Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Final Destination: Florida

Greetings from South Florida!
After 12 hours of travel (3 flights + layovers) i arrived at the underwhelming Fort Lauderdale airport - underwhelming that is until i saw a blonde vision in active sportswear: my sister (and her faithful companion, Giovanni). My flights, while long, where supremely relaxing. I read, completed a sunday NY times crossword and listened to Company, Sweeney Todd and My Fair Lady on the ipod.
I got in late, so Dawn just drove me to her new residence in the schmancy gated community known simply as "The Resort", complete with 3 swimming pools, gym, hot tub, tennis courts and security guards (no need to pack heat here).
We watched "Final Destination 3" (creative, gory death scenes) and retired.
Today she was busy teaching classes, so i spent about ten hours on South Beach. "Bliss" would not be too strong a word to describe my mood as i strolled beneath the palms in the uber-humid Florida weather. I smoked three cigars over espresso and salad, went shopping and visit some old haunts, like the South Florida Art Gallery. Little changes here (I even saw some of the same colorful homeless people i recall from when i lived here - if you have to be homeless, this is the place to do it). My favorite cigar lounge has closed, but there are countless other satisfying venues in which to enjoy a double corona, so i am not too broken up about it.
South Beach deco
Lincoln Road
As i was on my own today, i had many interesting conversations with people. One fellow, at the Hustler store sighed fondly when i said i was from Canada. "I've never seen snow", he said. He told me he grew up in Fort Lauderdale and moved to Miami and has never been anywhere else. Ever.
At dinner, on Lincoln Road at World Resources (i had a fabulous Thai curry) i chatted for about an hour with a family and their friends who are 7th generation Floridians from Ocala - super rural Florida with horses and citrus farms. They had crazy fake-sounding southern drawls and told me all about how they love to go hunting for turkeys and hogs, except they pronounced it "howgs". It seems that it takes a surprising amount of cunning and ingenuity to outsmart a turkey. I also learned all about Florida gun laws and it seems that it is quite legal to carry a gun with you at all times (except in court, at football games and in clubs), provided that said gun is in plain sight. (You can carry a concealed weapon, but you have to take a four hour course to qualify.) So if you want to drive with your 45, you have leave it in your lap, not tucked under your shirt.
Anyway, i had a fantastic day. When i come here, i can't remember why i ever left. The beach, the weather, trees filled with coconuts and green parrots are so seductive. Like i said, it is bliss.
Now i am back at Dawn's place and we are going to watch a horror movie about a killer ventriloquist's dummy.
Enough rambling.
Pictures to come.
Good night.

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