Whirlwind Trip to my Favorite City, Gainesville

Gainesville | BeccaBlogs.comHello friends!

We got back home from our whirlwind trip to Gainesville around 10pm last night. We’d gone for an interview for me and some side work for my current position. Also, hubby was scouting out info on opening his own comic book shop and was talking with the owners of all the shops in town while I was interviewing and working.

That’s right, I said interview! In Gainesville! (AKA my favorite city on the planet – tied with Chapel Hill.)

The position would be a truly amazing opportunity for me. Not only is it design work, it’s a supervisor position for a team of 3. And it’s a government job. With great benefits, etc. No, I really don’t want to write more about it until I hear that I’ve gotten the job. Which is on Monday. So, yes, I’ll be obsessively checking my email and voicemail all day Monday.

Chicken eggs? Check. Basket? Check. Now stay together and hatch!

Yeah, I have super high hopes for it.

But anyhow, we drove up Thursday afternoon from Homestead to Gainesville in mostly good weather. We did have a few patches of craptastic rain where I could barely see 50′ in front of the car, but we survived just fine. That night we went to Target Copy Archer to print some resumes and references. I didn’t know anyone there that I knew, but did chat with a friend of a friend after I mentioned I’d worked there. Then dinner at Outback and then headed to Hotel Bayer (one of my best friends parents kindly let us stay) for the night. We ended up staying up and talking for hours with our gracious hosts until she finally pushed us off to bed as my interview was early Friday morning.

Friday we woke up super early, showered, got ready, and were out their door by 8am. We stopped at Starbucks along the way, then drove into town towards downtown. We found parking with about 15 minutes to spare. I took deep breaths trying to calm myself while hubby de-furred my black jacket and pants. [Damn cat hair gets everywhere!] Then I went into the interview. Yadda yadda yadda interview interview assessment assessment and done.

From there, I picked up the hubby from the comic book shop he’d walked to miles away (he did have 2 hours to kill!) and drove out to Renaissance Printing to visit with Marlene, Ben, Gina, Laura, Kristie, and Colleen. It was weird seeing all the different people that I hadn’t seen in many years, but awesome getting so many hugs. They were all so excited about the prospect of my moving back. After that, we went to Target Copy University and talked to Jennifer and Karen for a while. More hugs, happiness and excitement at my possibly moving back. While at TCU, we had lunch at Firehouse Subs, I talked to my aunt and she sent me a list of things to ask/ look for with my very first case manager gig.

Next I dropped hubby off at another comic book shop and drove out the Tacachale. I met with the social worker, flipped through AM’s file, asked lots of questions, met AM, took his picture, and took lots of notes. As my aunt said, this was like a trial by fire, feet first. And I succeeded! It was really cool to go out there and see how this population that would otherwise be drugged up and locked away somewhere was able to roam free in a completely safe and secure environment. The client I met is severely mentally retarded with several other problems and is just about as independent as he can be. He even has a job and his own house! Seriously. It was really amazing to witness.

After this bit of work, I picked up hubby, we hit up another comic book shop, then went to meet Jackie, Ella and Riley for some TCBY fro yo. Um, yum! I hadn’t seen Ella since she was an itty bitty thing and had only seen Riley in pictures. It was great to catch up with her while Steve and Ella colored. It was really cute!

From there, we met up with Mitch, Diona and all their kids. As per usual, Mitch and I started hitting, slapping and punching each other almost immediately. It was great. And so far, the bruises haven’t surfaced. Yep, we’re so very much like my brothers and I used to be many years ago. We ate, we laughed, we talked, the kids played with their phones. From there we went out to Cold Stone (along with seemingly half of Gainesville) for ice cream and more talking and laughing. As it got later and the kids started drooping, we went back to their house so the kids could get to bed and we could hang out some more. More laughing, talking, and kicking, then we left around 1:30am to head back to his parents house. Yeah, it was a reallllly long day for us.

Saturday morning, we slept pretty late then sat outside with Mitch’s dad, drinking coffee and enjoying the gorgeous day. Boy do I miss that town! Our next house will have either a front porch or a cute back yard patio. Or both. Preferably both. It was breezy and cool and just perfect. Perfect for sitting in the morning before work or unwinding after a long day. We finally decided where to have brunch, packed up our stuff and headed out. By the time we finished lunch, it’d gotten so much later then we wanted to leave so, rather than go walk around Micanopy, we got on the road back South.

We had a lot to discuss on the drive back home including more about my interview, lots of hopes and extremely tentative plans. The best part is that, while nervous, I honestly don’t need to get this job to survive. I do have an opportunity down here, even though it’s not in my field. Plus hubby is working a great job and all the experience he can get will only help him in the future. I also slept for a couple hours while he drove. Hubby driving is like my own personal concert bc he had the radio up really loud and would say the song title and band name prior to belting out any songs he knew. It was quite amusing!


A few bad things about the trip did happen. First, it was commencement weekend which meant there was a LOT more traffic and congestion than usual. We tried to avoid the UF area as much as possible, which meant I couldn’t show hubby half the stuff I wanted too. I didn’t get to see a lot of the Gainesville friends I wanted to hang out with due to scheduling conflicts, but hopefully we’ll be back very soon! Also, bc of timing, we didn’t get to see Jen and my babies, who live in Jacksonville. Unless we’d woken up super early on Saturday to drive the extra 90 minutes north, it wasn’t going to happen as the boys both had baseball games today. My mental plan to have lunch around 12-1pm with them then head back south didn’t work out. But, again, hopefully we’ll be living in North Florida again soon and can see them anytime.

Now we just cross our fingers and hope and pray. And try to stop looking at houses in Gainesville until I hear something!


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