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.