I’d like to retire now

I’ve lived in Tampa since 1975. In all that time, I’m now coming to realize how little I really knew about the surrounding towns. My memory of Dunedin was that of my mom dragging my brother and I to Dunedin Beach when I was about 13 when I really wanted to go to Clearwater. In fact, I really wanted to go to Clearwater Beach with my friends and not with my mom and brother at all.

Then a couple of years ago, friends invited us to this little Irish place in downtown Dunedin. I still remember thinking “they actually have a downtown?” but we went and the place was charming (most Irish places are) but it was night time and so we didn’t really get the whole downtown thing.  In the last several weeks, though, W and I have ridden there on the bike a few times and it’s seriously the cutest little town ever and it’s in our backyard~ I can’t believe we missed it. There’s this little place called Skips Bar & Grill where they put out dog bowls so that patrons can bring their dogs and hang out on the shady patio. It’s like South Tampa without the pretentious attitude. Sorry, SoHo and Hyde Park residents~ I’m nobody important, though, so I’m sure you’ve already dismissed my comment as irrelevant.

The mural outside of Skips Bar & Grill

I like how the town welcomes home their returning servicemen and servicewomen by hanging banners across the downtown streets ~ it’s what I think a small town was like in the 1940’s. Simple and unspoiled.

I’m starting to figure out why people want to move to places like that when they retire. I saw a couple in their 60’s strolling along hand in hand and found myself wanting to trade places. What could be better than stepping out of your bungalow that overlooks the marina and the coastal water and riding your single speed beach cruiser with a bell on it over to the corner ice cream shop?

Not to mention that Dunedin’s own Caladesi Island has been recognized nationally as one of America’s best beaches. Some people want to die in their sleep..I want to die on a beach blanket while basking in white sand…when I’m very, very old and my skin is very, very weathered and I’m holding the hand of a very, very old man. Never let it be said that I ask for much.  🙂      I love the beach and the fact that this little town is right on the coast does nothing but add value to it’s allure.

We’ve discovered Safety Harbor, New Port Richey, San Antonio, Dade City and Oldsmar, too. Places that my dad used to load us into the car to just go “check out” on a random Sunday afternoon. Places that I detested as a kid.

It’s interesting that simple becomes so attractive the deeper we get into adulthood.

4 Replies to “I’d like to retire now”

  1. Good Morning Amy. Welcome to the world on a bike! When AL and I got married, I was not “in” to the whole motorcycle experience. To me it was scary and foreign. Before long, I realized how much I enjoy it and how much you can really appreciate your surroundings, whether nature trips or discovering little towns. It’s so different than just going in a car. We are preparing for our Blue Ridge trip soon (5th year) and I am very excited. Be Safe and God Bless!

  2. Funny. I was telling Dave the same thing as we passed thru downtown Dunedin a couple of weeks ago. I love the “feel” of it. I’d move there now if I knew there was a mall, walmart and target very close by. I also like Largo, Safety Harbor and Tarpon springs.

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