Off to Neverland!… and not just for vacation!

2 Jul

I’ve been writing this post in my head for the past two months, but now that I am sitting down to write it, I simply cannot find the words to articulate what I’m feeling right now.

As you’re reading this, I’m driving down I-95 headed to Orlando, my new home. As of yesterday, I am officially a resident of Celebration, Florida, a town I’ve been dreaming of living in for at least nine years.



As you might have read, I was supposed to move to Orlando last year. That fell through. Then, I was going to move to Colorado. That fell through as well.

When I decided to make Delaware more of a permanent home, I decided to buy a house. That fell through. Then I picked another house. That fell through too.

The day the last house fell through, my parents and I were sitting out on their back patio discussing things. When they asked me where I would be happiest, I did not hesitate. “I want to move back to Orlando” came right out. It wasn’t even something I had actively been thinking about doing. They agreed that I was my most happiest during my years of living in Florida for the Walt Disney World College Program and when I moved back to work there full-time for a few years.

To me, living in Delaware was like treading water in a vast sea with no shoreline in sight. I had no direction and no desire to move in one direction or another. I was stuck treading water and it became increasingly tiring.

“Maybe the thing to do after you roll the dice – and lose – is simply pick them up and roll them again” ~ Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed

Just like a newly pregnant mother doesn’t spill the beans, I wanted to keep this a secret for as long as I could for fear something bad might happen. Sorry for keeping you in the dark! I hope you understand.

Plans quickly started coming together. The solo vacation I was so vague about on here recently was a trip to Orlando to apartment hunt on May 22-24. I enlisted the help of a Realtor who sent me rental listings for a few weeks, and we narrowed it down to 6 or 7, but only one felt like it belonged to me.


I love Celebration’s downtown area. I’ll be in walking distance of their Starbucks.



Celebration even has their own running club! It meets very early in the morning, but I’m hoping to switch my workouts to the morning anyway.

While in town, I couldn’t help but not do some Disney resort-hopping! While I was waiting for my room to be ready at the Doubletree, I headed over to the Wilderness Lodge lobby to relax, cool off, and read my Kindle.


I also spent some time sitting and reading in a rocking chair at the Boardwalk Inn.


And at the Yacht Club







Their pool area is beyond amazing! Pirate ships and a sand-bottom pool!



With Disney right nearby, I can envision myself relaxing at some of their resorts on a pretty regular basis.

I also got to see my good friend Brandy while I was in town! I hadn’t met her son, Sawyer, yet. He’s a little of adorableness!

Some other things I’ve been doing in the past two months that I’ve kept from you:

  • I’ve applied to work at Disney part-time, but I have not heard anything yet. I heard getting a job there right now is pretty tough. One would think that if I worked there before with a “rehire” status, I’d be given a chance. But we’ll see.
  • You might have noticed I’ve been adding Orlando companies and people on Twitter and Facebook. I even made a list of Orlando tweeps on Twitter. Who else should I add?
  • I signed up for the Central Florida Blogger Conference, which will be on July 16th.
  • I joined an Orlando Womens Running Club (so excited to meet new girlfriends!)
  • I’ve had goodbye dinners with friends and family 😦
  • I’ve kept track of the days left!



On Thursday, it was time to pack up my apartment and load the moving truck!


We hired two moving guys… well worth every cent so that my parents didn’t have to move my heavy furniture!

I even had help from one curious little black bear cub.


Jeepers was packed and ready to go as well!



Life just doesn’t seem like it could get any sweeter right now. When I lived in Orlando before, I had a roommate and a long-distance boyfriend. I ended up spending so much of my time working and sleeping. I hardly explored, and if you told me to find my way through downtown Orlando, I’d laugh at you. But this time will be so much different. I’m on my own and single, and I’m going to soak up everything I can! Running clubs, blogger conferences, dating, etc. Plus, get this! I get to keep my job that I have now and work from home!

I’m beyond ecstatic about this next step in my life, but I have to admit, I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve been working day in and day out for the last five years with my parents. We’ve eaten lunch together every weekday. We’ve laughed ‘til we cried. We’ve learned so much about each other. We’re the best of friends. On one hand, I feel like I’m abandoning them, but on the other, I know they’re so happy for me. The waves of sadness and happiness have overwhelmed me.

I cannot even wait to be an Orlando blogger. There will be so much more to write about, and I’m so excited to share this next chapter in my life with you. It’s going to be amazing!

While I’m getting settled in my new home, please check back for some amazing guest posts!


