Hello world!

We’ll keep the post title because it works.  Hello anyone and everyone!  My name is Mandi.  My wife’s name is Ashley.  We are starting this blog to document our decision to move from our current location, New Smyrna Beach, Florida to a much gay-friendlier (and much colder place): Vermont.

We currently own a home in New Smyrna Beach (just south of Daytona on the east coast of Florida) about 6 miles from the shore.  Ashley is a native resident.  She grew up a few miles north in Ormond Beach.  I moved here from Macon, Ga in 1998.  We met in highschool and became friends, both went to universities in Florida and returned to the Daytona area.  We officially got together in October 2006, got engaged in May 2008, and had our wedding (at Disney) in June 2009.  Of course, though it was a fabulous lesbian wedding, there was nothing legal about it.  We had planned to honeymoon in California and get ‘for real’ married but after Prop 8 we nixed that.  My cousin who lives in Plattsburgh, NY came down for our wedding and suggested we visit her up that way sometime.  After the wedding I made a slight attempt at changing my name legally but without a marriage certificate the amount of hassle and money involved is about 400% more, so I put that on hold.  When it became legal to marry in Vermont we planned a trip figuring the 400+ dollars was better spent on a vacation than paid to a state that doesn’t treat me as an equal human being.  During our planning we started considering the benefits of moving, and after our trip it was confirmed: We are moving to Vermont.

Deciding to make the move was a big thing for us as we have a beautiful house, good jobs and family here, in Florida.  Our house is new.  It was built in 2008 as a model home and we purchased it in Spring 2009.  We love it and if we could pick it up and move it that would be great.  But, sadly we cannot.  Ashley teaches Kindergarten at a local charter school and I work in the Patient Experience Department for a large hospital system in Daytona.  Aside from having to sell our house and get new jobs, there is clearly a climate difference which I’m afraid may take a lot of adjusting.  Neither of us have ever had to deal with snow or very cold weather for any length of time (though I love winter activites and had been skiing in Vermont prior to our trip).

We understand that it won’t be easy, it will take a lot of work to haul ourselves, everything we own, a dog, 2 cats, and 3 horses over 1, 300 miles, and there will likely be things that we miss about Florida, but we are prepared and even excited for the challenge and the adventure of it all.  And with any luck we will exit the other end of this metaphoric tunnel with more legal rights, a nice Vermont farm, and new winter hobbies.

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