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The Misplaced Hoosier

New to Florida by way of Indiana

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travel

In Which The Misplaced Hoosier Visits Pensacola, Florida for Vacation

When you move to the place where you vacationed, there’s no need to leave.

When you move to the place where the rest of the world comes to, why do you need to go anywhere else? Sit here long enough, and your former part of the world will come to you.

While I’ve left Orlando a few times in the two years I’ve lived here, it’s always been for work or to visit someone, never because we wanted to “get away from it all.” Orlando is the place where “it all gets to.”

So it felt a little weird to drive seven hours north and west to Pensacola, Florida for a short vacation.

I was scheduled to read at the Funny Side Of Florida event as part of Pensacola’s Foo Foo Festival, the annual arts festival put on by different arts organizations in the Pensacola area. The West Florida Literary Federation was putting on this year’s humor-themed literary event, and they were good enough to invite me up to read a few of my humor columns. We had worked this out way back in the summer, and I had been looking forward to it.
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The Time I Had an Overnight Guest

I had an overnight guest last week at the Kerouac House.

His name was Adam, and he was traveling.

Not on vacation, not on a trip.

Just. . . traveling.

He didn’t have anywhere to be, he just wanted to keep moving.

So I took himĀ in because he was living the Jack Kerouac life. And I knew if I didn’t, I’d kick myself for years to come.
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Day 3: In Which We Arrive in Orlando

After spending the night in Bowling Green, KY, and the next night in Macon, GA, we roll into Orlando. We’ve spent the last three days not riding in a convoy, and I can’t recommend this enough.

It relieves soooo much stress on the drivers. No one is driving too slow or too fast. No one is stopping too much or not enough. We agree to try to be in an area at the same time, but if we’re not, no big deal.

We nearly miss Toni and Maddie in Valdosta, and actually only get 2 minutes together before they’re off again.

I stop with Emma and Ben and pick up a Florida Toll SunPass. You stick it on the windshield of your car, and a little transponder chip inside tracks your car as you pass through tollways, deducting an amount from your account. I can’t recommend this enough either. The Florida Tollway is the fastest way to get from I-75 to Orlando, and this will save you several minutes. Of course, we use up the minutes saved by activating it by phone, but it’s still worth it.
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Day 1: In Which We Leave Indiana

It was maybe one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had to pack up and move away from a state where I have spent eleven-twelfths of my life.

Our old house in Fishers
Our old house in Fishers. We lived here for 6 years and 4 days.

We decided to move from Indianapolis to Orlando for a number of reasons, and although I was happy to go, I was equally sad to leave the state I’ve called home for as long as I can remember.

We settled on Orlando, Florida for a few reasons: one, with a mixed-race family, going to “The South” is not an option. Two, while most of big-city Florida would accept a mixed-race family, Orlando has Disney World.

As much as I hate leaving Indiana, I love Disney World! I’m a big kid when it comes to tromping around my favorite theme park. When my wife finally got me to agree to move, I would only accept moving to Orlando because “it’s the most magical goddamn place on earth!”

Seriously. Tampa, Jacksonville, Naples, and all the rest were all out of the question. “Orlando, or I’m not going,” I said.
Continue reading “Day 1: In Which We Leave Indiana”

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