Meet Florida's Newest Snowbird Convert

No snakes, heat stroke, white shoes and belts

A few columns ago I wrote about an upcoming five-day trip to Florida, my first mid-winter escape to a warm climate ever.

I had a lot of concerns.

Would I stick out with my vampire pallor, my chapped face, my post nasal dripathon?

Would I need to buy floral clothes, hike up my pants, wear white shoes and a matching belt?

Would the snowbirds I have ridiculed over the years be laying in wait, ready to taunt me, and make me send postcards, and eat dinner at 4:30?

Would my time there make me soft, turn me into one of those people who wears a shawl around the house.

Oh, and what about boa constrictors?

First off, let me say that despite the "infestation," I did not see one measly boa constrictor. In fact, not only did I fail to see even one snake, I discovered that all Florida bugs are not — as I had believed — the size of squirrels.

Also, I did not encounter a single man wearing white shoes and a matching belt, which I think indicates one of the most truly regrettable periods in fashion history is finally behind us.

Although I did encounter many snowbirds, I was able to blend in. There are two types of snowbirds from what I could determine. The sun-screen slathered, pasty-legged variety such as myself. And the sunbaked deeply browned, who have the skin texture of loafers.

While Florida has been referred to as "God's waiting room," I didn't see many people just sitting around. Wherever I went I saw people of all ages, baby boomers and well beyond, out walking, running, cycling, surfing. And while I did notice Bocce seems popular, there was no shuffle board to be seen.

As far as the temperature, I did not suffer heat stroke, as feared, but did feel a bit uncomfortable one day when the thermometer hit 85. Sitting in a outdoor bar beneath palm trees and drinking Pina Coladas seemed to help with this.

Did I feel guilty, a traitor to my New England roots, by basking in the sun while my brethren dug out from an historic snowfall?

I tried to, I really, really did. Pina Coladas helped in this regard, too.

Finally, I had been worried that I might not appreciate Spring as much when I returned.

That's not going to be a problem.

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