life for rent

As of a month ago, Phil took a new job, in finance, and… in Florida. He’s heading up a new branch of an already successful New York prop trading firm. Don’t ask me exactly what a prop trader is. Or what exactly this means to our New York Texan kinfolk and our purdy house. What I do know: my ass might really be movin’ to Boca, which, by every account, is a suburb of NYC.

working girl

I’m here now, in my white pants (thank you!), looking at rental homes in family-friendly areas. We’ll rent a house for a year while we adjust, traveling back and forth to Austin. Not selling our TX home just yet. The idea is to rent, get to know the different communities, let Phil build up the new office, then eventually buy a home. His offices are in Mizner Park, an upscale outdoor shopping destination akin to Austin’s Domain and Long Island’s Americana. Eateries, valet service, boutiques and galleries, except with palm trees, face lifts, hip replacements, and an amphitheater.

bathroom love

We’re looking for family-friendly communities, where most of the residents reside year-round, within twenty minutes from Mizner Park. Yesterday, I fell head-over-heels in love. With a bathroom. We toured homes in Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, where we would undoubtedly be living in the one shack on the block without a bidet. It would honestly be depressing to live there in a ranch amid 9-million dollar estates. I’d rather rule in hell than be a pauper in heaven. Billy Joel was onto something.

Know what was fun? When the realtor sent me properties in Broken Sound (a community where the wasband’s family resides).

“Not happening,” I told Phil.
“We’re not not going to live there just because they live there. They mean nothing, don’t matter, so why would we live as if they do?”
“Because I’m not Deepak Chopra.” I don’t live in mantras. I live in rompers and flip-flops, and they’re the last people I ever want to see again, so why subject any of us to that scenario? Though, now that we’ll both have homes in the exact same town in the exact same state there might just have to be a Straight Up and Dirty sequel. Straight Up and Filthy. Should be interesting, and a wee bit brutal. Sucks for them.

Wish us, and my fair skin, good luck.

With love & Vitamins C and D,



  1. Oh wow! What a big change! With your outgoing personality, it seems like you’ll be able to pick up friends wherever you go, but it stinks to have to leave a place where you’ve built a home and friendships. Best of luck in your house-hunting!

  2. Really – “sucks for them”? The Dines family could not give a shit about you. He is having a fabulous life and you are still the same petty girl. But now with another set of problems. For the sake of your kids, grow up.

  3. I don’t know why, but I was really bummed out reading this news.. and I don’t even know you nor live in Texas!!

    Do you ABSOLUTELY have to leave Austin? I know how much you’ve grown to both enjoy and like it.. your friends there, the JCC, Norma, etc. Not to mention your beautiful home!!

    I’m living in Florida now and while it may be for some people, it sure isn’t for me.. I’m trying to get back to the northeast as I miss it so.

    1. Same here! I was feeling kind of weird for feeling bummed out, but glad one more person feels this way. So much has happened since SK hit Austin — the babies, the health issues, making friends, Mr. Kini, the J, etc. OK, I’m off to get a life :)

  4. I’m almost positive that someone told me Broward officially ran out of land to build on, but check out Parkland – right next to Coral Springs & Deerfield Beach. Up the street from Boca. If you can get a new home built, I could see you digging that a lot. GL Homes are pretty well built (I worked for them for a short time). Check out Twin Boys/Girls for good food (think farm, not restaurant).

  5. I can’t believe this is really happening. Now we really need to make a get-together happen soon.

  6. Trading Austin for Boca, well, it’s a done deal, but you are going to be in shock. They meant LI, not Manhattan, when they said NY. on the upside, no seasonal affective disorder, and gorgeous scenery. Downside, well, why go there? Find a great private school, get ready to rarely hear English, buy a couple of jetskis, and email me for SoBe info. There is no doubt, you will be the hippest chick in town. Something to be said for that.

  7. Oh, dear. and OH DEAR! I wish you all the best. You may be different, but I couldn’t wait to hie myself back to the SF Bay area after doing way too much time in Florida. Let’s just say I’ve spent half of my adult life in the state.

    I love my other “home” state –it’s a great place to vacation–but unless you are into golf, water sports and fishing, everything else to do is booorrrring, at least for this urban girl.

    Yes, we all make the best of it, but Florida has so little to offer anyone who isn’t into the summer resort lifestyle. And I mean that regardless of the city, although some cities are better than others for culture, etc. But it’s all relative if you’re used to something more…ummm…I’ll say “urban” because if I say “sophisticated” I’ll have a dozen people telling me how sophisticated Fla. is.

