I like Florida. I’ve been visiting Florida since I was a child. We always went to Ft. Lauderdale because that’s where my dad went when he was a child. One winter we tried Orlando but it wasn’t warm enough, Florida enough. So we headed south and ended up in Ft. Lauderdale again. I love Ft. Lauderdale; I love the Atlantic-side of Florida.
But Ft. Lauderdale is like Miami North. It’s developed. It’s crowded. It bustles … which is great, but sometimes it’s nice to not have bustle. Sometimes it’s nice to have the beach to yourself, to not be bothered by panhandlers, to not hear any cars.
I’ve fallen in love with Florida’s Forgotten Coast (a name that stuck after the area was left off an early map of Florida). There’s no bustle here. Houses are relatively inexpensive — 100s of thousands instead of 10s of millions. There are no highrises until you get to Panama City, a city worth avoiding. The Forgotten Coast is vintage Florida instead of developed Florida. It has fisherman and crowds of sea scallops instead of Realtors and crowds of partiers. There are sea kayaks instead of cigarette boats.
And I love it. I want to live here and eat oysters until I can’t bear the sight of another one. Someday …