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Old 16 Aug 20, 02:40 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Last Trip before Lockdown.Mar 2020 The Preamble Ramble aka Our Trip & New Florida House Plans

The Pre amble Ramble Or otherwise known as The Trip Bit and the House Bit

As I didn't write a pre trip at the time - this is sort of it - the details of the trip plan and the whole run up to the housey bit. I have put it into Two posts o if you are not bothered by all the house stuff you can skip post #2

The Trip Bit

Going Out Tues March 3rd, VS27 10.10 LGW-MCO
Coming Home Mon March 9th VS28 19.05 MCO-LGW

The Trip starts with an Overnight stay at the Sandman Signature



A king room booked direct on their website



Package booked is for Park, stay, meet and greet - this included a complimentary taxi to the airport in the morning and 8 days parking. Really reasonable at £107.

Flights with VA - amazingly managed to nab Bubble seats there and back - had no idea it would be our last trip up there.



Cost was £868 - this included £59 per leg for Andyís seat on Dibbers Row (75H) and £59 for my upgrade to the window seat of the same row (75K) plus £35 to have the seat behind Andy on the way out. £424 each which we thought was fine.

Accommodation choices in Palm Coast for this week were really limited - we didnít know until we got there that we had managed (again) to pick the week of another Biker meet up in Daytona - which explained why everything was booked up

There were some Airbnb choices but still feeling burned after our Bradenton experience, I couldnít bring myself to commit - there were quite a few places in the European Village - they look nice but all overlook the square with the balconies



and we wondered how noisy they might be - as it turns out, on Biker week, that Village Square wasnít always quiet

So that left us with a local hotel or the timeshare style Legacy Vacation Resort - with the Legacy winning out as it gave us the option to self-cater. The reviews indicated it was a bit dated but given this wasnít a normal holiday and we didn't expect to be in the place much, we werenít bothered - plus it was walking distance to the Village which was perfect.



Cost for 5 nights was £638 but we had some Expedia rewards to cash in which took £51 off the total - ending up at £586 - plus a nightly resort fee payable on checking out that totalled $40 for our stay.

We also planned to stay in Orlando the night before coming home to see friends - we picked the Sheraton on S Apopka Vineland so we could walk over to the Millers Ale House. One night was £68 plus $21 parking and $24 resort fee paid on check out.



In total c £1900
£868 for flights
£732 for US Accommodation
£107 for Stay, Park, Meet and Greet at Gatwick
Car Hire - with Dollar - canít remember cost but was just a basic economy

The trip was only booked a couple of weeks before departure so we were totally lucky on those seats !

Edited at 08:44 PM.
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Old 16 Aug 20, 02:41 PM  
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The House Bit

Readers of the Oct 2019 Trippy will know that trip ended with us purchasing some land in Palm Coast



and that we had spent some time looking at a number of show homes.

We had narrowed down the list of potential builders that we were interested in and the run up to Christmas was mainly spent looking at house plans and sorting out the official paperwork for the land purchase.


By Christmas - we had decided to go with Holiday Builders - both for their build quality (not a timber frame house) and their incentive deal.


We had initially decided on a house style called the Payten - it had a great floor plan and the high vaulted ceilings.

As we started to look at the interior options and the sorts of upgrades that we would be interested in , it became clear that choosing their Kings Bay model would give us more of what we wanted for an inclusive price - basically it is the Payten floor plan (but with lower ceilings)and a different set of upgraded finishes





Our next challenge was which house style to choose
A, B, or C



Wow, close run thing with everyone in the family preferring a different style and no clear winner.

A was knocked out relatively quickly



but B and C were neck and neck right to the wire. Some liked the triple roof feature and pillars on C, others preferred the windows and pillars on B ...

What we learned is there is no mix and match - so for example you canít take the windows from B and have them on C.

After much toing and froing B won the day - and when we saw the styles up close, we were pleased as the roof on C had a finish to it that wasnít really to our taste.



So, style B it was. It looks like this when finished ...



We werenít planning to do any more with the house and it was quiet for a few weeks but then we had news that the house prices may rise in March plus the incentives package could be reduced.


In order to secure what we had seen; we would need to get over and sign a contract before the end of March.

And to make things go a bit quicker, it would help to have as much sorted and into a draft contract before we got there.


Evenings were devoted to going over the very lengthy list of options and quite quickly we could see what we definitely wanted and didn't want - but there was a big pile of ďmaybeísĒ in between.

