Marcia and I have been in the Sunshine State for over a week, as part of our ongoing Winter of Warmth Campaign, fleeing frigid Iowa for more pleasant climes, and following earlier trips to Spain, New Mexico and Arizona. While the weather here is lovely, and we’ve gotten lots of great walks in, being away from home as COVID-19 erupts and global markets collapse has been disconcerting, needless to say.
Places that should be mobbed are quiet or closed, and public events that we might have considered are mostly cancelled. Which is good and right. We are practicing social distancing ourselves and monitoring the situation as best we can, keeping safe and smart, and listening to the experts, always. We hope that science and a sense of shared social responsibility carry the day(s) here, even as we worry about the volume of stupid that social media and some suspect politicians are spewing right now.
As it turns out, I had been planning to drive up to South Carolina to see my mother this weekend, but we chatted and decided that it would be best to delay that visit, given her risk factors for respiratory infection. I also learned this week that the Iceland Writers Retreat that I was planning to attend in April has been cancelled, and we have a couple of other trips booked in April and May that we will be evaluating when we get home. I strongly suspect that we will bail on them, opting to hunker down in Iowa instead, hoping that spring thaw might arrive there sometime soon.
All of that being said, I’ve been outside snapping pics as I always do when I travel, while being mindful of personal safety ranges and steering clear of other human beings as best I can. I’m averaging about 12 miles per day walking, according to my pedometer, so I am seeing a lot of sights. The nice thing about keeping that active is that it makes snacking less guilt-inducing, and we did find a fave daily desert stop while in Tampa: Hyppo Ybor. Their fresh popsicles are to ZOMFG for, and I was especially wild about their Horchata and Pistachio-Rosewater ones (dipped in chocolate, of course). Highly recommended, once it’s safe to be out snacking again. I hope they make it through the likely shutdown to come.
In closing, and with tongue planted firmly in cheek, if you do not know the inspiration for this post’s title, I picked it in homage to America’s Worst Superhero. To learn more about this legend’s exploits, go to Google right now and search for “Florida Man + [your birthday]” to see the headlines for what he did on your own special day. For me, it’s “Florida Man climbs on playground equipment to tell children where babies come from.” Hmmm, alright then. On with the pictures . . .
UPDATE, MARCH 18: We made it home this afternoon, and are glad to be in our nest for the hunkering down time. If you want to see a few more pictures of the trip, here’s the gallery.