Flocking to Florida, and back again

Sign at Florida welcome center on I-95

Sign at Florida Welcome Center on I-95

Here come the Canadians – and the New Yorkers, Mainers, and more. While we generally try to avoid traffic, driving to Florida the weekend before Christmas, at the start of North Americans’ migration to warmer climes, put Wessel and me in the thick of things.

Ontario - Yours to discover

These snow birds leave it to others to discover Ontario

The most direct north-to-south route, Interstate 95, was filled with out-of-state cars, most bearing license plates from New York (“The Empire State”),  Ontario (“Yours To Discover”) and  Quebec (“Je Me Souviens”). But we saw a little bit of everything from up the East Coast and over to eastern Midwest. Cars were packed with luggage, packages, toys, kids, and dogs. One pickup, from New York, was towing four jet skis and a canoe.

Dachshunds Roxy (top) and Sabrina took a 12-hour nap in Diane's lap

Dachshunds Roxy (top) and Sabrina took a 12-hour nap on Diane's lap

We had a full car as well – two humans, two wiener dogs, two bicycles and a load o’ stuff in a two-door Honda Civic. Me being the alpha (bitch?), Roxy and Sabrina feel the need to be by my side at all times, so driving positions are aligned to accommodate loving on them. (Some would say this is wrong, but if loving them is wrong, I don’t want to be right.)

I often make the 12-hour trek from North Carolina alone, so having Wessel along to share the driving was a treat. We stopped at many rest areas, and, as always, Florida’s was the best, with its free orange and grapefruit juice.

Santa had some dowtime on the beach after Christmas

Santa had some downtime on the beach after Christmas

Many of the retired Canucks will be staying in the Sunshine State through early spring, and who can blame them? Last week, while it was frigid and snowy in the north, we were jogging along Indian Rocks Beach, bicycling, kayaking with manatees, watching nightly sunsets, and feeling the warm ocean breeze.

Me, I’ll be heading back to North Carolina on New Year’s Eve, and I’m sure I won’t be alone on the road. I will be alone in the car, however. Wessel flew home yesterday so he could hurry back to the office, whereas my office stays with me. Sometimes I use the great guidebook “Drive I-95″ by Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner , which leads me to fascinating diversions along the way, but Wednesday it will be a straight-through trip so I can settle in at home before the ball drops. See you on the road.

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5 Responses to “Flocking to Florida, and back again”

  1. alice Says:

    I’m trying to feel what hot sunshine on flesh would be like as I sit here in my (handmade) red Green Mountain Spinnery Jacket, jeans, and wool socks and when I leave my house in a few minutes with the red fleece, purple wool scarf, red and yellow wool hat, and red felted mittens in order to battle our winter winds.

  2. karel Says:

    I heard and saw in the news that, from coast to coast, northern US and Canada were under a hugh load of snow. And even then your message of an overcrowd I-95 must lead to the conclusion that the I-95 has to be widened as soon as possible

  3. didaniel Says:

    Well at least you’re fashionable, Alice. And remember that I still get snow envy!

  4. didaniel Says:

    Well, Karel, I hope widening the highway isn’t the obvious answer, but I’m sure it will keep happening anyway.

  5. judy Says:

    Hey Diane! If ever you get down this way, please drop in! Would love to see you again.
    judy wade

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