2020 was a Great Year…for us! (part 1 of 2)

If you read my previous article Moving From Orlando to Knoxville, you know the details of the biggest event for us in 2020. But as I look back at the entire year, it was really a great year for us. Obviously, we dealt with all the craziness that everyone did, but we certainly had a lot of things to feel good about.

Our visiting was off to a good start

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park - The Florida Egg Rally and S'More
The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park – The Florida Egg Rally and S’More

Fay and I began the year with anticipation that 2020 would be a year of travel and visiting with a lot of friends. We were able to start January off with a camping trip to North Florida. We attended a rally of people with small fiberglass travel trailers like ours. It was pretty interesting, with over 100 small trailers that looked about the same. It was a great chance to reconnect with folks we met at a previous camping event.

Hilton Head

Hilton Head with Steve & Patti.
Hilton Head with Steve & Patti…and they brought my favorite pizza from Michigan!

In February, we spent a few days in Hilton Head with our close friends Steve & Patti from Michigan. They have a timeshare there, and have invited us to join them for several years now. Spending a week there with them has always been one of the highlights of our year. This year however, we had reason to limit it to just a few days.

Friends from Michigan come to visit

An airboat ride
An airboat ride with members of our other best friends’ family from Michigan.

When we got home, we had a visit from Michele and Chad. She is the daughter of our other best friends in Michigan. Her parents have been teasing us about coming to Florida for over 25 years, but have never made it. Having their daughter and her husband with us gave us a glimmer of hope for the future.

My excuse to visit Krispy Kreme

Where else would I take Wayne on a visit from St Pete?
Where else would I take Wayne on a visit from St Pete?

Of course I can’t leave out my good friend Wayne from St. Pete who also came over for a few days in February. He and Barb have been visiting in January around my birthday the last few years. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out in 2020. However, Wayne and I came up with some good excuse for him to make the journey on his own in February.

The virus hits – bring on the projects

Fay working on remodeling our bathroom
Fay working on remodeling our bathroom

We started remodeling our master bath towards the end of 2019, and managed to get it completed in January. This was something Fay had wanted to do since we moved into our home in 2010. Having decided that this was to be our retirement home with no plans to move again, it made sense to finally do it.

We do love projects!

Fay with her new back splash
Fay with her new back splash in our little trailer
Rebuilding the lattice
Rebuilding the lattice around our trailer parking pad

With the virus coming on, it obviously made sense to stay close to home, and we decided to start working on a variety of other projects. Fay painted our breezeway floor, pressure washed our courtyard, put up a new kitchen back splash in our small trailer and refinished some furniture. I reorganized the garage and updated our landscape lighting. Together we rebuilt and painted that lattice fence around our trailer and another small fence, and installed a sunshade over the patio in our courtyard.

And I did do a bit of real work!

My new outdoor office
My new outdoor office, which I used extensively last spring

The virus brought most of my small business mentoring and teaching to an end. I was really fortunate though to have a several month programming project with one of my clients. That filled in the time between our home projects. It also brought in some additional funds that we made good use of before year end.

One more getaway to visit friends

Fay and Barb enjoying some nice time in the Gulf
Fay and Barb enjoying some nice time in the Gulf during our visit to St. Pete

We did decide to take a small risk in June, and spend a few days with our friends, Barb and Wayne, in St. Pete. We knew they had been staying away from people and wearing masks like we had, and thought it was pretty safe. Time with them (like our other out of town friends) is always great…and way too short. Weather was good so we spent time outdoors and doing some great boating in the gulf.

Late summer – everything changed!

As I wrote about in my previous article, the idea, decision and execution of moving from Orlando to Knoxville, TN was crazy. From the time we first thought about it, we were all moved in about 2-1/2 months. (If you missed the story before, you can get all the details here.)

So I’ll leave it there for now. That’s how great the first 10 months of 2020 were for us. I’ll continue with part 2 next time to tell you about how we finished up the year.

Goodbye Orlando!

21 thoughts on “2020 was a Great Year…for us! (part 1 of 2)

  1. Holy crap….what a year. Good for both of you. I hope health is holding up O.K. Keep me on your mailing list.
    Gary

    1. That it was Gary!
      It’s been too long since we’ve seen you guys. Hopefully we’ll have some time in St. Pete this summer and be able to catch up.
      – dj

  2. Denny, what a great way to keep in touch and I love seeing the updates! What a crazy year it was. Can’t wait to read the second installment.
    Wishing you both good health and happiness in your new digs!
    Cory

  3. All in all you guys managed to make the most of a difficult year. Looking forward to hearing the rest in your next blog.

  4. Nice to learn about your interesting journey. Hope Knoxville feels like home for you and Faye I’m in. Look forward to the next update. Stay safe. All the best.

  5. Denny & Fay,
    Steve and I do love to see your travels. Your thoughts and articles are always positive and they inspire us to get out there and travel around the country!

    Keep the stories coming!

  6. Thank you Denny & Faye
    Great to hear from you as always…we’ll take two Fricano’s Supremes and a dozen Krispy Kremes while hibernating here in Rochester, New York 🙂

  7. Nice update, plenty of interesting things going on! Ileana and I sincerely hope that and your families have a safe / sane 2021. Best wishes to all!

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