It’s been a while (over 6 months I think) since I did a personal post. I won’t bore you with all the details (just a few). My old website went down due to hackers/spammers around Xmas last year. So I had a new one designed, this meant aside from a few posts I lost all my posts, sucks for sure. It also really discouraged me from writing any kind of post like this and, to be honest, I was also tired of writing about trips and my year in review. 2018 was kind of a crappy year for me, I just felt better forgetting about it.
Onwards and upwards though and with 2019 already 3 months in I’m ready to do another, and this time I felt I had more to say. I just got back from a 3-week vacation in Florida
. I always loved Florida, been going there since I was 8 months old. Last year I couldn’t make it due to a sickness in the family (he’s doing better now) and to be honest there was a good chance the same thing would happen again this year. Fortunately, though we made it down (and he ended up with just an infection) and here I am writing about it.
I know what lots of people think of Florida (FL for the rest of this), crime, lots of gun nuts, Trump supporters aplenty, too many tourists, bugs, hurricanes and all the other stereotypes that go with the American south. So yeah, to be honest, I do see some of those things and there were a couple of times that it bothered me. Seeing someone just with a gun casually strapped to their belt out mowing the lawn is disturbing for me. As is two people screaming at the top of their lungs about a parking space. I also can’t help but feel uneasy when I see a Trump bumper sticker or flag (and yeah I saw both several times on the one street). Great weather, friendly people and beautiful surroundings go a long way though and FL still has plenty of that.
Oh, so what did I do you may ask? This isn’t just a rant, I’ll put down some of it.
Went to restaurants as always, the only ones of note being The Jungle
(which is starting to go downhill but I still enjoyed it), the Mansion
(good as ever, excellent food/service and a cool spot), Captain Hiram’s
(just ok pup food but still a great atmosphere) and the Tiki Bar & Grill
. I only went to Hiram’s because of a local group that plays there, Greg and Brian, I still enjoy them and was glad I went.
I got to see Trevor Noah
, who was excellent, really funny, informative and brought up some important points on many topics. My wife took me to a Downtown Abbey exhibit
, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.
I was reminded just how insane the traffic in southern Florida was! While West Palm Beach
was beautiful, I don’t know if I’d ever go back. The traffic added at least 45 minutes to our arrival time and I was actually in park for a few minutes on a highway! That plus the fact that having a comedy show in a casino, on a Friday night in Hollywood, FL is a bad idea!
We went to Discovery Cove
and yes I know they have animals there. My Mom really wanted to go there and I couldn’t say no. I at least did not do the dolphin experience (and she didn’t either). It was a relaxing day and I had some fun, it also wasn’t crowded or too hot that day.
I went to The Beach Boys
for the third time (only one original member left but they sound good and I enjoyed it (as did my Mom). I got to see my aunt and uncle who live in the US a couple of times and had some nice family get-togethers. I got to do some online RP through Skype and I did have time to myself to go for long walks, listen to music, audio books, read and do a little bit of writing. I had time to think and to wonder what will happen in the rest of my life and we already made some tentative plans for next winter.
As you may have gathered this was a much different kind of vacation for me. My Dad passed away almost 2 years ago and it has changed my life a great deal, for my Mom her life is incredibly changed. So it was, my wife and I and my Mom this trip. Suffice to say she doesn’t feel the same about the particular place we went to in FL (Barefoot Bay
) and I suppose I don’t either.
My feelings about FL are wrapped up with my Dad and it can be hard to separate the two. He loved FL so much and we had so many fun times together. It’s much different now and I guess will always be a little melancholy. That doesn’t mean we won’t retire to FL someday, just not necessarily the same area. I had a lovely moment to myself while my wife was shopping and I was outside enjoying her sunshine. “Right here, right now” by Jesus Jones was playing and I felt at peace, happy and like I did belong there. I just need to find out if I can get that feeling in other places (besides Gibsons, BC
that place is magical! Go visit if you ever get the chance).
As the pics show I’m not trying to be a downer, I had a good vacation and I do like Barefoot Bay. The people there are very friendly, there are some fun things to do, it’s near some stores/restaurants and other places I like. It has nice scenery, lots of animals and I certainly felt relaxed there. It’s not the place that’s changed, it’s me. I’m ready to explore new places and consider new possibilities.
This post has gotten quite long so I’ll clue up. Going south for the winter will always be something I do whenever I can. Variety is the spice of life and it’s time I sprinkled some in mine.