Thursday, May 20, 2010

Florida's Sunshine State: Home Sweet Home

Travel writer Dee Farrell currently lives and works in Australia - when she's not renewing her driver's license and post office box and voting in her former home state of Florida. She's lived in the capital city of Tallahassee, once a sleepy college town, and at the furtherest tip in Key West, a.k.a. The Conch Republic. She's been gone for 15 years, and things have changed. Not to mention the impending "high test" oil slick hitting her beloved beaches on the Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico. Paddle on!

Here in North Florida, the weather can change every 10 minutes. I've even experienced simultaneous rain in the front yard and sunshine in the backyard. This visit has been pleasantly cool, not too humid or "buggy." I ventured to the far beaches, paddled down a river, went lake fishing, and erstwhile drove around visiting my former abodes of 35 years ago. Seeing friends and family has been warm, as if I never left, but the traffic congestion and crime has been a shock. Oh well, progress, eh?

St. George Island is still pristine (pre-oil spill arrival), and the local catches of shrimp, mullet, and oysters plump and tasty as I remember. (I paid $4 for a half-dozen versus $4 each in NYC at the Fresh Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station last month!)

Other favorite foods I've been goughing on? Boiled Peanuts, Smoked Mullet, Crayfish and farm-grown trout in lieu of local catfish that I devoured regularly with lots of hush puppies on the side. (The source - Lake Talquin Inn - is closed. So is world fanous Poseys at St. Mark's Refuge and Lighthouse Point where I used to peel pounds of shrimp at a sitting with my local seaf00d-loving mates.)


Candace said...

Thank you Ms.Adventure for posting positive info about Franklin County/St. George Island/Apalachicola. We are "oil-free" and we are very optimistic about our situation. Our seafood is as delicious as ever and the beaches and Bay are pristine. We encourage everyone to visit as soon as you can because our community needs your support right now. There's been way too much misinformation in the national media and it's beginning to hurt. If you don't mind a plug - please visit for more info about the area and for accommodations in one of our vacation rental homes.

Online Coaches said...

I wrote my post after a holiday resort tryst on St. George Island - which was empty. Nevertheless, I kept the economy going with shopping in Apalachicola and proudly am wearing my new Apalachicola Oysters t-shirt.
My fisherman friend says the shrimp have never looked better, and the cup oysters we made into a stew were fabulously tasty.

I hope the negative publicity subsides and visitors return to one of the best places in Hidden Florida.