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!