Pre-season, In Season

I’ve enjoyed visiting both, and lately, I’ve been thinking that Florida supplants Texas as the state that’s “like a whole ‘nother country”.  The tropical climate and exotic flora and fauna not often experienced elsewhere in the USA almost transport the mind to another place and time.

palm tree

But like they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location! And the same is true of vacation travel. Heading down again this year to the Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie area for a Division III NCAA college baseball tournament, we opted this time to stay near the water on Hutchinson Island, a few miles away from the baseball diamonds.

balcony room

Last year, being totally unfamiliar with the area, we holed up the first few days in a small corporate chain hotel right off the highway on the mainland near a truckstop. But for the palm trees, and that gecko crawling up the wall of a gas station, we might have thought we were still near Rt. 295 in South Jersey. Although an hour or so drive up the road in Vero Beach afforded us the opportunity to see the big lizards via airboat ride.

airboat

gator in the grass

gator face

That hour drive in any give direction might take you to an ocean, a river, a lake, a swamp, or a casino or luxury resort. In fact, a number of places can offer you the whole gamut ranging from breakfast with grits and a case of beer to bait and tackle and firearms and ammunition. Even before Trump-mania hit the Palm Beach area, the state has long been a hotbed of often bizarre political activity (as evidenced by this gas station signage from last year’s trip):

bumper sticker

Several cities in the region host spring training for Major League Baseball teams. The Mets are close by, but the LA Dodgers left for Arizona a few years ago, even though historic Dodgertown remains as yet another multi-field facility for tournaments and such. However, our favorite college games count in the standings, although many of them involve out of conference opponents. Northeast college teams need to start the season in warmer climates to get a whole season in before the end of the spring term.

bleachers

So this year’s trip to Florida was fun, funky, and filled with exquisite views of land and seas.

cypress trees and Spanish moss

Cypress Trees Covered in Spanish Moss

osprey

Osprey Nesting

You could say we came for the baseball but stayed to savor the flavors of food and drink (especially seafood) and to take in the sights of early spring on Florida’s beautiful coastline. And Delaware Valley University won another MAC Freedom Conference game today!

close up

GO AGGIES!

coaches

Coaches Exchange Lineup Cards At Home Plate

sunset

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