I May Have Finally Experienced the “Real” Florida

The street corner where my hostel is located in Florida City.

The street corner where my hostel is located.

I once had a roommate from Florida, and her 17-year-old sister came to visit us one time in the Bay Area. The girl had never seen “on-street” parking, and couldn’t believe that people actually walk anywhere.

After spending two idyllic days in Key West and the beautiful Florida Keys, I may have finally experienced that side of Florida. I’m spending two days in Florida City (which is a litte more inland) because: (a) it’s very close to the Everglades National Park and (b) there’s a really nice affordable hostel. What I see about this side of Florida is nobody walks anywhere, the town is dead in the evening, and there’s nothing but large chain stores.

The hostel has a big kitchen, so it’s an opportunity to save money for a couple days by cooking. I asked where to buy food, and was told: (a) Wal-Mart or (b) a liquor store down the block. Because Wal-Mart is against my religion, I went to the liquor store. It’s dark but not too late, and the sidewalks have no pedestrians — which feels unsafe.

But first, I needed cash. Where’s an ATM (and I don’t want to use the liquor store, because they’ll probably hit me with a surcharge)? There’s a gas station two blocks away, but it’s a bit sketchy to walk that way … So I checked Google Maps to find the nearest Bank of America branch. Turns out there’s one nearby, so I get in the car and drive there.

It was a quick and easy drive to the Bank (not even five minutes), but I was stunned to see ABSOLUTELY no pedestrians walking down the streets. And of course, there’s nothing but large chain stores. This is my definition of suburban hell. Well, it’s not like I’ll be hanging out here much. The Hostel offers full-day tours of the Everglades, so I’ve signed up to go on one tomorrow. Can’t wait …

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2 Responses to “I May Have Finally Experienced the “Real” Florida”

  1. A Day through the Everglades … Off the Beaten Path « Paul Hogarth’s Personal Blog Says:

    [...] Paul Hogarth’s Personal Blog « I May Have Finally Experienced the “Real” Florida [...]

  2. Sweet Home Alabama … Mardi Gras in Mobile. « Paul Hogarth’s Personal Blog Says:

    [...] and almost entered an air force base. The whole town had a conservative feel, coupled with more suburban hell I had experienced all over Florida. As the road crossed Pensacola Bay, I popped in the Forrest Gump [...]

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