English: Spaceship Earth in Walt Disney World in Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few years ago I left Florida and moved back to New England where I grew up. My Florida friends thought I was crazy, but many of them had grown up in Florida and couldn’t stand the cold. I missed the change of seasons. There were things I did not like about Florida, but there were also many things that I knew I would miss.
I lived north of Disney World. Most people know where that is, or they know Daytona. So I would say I lived between Disney and Daytona. It was a nice area to be in. The east coast beaches were only about thirty minutes away, and the theme parks were about an hour to the south. I found out about “rush hour” and knew to stay off I4 during that time of day. And forget about driving in snow, driving in the torrential Florida downpours was worse. I can’t bring myself to go fishing up here in the north, since the fishing in Florida spoiled me. And I haven’t visited the beach since I left the south. It’s just not the same here.
There was much to do around my Florida home. Blue Springs state park is in Orange City which was close, and it’s a great place to swim if you like 72 degree water -which is the temperature year round because of the spring. The nice clear water was a treat too, but the park is closed to swimming when the manatees come in winter. It’s one of the best times to visit and view manatees in the wild. With the clear river water by the spring, it’s easy to see them swimming around.
The Daytona Speedway was just up the road, and they offer tours of the track and have a museum for race fans. And if you like biker bars, the Foxhead Saloon was always packed during Bike Week – and the surrounding weeks. I lived so close, I could have walked there. And just down the road (Doyle Road) was one of my favorite places – Pell’s nursery and fruit stand.
The St. Johns River was close by for boating and fishing too, and of course we could head south to the theme parks that offered Florida residents some “deals” at certain times of the year. We never made much money living in Florida, so even the deal tickets were expensive to us. Disney prices their tickets according to what the wealthy out-of-staters can pay (IMO).
So I lived in a great area of the state. About once a week we would tow our pontoon boat over to the ICW and go fishing and maybe stop at JB’s Fish Camp to buy a delicious meal of fresh fish.
I am not mentioning the horrible traffic and crowds of tourists that are often found at these places, and I miss Florida for many reasons, but I honestly don’t miss living there full time. To be a Floridian means you share your home with tourists – constantly.