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Tuesday, March 06, 2012


18th Hole, Johns Island

It rained in Florida..., but only when we were driving.


Florida has a very interesting system of toll roads: no one tells you ahead of time that exact change is required to exit the road.

Let it sink in.
I think that the enforcement is lenient. I had to go through a toll booth where the currency machines were non-functioning and I did not have $1 in change, so I stopped at the nearest toll booth (and there are a whole bunch of them around Orlando... it seems like they are every 2 to 3 miles, as if every 2 mile segment of road has its own toll!) where there was a Florida Expressway Authority office (a sham building, actually... no one is usually in the office in an official capacity) and inquired how to go about reimbursing the State of Florida for the $1 I had just chivvied them out of.
The old Asian gentleman who emerged from the locked door of the office (and who I think was the husband of the old Indian lady who worked the Cash toll booth through which I had just driven) gave me info which said that the Florida Expressway Yadda-yadda-yadda knew that sometimes coins were in short supply... just do not make a habit out of jumping toll booths... or else!
We shall see.
If nothing else, I shall always remember the small clan from Poona who worked the toll booths and offices on the 417 and 528 around Orlando International. I liked the idea of a caste of toll gatherers and publicans and what-not.

Airport Security

I found the airport security at both DTW and MCO to be efficient, professional, and polite. I actually felt better that there was such security. I seem to recall supporting Ron Paul's kvetching about a pat-down at some airport; well, I take it back. Ron Paul's a Congressman, and - as such - is used to thinking of himself as above the law.

In Detroit, they had the latest scanning equipment: the Total Recall type scanners that left nothing to the imagination. I hope I do not see my scans showing up on the Internet any time soon... sort of like if Rush Limbaugh wanted scans of my airport high jinks so that the taxpayers could see their airport security tax dollars at work.

Johns Island, Florida

This was our first port of call, just north of Vero Beach, and we were mightily impressed. Our friends with whom we were staying told us that they thought it was originally started by some automobile company executives. This was surprising, since automobile executives are not known for good taste, at least not in the present age.
As we looked into it, we discovered the Johns Island development started with E. Llwyd Ecclestone, a Detroit area builder who eventually went to Florida and developed the Palm Beach PGA National, and his Grosse Pointe neighbor, James E. Gibson, who received a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan.
Roy Chapin III and his wife, the daughter of E. Llwyd Ecclestone,  were involved, but it was his father, Roy Chapin II, who had been the head of American Motors in the 1950's.

Beach Club, Johns Island

Lovely spot.

We flew home on February 29. There had been tornadoes in Missouri the night before, and the entire weather system looked like a rehearsal for the big show that struck 3 days later. In fact, when I looked at the NASA satellite pictures of both systems, they were very similar as they swept through the country.
It was a pretty good flight home.
When we landed, it was 38 degrees, foggy, and pretty dismal. There was very little evidence of snow. Ou sont les neiges d'antan? Where are the snows of yesteryear?

Brave New World, and the second part of my life.


Baysage said...

Florida is lovely, and I miss it. But I especially miss my friends there. It's tough leaving friends, especially at the age I'm at.

Montag said...

You may take comfort in your Santorum-supporting friends in OK.

I saw an OK artist in Naples, a Ms. Kemper, who had some very nice monotytpe prints.