    It isn’t. ;-) Still, can be an ok place to raise kids (use private schools because the education funding sucks, schools suck and the literacy rate is low) and of course I made many fabulous friends there. And you can work from anywhere, so…. have a blast. Seriously.

  8. I am so jealous. My parents own a place in Woodfield Country Club in Boca. Its kid paradise. I have some inside scoops, feel free to email me offline. (Oh and wear sunscreen).

  9. So excited for you all!

    I want that bathroom… ohhhh I wouldn’t even mind cleaning those tiles if I *had* to!

    Best of luck with the search/move and settling in!! Keep us all posted on how it goes!!

  10. Ha, funny, I live in Austin, but grew up in Boca Raton. Being familiar with the type of neighborhood you live in now, and what you might like to try in Boca, I’d recommend my own childhood neighborhood–called Escondido, and very kid-friendly, with a gate and several ponds. I’m sure there are so many lovely places to live, but so many are full of the multi-million dollar homes (i.e. the Sanctuary, Broken Sound).

  11. What a wonderful opportunity for your family!!! Looking forward to reading all about your move!! ohhhh and a sequel would just be hilarious! Good luck to your family!

  12. Wow! Boca Raton. I’ve never been to Boca or Austin so I’d love to hear more of your take on Boca and how its similar/different from Austin.

    I’m very seriously considering a move to Chicago to be closer to my family. I’ve been bouncing around SoCal for the past 7 years, and as much as I love it, it really sucks to only see my family twice a year on rushed visits. I’m super single, but I imagine that missing my fam will only get worse once I have little ones of my own who need grandparent time.

    Your mom is in FL right? I’m sure it will be nice to be closer geographically. This sounds like a big move. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your perspective on it. And more fantasy bathroom pics! Happy rental hunting. ;)

  13. Stephanie, I’ve been reading your blog religiously for… I don’t even know how many years. I’ve laughed and cried and rooted and cringed with your posts and books. And that’s saying something, because I’m 27, no kids and I live in Eastern Europe. Never commented until now but I just *have* to wish you and your family best of luck with this new change! I really hope you find a great house and meet awesome new people.

    I have to say, the location and the “former life” connections made me chuckle a little bit. Yep, it does suck for them :)

    All the best,

    PS: Didn’t know you needed extra Vitamin D if you get so much sun exposure.

  14. Stephanie-

    Can you please talk more about this? How are you feeling? Are you sad to leave Austin? My husband and I have in NYC for 4.5 years, I’m in my 2nd trimester and I just got a job offer in Colorado. We are contemplating taking it- even though I love my job, friends/family out here. The quality of life out in Colorado (we have a place there, used to live there) is much better. Are you happy you moved to Austin? Do you long for NYC or wish you’d made it work here? Are you scared about this impending moving to Florida? Sorry I just find it rather prosaic that I happened to come across this new entry and would love to get more of your thoughts.

    Thank you.

  15. Hi Stehanie,
    I agree, you do not want to be living near those people. Every time you go out, you will wonder if you will run into them, it can ruin your peace of mind. Best of luck with the move.

  16. Nooooooooooo!! Just kidding. I wish you well in your new adventures!

  17. Wow— Boca! Sounds like this could be a change of pace from Austin. I’ve never been to either Austin or Boca and I’d love to get your impressions of similarities, differences, etc. Job changes and moves are always fun. The newness is fun and sometimes the stress created by these changes is more of a positive energy-creating adrenaline. At least your mom is in Florida right? Did the proximity of grandparents factor into your decision? I ask because I’m considering leaving a slice of heaven in Orange County (after 7 years of bouncing around SoCal– Culver City, Los Feliz, Miracle Mile, etc) to return to the Midwest (Chicago, specifically). That city feels like home. I also want my parents to be within driving distance when I have kids. I am sick of having to fly home for holidays and I imagine that only gets worse when there are kids added to the equation.

