What we miss from Florida
I start first not with “What we miss from…” but what we don’t miss. We don’t miss the crowds – the crowds of people. Florida is to many Americans and Canadians what Ticino is to us Swiss. The southernmost point of the country with warm temperatures all year round. And many people from northern areas spend the winter in Florida. So it’s massively crowded and overpopulated.
What we miss from Florida
Florida offers very interesting opportunities to explore the state. For example, the Kennedy Space Center. With around 17,000 employees, it is one of the most important economic factors. Around 1.5 million space enthusiasts flock to the visitor center alone each year. And it’s worth it, because you can find a lot of information about space travel and space. Also what is currently being prepared next – the trip to Mars. Yes, Mars is on the move. We were so fascinated and captivated by the many impressions that we spent about 7 hours inside the KSC – Kennedy Space Center.
We were even allowed to witness a rocket launch at a campground right across from the launch pad of the SpaceX launch platform. That’s awesome – it rumbles and roars tremendously and such a rocket launch is already massively impressive, even if the whole spectacle is already over after about 90 seconds.
The Keys – Tropical Flair
The Florida Keys are really gorgeous and there are many motifs here which are mighty well suited as postcard subjects. Here we met again our travel friends the Annen’s from www.d-hai.ch. As always, lots to chat about, lots to laugh about, and other shenanigans as well.
Key West is a highlight for a number of reasons. On the one hand, it is worth strolling through all the streets, looking at all the colorful houses. Here color is the massage for the eyes. It is wonderful how turquoise, yellow, blue, green the houses are painted. A real refreshment. However, the absolute highlight was the visit to the house of Ernest Hemmingway. The house alone is impressive in its area as it is one of the largest properties in Key West.
Furthermore, it is also impressive to see where Ernest wrote his bestsellers and how he came to leisure in the garden. It cannot be overlooked that Ernest – or was it his second wife Pauline – must have been a cat lover. About 40 cats live on the estate.
Quarter Mile Race – the Duro does not keep pace
We were lucky enough to witness the training of high-tech racing cars. At Bradenton Motor Sport Raceway (http://www.racebmp.com/), we were able to get so close to the cars that Claudia even got to sit in the driver’s seat of a Nissan GTR with 1700 horsepower. These cars are built for the Quarter Mile race and when the drivers let go of the clutch these things go off like the neighbors Lumpy with a built in rocket engine. Face Lifting inbegriffen. The drivers of the bolides were also interested in our Duro. So actually all technicians and drivers were interested in the Duro, but in the main only in the chassis. What else.
We have seen the little mermaid – she really exists
Yeah, no joke now. We have seen them. She and her whole family including Santa Claus. Wait, what’s the name of the underwater Santa Claus? Nicolaus Seamann? Sea water Santa Claus? Wet Christmas party Santa Claus? And the deer… well, the sea deer… No, there isn’t. But manatees… do they moo too? Moo-blubb, moo-blubb…???? So you get all Confucius… um… confused.
Yes it is real
Yes, there is indeed an underwater mermaid show (https://www.floridastateparks.org/WeekiWachee). The girls perform a real tour de force in the process. The show with synchronized dance performance… wait there is no stage… so puddle acrobatics??? No, not that Confucius again… so weird word association madness… underwater synchronized dance interlude swimming style. The show lasts about 30 minutes and the synchronized swimmers do it all without scuba tanks. There are air tubes for each mermaid and with them the young women supply themselves with breathing air under water. They also let go of the breathing tubes and dive without underwater goggles. Anyone who has ever tried to see something under water with their eyes open may have had some blurry vision. Then the women whirl around under water, do pirouettes without these breathing tubes and after the turns scurry… oh what… doesn’t go with scurry either… under water you don’t scurry… dumping??? Also not. Maybe rowing… could fit. Row the women to the tubes, grab them and breathe the necessary air. It’s hugely impressive and a tremendous achievement.
Diversity of nature
Surprisingly, we saw more wildlife in Florida than in any other state we visited. Even includes Canada and Newfoundland. We saw snakes, iguanas, manatees, alligators and crocodiles and lots of water birds. Even an armadillo. Who would have thought that we would see so much wildlife in this overpopulated area.
A crazy story
I would like to tell one more story here. A story about madness and irresponsible behavior of parents. We were on the road in a park with rented bikes. The driving and hiking trail led along a river. There are masses of alligators in this river. Partly even nests with freshly hatched alligator babies. The river is just separated from the drive and hike path by a 3 meter lawn. So the alligators can rest loosely on the grass. So there we cycle blithely along and look at the alligators again and again. And you have to know that alligators on land can reach a speed of around 17 Km/h. So pretty fast. And then – we can’t believe our eyes – we see a family father, mother, grandfather, grandmother and an infant. The baby is still so small that it can barely sit upright on its own. And where is the cute little baby? Yes, where is it? Just – maybe 2 meters – in front of the snout of a 4 meter tall alligator basking in the sun on the lawn. And the parents proudly snap a few photos with their smartphones. Again, as a reminder. An alligator can reach a speed of about 17 Km/h on land – from a standing start. The baby sits about 2 meters in front of the snout of the oversized leather belt. The parents are again about 2 to 3 meters away from the baby and snap and baby-look-here-call around the bet. I think I’m being grabbed by an alligator. Really? Does the selfie craze know no bounds? Shooting brainless photos as a last memory?
Coincidences exist, they do not exist at all
Oh yes, still another completely different wild animal we saw then also coincidentally when passing by. It was a red Toyota Landcruiser with pop-up roof far back in the woods by the mangroves. And to our great astonishment, with Swiss car plates. Yes, really… we met Debbie and Joel from Switzerland. A totally good couple, happy, friendly people. And at that time we did not know that we would see each other again. More about that later.
Florida is beautiful in terms of landscape, nature, sea and coasts. The forests of interior Florida are fantastically wild. Overgrown with large oaks. Gorgeous. However, all the commotion from the snowbirds, masses of tourists and locals, and the monstrous amusement parks make Florida a totally crowded state. Friendly, happy people everywhere – not an issue. But you are never alone in Florida.