Panhandling for Sunscreen and More Spring Break Oddities

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Ft. Myers, FloridaLike countless other Midwesterners, my family trekked to Florida for Spring Break last week. We visited my parents in Ft. Myers, and my husband and I were even able to leave the kids with Nana & Grandpa and take an overnight jaunt to Key West.

For the most part, our trip was super fun and we enjoyed a couple of beach days (our last two days were rainy, so we were glad to get in the beach days right from the start) and family fun.

But there were definitely some hiccups that either caused us to laugh or scratch our heads, or make us think we were the only sane people on the planet.

So throughout the week I made a couple of notes on my phone so I wouldn’t forget, and where I could, I snapped pictures. Such as this first one.

1. Asinine Move of the Day

Smoking near a gas pumpWould anyone care to take a guess which state we were in, seeing a man smoking within 8 feet of a gas pump? Mmm-hmm, that’s right. While it could happen anywhere, this happened in Kentucky. My dad was born and raised in Kentucky, so he was the first one I was tickled to show the photo to. Now I haven’t read the little signs posted at pumps closely enough, maybe 8 feet is a perfectly acceptable radius of a lit cigarette from a fuel pump, but I kinda think it’s a bit asinine, myself.

2. Thirsty Calves

Calf NursingPhoto credit: City Chic On A Farm

I wasn’t able to snap photos because we were traveling around 85 mph 70 mph, (perfectly within the speed limit), but I think for the first time in my life I saw a calf drinking milk from its mama.

Now to some, this is old hat. Big deal. But while I didn’t grow up on a farm, I’ve been to countless Indiana State Fairs, visited farms with my children, and in general have seen cows in pastures my whole life. But I have never randomly glanced over and seen a calf nursing from its mama. And the funny thing is, we didn’t see this once, but twice, miles apart.

So while I have blogged about agriculture, I’m still a long way from knowing the life cycles of cattle, and I am absolutely willing to admit my naivete and ask for comments … Are cattle raised seasonally? Or are they born all year ’round, and it’s just a coinkidink that I saw two calves nursing? I’m embarrassed to ask these questions. Hope I haven’t lost readers over this one.

3. “Sea” Key West

keywestexpressThis one isn’t so much an “oddity” as it is a tip, or a couple of tips.

On Tuesday of our vacation, my hubby and I kissed our sleeping children goodbye at Nana’s house and sailed away aboard the Key West Express ferry for a 3.5 hour sail across the gulf. The ride itself was smooth and comfortable, as (tip #1) we arrived early enough to grab a table. Ferry tickets are a bit pricey ($119/person for the non-refundable, weekday roundtrip fare, however if you can’t make it that day you are able to use the tickets within a year).

A couple close to my parents’ age joined our table, and we had some pleasant conversations with the husband while the wife slept (or perhaps she was seasick, I didn’t ask). Larry and I were fiddling with our new iPhones, and the gentleman was excited to share with us his favorite apps. One that I downloaded right away (tip #2) is called App Gratis. It’s a free app that sends you a daily notification of one recommended app, discounted significantly, or free (and you all know I love me some freebies!). A few are games, there have been a couple of camera apps, a cool clockface app called ChronoGrafik, etc.


I totally wish I could link you over to App Gratis, however when I was writing this post I looked up a link and found this article noting it’s been pulled from the App Store, hopefully temporarily. When it becomes reinstated, I’ll be sure to edit and include a link.

Stay tuned for more!

I have lots more to share with you tomorrow about our Spring Break Oddities, including not one, but two panhandling experiences (Stranger Danger!). Be sure you’re getting my email updates, and also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for last minute tips & deals that sometimes might not make it to a blog post.


  1. says

    I’m not an agra expert, but I’m quite frugal…so I do know that there usually is a season for animals. They are typically born in the spring, which is why we celebrate spring with feasts (think of lamb for Easter dinner)…and why you can usually get great discounts on meat from your local farmers in the fall because that’s when they’re slaughtering the animals that were born in the spring. That’s just my understanding of it. I’m sure it varies depending on the operation and how industrialized it is.

    • Ann-Marie says

      Rebeca thanks for your comment! Excellent point on celebrating with feasts! At least for my family, it’s not Easter without ham 🙂

    • Ann-Marie says

      I know, right?? My friend posted on FB that since they are (usually?) artificially inseminated (there’s a word I never thought I’d post on my blog), it is purposeful why calves are born in the spring, then taken to ‘market’ in the fall.

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