The most important thing to note about this Starbucks, in my opinion, is the fact that it’s DECEMBER. Gainsville has weather akin to my beloved Bay Area, but sunnier and more humid. It surprised me a little to see alligators on the Florida theme mugs, but then, should I really be surprised by that while visiting the Gator Nation? I’m really into the Misto these days, and this one did not disappoint. Neither did reading outside for an hour the day before Christmas…
In a recent drive through Waldo, Florida on the way to the awesome Waldo Flea Market and Antique Village (the biggest in North Florida!!), I was surprised to find that this Florida Ghost Town looks a lot like the midwest – just warmer and with more palm trees. The trains come less frequently, the downtown district is full of empty storefronts and vacant lots, and there wasn’t a person to be found.
Going throughout these sorts of towns in the Midwest I usually find that I can place a lot of the blame on Wal-Mart. The big box that pays small salaries has obliterated much of our once-thriving small town squares and downtown districts. While I don’t know this to be the reason for the state of Waldo, I’m sure that Mr. Walton isn’t far behind.
There is an odd beauty to these little ghost towns, and while this isn’t my home, it reminds me of all of our homes in small town America, and why we left.
Exhausted by dodging rich ladies doing their Christmas shopping (apparently many people waiting to lay down cash for Christmas anticipating the end of the world), Starbucks was an imperative stop.
It was a misto. It was really busy and took awhile to get my coffee, but then I remembered what it was like to work at my store on Michigan Avenue. I sympathize with every customer I ever had on a Friday during shopping season, and thank you for your patience.
I would also like to point out to my friends and family in the Midwest, that while you are digging out from a foot of snow I’m posing besides palm trees. Ah, to be a Floridian for a week…
Assuming that the Mayans were right…. or rather, assuming that some interpretations of the end of the Mayan calendar were right…
This is it.
My last day on earth, and certainly my last post on One Crafty Lady.
Taking that into consideration, my day today in Sarasota, FL was probably a pretty good way to ring in the end of human civilization:
After spending the morning at Lido Beach, the three muskateers (that’s me, the gf, and her mom) had lunch at the delightfully tacky Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Village. Tacky in a good way… Sports on TV, good service, a table above the street, and country music in the background. I had a nice chicken fajita wrap and key lime pie. I mean, you can’t come to Florida and not eat key lie pie, right?
Anyway, after lunch we headed to the acclaimed Siesta Beach. I’ve been on plenty of beaches, but “they” say this one is #1 in the US. I can’t confirm or deny this, but I will say that Siesta Beach is big, uncrowded (at least today it was), and full of soft white sand like I’ve never seen*.
And as I type, I’m enjoying a nice salad, glass of wine, good company, streaming wifi, and freshly washed hair. A nice way to spend the end of the world.
* After reading a historical marker, I came to find out that the unbelievably soft sand on Siesta Key is mostly quartz that came down rivers as sediment from the Appalachian Mountains. Given some of my previous travels, I found this to be especially apropos.
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