Not least whether to go for the covered lanai at the back - which had to be decided up front as it affected the shape of the roof build.

That suddenly meant looking at the garden options, where the pool will go and what flexibility we wanted. Having a pre built back porch and lanai would also eat up almost all the cash incentive and we felt would be limiting for the future garden plans - which we were nowhere near ready to sort out. So that became a no in the end. We will have some temporary shade for a while and then will get something built as part of the pool and deck going in.

We also had to work out where the house would be positioned and how much of the land would be cleared - only a certain amount would be cleared within the base price and with it being a pie shaped lot, there would be some restrictions on house placement due to border and fence regs - cue lots of drawings and more evenings spent with long tape measures working out boundaries until we came up with ...



Yes we will still have a sizeable wood at the bottom of the garden - plenty of scope then to keep Andy occupied and lots of potential for me to wonder about snakes, raccoons, spiders and other Florida Beasties that might be living in there . Better be a good fence and gate in place
We also have two uncleared plots either side of the house - lets hope they are quiet neighbours

Then on to choose the structural interior layout - which meant looking at the options on the kitchen and bathroom and the 4th bed/office/den choice at the front of the house.

The bathroom was pretty straightforward and the gourmet kitchen mainly had upgraded appliances which we felt we could source cheaper ourselves.

We opted for the 4th bed/Office for the front - the choice here was predominantly about the doors - retaining as per plan meant an arch and having a bedroom came with a wardrobe and single door

Going for the office gave double doors which we felt would be better - and its rarely going to be needed as a 4th bedroom so most of the time the doors will be open which will make it really light in the entrance.



There were tons and tons of other options but we reviewed those over the week that we were there and most of them changed so I wonít put them all here but everything from power cabling, tiles, door handles, ceiling finishes Ö to help us we did find this video of a show house



And that was great for some of the styling decisions.

A few screen stills though if you canít be bothered with all the video - am not keen on all the colourways or some of the furniture but it helped us get a feel for the finished item!




And there we are at the start of March - with a draft contract and are jetting over to see all the options in person and make the final choices.

Next Stop Gatwick...

Edited at 02:46 PM.
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Old 16 Aug 20, 03:13 PM  
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KarenG
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Yahoo! Very interested to read all about this. I remember your posts just before you left and you were so lucky with the timing!
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Old 16 Aug 20, 07:00 PM  
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mick
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Looking forward to reading along the house looks fantastic


Joan
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Old 16 Aug 20, 07:24 PM  
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WIGGYSMUM
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Wow it all looks great , will you be an easy drive to the beaches and shops ?
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Old 16 Aug 20, 09:03 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
Yahoo! Very interested to read all about this. I remember your posts just before you left and you were so lucky with the timing!
Yes ... Mardi Gras madness time
Doesnít that feel like a different life time
Looking forward to getting back ... however long it takes!

Originally Posted by mick View Post
Looking forward to reading along the house looks fantastic


Joan
Hi Joan
Hope you are keeping well in all this craziness x
We are so excited about the house. Itís going to be a real dream home . We just have to get out there

Originally Posted by WIGGYSMUM View Post
Wow it all looks great , will you be an easy drive to the beaches and shops ?
Thank you. Yes about 10 minutes in either direction to the shops or Flagler beach on lovely straight roads.
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Old 16 Aug 20, 09:12 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
Yahoo! Very interested to read all about this. I remember your posts just before you left and you were so lucky with the timing!
Yes ... Mardi Gras madness time
Doesnít that feel like a different life time
Looking forward to getting back ... however long it takes!

Originally Posted by mick View Post
Looking forward to reading along the house looks fantastic


Joan
Hi Joan
Hope you are keeping well in all this craziness x
We are so excited about the house. Itís going to be a real dream home . We just have to get out there

Originally Posted by WIGGYSMUM View Post
Wow it all looks great , will you be an easy drive to the beaches and shops ?
Thank you. Yes about 10 minutes in either direction to the shops or Flagler beach on lovely straight roads.
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Old 16 Aug 20, 10:05 PM  
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How lovely. Really interesting. Thanks for posting.
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Old 17 Aug 20, 07:19 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by Mqt View Post
How lovely. Really interesting. Thanks for posting.
Ah thank you for reading x
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Old 17 Aug 20, 09:44 AM  
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So exciting! The house looks lovely, I think the layout is fab! Iím looking forward to the reading the rest of your report
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