Sunday, August 18, 2013

Living at The Woolworth

exWe are semi-moved in and now have spent two nights here. The Woolworth is a mouth full so we are referring to it as the W! Life at the W so far is good. Friday was beautiful. Saturday and the first part of Sunday cloudy and rainy. We are still bringing things from the Mountain house. Trying to find the right space for everything. One thing that has worked well is we created a landing zone near the front door. I repurposed a small cherry bookcase made by my grandfather by putting slate on the top with a ceramic dish for keys and glasses. They are always in the same place and are right by the door when you leave. Important since we have an electronic key fob that buzzes us in the building and you don't want to be locked out. I also purchased a number of cloth bins and put them on each shelve. Plenty of room for a mail drop,Hershey's leash, caps, etc. All handy put neatly stowed away. We have met a number of our neighbors. Everyone is so friendly and nice. We have at least three neighbors with dogs. Hershey has met Bella and King James. Bella is a mix  and James is a small Yorkie. James is big in spirit. He fought off a bear last spring! He survived but the bear did  lots of damage. Thanks to good vet care and lots of TLC you would never know. James and Hershey are buddies. Bella and Hershey are yet to meet but Hershey loves everyone. Hershey is handling the change well. He is cool with the elevator and goes right in and sits down on command to wait for the door to open. We have found plenty of green spaces to walk him. He knows what is expected and has done well. He is sleeping a lot and is quieter than usual. We are keeping a eye on him to see if the   Lymphoma is worsening. We are waiting on about 50% of our furniture to arrive. But we have enough to be comfortable. Enjoyed coffee on the terrace and taking Hershey on a short walk to buy the Roanoke Times from a machine right in front of their building! I love watching people smile ad Hershey walks by! He frequently scores a pet so he is happy being a urban pooch!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cottage Girl Goes Urban!

 We are still Cottage Crazy and continue to love our cottage at Tybee. Paws & Paddles Cottage remains a big part of our life. We are however embarking on a new chapter and have listed our Mountain Home for sale to realize another dream of ours. We have been carefully watching the changes and improvements to the infrastructure in Downtown Roanoke since about 2000. We have attended most of the Downtown Living Tours and have been impressed with the new living spaces being created in historic buildings. The idea of downsizing and having our living space be all on one level has been brewing in our minds because we have enjoyed our Tybee Cottage so much. Each time we returned home to the Mountain House we commented that we missed the easy floor plan of our cottage. The Mountain House is on three levels with steps that at least for me are becoming more and more of an issue. I can no longer easily care anything up or down stairs. I struggle with both balance and the effort of the climb. We began seriously considering a move to a smaller space a couple of years ago. Since then we have looked at smaller houses, condos, and apartments. Each one we looked at failed to measure up to exactly what we were looking for. We looked in various neighborhoods but each time I felt something was lacking. We had friends and family that had lived in Downtown Roanoke and loved it. They moved out of town for work but kept their unit Downtown. We heard it might be up for rent and got excited about the possibility of renting something Downtown. Renting would allow us to " try " living Downtown without the risk of buying a space.  The more we talked about it the more we decided this was the way to go. We had a few months to wait to determine if the unit was coming available. In the end the renter liked the space so much they decided to extend their lease. 

