Florida makes you a little stupid, or at least it makes me a little stupid.
It’s something in the water (which, by the way, is liquid evil—mix a squirt of hand soap, a wee dab of poop, and a smidge of kerosene into a bucket of water, and you’ll get something tastier. We had to live on bottled water and, as Henry calls it, “seltz!” My son, the New Yorker.). Or the cloudless sky enabled the alien’s gamma rays to more efficiently make its way to my brains, quietly burning off all the smarty-pants lobes while plumping up the idiot nodules. I gave up the idea of “reading” or “thinking” by the second day there, and spent the rest of the time reading girly-girl magazines (note to men: this is different from “girlie magazines”) and shopping with my Mom for cute tops. Cute tops. I almost bought a clothing item that looked “fun.” “How fun,” I almost said. Scott caught me referring to someone as a “panic.”
Old people abound.
Everyone there is very, very old. Those who were not very, very old were wheeling around their very, very old relatives.
Sanibel is blindingly white—and I don’t mean the sand. There was not a person of any color to be found. Scott was possibly the most ethnic person there, being (probably) the lone Jew of the island—a fact that he did not appreciate me observing, loudly, in the middle of Ye Olde Sanibel Shoppinge Place. I mean, we’re white (and anyone who knows me knows that I, Little Miss SPF 45, am almost as white as they come.) But these people were white white. They all had blond hair and roundish middles and wore pastel tops and pastel pants hiked up above their navels and said “super” with alarming frequency. While waiting for a table in a restaurant, they exclaimed over the Clams Casino on the menu. “Ooh, it has Jack cheese broiled on top. Ooh, super.” That kind of white.
Tampa is not the place to be.
If you spend your last night in Florida in Tampa, so that your harried toddler will not have to endure a 3-hour car trip and a 3-hour plane ride on the same day, do not expect a fun time. The Tampa right outside the airport is not fun. You will eat dinner at Ruby Tuesday. Your dinner, whatever it is, will be served “buffalo-style.” You will drive around, looking for a place that sells diapers, and find many tattoo parlors, topless bars, and “exotic gift” stores. You will be glad you don’t live in Tampa. On second thought, maybe you should visit Tampa.