20 Responses to “Off to Neverland!… and not just for vacation!”

  1. Eat:Watch:Run July 2, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Oh! We have an Orlando Lady Blogger dinner coming up at the end of this month. You MUST go. I can email you the information. 🙂

  2. smilelivelaughlove July 2, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    I can’t even begin to tell you how happy and excited I am for you! I am so glad you are following your heart and going where you are truly happiness even though it means leaving what you know. I admire you for that. I can’t wait to plan my trip to flat to finally meet you 🙂 safe travels and good luck!!!

  3. Danielle July 2, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Yea! I’m so excited for you, Andrea 🙂 Enjoy every moment of this new adventure!

  4. HeatherFL July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Good morning from San Diego! 🙂

    Andrea, your parents gave you a life to live and I am sure you are making them proud by doing just that! Living YOUR life, YOUR way. Winter Park is a great area to explore there in Orlando. My best friend for 20 years lives in Longwood, and I have many friends that made their way over to Orlando from Miami after high school. So if you ever need anything at all, you let met know and they’ll have your back!

    Congratulations! I can feel your happiness from 3,000 miles away. I know you’ve wanted this for a long time and I am so glad to read this post!

  5. Tia Lisa Mallard July 2, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    I am so excited for you and cannot wait to read your blogs of your adventures! I wish you all of the best and I know that being the awesome and beautiful young woman that you are you will knock ’em dead down there. I’m sure your mother will keep me updated when I see her as well.
    You can always tweet me, FB me or email me whenever you feel the need. 🙂

  6. Melissa July 2, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Disney is my happy place and I have great memories of living there during the college program. One of my managers lived in Celebration and loved it so I hope you will too. I’m so happy and excited for you! 🙂 Good luck and have fun settling in to your new home.

  7. jesseybell July 2, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I am so excited for you! It must have been so hard to be up and down and all over the place the last few years. I wish you the best of luck in Orlando and can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

  8. Alison @ The Peacock Diaries July 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Ah, so excited! I think this is a GREAT post — I smiled the whole time I was reading it. I feel a little tingly seeing those photos of Celebration.

    As Randy Pausch said, the brick walls aren’t there to keep us out — they’re there to give us a chance to prove how badly we want something. I’ll bet it feels pretty great to break through that big brick wall!

    Also, thank you. I needed a little inspiration and motivation, and I got it — I’m ready to kick down a big brick wall, too!c

  9. simplyshaka July 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    That is so much fun! Congrats on your big move 🙂 Tomorrow I am leaving Charlotte and I have no idea where I’m going to wind up, it’s exciting and scary at the same time!

  10. Stephanie Stanton Hust July 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    How exciting for you! Hope it is everything you dream and wish it to be. Our family is coming down to visit Mickey and friends is two weeks. Can’t wait to be in your new-old neck-of-the woods. Can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures in Orlando, especially your new running group(s). Good luck and enjoy every moment.

  11. Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs July 3, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Woo-hoo – Finally! Hope your move is going smoothly. See you on the 16th!

  12. Sophie @ threetimesf July 3, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Wow, such big news! But I am so so excited for you! 🙂 You will be so happy there – good luck! 😀

  13. jennifer July 3, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I am so happy for you!!!! I will be heading to Orlando hopefully in January so we must get together. I wish you all the best.

  14. Jennifer July 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Congrats and good luck to you! I used to live in Celebration, I live in Orlando now. My mom still lives in Celebration though, so I’m there a lot (was there today and will be tomorrow!). She lives in Mirasol. You will love living in that town!!! If you have any questions about anything at all, please dont hesitate to email me. I’m a runner too, and celebration is amazing for running, beautiful trails, etc. Join their intranet message board, let me know if you need the link….it’s a wonderful resource for getting info, meeting residents, etc.

  15. Emily July 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    How exciting!! Congratulations!

  16. funkyryan July 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Congratulations! I visited Orlando for a conference in November and really enjoyed it!

  17. ahlterra July 4, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    OH Andrea! That is so fantastic! Good for you! I am so happy and so proud of you for just going for it! I wish you all the best and hope that you are at least as happy in your decision as I am with the one I made. So thrilled for you!!!!

  18. FruitFly July 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Oh how lovely and exciting!! Congratulations!!

  19. Jenn July 5, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    Woah, when did I miss this post?! I am SO extremely happy for you that I honestly got a little teary eyed reading this! Plus you might be living my dream for me as well. Celebration is such a beautiful town! Can’t wait to hear about all of your other adventures in your new home. 🙂


  1. Small Adjustments « Run, Eat, Date, Sleep - August 30, 2011

    […] had finally reached a place where I felt like I was okay just where I was. Well, since then, I have moved to Orlando and the feeling of being okay with the status quo has quickly dwindled. I’m already thinking […]

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