“Is this home for you?” The world’s trickiest question (in Marathon, Florida)

You know how it is on planes — sometimes you get the quiet neighbours, sometimes you get the chit-chatty ones. When I have a quiet neighbour I try to make the most of it, writing, sorting photos, reading, staring out the window and dreaming big dreams… but secretly I like the chatty ones best, especially the chatty old ladies who are sweet & full of life advice (“don’t have kids too soon! you’ll never get your husband to yourself again!”, and my personal favourite, “remember it’s never too early to start doing kegels!” 😉 ).

While flying back & forth to Vancouver, to visit my family and be there for my sister’s birthday & graduation from university, I had a pretty good mix of talkers and non-talkers. The only issue I have with the talkers is that eventually the conversation always winds its way around to that tricky question –> “is this home for you?”.

Well, you see dear airplane neighbour, I don’t really know.

Is Vancouver my home? Without Jon or Brio or most of my possessions (there are those sneaky few boxes in the crawlspace that I couldn’t quite bear to part with, but really…)?

Is Maine my home? It’s my current residential address, our destination for the next long while, and where Jon is from.

Is Florida my home? Brio’s there, Jon’s there, but somehow it doesn’t quite fit the bill either…

To keep things simple, I usually just say “yep” (regardless of where they’re asking about), and let it sit at that. Unless they’re wearing a West Marine jacket (true story!)… then they have to hear the whole I-was-born-in-Kamloops novel 🙂

Anyways, enough of that. Let’s get on to the pictures from my many homes… 🙂

Why would we be excited about this? Our first pumpout!

I know you’re sick of all this holding-tank, pumpout talk but I’m not quite done with the subject. Hence the pictures of the pumpout boat (which btw, is so awesomely easy I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me).

First quick story: Our Jabsco y-valves leaked. Valves, as in, all three of the brand-new, from-the-box y-valves, designed to carry raw sewage safely from the toilet to the holding tank… leak. Just take a minute to digest that ugly little fact.

This story has a happy ending though. Jon made one quick (rather upset) call to Jabsco, explained the situation, and before you could say “my-cheap-wife-actually-bought-these-on-ebay-so-maybe-its-her-fault“, they had offered to send us 3 brand new Jabsco Y-Valves.

The new babies arrived today, and guess what: they don’t leak! BIG customer service points to Jabsco.

Pumpout in Marathon

Second quick story: I have to give points to Cory, the pumpout guy here in Marathon. As I danced around on deck taking pictures of him and the pumpout process and casually mentioning “this is our first pumpout with this holding tank!”, he only sighed a little as “oh… goody” escaped his mouth. Let’s assume home-built holding tanks haven’t always been a pleasant experience for the pumpout guy, shall we? But Cory was patient & helpful and even tells us every week how much… stuff… the holding tank had in it (so we can figure out how big our tank is & how long we can last on one tank). This is useful information for a new-to-holding-tank-cruising-couple!

Okay, okay, enough of that. On to the photos of the bicycle…

Jon and his bicycle

That’s the bike that Jon got for $10. It was offered on the morning net for $20, but when they discovered it had a flat they gave it to Jon for $10. This ten dollar dream machine makes the 1/2 mile walk to West Marine or the 1 mile walk to Publix Grocery Store fly by. And yes, the basket was included in the deal 🙂

Have I mentioned that the Florida Keys are beautiful? We drove to and from the Miami airport, and the drive rates as one of the nicest I’ve ever done…

Florida Keys

Florida Keys colours

Florida Keys drive

The canals around here are also amazing — tootin’ around in the dinghy (at dead-idle-speed so you don’t accidentally run over a manatee mind you, so it’s more of a putt-putt than a toot-toot) gives you a brief glimpse into the lives of the Florida Keys folks livin’ the good life…

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6-18-2014 marathon water

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And now for some pictures from my other home…

The primary purpose of my trip to Vancouver was to celebrate Jess’ graduation and her 22nd birthday. This girl just finished her BA in English and is now dedicating the next few years of her life to chasing her dream… she’s trying to make the national wheelchair rugby team (right now she plays provincially) and (her sister hopes!) maybe eventually the paralympic team too 🙂 A girl’s gotta dream big, right?

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IMG_5856It was so exciting to watch my little sis cross that big stage and receive her degree. These are the moments that you just can’t miss!

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Jess & her super cute boyfriend, Raj

Jess & her super cute boyfriend, Raj

One other fun part of being in my ‘Vancouver home’ was that I got to really play girly-girl for a change. Never mind jerry-jugging, cockpit-showering, holding-tank-obsessing Leah… this was way more fun 😉

High tea with Jess' girlfriends

High tea with Jess’ girlfriends

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And, most importantly, being in Vancouver was a chance to spend some quality time with the family and friends that I miss so much when we’re off sailing…

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So in the end I really don’t have an easy answer to “where’s home”  …but I think I like it that way 🙂

– LMK

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