Florida is puzzling to me. To be fair, I've spent most of my very limited time there on the gulf side, where my mother-in-law lives, rather than a more lively city like Miami. Still, when I jog around on the white sidewalks, looking at one oblong ranch house after the next, followed by yet another hive-like, concrete condominium complex, I find it hard to imagine how this land appeared when Ponce de Leon made his journey around the peninsula, in search of the fountain of youth (or, more likely, gold). Was it mostly marshy swamp and jungle? So why did people think of this land as being so good for the health? Even Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled to Florida with her husband in the 1890s, to try to improve his health (but no Little House on the Panhandle resulted...I think they couldn't stand the humid heat!)
Most of the development around where we were visiting was built in the past thirty years, and it seems as though the developers said to themselves, "People love living in Florida, so we'll just rase everything, pave it with asphalt and concrete, add a few palm trees, and put in a bunch of ranch houses and condos and big box stores: ta da!" What beauty remains comes from the sea and its wildlife, the hibiscus flowers, and the few areas of Everglades preserves, which look quite creepy: very swampy with dense foliage, hanging vines and alligators.
Well, there were stunning views from the airplane as we approached JFK:
I only ended up trying one photo while in Florida, but it was night, I was on a screened-in porch, and I struggled with my camera