But it has not been what you would call a great investment. It’s actually more of a tax write off.
And, if you think about it, our renters get to live there during all the months with good weather.
Oh, we go down in April to supposedly inspect and clean up the place after the tenants have been there for several months.
But we have had the same people there for many years, and they live in it like it is their own home. So there is never anything to fix or clean.
Mostly, we just go because we own the place and don’t like to see it sitting there empty all summer and autumn. So we try to get down there three or four times in the non-rental months.
That’s how we started going there for a week every August.
I know what you’re thinking: August! In Florida! You have to be crazy!
And, when I am buying the plane tickets in July and it’s been 90 and humid for two weeks here, I often think the same thing.
But then we go and almost always have a good time.
For one thing, it is a great form of forced relaxation. We are away from the chores and errands of home. And it’s too hot there in Florida to do anything but go to the pool or the beach or the movies or out to eat in air conditioned comfort. What else do you want from a vacation?
And, as I said, we own the place anyhow, so it’s pretty cheap for us to be there.
But this year we didn’t go.
Instead, we stayed home for our August holiday.
We were not deterred by the Florida heat and humidity. Or by the “red tide” problem on Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches this summer that you may have heard about.
No, we just talked about the kind of things we do every August in Florida and decided to mirror those experiences here at home instead.
For instance, we’re always thrilled when we are in Florida and see that the Cleveland Indians are playing the Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. If so, we try to go to one of the games there. We always have a fun time. But truth be told, Progressive Field — which is almost exactly the same driving distance from our home here as Tropicana Field is from our condo in Florida — is at least twice as nice a venue: outdoors instead of under a dome; real grass instead of artificial turf; enthusiastic Indians fans in a mostly-filled stadium instead of lame, always-tiny Rays crowds.
The thing is, we have always known that. But some summers we don’t even make it to a single game in Cleveland. Oh, we have good intentions. But often we just keep putting it off until the season is over and we missed our chance. However, when we’re in Florida we are on “vacation” and are thus looking for vacation things to do. An Indians game is perfect. So we go.
This August we vowed to set aside the same seven days that we would normally be in Florida and treat them like vacation right here.
We would eat most of our meals out. We would go to the beach. We would sightsee and relax and see a movie. And, yes, we would go to a Cleveland Indians game in glorious sunshine at Progressive Field.
I am happy to report we did just that.
And it was marvelous.
I’ll tell you all about it in this space next week.
Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] hotmail.com.