Thursday, March 19, 2015

John Prince Park, Lake Worth, Florida or the French State of South Florida ...

"The Great Migration" South each winter by rail, air or highway includes the large species commonly referred to as RVs.  They include travel trailers, 5th wheels and various sizes of motorhomes. They may travel individually or, on rare occasion, pairs or small groups.  However, their numbers makes it seem that they are all part of a coordinated migration.  Scientific studies have proven that the migration is triggered by air temperatures that are uncomfortably cold and by late December the migratory flow peaks.   

Perhaps the largest wintering grounds for the species is central to south Florida and in particular the east coast of Florida where you will see numerous license plates identifying the occupants as being from Ontario, Qu├ębec, and Manitoba.  You will also see plates from northern USA but the number of French speaking parts of Canada are overwhelmingly  represented.

We were very fortunate to get a spot in John Prince Park, a huge favorite for "French speakers".  We were there for only 10 days and the place was 100% full.  We were told at the office that there would not be any openings until the end of March when the migration would reverse itself and the "snowbirds" would once again head home. (I believe most visas are for 90 days and the Canadians have to get back across the boarder or risk fines or jail).

Our next door neighbor at the park was French speaking and besides giving commands to his dog in French, had regular gatherings on this "patio" of other people who understood and spoke his language.

You can see from these photos that the park is "full" .  John Prince Park is a county run facility with nice, well maintained amenities, paved roads and parking pads.  95% of the sights are back-ins and some back up to a lake. Traffic throughout the park is brisk all day with foot traffic, bikes, trikes, motor cycles, and trailers coming and going to the dump station.  While the park is nice, it is also a little claustrophobic during the "season". 
Bocce ball tournaments were held regularly several time a week.  Since I do not speak French, I could not tell you what the topic of conversation was but it was very serious indeed!
 It is not uncommon to hear French being spoken in the supermarket and at restaurants.  In deed, we encountered more French than we did Spanish.
Since these folks live here for 3 months out of the year, every year, should we not give them a quarter of a vote?  Just sayin'...
During our stay we were driving in fairly heavy traffic on Congress Blvd in Lake Worth, FL.  I was looking into the next lane getting ready to make a lane change when Joanie yelled at me to stop!  The car immediately in front of me had come to a halt.  I swerved around it and saw that there was a 6 foot alligator (a young ’un) in front of his bumper.  It makes you want to ask: “Why’d the alligator cross the road?” 

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