Back in January I moved from Tennessee to the State of Florida. I couldn’t stand the idea of living through another cold winter. My plan was to check out Florida first and then head to Arizona if I didn’t find any place in Florida to settle. I’ve always liked the idea of living some place for a little while then moving on to another town or city. I think I have a short attention span. It takes me about a year to see all there is in a particular area. After that I get bored. I wonder if there are other people out there like me.
Step one was to pack up all my stuff and put everything in storage. Step two was to pack up the car with what I thought I might need and head south. It was just me and my 14 year-old dog, Lucky. I felt kind of bad uprooting him at his advanced age, and yet, another part of me felt happy and excited that he was going to get to see the ocean. I wasn’t really sure how he was going to to do on a trip like this but he actually turned out to be an excellent traveling companion. After a week on the road I could see he was getting fatigued, but every morning he was ready to hop right back into the car and do it again.
I learned things about hotels on this trip. The rooms are different when you travel with a pet. I wasn’t aware that most hotel chains have two sets of rooms. One for people without pets and one for people who do. I wasn’t really used to the pet type of room. Our first night in a hotel, all Lucky could do was smell the carpeting. That made me extremely uncomfortable. I knew I wasn’t going to get one wink of sleep there so we left and slept in the car. Maybe I’m overly protective. I don’t know. I just didn’t like the idea of my buddy smelling who knows what. I worry about his health. I will never stay at another one of those hotels again. It was what I call the “Three D’s” – Dark, Dirty and Depressing.
That experience was eye opening and after that I sought out LaQuinta Hotels. They don’t have separate rooms for pets like most of the other hotel chains. Their rooms seemed to always be clean and smell nice and Lucky didn’t walk around smelling the floors. This made me feel that the rooms were clean. In addition, they have a points program where you can earn free nights. Here’s a link to their website if you want to check it out http://www.lq.com/en.html
I also learned that Florida’s a state that you can zig zag across pretty easily. It only takes about 2-3 hours to get across. It’s not like Texas where it takes a day and a half! It’s a very flat state and there’s not much to see once you leave the coastlines except for orange groves.
We ended up settling in a place called Palm Harbor which is on the west coast of Florida. It’s near Clearwater and Tampa. It’s a pretty little town and I enjoy being close to the water. The only downside I’ve encountered so far is that there seems to be an abundance of rude people here. It’s hard to ignore them on the roadways and in the stores. If you’re driving down the road here and turn on your blinker to change lanes, people will speed up so you can’t get in! Hell No!! I’m amazed to see people riding on motorcycles without helmets, especially on US Highway 19. That’s taking your life into your hands!
It’s the same in the supermarkets. People will run your ass over with their shopping cart just to get to the deli section before you do. I want to say, “Calm down! It’s just bologna!” People take their cold cuts very seriously down here. I’ve never encountered this level of rudeness before. It makes me laugh but it makes me angry too. For this reason I’ll probably move on from this state once my lease is over. I don’t want to become like that and that’s probably what would happen if I stay here. I think it’s fun though to see how different people are in different parts of the country. I’ve always been the quiet one observing people so this is perfect for me!