Since I first saw the movie Away We Go in 2009, it has been my personal mission to find the old Florida home that Verona grew up in. If you haven't seen Away We Go, then let me break it down for you real quickly: Burt and Verona (a young couple) don't have everything figured out, but they love each other and they're expecting a baby girl. They travel the United States (and parts of Canada) looking for the perfect place to start their family, and in the end (spoiler alert), they realize it is back at home in Florida.
I love everything about this movie. Burt is Pete - no question in my mind. They have the same personality, interests, and even look freakishly the same. The movie is written by one of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers. And what makes me love the movie most of all is that it captures my love of old Florida.
I know. Absolute perfection. An old home, looking out onto a lake, surrounded by orange trees. I could not dream up a better home.
After watching the movie, I knew the home was somewhere in Florida near a lake.
There are about 7,700 lakes in Florida... that are greater than 10 acres. So that means there are lots of lakes in Florida.
A year or so passed and I got my next clue somewhere online (I forget the website now). Someone said the home was in Lake County. A county in Central Florida that is home to more than 1,000 lakes. Getting closer.
Then, through the power of Pinterest (a medium we wouldn't be using if it wasn't for Salvaged Spaces), I found my next lead: Leesburg, Florida.
I begged Pete to check out a salvage yard in Leesburg this weekend, but my main goal was to hunt down my dream house. By 3:00pm on Saturday, April 7, 2012, I found it. We pulled up to the driveway and I cried hysterically. I couldn't say a word; all I could do was stare and cry. I couldn't tell if I was crying because it was so beautiful, or if I was just relieved I finally found it, or so upset that it would never be mine (or so I think). Never in my life have I felt so full and empty at the same time.
Out of respect for the current owner, and selfishness on my part, I won't share any more clues of where it is. Although I do know the address, who owns it, and that it was built in 1881. And for the record, I still didn't get very close to the house. I wanted to run inside, run my finger through the dust on the staircase, sit by the lake, eat an orange in the backyard... but I just stood at the end of the driveway. It is private property, after all. It was probably already a scary sight to see a crying pregnant woman at the end of your driveway.
But here's proof that my pale, pregnant self was there:
I can't believe I finally found it! Next goal: buy a home like this, or even better... this one.