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Florida recap


Ten days in Florida and we returned without a tan because the weather was cold the entire time.
I did bring back some little critter, however, as evidenced by the bite marks that start on the top of my head, run down my back in a straight line, and finishing off with one on my... I think you get the picture.
The bites were fairly nasty; each making a red, itchy welt the size of a quarter, but the fear they caused was even more horrid. What if they were BED BUGS? What do you do with an infestation of parasites? The presidential candidates eventually head to New Hampshire and points beyond, but the little insects from the Cimicid family stay on forever.
I made a couple of disservices in the previous paragraph. For one, it’s not fair to lump candidate Bernie Sanders in with the rest of the ilk. Besides not taking corporate money by the dump truck load like all the other candidates, he’s the only one that’s paid his tab for the extra police security he used while campaigning in Iowa. For another, it’s not fair to the insects: they may be bloodsuckers but they have to do it to stay alive
But I digress.
After a couple of days, no new bites appeared and we decided it was probably a rogue spider that got into the car with me. As detailed a couple of columns earlier, Sabra collected some Spanish Moss on our trip and hung it from my car’s ceiling just behind my head. It had a good run but that’s all, no fumigation needed.
One thing I did return with is a new understanding of what I like and don’t like about the state. Now that all the grandkids are living elsewhere and Sabra and I are both retired, we are thinking of becoming snowbirds or even making a full time permanent move. It’s not that we don’t love Iowa, we do, but there are three things we hate about our state: January, February and March.
For Sabra, it’s the cold; for me the dreary weather. She shivers and I get cranky from the sunlight deprivation. So Florida is in consideration but not the entire state. On this last trip we visited three areas, and here’s the “intel” as collected by me:
Brother Brad and spouse live on the gulf coast side about two-thirds down in Port Charlotte. It’s a lovely area with plentiful and easy access to the ocean, which is a big reason Brad likes it there. He loves to fish and his house backs up to a canal that leads to the ocean. I enjoy fishing, but don’t love it, so it isn’t as big of draw for me. And there’s one thing I couldn’t get over: everyone is old as... well, as old as me down there. Not that there’s anything wrong with being old, but I’ve lived in a college town too long and miss the little lift I get each time I meet a young person.
This population age shift was a little less evident in the inland area of Citrus County, where we headquartered in the town of Inverness for a few days for cycling on the Withlacoochee Trail. But besides the alligators, this is conservative/Republican territory and I just don’t see us being happy there. I actually saw a sign on one business’s door that said that Muslims and “Demotards” would not be served. Interestingly enough, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are very popular in this area. Can someone explain to me again how supporters of these two candidates aren’t really racists?
The area I liked best was St. Augustine. Not only is it filled with history, it’s the oldest European-settled city in the entire country. It also has a more diverse population. You actually see young families here and there and an occasional sign for Hillary and even Sanders.
We’re determined to give the Sunshine State another try, but later in the year to reduce the odds of hitting cold weather.
Got to go now, something is itching.