Travel Florida: The Trip to my Margaretaville

It is a trip that should take three days when you are dragging a UHaul and have a cat and dog with you. For the latter reason, it took us a little over two days. We didn’t want to stress the cat and dog. It turns out that it didn’t – stress the cat and dog, that is. It did stress us. Almost 1200 miles under those conditions is daunting. When you have a portion of your worldly goods with you and the welfare of two little creatures on your mind, it’s more daunting. When you spend the trip wondering if you’re doing the right thing, it’s stress on top of stress. Such were the conditions under which I traveled from Kentucky to South Florida to move into my new little home, to live there part time. I arrived earlier this afternoon. Tonight, I’m still so ramped up that, as usual, I can’t sleep.

On the plus side, the farther we drove down the Florida peninsula, the happier I got. I love South Florida. The more tropical it looks, the better I like it. This from a girl with a Swedish background. It got hotter and hotter until, by the time we reached St. James City, Florida, our destination, it was truly hot. Around 89 degrees today with humidity to match, though not as humid as at the height of summer here. I call this place Margaretaville. Let me explain.

I stopped at a convenience store on the road leading to the bridge that goes off to my island and, before I left the store, I was giggling out loud at the cast of characters in the store. An older, very jolly guy, in an orange tank top and white short shorts, strumming Beach Boy songs on his guitar….inside the store. No, not Jimmy Buffet, but close. The girl behind the counter recognized me from my last visit only a month and a half ago. She asked me what I was doing back and when I told her we’d bought a place there, she came out from behind the counter hugged me and told me how much fun we’d have. She was decades my junior. A large sign was posted over the counter saying, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” Believe me, I was more than ready for five o’clock and everything that went with it! Everyone in the store was talking about the manatees and their babies hanging out at the docks and how many nesting pairs of bald eagles had been spotted this season. The latest gossip was that Justin Timberlake, and stretch limo, had been spotted at the local Winn-Dixie. 

Each of you who knows me personally and well, already knows what a kick I got out of all this! 

On we went the few remaining miles to our little place in the sun. No critters were lodged inside to be chased out! But since the sellers had left, it had been locked up and the inside was hotter than the gates of hell. The A/C is still roaring full steam ahead. You see, when you leave your place in far South Florida in the summer and you are as close to the coast as I am, you normally don’t leave on the power. Why? If a hurricane comes your way and you get wind damage, you don’t want your place to burn down as well, so everyone cuts off the electricity when they leave. Who am I to question the wisdom of that?

As the neighbors spotted the UHaul, some of them started appearing in the yard. Some with a bottle of wine. Others with a mixed drink to stick into our hands. Some with the latest news. So many people on this island are from somewhere else and everyone gets along famously. Gives me renewed faith in the human race. 

As we went to work on the beginning phases of unloading our stuff from the UHaul, I found myself smiling. I love this place! I’m so glad to be back! Stay tuned for the Adventures in Margaretaville…..uh…….Pine Island yet to come!


  1. We are so glad you arrived safely on Pine Island, your sunny and warm slice of paradise. That was a long trip under “normal” conditions. You will have a great time in Florida with the Gulf in your back yard! Keep your excellent stories coming so your readers can share your adventures and good times. Wonderful article!

    Liked by 1 person

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