Celebrating 25 Years in Downtown Dunedin
I fell in love with Florida in February, February 1974. I had saved up all my first Communion money, Confirmation money, I had two jobs, working for 10c tips at Saturday bingo at St Andrews, and cleaning an elderly ladies apartment in the neighborhood My cousin Doreen and I bought tickets to Jacksonville, Fl, where other cousins lived at the time. Now I know that we had some big adventures on this trip, camping on the beach in St Augustine in a travel trailer, a big step up for a tent camper like me, getting hideous sunburns and going to bed slathered in Noxema, and even my first trip to Disney World, but my love affair started in a shower, in a split level house, in Jacksonville FL.
Being from Buffalo, I had never been exposed to the wonder that was a split level home, I though it was the height of luxury. Those 6 steps up from the garage took you into a world of comfort with a formal dining room, living room, kitchen and pantry full of more food than I had ever imagined. Then 6 more steps up to the sleeping area over the garage, with 2 more bathrooms, 4 bedrooms with large, sun drenched windows, and beautiful 1970's linoleum floors with throw rugs to cushion your feet. A back staircase snuck down from the kitchen to a family room tucked behind the garage, with sliding glass doors leading out to a back yard full of orange trees, and lizards, and even a cactus plant. The magic struck me there, one sunny morning, as I was taking a shower. The bathroom window was open, and the sun was shining in. It was probably 65 degrees and a soft breeze was blowing the curtains. To this day I can smell that fresh, sun warmed air redolent of orange blossoms and green grass if I just close my eyes I can drift back to that day. I didn't know it at the time, but my journey had begun, my journey that brought me to Dunedin FL, to my blessed life with a husband and 2 daughters that make every day a delight, an occupation and a visionary business partner that has made this life possible, and the transformation of a tumbleweeded, deserted downtown to the bustling Fun filled vacation destination that it is today.
Today I walked Buzzy, the worlds largest sheltie, down the street and around the block and that same thing happened, 30 Februaries later. The air has that combination of sunshine, saltwater, and citrus and grassy smell, the sun is shining through the majestic oak canopy, and I was transported back to that small bathroom in Jacksonville, and the beginning of the great adventure that I am celebrating this year, with all the great friends I have come to know in Dunedin, Florida, and the 25th anniversary year of the incomparable Kelly's, for Just About...Anything.