Recently, I decided to take a road trip and visit my old “stumping” grounds down in sunny South Florida. Sure, I have some family and friends living there and but it was the constant nagging of my younger brothers that pushed me to finally make the drive. They even said they’d give me a place to stay while I was down and since the hotels down there can be quite expensive, I couldn’t resist their offer. So, I packed up (about a weeks worth of clothes) gassed up the Honda Civic, and headed down to my destination in Davie, Florida. The idea of a road trip was quite liberating, to say the least, and I embraced that feeling with exciting and adventurous plots and plans for what I would do when I finally arrived. To cut a long road trip short, the trip was somewhat boring, and I made it to Davie safely, and it only took me 72 hours. So the trip itself was fun overall, but apart from the emotional reunions and unforgettable memories I made, there were a few downsides that occurred during my drive down and also while I was staying with my family. Before I elaborate on the “bad” events, lets quickly cover the “good” that took place.
Upsides & Downsides
The beaches were great with some new additions to the boardwalk since I’ve last visited. Also, downtown Davie has a nice dive bar called “the something barn,*” where ‘something’ is replacing the first part of the name because I can’t remember it for the life of me. The best part of my trip was the night after arriving; it was a Friday, and I had the urge to drink a couple of pints with some old friends and meet some interesting new people. Fate decided that University Drive was our destination where we spent some time at a great hookah bar followed by some beers at a cool little pub right in the middle of the bustling college town. After experiencing the local nightlife, the time was 9:45 pm and it was time to head home (I was sober and had two bottles of water an hour before driving). Halfway there, I suddenly realized the tank on my vape mod was empty and I had no juice to hold me over til the morning. Now, I’m a former smoker who switched a while back and believe me when I say this: ‘there is no bigger trigger to buy a pack of smokes than running out of e-juice at night when everything is closed.’ Hookah is great, but it doesn’t do the trick. So, in a panic, I asked Siri, to find me a vape shop in the area opened late, only expecting the worse. Of course, all shops were showing they were closed, except for one, which showed “closing soon” in Cooper City. Challenge Accepted! I raced down to the shop and arrived in the knick of time. When I first walked into Vape Masters, the brightly lit room was slightly intimidating but the two guys running the place were very welcoming and friendly. I came for e-juice and ended up spending an hour talking and learning with these two gentlemen, who were extremely knowledgeable and fun to talk to. I’ve been to some crappy vape shops in the area, as well as back where I live, and this place puts them all to shame. Humble and brightly lit, it doesn’t look like much from the start, but Vape Masters is a prime example of how looks can be deceiving, but in a positive way.
After buying my e-juice, I headed home and slept in til 2 pm the following day. It was a beautiful night but unfortunately, the only ‘nice night’ I had while visiting. Let’s backtrack to my drive down….
It wasn’t long into my drive before reality sunk in, and I began to remember the two main reasons I moved so far away in the first place. Thanks, reality; You ugly, spiteful, bitch.
Reason number one: Shitty people with shitty attitudes make for even shittier drivers.
I mean sure, every city, town, state, etc. on Earth has a portion of its population that should’ve never been born in the first place, but there’s just something about South Florida that seems to draw in the worst of them. Now I could elaborate on this topic if I wanted to, but for times sake, I’ll stick to a few specifics. For one, South Florida roads are polluted with the worst drivers known to man. I don’t know who gives these lunatics their licences, but those DMV’s should be shut down. I’m pretty sure that turn signals don’t come equipped in the models down there because I didn’t see a single blinking light, indicating a turn or merge, the entire time I was there. Let me be clear, when I say ‘the entire time,’ I’m not exaggerating. It blew my mind! Furthermore, anytime I signalled to others that I was switching lanes, they answered the gesture with a series of honks and “screw yous!’ One more thing worth mentioning, apparently “STOP” signs are nothing more than suggestions. Secondly, (and to make a long rant short) the people residing there walk around with an unjustified sense of self-entitlement that screams, “everyone owes me something for no particular reason at all” and it’s quite sickening, to say the least. Those two factors played a big part in my exodus of the panhandle; the latter being much harder to explain and is something you kinda have to experience for yourself.
Reason number two: Equally shitty weather.
Whoever it was that said South Florida is the number one retirement destination due to its beautiful, sunny weather, is a liar and should be shot. The weather is just as shitty and bipolar as its locals. You’ll wake up to gorgeous beach weather; beautiful clear skies, a comfortable 80 degrees, and within an hour or two a tropical storm is tearing your the roof from your home.
My Visit to South Florida
All in all, it was a decent experience; a boring road trip and a mediocre vacation. The Friday night I described was probably the only entirely positive night out that I had while there. Don’t get me wrong, South Florida can be a wonderful place to visit if you’re JUST visiting, but I wouldn’t recommend staying for too long at the risk of developing a crappy personality flaw and turning into a shitty driver. Well, that was how I spent my week. I know, not too exciting, but screw it, I had to let you know what ground my stump about Florida. Until next time!
* March 8th, 2016 Revision: It finally came back to me, it’s called the Sports Barn. How could I have forgotten that?