How do you picture Florida? Sun, swaying palms, white sands, blue water, attractions filled with laughing crowds and roller coasters, poolside drinks, pulsating bars, sunscreen and colorful umbrellas?
But if that’s what you’re focused on then you’re missing an awful lot of authentic Florida.
My husband and I are visiting relatives in a quieter part of the state. We have been staying at a fishing camp on a beautiful lake north of Tampa.
Each of the past three mornings I’ve gone outside early in the morning to see what the sunrise had to offer. This morning’s was the most colorful, but Monday and Tuesday morning were softly pretty too.
Yesterday we walked the neighborhood and enjoyed the moody skies just before a thunderstorm rolled in.
This place has the feel of old Florida, when times were simpler and small things got noticed. A time before Disney World and all inclusive resorts.
As my husband and I enjoyed the company of an extended family we let the crazy world go on by, kept the TV off, didn’t read the news, and sat into the evening telling old family stories and enjoying good food.
Not a bad way to begin a vacation.
Tomorrow we’re going to see a baseball game at the Tiger spring training camp and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do next.
Not to say we’re entirely ignoring those white sand beaches and blue skies. No, I think at least a peek at the Gulf is on the list.
After all, we are in Florida.