Living in North Florida has many facets that are unseen to the casual observer. Back when I moved here in 1989, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was thick and pungent, and not pleasant.
I asked the locals about the ever present stench, and they said it was the papermills. Paper mills that made paper towels, facial tissue (whatever that is) and all other sorts of paper. It was a rotten odor, but you quickly got used to it.
That smell ruined the mornings, though. Reminded me of the high humidity and swamps. When living in the UK, I missed that smell and the brown water that flows up the chain of lakes called the St Johns river.
So when we get back, do I smell the paper mills? Why no. Now, because of heavy government involvement, that stupid Superbowl of 2005 and the "Better Jacksonville" thing, we don't have the smell.
But we do have the highest murder rate in Florida. Even greater than the rate in Miami Dade-Port Au Prince County!
I'm all about lauding accomplishment.
If we is gonna call usself's the Fust Coast, we better be the First Coast!
But I wanted to talk about why I like it here.
I refuse to live North of Interstate Ten. It snows up there. And in Georgia, it still has that ole papermill smell. They have plenty of murders, but you don't hear too much about it. Maybe the Okefenokee Swamp keeps better secrets?
Maybe that's what caused the murder rate to climb; The lack of the smell causes a frustration from joblessness, or for that matter, too much oxygen which generates energy to go out and do something. You know, like whacking your buddies at the local teen club.
Anyway, Let's read about something fun...
What I like is that on Tuesday, I am planning a trip which will take place Saturday to the Outback Crab Shack ! Three hours from our homeport, but another world in locale and attitude.
View Larger Map
I don't really get too enthused about seafood and gator, but the rural ambience Rocks! Like seeing a boat show on the water, since all the cool kids bring their boats to the Crabshack.
We will get underway on Saturday, about 0900. Make way to the fifteen hundred foot dock up Six Mile creek. Once there we shall dine on whatever the Spousal Unit desires. (She can eat her own weight in crab meat, to steal a phrase). While there we will look for the wild gators that lurk in the reeds, and watch bass fishermen pull in the big 'uns.
When walking in, you are greeted by stuffed and mounted gators and other wildlife. A sign instructs all patrons that "Free Beer, tomorrow"!
Sign me up for that.
On Saturday nights, they put up a tent to handle the overflow crowd. It's old Florida, 1940's tourist Florida, at its best.
Some Calumet High Alum's enjoying Outback Chow on a Saturday Night
Useless trivia; George Gipp was a Calumet High graduate. Six degrees, baby!
We will stay for lunch. Then it is off for Plummer's Cove for a Navy "Raft Up". Dinner is supposed to be Cajun style, provided from the Louisiana immigrants from the mighty houseboat, "Bebe", and the crew of Lee and the lovely Cheryl.
View Larger Map
Only they don't know we are coming. Barco Sin Vela II weighs at least five times "Bebe's" tonnage. Could be interesting... Nah, we'll anchor separately and invite "Bebe" to tie up to us.
I hope they have red beans and rice and maybe some Gumbo....
That is why I like North Florida; Always something to do, a world apart, but a couple hours away.