Saturday, February 7, 2009
Florida: The Travels Begin (SF)
We don't travel much. Not in the winter anyway. last winter we went to Ottawa for Winterlude, but generally we are hampered by the fact of Dave being a teacher. In the summer, we camp or go to my sister's cottage in Quebec. We do like discovering new places, but we are also pretty happy at home.
For 20 years my parents have had a timeshare in Florida. I went once or twice when I was in university and it was fine, but I have rarely felt jealous of them going south in the winter. They have often invited me to go. Between small children and work, it hasn't been possible. But this year, my job ended in December and the kids were big enough and my sister and I found $99 flights and so we went.
Here's what I learned:
- My eye was hungry for the colour green and was delighted to see grass and palm trees in the middle of winter, only three hours from home
- In Florida, if you feel threatened, you are allowed to shoot the person who is threatening you
- Washrooms are called restrooms
- Moss hangs from trees
- Playgrounds are covered because it gets really really hot in the summer
- Signs are in English and Spanish (here English and French)
- Shopping is a sport - and one I could pick up fairly easily in a few short days
- I missed my family
- Florida has many, many small lakes and lagoons
- Restaurant food was cheap, delicious and plentiful to excess; grocery store food was expensive
- There was no Obama paraphenalia or any other sign that an inauguration was two days away
- Sitting by the pool for six hours is a treat
- I may have been one of the few people dipping my feet in the ocean in January, but it was surprisingly warm (well, cool, not cold) and lovely. And the beach had thousands of shells and not one stone.
- I like my sister a lot.
- Fresh squeezed orange juice is a beautiful, beautiful thing.