Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The land of sun

Just back from a four day junket in sunny Florida, courtesy of some budget tix via discount airline, Allegiant Air, out of Portsmouth, NH. While I certainly could have used a few more days to bask in the warmth of 85 degree Daytona Beach, the sun and surf did me and the Mrs. a world of good.

While many think of Florida merely as a place of theme parks and other tourist accoutrements, I always manage to find some great local elements just off the beaten path of the major highways and other tourist lures. This brief trip yielded the wonderful town of Deland, home of Stetson University and a place rich in history and prime Florida heritage hearkening back to an era before condominiums and gated communities.

While we were in town, a group of local film buffs going by the name of Cinematique, were hosting an independent film festival. We got to take in a Saturday offering of a wonderful film that has yet to be released, as the director is still seeking a distributor for her movie.

While Daytona Beach has received more than its share of notoriety, mostly for being the former home for some raucous college spring breaks each February, plus the annual biker’s week in March, it is mostly known as the “birthplace of speed” and the place where NASCAR got its start, back before it became the national sport of trailer park nation. For those who follow the sport in the same way that others follow baseball and the history of the pastime, Daytona Beach is racing’s equivalent to Cooperstown.

After spending some sun soaked days of temperatures in the mid-80’s and evenings rarely dropping below 65 degrees, my return sees the mercury plunging into the 20’s and the necessity of a wood fire to ward off the chill.

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