I rarely get excited about South Florida, having lived my life there in suburban isolation for over 40 years. However, from the perspective of a snow – weary tourist, I often imagine the desire to escape to the sun-kissed shores of beachlike paradise. If only I could have one day to remove myself from the myopia of urban survival there to become an eager visitor on my own turf.
Thus, I was curiously interested to know that one of our destinations on the 21 day transatlantic cruise from Houston to London would be Fort Lauderdale.For the first time, I would be able to walk off this boat to become a visiting, South Floridian tourist in my hometown.
How perfect my world seemed to be now. Joining the throngs of cruise walkers from the ship, an atmosphere of casual pleasure surrounded me in all directions. The thought of buying tacky sunglasses and cheap souvenirs filled my head now and the abundance of eateries at every corner seemed exotically new to me, although I had regularly eaten at many of them before.
In this atmosphere of overindulgence, Fort Lauderdale was well prepared to take my money. I could step into one of many yacht dealers nearby and imagine sailing the high seas. Perhaps my whims would entice me to rent the exotic car of my dreams and whisk away to a tropical hideaway. Amid the towering glamour of high rises along the Inter coastal Waterway, a new, winter home might soon be in my future.
Returning to reality, I hesitantly reached for my phone. As I checked my unwieldy email and social media postings, family, finances, and health, now returned me to the familiar script of middle class, survival. Perhaps, I have learned today that that living in the Margaritaville milieu of South Florida is possible at any time in my life now. Enjoy each day of my life unburdened by the neurotic obsession of human distractions.
Lovely post – what an interesting way to visit ones birthplace, then you bring us back to earth at the end.
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And what a rare experience to share. Thank you!
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Yours is a lovely post. I lived in Hollywood, FL for ten years – 1983 to 1993 and found it very enjoyable. I was born and raised in Orlando, FL. The last paragraph of your post is a great way to look at life. Thank you for linking to Tuesday Chatter.
It’s interesting to know that all it takes for you to see a place you’ve known for so long in a different perspective is by being away from that place for so long. It gives you new ideas of a place you thought you knew so well, strange huh?