Wanderlust Wednesday: Florida

My memories of my one visit to Florida in 1998 weren’t warming me up (ha) for my recent trip. The weather was like an electric blanket I couldn’t get away from. One of my host’s friends was attacked by fire ants while she stood talking in the street. The area seemed like one car ride after another to Walmart and other chain stores. I couldn’t see the appeal.

Mr. V’s family lives on the opposite side of the state, on the Atlantic coast.  Beaches, suburbia, and hot weather don’t do much for me.  But I was pleasantly surprised by finding a lot of local character still preserved (as well as a good amount of Obama bumper stickers, to balance the local Republican flavor) and allowed myself to watch rustling palm trees, wiggle my toes in the sand, and chill (in the heat). South of Indiatlantic, the condos petered out, leaving a rather rural road with  quiet beaches.

Redfish with crab/shrimp cake at Squid Lips. I think they should have used a spoon on the mashed potatoes, rather than an ice cream scoop. The pineapple coconut bread is kind of weird, but fresh.

I didn’t get a photograph of the Cuban meal my mother-in-law and sister-in-law prepared for our visit: marinated steaks, black beans and rice, malanga fritters (a root vegetable shredded, mixed with egg and salt and fried) and a huge, dense flan (food that makes Mr. V very happy). I noticed that many houses had these huge steel constructs over their backyards that made them look like prison compounds – however – they were incredible to sit within: no bugs, no leaves in the pool, and no gators. I suggested to Mr. V that we might consider a career change.

 

Breakfast heaven at The Blueberry Muffin in Indiatlantic. I put aside my concerns about carbon offsets and enjoyed their Maine-sourced blueberries. I don’t care much about muffins generally, but these muffins and pancakes were the best. Plus, there were no “We Built That” signs blazoned all over the restaurant, unlike the first breakfast place we attempted to enter.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.