Escape from the Sunshine State

Well, I’m back.

I don’t really have much else to say, I suppose, except that after a week in Florida I’m so relieved to be back in DC. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed hanging out with my parents and all the accompanying perks of reverting to childhood like eating all the chocolate and cheese you want and drinking two bottles of champagne solo while watching movies til 3am and not having to make a single decision about anything. Ok, maybe that wasn’t quite my childhood but you know what I mean – total absence of responsibility. But after a week your body and brain begin to rebel and begin to crave the bustle and hum of the city. And that is one thing the particular corner of Florida that my parents inhabit severely lacks.

It’s Venice, a quiet little town on the Gulf Coast with some lovely wild beaches (my favorite – Caspersen) and a cute avenue with local merchant shops and a real soda fountain cafe. It manages to feel very sleepy while also being developed within an inch of its charm to hold the first wave of the retiring Boomers as they flock to Florida’s no income tax and temperate climate.

Now, with apologies to my parents, I could never ever live in a place like that. Everything revolves around the car, of course, as with the exception of the little avenue most everything is strip mall shops. Its infrastructure hasn’t quite caught up to the expensive real estate being built everywhere – though the gated communities for the Northern snowbirds are in abundance the local movie theatre has closed, restaurants are nothing spectacular, only golf courses abound. It’s very casual and the classic idea of retirement that everyone says the Boomers are going to eschew but they seem to be moving there anyway. Everyone calls you “honey” and are so perfectly outgoing and friendly in that Southern way that makes you wonder what they are saying behind your back.

Sigh. Let me repeat – I could never live in a place like that. City life for me. I am so glad to be back in DC. Now it’s off for a night on the town with visiting guests from crazy Amsterdam. I hope I don’t overdo it in my desire to re-urbanify.

2 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on December 28th, 2005 @ 6:01 pm

    An old friend of mine moved to Venice to take a job with Ned Davis Research many years ago. I spoke to him some months later and asked how the town was.

    “Well,” he said, “you know how the joke is that Florida is where old people go to die?”


    “Well, this is where their parents live.”

  2. wayan (unregistered) on December 29th, 2005 @ 8:16 am

    I can so agree with you. My folks moved to Zero, woops I mean Vero Beach back in the day. Vero, which like Venice, is a sleepy little town that might be great for the newly dead or newly wed, but is comatose inducing to urban folks like us.

    Luckily, I’m a beach-freak, surfing when the waves are up, tanning when they’re not. Also, as I went to high school here, and there is only one bar of repute, every Xmas night here is an annual reunion tour.

    Still, by now, six days into the vacation, with four more to go, I find myself driving south daily, heading for the lights and action of Lauderdale or Miami just to get my nightlife fix.

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