    1. Nicole, I soo feel you on this one.. I’m 30 (in a relationship) but have no children.. and yet I want to move closer to home and family as well.. it is a real pain in the butt missing out on so much that goes on in my family’s and friends’ lives.. and having to either drive or fly back for everything and spend $$. My boyfriend does NOT want to leave Florida, where we currently live though, at least not for a few more years.. and this has become a constant argument between the two of us. It looks like I might have to decide between the two and that is going to SUCK…

      BTW – I used to live in Chicago (Wrigleyville/Roscoe Village/West Lakeview area) and miss it a lot at times.. don’t know if I’d move back but know that I would definitely do it if my family lived there!! My family is all in the northeast and while that is a big reason why I miss the area, I also miss it for many other reasons..

      Good luck to you if you make the move!!

  18. What a big change! It gets humid in FL so prepare your hair. While you’re away, I’d to stay at your house and cook like Nigella! :)

  19. You’re in my territory! I’ll email you. Stay east and live in the ranch in Royal Palm. Don’t go into the communities to the west. Trust me on this one. No one knows Boca better. Which is why I live in Ft. Lauderdale.

  20. OMG! YOU’RE MOVING TO SOUTH FLORIDA?! Holy shite! I’m going to set aside whatever (understandable) hangups you might have about the move and be totally selfish with glee right now :)

    I live in Miami. My husband, also in finance, has worked in Boca for the past ten years. I can’t believe I might actually get a chance to run into you some day.

    I agree the poster above — stay to the east! Good luck!!

  21. Wow, this is big news! I can’t wait to hear how you feel about it, too. I didn’t realize Boca was so “lacking in culture” but I guess I could see how people live like they’re on permanent vacation. Or retirement. Even if it is like that, your kiddos are too little to care right now and who knows what the future holds? I’d love to move back to NYC when my son is 8 or 10 (and our new baby due in June!) and expose him to all of the culture NYC has to offer; it’s not like Austin has all of that going on anyway. Best of luck to you! I hope it doesn’t get as hot there as it does in Austin.

  22. Wow. This west side Austin mom hates to read that you are moving but I wish you the very best of luck. So sad!

  23. Definitely rent, don’t buy! The housing market in Florida sucks big, green donkey weeners…more so than the rest of the country. My husband and I just moved to D.C. from Orlando 5 months ago and it was a blood bath.

    I totally agree with Carol in her post, Florida really doesn’t have that much to offer in culture and recreation unless you’re into the beach or tourist scene. It gets old. Hubby and I are both from Fla and we’re thrilled to be somewhere where there’s an educated mindset.

  24. This wasn’t the plan!!!! Please don’t go:( Our kids are starting kinder together in a year! HH tonight?

  25. Re culture & Florida: I’ve been bemoaning the lack of it for years & that’s one reason why we rarely spend time there. However…there’s a lively cultural scene in Miami, not all that far a drive from Boca. You just have to look for it. I’m very classical music- oriented and the New World Symphony has some excellent concerts under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Their new home, designed by Frank Gehry, is spectacular and features a huge screen so that people can sit outside & picnic during concerts. There also are the various Frost music venues via the U. of Miami. The Lowe Art Museum at The U. of Miami has a permanent collection of Dale Chihuly’s wonderful glass works. The botanical gardens in Miami are lovely & usually feature an exhibit. Not all that long ago we saw a Chihuly exhibit where his sculptures were hidden in the gardens. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s there, just not in-your-face like in N.Y. or here in Philadelphia. Seek & ye shall find.

  26. Wait, isn’t Texas just as sunny and hot as Florida? I hope you are using high SPF regardless, though as a fellow pale redhead I am sure I don’t have to tell you that.

  27. Ahhhhhhh…..was hoping to see you again because Marlowe and I loved our visit in Austin and seeing you and your babes and meeting Phil, and we hoped to either go to Austin within the year or would have loved to be your hosts here in Dallas. Loved that afternoon!! Please take care. I will check your blog to keep up. Thinking of you!

  28. So excited for you! Hope you’ll keep the house in Austin and visit often!

  29. Ever see “Brother From Another Planet”? The great quote is “I’d rather be a cockroach on a baseboard in Harlem than the king of Mississippi!”

    I live in one of those modest houses (for my neighborhood, anyway) that is set among some beautiful waterfront estates and big shot neighbors I never let it be a proxy for anything other than what it is. And I have met so many of my neighbors and I’ve enjoyed all their interesting and varied lives. Believe me, I wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood of dull routine, travel soccer, and less stimulating neighbors. It’s the difference between going to a college with a national student body or going to a SUNY school with all the New Yorkers you grew up with. Not a bad thing, but it’s great to expand your horizons.

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