By the time this blog is published, we will be saying good-bye to Florida. With limited wi-fi access on the road, I thought I’d thank the great state of Florida and share a few thoughts.
If our timing is right, we are currently camping near St. Augustine. The oldest settlement in America. Our second visit, we just may become settlers. AND while we’re here, another sip from the Fountain of Youth.
When we set out last May, I knew we were headed south then east but never imagined establishing ourselves, anywhere. Florida was the last resort. Just so happens Carli is here and it made sense to make a move. Not permanently, just for the short term…maybe. Yeah, Hali has a new Florida drivers license and voters card just out of necessity but Carlos, Thor, and I will keep our Oregon status alive. Keyword, alive.
AND, as we approach the warmer months here in Florida, it’s time to migrate like so many “snowbirds” do this time of year. Just don’t call us snowbirds. Why? For one, Portland never had enough snow for any bird to migrate south. For ‘nother, stayin’ in one place for any period of time ain’t our style (sorry y’all, it’ll wear off soon). SO, we are back on the move BUT before we go I want to share a few things that have surprised us about the Sunshine State.
- We never imagined taking walks through pine trees and navigating a trail full of pine cones. Palm trees yes, fir trees no. But we do. Everyday we walk a trail through small lakes lined with pine. The bald cypress are finally growing its fir. Amongst the trees, the abundance and variety of bird life and obvious migration patterns.
- There are the birds-of-prey, water fowl, songbirds, and the ever present crow all within a birds-eye view out the front door. Enough bird life for us to tally and note in our Native Florida Bird Checklist.
- I’ll admit, when we first arrived in Florida one of the first tours I wanted to take was the airboat gator ride. I couldn’t wait. Let’s go! AND make it snappy! Now, I can’t believe people pay upwards of $100 to see a gator. Fortunately, this was right around the holidays and tours were booked. We were off the hook. Today, I walk right out the front door towards the little lake, and there’s Al, our local gator. Sometimes he’s sunbathing, sometimes he’s lurking. I call this the gator prowl. Though with Carlos in tow, I’m not sure who’s doing the prowling, us or him.
- The lack of big bugs. You know, “cockroaches as big as your head“. Nope, I have yet to see a cockroach. Even a little toe tiny one. Unlike Oregon, no slugs. There are the occasional beetles. On our last camp trip I got eaten up by mosquitoes but no more so than camping in Oregon and far less than Minnesota. The only bug photo I could muster up is this big bug…
- Speaking of pests, apparently Florida waters are the shark bite capital of the world. We swam in the gulf waters, the Atlantic Coast, and even the epicenter of shark bites at New Smyrna Beach and did not get bit. Only a nudge from a couple dolphins.
- It’s not all about Disney. There is SO much more. Surprised? We were. There are world class beaches, the center of the space universe, the Space Coast where the area code is 3-2-1, well run state parks, golf, and of course, the Freaky Florida personality.We’ve been in Florida almost a half year and have yet to even scratch its surface: The Keys, The Everglades, Cuba a short paddle away, a hurricane.
Good-bye Florida and Thank You! We WILL be back! The Florida Keys aren’t going anywhere soon and there will be plenty of FREE parking come hurricane season. Soon after duck hunting season. Just in time for Thanksgiving.