Lake Worth, FL- A place so culturally diverse, from Miami’s neon lights and drug culture, the vacation homes of America’s tycoons to the hunting and dumping grounds of murders. Often the butt of many jokes and containing the largest population of elderly. Chances are you’ve been here—the one and only Florida.
Imagine this, you wake up one morning and find yourself surrounded by white beaches. Where you came from was cold and grey, but here, you are surrounded by turquoise waters and great seafood.
The home I stayed at was in Lake Worth, Florida. It’s near West Palm Beach and Wellington. Waking up after travelling in December from Virginia, it amazed me to see the vibrant blue skies and iguanas sunbathing.
It’s hard to believe that not too far away, in the Florida Everglades, officers and hikers find over 70 bodies per year.
The first establishment we stopped at was the Dune Deck Café, an ocean-front restaurant and bar. Known for some of the best scenery in SoFlo (southern Florida), it becomes clear that the openness and clear visibility of the white sands like powdered sugar, is what attracts many to stay. I ordered Conch Fritters and Mahi Mahi tacos. I decided to dive straight into the beach life and combine my meal with an “Electric Blue Lemonade,” made with blue curacao and vodka complete with a tiny umbrella.
As a guest in sacred Florida, home of the notorious “Florida Man,” it is easy to drift away and let your worries from home vanish while under the sun. Seagulls gently glide as they navigate the light breeze. The weather? Perfect. Not too hot, not too cold…at least for us non-locals who do not wear snow jackets for weather below 70 degrees.
Whether you are a stereotypical tourist or a “snowbird,” here, that’s ok. No one judges you because there is nothing to judge. You come to Florida to escape. Escaping is a specialty around these parts. An assortment of colorful drinks and comfort foods inform your taste buds and palate that, “yes, you have arrived at serenity.”
People here (Florida) feel the same as the ones who first step off a plane and make their way to any beach along the shore, a slower downshift towards a more relaxed pace of life. Serenity is a commodity found throughout the state. There are many ways to unwind and forget about responsibilities, obligations, and motivations. Breathe in the crisp fresh air and let your mind wander.
The light breeze, perfect weather, colorful characters, and questionable fashion choices found throughout remind you to take in the surroundings. Blink and you will miss something you would not see anywhere else. So far on this trip. I have seen a golden BMW, a fleet of Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, a cowboy with red boots, a fight almost break out in a clinic, and I’ve fired a loaded gun at a target with the appearance of a zombie terrorist.
Florida is like the culmination of Americans who let their imaginations run wild and free. When everything experienced here sounds made up, it is easy to go along with whatever your heart desires and forget about the real world.