Last week I wrote about the downsides of oceanfront condo living, so this week I thought I'd give the upside its due.
Ready? Here we go!
(Almost) No Maintenance – I love the fact that I don't own this task anymore. I think it annoys my wife because she can't make up some random outside chore just to get me out of the house anymore. Hehehe.
Obviously, you're always going to have the minor inside stuff that comes up, but outside…that's somebody else's baby now.
We have a full-time maintenance man here at the condo. He's typically here from early in the morning until early afternoon. Whenever we notice things that need his attention, we just call or email the condo office and they get him right on it.
There is also a property manager on-site too. She keeps about the same hours as the maintenance guy. She's who we go to if we need to reserve the social room, need parking passes for guests, etc.
I've Downsized My Life – The condo we live in is actually bigger than our house by about 200 sq. ft., but it has one less room, which was my office. So, our rooms are bigger, but we have fewer places to hide all of our stuff. Before we moved, we really had to take inventory of the things that were essential/important to us and ditch the rest.
First to go were my books. I had a personal library of well over 300 books that I had accumulated over the years, and they were easy to store as my home office had built-in bookshelves. But when we moved I boxed up 90% of them and donated them to the library. I probably never would have read them again, so I don't miss them.
The next thing to deal with was our wine collection. We don't have anything expensive or super fancy, just stuff we had bought at the few wine tastings we had attended or stuff people brought by during holidays and such.
We had really nice built-in wine racks with plenty of room at our old house but not so here at the condo. So we drank a few bottles and gave some others away. We now have a small liquor cabinet, but nothing like the wine racks we had before.
Last but not least we lost closet space. At our old house, we had his and her closets which worked out really nicely. Now we share a closet and things are a little tighter. I got rid of a bunch of stuff I didn't wear and I feel better for it. I like it when my shirt color choices in the morning are between blue and blue. I'm a simple creature.
Even my wife got rid of a bunch of clothes she didn't wear anymore. Oh, who am I kidding? We're still figuring the closet situation out 🙂
All kidding aside, getting rid of things may not sound like a positive to some people, but for me, it's really helped me realize that I feel better without having to find a place for so much stuff.
Watching the moon rise – Bet you thought I'd say I like watching the sunrise, didn't you? Well if you read my article about what I don't like about condo living, you know I am not a morning person. I think in the 7 months we've been in the condo I've only watched one sunrise and it wasn't by choice, I was up because I had to catch a plane.
What I truly enjoy is watching the moon rise over the ocean at night. Of course, this does not happen on as regular a schedule as sunrise, but it gives me something to look forward to. There are usually 3-4 days in a row where the moon is coming up over the ocean between nightfall and when I go to bed. Simply beautiful.
My allergies are better – I'm not sure which pharma company makes Claritin, but I used to pretty much keep them in business. I've dealt with allergies all my life, we have a lot of pollen here in Florida, and it's especially bad at certain times of the year.
But since moving to the beach my allergies have improved tremendously. If I take Claritin, its maybe 2-3 times a month as opposed to every day like I've done in the past. This isn't something I even thought about at all before moving to the beach, but I'm sure happy with the result.
I'm not positive why my allergies have improved so much, but I've read a few articles that say the salt air has something to do with it. I've even read that the salt air can help ease the suffering from more serious health problems like cystic fibrosis. Whatever it is, I'll take it!
Fresh Seafood – My favorite food in the whole wide world is fried shrimp, which is a real problem because I am allergic to shellfish.
I can eat it with only minor complications (minor face breakout) if it is fresh and has not been frozen. This pretty much rules out eating it at any of the chains like Red Lobster and others.
I can't tell by taste how fresh it is…it all tastes good to me. But I can definitely tell you within 20 minutes of eating it whether or not it was fresh.
Luckily there are plenty of seafood restaurants here on the beachside that pride themselves on serving only fresh seafood, so I'm able to get my fix at least once a week.
Breakfast Anyone? – While we're on the topic of food, I've never been a big fan of breakfast. I think this goes back to childhood when my parents would make me eat really boring and healthy stuff before sending me off to school.
But here on the beachside, we have several fantastic breakfast places. Most of them are only open until 1 or 2 in the afternoon but you can get breakfast anytime until they close.
It's hard to choose a favorite but if you put a gun to my head, I'd say the restaurant at the pier where you can sit out over the ocean and watch the waves crash below you through the cracks in the floor. We like to ride our bikes down there on Saturday mornings when they have a guy whipping up made-to-order omelets.
It's kind of funny because we never went there before moving to the beach, but we see people from our old community there almost every time we go.
Always something to see – Forest Gump would say that living on the ocean is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
In the last community we lived in, Monday looked like Tuesday, which looked like Wednesday, which was indiscernible from Thursday, and so on.
But here at the beach, it's truly something different every day.
Maybe its a school of dolphins swimming by… a paddle boarder out for a morning journey… a Jeep parade going by… a sailboat race going on offshore… a luxury yacht people like us could only dream of floating by… a blimp floating by on its way to the race track… a rocket taking off… and so much more.
You wake up every day and wonder to yourself, “What am I going to see today?”
The ocean helps you keep things in perspective – For various reasons, the last year and a half has been pretty rough on me and my family. I'm not trying to wax philosophical, but if anything, living on the ocean has been tremendously therapeutic. Looking out at this vast, always moving, always changing body of water you definitely realize that we're all just here on borrowed time, and it's up to us to make the most of it.
The ocean is like a masterpiece that can never look the same way twice, and whether we're around to see it or not, the tide will continue to rise and fall. For me, this really helps keep things in perspective and it has given me a deeper appreciation for life, and a deeper love for this planet.
I hope you're enjoying this series on condo living. If you have any questions about living on the beach or condo living in general, let me know in the comments.