Florida observances

Having just made a four-day jaunt to the Sunshine State, I can tell you that Florida not only has a number of expensive theme parks and plenty of citrus fruit, but it also has lots and lots of:

Toll roads – Goodness gracious, blacktop is expensive down there!  Not only does Disney charge $14 a day for a car-shaped spot in their parking lot, but I estimate that in our four days of travel to and around Florida, we went through fully a dozen toll booths.  Which reminds me, I need to write a check to the good state of Florida for $0.50 to pay for our toll through that unmanned tollbooth on the Turnpike that would only take exact change in coins – we couldn’t even stuff our crisp dollar bill into the coin funnel.  But at least the Turnpike Authority provided us, the unexact, with a pre-addressed envelope right there by the coin drop.

Religious/anti-abortion billboards – this was a common one:

There were several other designs, including one with a picture of God reaching for a pregnant woman’s belly Sistene-Chapel-style, but most of the billboards went with a variation on the ’18 days’ fact.  And we didn’t see just one or two or even a dozen of these towering by the highway.  I guess we saw at least 40 of these on the way down – but a lot fewer on the way back to Georgia.  (They care less about you when you’re leaving the state?)

British people – When Jon and I took the family to Orlando two years ago, we noticed that a lot of the homes on Vacation Rental By Owner (our go-to website for places to stay on vacay) listed owners with UK phone numbers.  We didn’t think much about it, but on this trip we noticed plenty of British accents and about 1/3 of the people at a wildlife show we saw raised their hands when the guys onstage asked, ‘So, who’s from the UK?’  I can see why the good people of the British Isles would want to escape their somewhat dank weather for some sunshine.  I’m sure none of them are scrabbling to visit, say, North Dakota.

Stay tuned for more about our family’s Florida fun, including Karaoke, gators, and of course, the Happiest Place on Earth!

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4 thoughts on “Florida observances

  1. Ah, yes, the toll roads! I live in Central FL, and I have an electronic SunPass thingy in my window so I can zoom right through the tolls. And as I drive through, it beeps. It has its own little secret code of beeps. One kind of beep means, “Good job. Thanks for paying the toll.” Another kind of beep means, “You’re good this time, but you’re about to run out of money on the pre-paid thingy, so you’d better hop online and reload.” And another kind of beep means, “Hey, dummy! This isn’t a credit system! You’re supposed to pre-pay.” Of course, I can never remember which series of beeps means which. Do the three short beeps mean I’m good or is that the one long beep? Really? Don’t we have the technology to make my magic toll road windshield box talk to me? Couldn’t a pleasant British-accented voice politely remind me, “Thanks for this toll payment, but you’ll want to add more cash to your balance as soon as you get home. And have a lovely day.” 🙂 Maybe one of those Brits who own the vacation homes could record it for us?

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