The other day after a brief flash mad incident with scratch off lottery cards…after I cooled down, I was celebrating Florida! The incident with scratch off which I love to play …I won $52 but the clerk shorted me $8 and since he took the cards out of view there was no way to prove it. I was furious but eventually cooled down. My husband who knows the store owner said he would talk to him and we moved on….it was a new employee. If he did to me, he probably tried the same with others. We both knew there was $52 worth of winnings.

When I first moved to Florida, I had my doubts but there are times when it works so well together. The other morning, Mike and I visited our old storefront area and caught up with some interesting new customers at Pat’s storefront. We enjoyed a very informative and entertaining conversation with one of her customers who worked in Logistics and gave us his take on different counties in Florida. This inside info you can’t get from the media, facebook, or even some work associates. It is always good to hear the unabridged truth!

Then we moved down the road to a new store to buy our lottery scratch off there and we spoke to the owner who was Palestinian. He had just returned from Jerusalem. While Mike was checking out the lamb, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with the man who waited on me. I mentioned how years ago I worked on a kibbutz near the Gilboa mountains. It turned out he was a math professor teaching in South Carolina and visiting his brother, the store owner. As we talked, I glanced briefly at the Sentinel paper with headlines of how a bullied teenager became an Olympic star medalist and watched the variety of customers in the store.

As my husband and I left, we looked up and there was the head of Cobra’s Curse in all its glory jutting its head out for all to see. We could hear the cries and excited screams of all the passengers. As we exited on to the busy highway, we passed one of our favorite restaurants which serves a combination Cuban/Chinese food. I wondered where else in the world can you travel to that you have a conversation with a former tough streetwise trucker from Boston, meet up with some Palestinians and Egyptians, and have the opportunity to mingle with some visitors at Busch Gardens visiting for the first time from the Mid West.

One thing is for sure: Florida never disappoints with the variety and diverse cultures who come to visit. We don’t have the wide empty plains but we have green vegetation, the sun, a lower cost of heating as we don’t need heat often…and there is always some type of job available even if it not your dream job. So I understand why I stayed! And the place grows on you.

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