Saturday, May 30, 2009

This is the real Florida

There are over 15 million people living in the state of Florida. You would have to multiply that number at least 25 times to account for all of the bugs that live there as well. That does not account for the reptiles that inhabit this state as well as people and insects. That being said, Florida does have a lot to offer the tourist. Put aside all of the theme parks that exist, especially in central Florida, and you still have a lot of interesting places to go and things to see. I'll assume that if you want to visit Florida you can research most of that information on your own. Here are just a few things that you will certainly find in the Sunshine State:

Here is a lovely bug we saw down in the Everglades National Park. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first encountered this one. I zoomed my camera lens in on him to take this photo. It was at least 6 to 7 inches long and it was about 4 inches high from the rail it is sitting on to the tip of his bent "hopping leg". It looked like a grasshopper from a Star Trek movie. Ewwww.....I never want to see another one of those again.

Due to these larger-than-life bugs and all of the trillions of other flying insects they have here, people have taken to screening in whole backyards. Not just a screened cover over the many of them do....but screening in the entire backyard. This home even screened it up to the top of the second story of the home.

Florida does have some of the very best beaches in the country in which to swim or sunbathe. (bring plenty of sunscreen) This is Bradenton Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The water is a beautiful greenish color and the sand is like sugar. This beach would rival some of the great beaches in the Caribbean we've gone to.

One thing is for certain. If you do want to relocate permanently to Florida and you are over 55 years old, there is no end to the opportunities in neighborhoods to choose from. They have so many 55+ parks and communities you cannot believe it. Some people live here all year and choose to enjoy a "park model" as shown below. Even some people that have wanted to downsize a lot have chosen to live full time in one of these very small homes. They take the basic home and then they usually add huge screened rooms on one side that will enlarge their living space. This home, shown in the photo, is your basic model that is for sale at the park we are at right now.

Then you will need your own personal golf cart at one of these senior parks. Some of the parks are very large with over 600 homes or RV spaces. Most of the permanent or long-term seasonal residents all have these golf carts to buzz around in. I do around in. They go faster than the park speed limits most of the time. Well, they do have to hurry up and get to the clubhouse for bingo, pot luck suppers, morning coffee talk, craft time or dance lessons. Then you simply MUST have your pool noodles firmly attached to the back of your golf cart so they don't go flying off when you round the corners. The ladies mainly use the pool noodles when they swim. Well, they don't actually swim as much as they clutch the noodles while they are in the water so they can just float around and enjoy conversations with all of their friends. You never see people at any of these parks without smiles on their faces and they always give you a friendly wave even if they don't know you.
We are leaving the Winter Quarters-Manatee park in Bradenton on Monday, June 1st. Then we will have only 7 more days until we get to check into the Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World. We will be staying in Kissimmee for 7 days in the meantime.
Dates to look forward to: Monday, June 8th----we go to Fort Wilderness
Tuesday, June 16th----our grandkids arrive for 2 weeks!

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