Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts on Florida

I am back in the Midwest, bronzed and not ready for Milwaukee. With a -30 degree wind chill tonight I have officially experienced a 100-degree temperature swing in one day. It was an awful day to return to the upper Midwest, but I had no choice.

What to write about Florida? I had never been there so there was a lot to take in and analyze. Some words and thoughts come to the forefront of my mind…

Silicone – I’ve never seen so many women with fake boobs. Florida is perhaps tied with California in the vanity-off competition in my head.

Rich – Talk about wealth. Florida is not only where rich Americans spend the winter, it is also the place to be for the international jet set crowd. Big houses. Bigger yachts. Bentleys. Rolls Royce. BMWs are child’s play.

Poor – Like in most rich communities there is a stark contrast between the people that come to play and the people working to serve them year round. There must be low-income housing for Fort Lauderdale residents, but it is hidden very well.

We are in a recession? – Walking into a mall like Ft. Lauderdale’s Galleria makes you question this. Valet parking. Coach. Louis Vuitton. Burberry. I looked in PacSun. Ha.

Spoiled – I am going to go ahead and write about the school we were training at. It is a private school for K-12 in south Florida. I just pulled these numbers for student tuition and fees off of their website. All amounts are for one year. Pre-K and K (full day) - $17,985. Grades one through five - $19,085. Grades six through eight - $20,490. Grades nine through twelve - $21,990. By the looks of it, these kids seem to be getting a great education, or are at least exposed to great education opportunities. That is awesome, but I wondered the whole time I was there if they really appreciate how fortunate they are to attend a school like this? Of course I was being judgmental and unfair (not many tweens are appreciative of anything).

Aston Martin – I think a school employee drove an Aston Martin. Other employee cars included large Mercedes sedans and Porsches.

Warm – It is hard to believe that after two quick flights I can get from Milwaukee to Florida and upper 70s, lower 80s weather. Florida is warm all year long. I knew this before visiting, but the visit brought a little more validity to this statement.

Beautiful – I understand why many people retire to Florida. It is beautiful. Weather was perfect. There would be that issue about hurricane season though.

Old – So many old people. We went to Dunkin Donuts a few mornings after practices and it was full of elderly folk who looked like they came their every morning. I quickly became depressed with the thought of growing old and moving to Florida and waiting to die and to do the same exact thing every single day for the last 20 years of my life and to show up at this ugly Dunkin Donuts to get the same cup of coffee and the jelly-filled donut and sit down and read the paper and then go home, having nothing else to do the rest of the day. I lost my appetite standing in line and thinking about that. What a tragic way to whittle away the waning years of a life.

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