Tag Archive for 'Florida'

Feral Child in Florida

If you’ve got a few min­utes, read this heart­break­ing sto­ry of a fer­al child in Flori­da:

Three years ago the Plant City police found a girl lying in her roach-infest­ed room, naked except for an over­flow­ing dia­per. The child, pale and skele­tal, com­mu­ni­cat­ed only through grunts. She was almost 7 years old.”

There is also a com­pan­ion mul­ti­me­dia piece, with a video slideshow about Danielle’s progress, includ­ing speech ther­a­py ses­sions.

If you’re curi­ous about life in this small Flori­da farm­ing town, the New York­er has an unre­lat­ed piece on Plant City this week.

Day 3: On to Key West

After break­fast as Magrove Mike’s in Islam­ora­da, we start­ed head­ing west. We stopped briefly at the Bahia Hon­da State Park Beach for some sun and splash. I read, while Pres­ley napped.

Arriv­ing in Key West, we missed the Sun­set cel­e­bra­tion because I need­ed to find an Inter­net Cafe—my boss called me and told me that I had for­got­ten to sub­mit my timesheet, and if I would like to get paid, I had bet­ter do so. So, after the busi­ness was tak­en care of at the Sip­pin’ Cafe, we checked in the La Pen­sione Inn on Tru­man Ave. near Duvall Street. Appar­ent­ly Har­ry S spent some time here.

Head­ing out onto Duvall Street should be an adven­ture, but we found most of the restu­ar­ants and bars to be lack­ing in patrons—maybe it’s the time of the year. After walk­ing around for what seemed like hours, we set­tled on Caroline’s Cafe for din­ner, because you could sit out­side and drink Mar­gar­i­tas and Coro­nas while watch­ing rev­el­ers on the street. God, there are so many old peo­ple here!

After down­ing a few drinks with din­ner, (I had the Mahi-Mahi cooked cajun style, Pres­ley had a whole cooked chick­en, I kid you not), we decid­ed to hit a few bars. There was the Irish bar, with the vil­lage drunks (and no females), and then there was the Karaoke bar next to Crab­by Dicks, with Marie behind the bar, and Karaoke’ers belt­ing our Coun­try songs in the back. At least there were some women at this place… Pres­ley did a rous­ing ren­di­tion of Cheap Trick’s I Want You to Want Me, though I think this crowd didn’t appre­ci­ate it as much as I did.

Day 2: Key Largo, Snorkeling & Sailing

What a busy day! We got up this morn­ing, deter­mined to go snor­kel­ing. We’ve learned one thing about Key Largo—there is utter­ly noth­ing worth doing in Key Largo besides snor­kel­ing, div­ing and out­door activ­i­ties. We rent­ed a dual kayak, and pad­dled around the man­groves in the Pen­nekamp State Park .

And, at 1:30, we took a 38’ Cata­ma­ran sail­ing out to the coral reef, strapped on some fins and masks, and plunged into the 72-degree water to look at fish. Even though 72-degrees sounds like warm water, it’s bet­ter to wear a wet-suit, though it will make you look ridicu­lous. We saw these blue and yel­low zebra fish, a foot-long rain­bow look­ing fish, and some gray bar­racu­d­as who looked una­mused. Note for future ref­er­ence: bring clothes for the sail back to shore, no mat­ter what the cabana boys say in the gray shed.

Fol­low­ing the advice of our Cap­tain (what was his name?), an old for­mer hip­pie who had been sail­ing for 22 years, Pres­ley and I head­ed for Bentley’s, south to MM 83, for din­ner. As we arrived, we noticed a man and his daugh­ter that sailed with us ear­li­er in the day—apparently they took the same advice from the Cap­tain. We chat­ted at the bar with Danielle and Mr. Bern­stein from North Car­oli­na. She is a fresh­man at Vir­ginia Tech, study­ing chem­istry, which was my first major, after­all.

When we were final­ly seat­ed, we went a lit­tle over­board (pun?), and went with 1 dozen steamed clams. Pres­ley ordered a glass of Ries­ling, and the Grassy Key Lime Yel­low­tail, and I asked for a glass of Fume Blanc from Sono­ma, and the Yel­low­tail stuffed with crab meat. mmmm… This was def­i­nite­ly the place to eat, though I think Ballyhoo’s has bet­ter food, (though, in a much more casu­al atmos­phere).

Day 1, Part I: Boston to Miami Beach

It’s freez­ing! tem­per­a­ture is in the teens, and we’re late out the door to Logan. Since we live clos­est to the Green line , we decide to walk over the Charles to the B-line. But, tem­per­a­ture is in the teens! I’m wear­ing a light jean jack­et with a thick wool turtle­neck sweater, a knit hat, but no gloves! Pulling my suit­case around the rotary, and onto the bridge—it’s sooo cold. And it’s almost 7am. Our flight leaves at 8:05!

Pres­ley hands me one of her gloves (for the suit­case-car­ry­ing hand), and we both bury our bare hand in a pock­et. Speed-walk­ing down across the bridge, I start to get ner­vous on time—we’re liv­ing under Orange-alert these days and Logan isn’t the eas­i­est thing to get to with­out dri­ving…

Des­per­ate mea­sures! We call Boston Cab, and have them meet us on the Boston side of the Charles. 5 min­utes lat­er, a cab pulls up, and our dri­ver throws our suit­cas­es in the trunk. I’m glad to be out of the cold.

15 min­utes later—7:15—we’re pulling up to Ter­mi­nal C, hav­ing trav­elled south­bound in the new big dig tun­nel for the first time. The fare is $22.15, thought the dri­ver says he hit the wrong but­ton and over­charges… I give him $30—far too much, but he got us there quick, and that kind of solace is worth a 50% tip.

Just made it through secu­ri­ty to board our Song Air­lines flight to Ft. Laud­erdale. As cheery and styl­ish the new Song brand­ing is, the brand doesn’t extend well into the cab­in. Sure, the seats are leather, but they’re this odd light blue col­or, and each seat has a bright accent leather—pink, green, orange. I think that it’s sup­posed to be styl­ish, but it comes off look­ing like an air­line for the Romper Room set… very Micky Mouse. Per­haps Kate Spade hasn’t put her final touch­es on yet.