So we could let the dream go or get serious and look for a space Downtown. We decided that we wanted to go for it. Our search began for the " right " for us space.  We wanted to be in the heart of Downtown where I work and have reasonably close access to the Greenway system for walking and biking. The walking was especially important for Hershey our Standard Chocolate Poodle. We looked in several areas near Downtown as well. We liked the South Roanoke area but many units did not have access from your unit to the outdoors. I did not think I could be happy unless I could have a porch, balcony or terrace. We even considered a small cottage near the Greenway off Riverland Road. It had the advantage/disadvantage of a yard. The best feature was a screened porch with a great view of the Roanoke River! Roanoke is a unique place. We have a river right near the heart of the city. We also have a small Mountain in the city limits with a large neon star. There is nothing like flying home and see that large star atop Mill Mountain. The big drawback on this house was that again it had stairs both inside and a fair number outside. It was so seriously cute and the price was awesome that we seriously considered it. In the end the stairs caused us to drop it from consideration.  We also looked at a variety of condos that were not in Downtown Roanoke but in Southwest County. They tended to be larger and some were retirement type places complete with assisted living and nursing facilities. Nope...
that wasn't going to work. No connection to the city or the Greenway. Plus we didn't want to " buy " since we were unsure how we would adjust to the downsizing and a different lifestyle. We zeroed in on a number of Downtown Apartment communities. We liked each of them for different reasons. Hershey it turned out wasn't welcome at any of them. Most either said NO pets or pets under 40 pounds. Well Hershey is all muscle and 65 pounds. So what to do?  A chance conversation at work solved our problem.  We learned that The Woolworth Building had been renovated and that they might consider extremely well trained dogs that were larger. We emailed to learn more. A tour was arranged and we both decided we liked the same space. A second floor unit of only about 1200 square feet. The best part for me was that it had a french door that opened out to a roof top terrace! Complete with all sorts of wonderful teak furniture with large comfortable cushions and a mammoth gas grill. Only 4 units opened to the terrace. Three were already gone. We were hooked. It was a short 3 minute commute to my Downtown office, near the Big Lick portion of the Greenway, a short walk to the historic farmers market, grocery store, the bakery, lots and lots of restaurants, art galleries and the beautiful Taubman Art Museum. I love art and have noodled around with a bit of painting and hope to do more. In addition to our semi-private terrace The Woolworth sports a huge rooftop green space on the roof with even more seating, furniture, another big grill and best of all a huge complete indoor kitchen for using when entertaining on the terrace. We are officially tenants as of this past August 1st!  Looking forward to decorating our new space. It will take us a couple of months due to long lead times on much of the furniture. So as of now we are a work in progress and will be splitting our time between the Mountain House and The Woolworth. I plan to update the blog as we go through this transition. Perhaps it will not only help us have a record of our adventure but maybe it will also help others who are thinking about making this transition. More later as things develop. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cottage Crazy: Wringing the Most out of a Long Weekend on Tybee!

Cottage Crazy: Wringing the Most out of a Long Weekend on Tybee!: We have stayed on the go today after coming back from our early morning sunrise walk. Alex wanted some more beach time. We spent about 5 hou...

Wringing the Most out of a Long Weekend on Tybee!

We have stayed on the go today after coming back from our early morning sunrise walk. Alex wanted some more beach time. We spent about 5 hours on the beach walking, making sand castles and mostly swimming to beat the heat. He is a great influence. We have been in the water more this week than any other time on Tybee.  The water was so warm it felt great. When we asked Alex how he was doing he said Amazing!  I think that covered it

We skipped lunch in favor of an early dinner at A.J.s on the Back River. Eating seafood seated on the dock is just a cool thing to do. Food is always good and the view is even better. Here is Alex sitting in the giant A.J.s Chair after dinner. He looks pretty happy!

Back now catching up on sharing photos from all of our various devices. We have some really good pictures to remember our trip by. Alex doesn't mind mugging for the camera and he is always ready to give you a quick pose for a shot. A.J.s sent us all home with a traveler...a Savannah and Tybee tradition. Tea, soft drinks, and the harder stuff is eagerly poured for you in to go cups. Quite a site to see adults walking around the Savannah Squares with elegant glasses full of adult beverages!

This is one of my favorite photos from this trip.

Me and the slightly wet and salty SWGBoy!

He enjoyed playing in the sand with his sand buckets. His favorite was for us to be in the water and ride the waves with him.  He was always fine with what ever we suggested. He is Such a good boy. Just like Hershey. Who by the way is vacationing at the Aspen Grove bed and breakfast in Roanoke, VA. He enjoys all the extra attention he gets. He especially likes romping with his favorite doggie friends  in their play yard.

Here is the handsome SWGBoy.

Don't you agree. He looks like a surfer dude in this shot. Grammie slicked back his wet hair and spiked it up a bit!

His Mom and Dad enjoyed their Tybee
 Tyme too.

We are all back at Paws and they are chilling in their suite...nice having the two additional bedrooms and bath so private and sectioned off behind a set of french doors. Total privacy for everyone.

Time to think about leaving tomorrow. I need to start putting things away for a smooth getaway in the morning. Marcelino and I are excited to be back at work on Tuesday.  Looking forward to getting them all down here again soon. Thanks to the MerMaids and Tybee for being "our" special Place!

