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The Reality of Living Near the Fantasy…Part Five

The Tourists.

Now most of us have tourists in our home towns (or have been them) because we are known for “something” famous that people want to visit. In WI it was Lambeau Field, Packer Country, where every home game made the city electric and alive. My mom lives near it and I just got accustomed to knowing that the traffic, crowds, and anything relating to the Packers would be chaos for that day.  It wasn’t a bad thing because a home game would come every couple of weeks, and the city LOVED it for their economy.  When it’s a very subtle tourist thing, I think its fun and enjoyable because it isn’t ALL THE TIME.

I was warned before we moved here in 2011 to live out as far as possible from the Theme Parks.  It made sense, but no, we wanted to be super close because we wanted our drive to them to be painless and quick as possible. The problem with that thinking is that even the side roads to get anywhere near the Parks are congested with either people like myself who are trying to avoid I4, or everyone who stayed on 192. And at first, you just go with the flow, if you want your Park time you put up with the ugly part. But as time passes, and you just need to get to a doctor’s appointment or go visit a friend, the clogged roads full of tourists can really get to you. And if you didn’t read the other posts, we DID move further out twice…it wasn’t far enough. Pretty sure the FL State line is far enough.

Another thing is the Stores. For the most part, Publix has tried to keep their stock up. But when there is an influx of visitors, lots of the deals run out forcing me to get the never ending rain checks. It IS frustrating when all you wanted was that one item and it’s completely sold out.  Wal-Mart is far worse on this in my area. I have seen literally empty shelves during Spring Break and other Holidays. Imagine shopping for your big Thanksgiving meal with what you normally know to be many people because, of course, its Thanksgiving. Now add a couple hundred more people to that.

One time my Mom was visiting during the Spring and we headed to Burger King to get lunch.  First off, I can imagine that the guest service/hospitality side of things has a very large turn around here because of the customer service we have gotten over the years. I don’t blame them for being crabby…the locals want food, the tourists want food. But they come in large families or packs of young kids, and I have watched the entitlement on how they treat the place but also how they treat the staff- would YOU want to keep working all the time for that? Anyways our order was nothing out of the ordinary, and they were literally out of everything we asked for. Several tour busses had just come through and cleaned them out of supplies. We just left and tried to go somewhere else but we were either greeted with ridiculous lines or full restaurants with no place to sit. It got to the point that I just asked my Mom not even bother visiting in the Spring anymore because we couldn’t go out and just enjoy a nice lunch.

I want to leave you with this…when we vacationed here, I expected crowds, just a part of what comes with the Parks. But I didn’t expect that I would have to deal with them in my day to day life at the gas station, getting dinner, grocery shopping, etc. Again, my experience and my story, take it for what it’s worth.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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