Walterboro, South Carolina
NOSTALGIA: I am always a bit nostalgic about leaving America's deep-south for the long journey home. Had the Internet existed back then; this would be travelogue #39. I've been fortunate to spend some, part and most recently all of the winter months in the Sunshine State of Florida since 1972. I am particularly grateful to have been away from the harsh realities of our eastern Canadian winters for most of the last decade. Still; it's always good to get home. But I'd just as soon just look at the pictures of the past winter's snows.
HOT-HOT-HOT: No doubt everyone who has been through this past (long) agonising winter will have stories to tell. What has been most surprising about the period since mid-February in the deep-south is its rapid transition from "winter" to summer sub-tropical conditions. In 39 years, I can say (with little fear of contradiction) that I've not experienced such early conditions before. December was unusually cool; but as if to make up for it, atmospheric conditions usually experienced in June and July have been upon us since March. Hot humid days, followed by tropical like rain storms at the latter part of the day. In Jacksonville at lunchtime today the temperature was a scorching 36 C. The upside...Florida is not experiencing it's annual brush fire season, it's too wet and more importantly very "spring" green.
HOGS OF THE ROAD: Perhaps it's a language thing, but only Quebecers hauling motor homes and RV's (frequently with cars, boats and motorbikes attached) travel like wolves: In Packs. I suspect they're in touch by CB Radio...they pull off at the same rest-stops; lunch at the same diners. But for those annoying caravans, the worst road hogs are from New York and New Jersey. Once the cruise control is set they ain't moving from the outside lane...and what's with people from Vermont driving the oldest most decrepit vehicles on the road? (PS) Usually Volvo's.
BUYING-UP THE SOUTH LAND: A Montreal "Gazette" poll I heard of recently claimed that one-in-five (20%) of Quebecers are contemplating buying properties in Florida. I ain't complaining about anything that will eliminate the "wolf pack" caravans from America's interstates. But; the south's real-estate remains historically depressed and it is unlikely ever to recover to it's hyper-inflated pre "Great Recession" prices.
The reality is quite simply that we have entered into the "Baby-Boomer" retirement bubble and the next statistical cohort - the so-called "Generation X" - has neither the size nor the resources to invest in Snowbird retirement properties...no matter how good the gettin's been! Just don't rush into Florida real-estate with the expectation of ever turning a profit.