was the day I’d been looking forward to: driving to New Tampa to see the brand new home we’d built in Grand Oaks. We’d found the house on the internet when it was recently for sale and were shocked to see it was now painted blue. We were sure that color was against the HOA back then but maybe they eased up on the restrictions. The worst part wasn’t the blue because it really was a light blue but the dark blue stripes on the house. We wanted to see it for ourselves. This would be the first time we’d been back since we sold it 10 years ago!!!

Rich made us some coffee and we ate some pinwheels for breakfast and then told Susan about our backs and the bad bed. Thankfully, she was able to accommodate us in a different room, even moving another person around to make it happen for us. This resort is the second highest rated in Clearwater Beach and people rave about the management. Susan is terrific! So we moved our stuff to the new room before heading north for our day’s outing.

We drove 60 to 19 to 54, past the Suncoast on to the Grand Oaks turnoff just east of 75. What really occurred to us is how far everything was. We’d remembered it differently. It was all so rural! Guess we’re used to being close in with desert surrounding us now. We then recalled how far shopping was. It was around 5 miles to the closest grocery store, restaurants, church, and gas station. Here we have shopping right outside our gated community, yet it’s not crowded.

We were very excited to drive around Grand Oaks. It all looks amazing still. We loved that community and could never find one quite like it in the Orlando area. If we had, maybe we would have stayed back then.

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The house with the new blue trim – ick!

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We couldn’t believe how tall the palm tree had grown.
We remember decorating it for Christmas that first year and Rich trimming it every now and then.

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Neighbors added a front screen to the entryway.

We walked around hoping to see our neighbors out so we could say hi but it was a bit cold and windy the first two days we were in Florida. We took pictures and video and I could see us living there again, even if in a different house.