Spotted in Florida


I’ve been to Florida many times, it being a neighboring state, but never this far south.

Seeing select parts of Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, I spotted a few curious sights.

flapostcard.jpgFor example, not 10 minutes after I deplaned in West Palm Beach did I behold the latest assault on captive consumers. At he baggage claim area, large scuffed decals played on an endless loop directly on the conveyor belt.

Ironically, it was for a national doughnut chain.

Since we had to look at the belt to find our belongings, we had to look at those dirty decals.

Next at airports, embedded ads in the Arrivals/Departures monitors:

  • Dallas/Ft. Worth: B3, ON TIME 1:43
  • Denver: D22, BOARDING, 1:12
  • Timex, always ON TIME, starting at $29
  • Detroit: A7, ON TIME, 2:56


I did a double take driving through Jupiter (the town, not the planet) and spotted signs for Burt Reynolds Park.

Awesome. Loved him in “Boogie Nights,” laughed when he popped up on “My Name Is Earl” last month. Why shouldn’t the Bandit have his own green space?

Another accidental discovery was the factory sign I saw in Fort Lauderdale North boasting of making the most eyelets and grommets in the world.

(Let’s assume it’s the hole truth.)

Interstate 95 did not live up to its reputation as the “highway of death.” A native told me all about it, much to his wife’s chagrin.

No matter. I sped along the HOV lane during the approved non-HOV hours. Up and down I traveled that sucker, through sheets of rain in the day, through clear patches in dark of night.

One odd thing was the number of motorists driving along in the pouring rain with no headlights. They’re practically invisible in such conditions. In Alabama, it’s the law that lights go on when wipers go on. In Florida, it must be some superstitious taboo or sumpthin.

The Atlantic, even on a murky day, is still a lovely stretch to gaze upon. Wish I had had more time to study it until my mind went blank.

I might’ve seen a manatee. I did see a hawk and a blue heron and an osprey, along with rows of mangroves and other plants that look distinct to people who know which species are what.

I got sand in my boot ridges, toured big-ass yachts and drove around every nook and cranny of Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, quite by accident.

Next time, I’ll bring better weather and a road atlas.


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