I left Portland with a mix of sweet and a bit sad. I was hosted to a number of events and get-togethers for my farewells. I realized that I may not see some people again. Others will remain friends regardless of location. Still others, I will see when I return in January. There were new beginnings and new endings…
I gained from being in Portland: my friends, the music community, the shamanic teachings, and the
challenge of trying to gain a foothold in a place that did not seem to welcome me there on the whole.
Bitter and sweet.
Florida is warm! I have been here 4 days and it still surprises me how warm it is and how warm it stays. At 9 am it is 78 degrees. I was walking around the quaint and charming small town of Dunedin yesterday with my friend, Lee, and thinking about when I was in Mexico. It took me about a week to get my body accustomed to the heat. It is a zen challenge. For the most part, I like it.
Lee and I have been scouting/exploring various places around Clearwater. This part of Florida is flat (I guess all of Florida is flat!) and spread out. They like to build roads here. But still, the traffic is as bad as Portland or Seattle at some times of the day. Of course, I did arrive on a holiday
weekend….but. Clearwater is quite suburban with all of its ugliness, retail and services. St. Petersburg is a lovely town and has some potential, but needs more research. I am not certain where the “Southern”
mentality lies around here yet. We explored a couple of neighborhoods in South Tampa too. Both areas have beautiful bike/walking trails along the water and lovely parks. I am looking forward to getting a bicycle
again. This time not a $10 garage sale bike as I did in Wisconsin!
For the most part, the beach “towns” are all touristy and crass – NOT my style! We sat and people watched during lunch yesterday. Tourists, sun worshiping middle class tourists: young families & guys toting their masses of equipment, overweight and overbrown people cruising or a large and fattening lunch, dull tack service staff – some pleasant, some not , people just enjoying the sun. Certainly an interesting character study.
We continued our tour north to the town of Dunedin. We stopped for a stroll and a beer in the local Irish pub. I spoke to a couple of people about what the town was like. It too, is right on the water with a marina, but is not so touristy. It is a charming place with a comfortable laid back feel. This area has inland waters, protected by some islands that are close in and accessible by small boat. There are calm waters for kayaking and paddle boarding too. And, there is a long bike trail on the old rail bed, and another along
the waterfront. This place has some potential. But there are many other places to explore yet.
I have not thought much about the rest of my trip. I am truly taking it all one day at a time. This coming week will begin again. Right now, my life is full of rest, adjusting to being a guest, exploring and trying to find the time to do my own work (Spanish, blog, trip details, etc – tough work!), checking out rents and living expenses/earned income possibilities…
A larger adventure will begin next Saturday with a cruise to Cozumel and the Grand Caymans. I realized as I
was writing, that I have not taken any pictures yet. I need to get better at this...