Cottage Crazy: Sunday Morning Tybee

Cottage Crazy: Sunday Morning Tybee: Early up for everyone to enjoy a Tybee Sunrise and Beach walk. We had a pretty sunrise with a few clouds and a large ship thrown in for good...

Sunday Morning Tybee

Early up for everyone to enjoy a Tybee Sunrise and Beach walk. We had a pretty sunrise with a few clouds and a large ship thrown in for good measure.

Alex liked seeing the light show that the sun puts on for sunrise. We all enjoyed hearing bits and pieces of Bagpipe music! Yes, Tybee has a resident Bagpiper who frequently can be heard playing his traditional song to welcome the sun and a new day. He was farther up the beach but we could hear his song riding on the sound of the wind and the waves. Later we saw him walking towards us and we waved. I have chatted with him before and he is a very nice gentleman. He told me he had been playing for about 6+ years and was still hearing. He sounded perfect to me. It is always a special treat to hear him. He can be found on the north beach and he tries to situate himself where the sun comes up. So his location changes as the sun follows the seasons. 

Alex was looking for shells and the best shelling is around the far north side from the Lighthouse.
He found several nice olive shells and Mike picked up 5 pairs of sunglasses that the high tide brought in. You never know what the tide will bring you. The ocean takes and gives. It is always fun to come down to the waters edge and see what you might find.  We also saw a variety of sea life.  Horse shoe crabs, coral, and a multitude of shells in varying conditions. Always fun to find the olive shells because the are often in perfect shape and are naturally shiny.

This was one of many Horseshoe Crabs.

The birds are  the far north beach are the real draw for me. The Black and White Skimmers are beautiful with orange and yellow beaks that are always pointing down. Their beaks allow them to glide barely above the surface of the water and skim the water for food. My favorite bird on the island.

We walked so far we realized it was going to be a really long walk back for some of us with bare feet. Mike offered to walk back to the car so that we could keep going. We walked on the beach for another 20 minutes to where there was another Tybee Beach swing near the Polk Street beach exit. Thanks to cell phones he was able to call and we walked out the beach path and he picked us up! What a nice thing to do. It allowed us to walk nearly the whole way back around the island. You can see the bridge off the Island from where we stopped. The beach here has a slightly wild look and feel. My favorite place in the fall and winter to get out of the wind on a sunny day and spread out a blanket for a nap.

A nice morning. Capped off by Breakfast on the Sun Porch prepared by Chef Mike.

I think we may have tired them out. both the SuperWonderfulDaughter and SuperwonderfulGrandson are napping inside and Marcelino is napping outside on the lawn chair. I think they have slowed down to Tybee Tyme! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday at Paws & Paddles 08/13/2013

We arrived at Paws and Paddles about 9:00 Friday evening. Nested a bit and put things away.  Hit the comfy bed around 10:30 and drifted off to sleep.

 Up early to watch the sunrise.

Air temp was 73 and the water temp was 80. The water felt wonderfully warm, soft, and smelled delightfully of the sea.

Mike came fully prepared, Hat, Sunglasses, Chair, Coffee, and of course with his iPhone!

Ahhh...that morning coffee. An early morning ship in the background leaving Savannah.

The sea oats in early August look so different than in the spring or fall. Very golden and heavy with seed. Beautiful.

I couldn't resist another picture of the Lighthouse looking through the sea oats...

The huge ships always surprise me as they glide silently by...

Liked this can see a reflection of what Mike is seeing in his sunglasses! The sunrise and the Ocean.

Heading back to the Cottage to see if the SuperWonderfulGrandBoy might be awake. Chef Mike is doing his special fluffy scrambled eggs, with chopped up Canadian Bacon, diced tomatoes, all topped with fresh parma cheese from Italy! Probably more Mermaid Coffee as well. The Mermaids have their own coffee blend and include a fresh canister in the Cottage so you are set when you arrive! Sweet. Love having breakfast on the Sun Porch. I almost live out here. My reading and writing chaise is extra soft and comfy. Just have to be careful and not take too many naps.

More later! It is time to eat and then play at the beach...lookout Tybee!