5/23/2000

Thursday we drove down the

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:27 pm

Thursday we drove down the east coast of Florida. I’d never been to Florida before, but I was looking forward to the drive. Florida has always been an enigma to me. So many contradictory images floating around in my head, all from TV, movies, and other media. Probably the same images you have — huge expanses of cities. Lots of orange groves (Florida Oranges: A Colorful Story). Produce farms. Theme parks. Beaches. Resorts. Swamps (and swamp-apes). Kidnapped Cuban boys. (Sorry. That was uncalled for.) More cities. A billion retired people living the good life. Also, the odd fact that Florida is the number one cattle producing state in the nation, growing more cows than even Texas (and they’ve joined the ranks of the cattle mutilation mystery). Don’t ask why I just happened to know that last fact. I know things like that for no good reason. It’s part of what makes me who I am (read: “A dork.”). But you see why Florida confused me. Those images just don’t go together, and on the map, Florida looks like too small of a place to have all that. On the map, it looks like a long curved beach with swamp in the middle. Where do the cows live? As it turns out, Florida’s much bigger than the maps let on. That long bit that sticks out into the ocean is really quite long. And filled with cows. And orange groves. And cities. And swamp. Usually, all within sight of each other. And there’s something that don’t show on the movies or TV (well, maybe on Dateline or 20/20, but I don’t watch them): landfills. Big mountainous stinky landfills. Up and down the interstate, with condo subdivisions build right in their shadows. And they’re tall enough to have shadows, too (take a virtual tour here). I guess they can’t bury their trash in Florida, because they might poke a hole in the bottom and sink the whole state. I guess I’ll research that some and get back to you.

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