We left Universal and Orlando and traveled about 100 miles east (as the toll roads fly) to my parents' home in Spring Hill, FL. We spent a couple of days relaxing and being spoiled. Spring Hill (and it's neighboring town, the county seat of Brooksville) are located about a dozen+ miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
It's an interesting time to visit the non-tourist areas of Florida. As I'm sure most already know, Florida is the retirement capital of the eastern United States. As a result, one of the largest industries is the construction and sale of retirement homes. When the housing and credit markets collapsed, these developers were hit hard. Financing for new developments evaporated mid-stream. As a result, there are subdivisions in various states of (un)completion all around the county. I rode around with my Dad as he pointed out several developments around town where new streets had been paved, lots marked and surveyed, street lights installed, water and sewer pipe run, all for homes that may never be built.
It's spooky to drive through a "neighborhood" of intersecting roads, full of dozens of numbered lots, complete with fancy street lights, and then come across maybe one or two occupied homes. Many of these places are starting to revert back to the wild.
Mom and Dad took us over to the Gulf to watch the sunset our second evening there. We went to a small beach and a boat dock and I took some very touristy photos and lost a lens cap. We had a quiet dinner at a small local Thai restaurant.
We mostly just took it easy in Spring Hill. The manic, stressful part of vacationing was fully covered in Orlando. As I told Tammie, sometimes it's nice just to sit on the couch next to my Dad while he snores in front of the TV. I miss that sometimes. :)
Lake Erie died for your sins.