Referred to by residents as “America’s Wang,” my time in Florida surpassed every expectation I had of it.
Elsewhere, my good friend Emerly has written about her summer living in Florida and provided eloquent commentary on the shortage of sidewalks in Jacksonville. (We know, we know, that is the wrong way – you are supposed to winter in Florida and flee the Equator, but sadly this option is reserved for the beneficiaries of the Baby Boom generation. It’s called summer employment, after all.)
Luckily, I found the oh-so-appropriately named Plantation, Florida, to have a few more sidewalks, as well as a lot more tiny lizards and giant beetles in the hotel pool than I was expecting. Also a stray kitten living in the bushes (probably surviving on lizards).
Living up to its motto, “the grass is greener” in Plantation. Since it rains every day at three o’clock (as the hotelier gladly informed us when she provided our first of many flood warnings upon check in — fear not, for we rest our heads on the second floor), the mowers have their work cut out for them (pun intended) every Monday. I appreciated their efforts, since we frequently had to walk across the grass to get anywhere. We successfully ventured, on foot, to several stores and restaurants, on paths exclusively consisting of high speed roadways, grass filled with lizards (who did not look happy about our intrusion), parking lots, and — once — a sidewalk.
Sadly, we appeared to be the only pedestrians in the entire state. This was readily reflected in the willingness of motorists to recognize that there are pedestrians in the crosswalk or, indeed, look for us on the state’s only sidewalk. (Sidewalks are just an extension of the parking lot for outlet mall visitors.)
We also got weird looks for bringing our own shopping bags. Guess it’s our hippy dippy training from Urbana, Illinois, showing through.
There is a Farmers Market though. If you miss that, you can buy eggs at the Dollar Store. I never knew.
Florida taught me so much.