Potential alternate title: Where in the World is Matt?!

from one of my first ‘walk in a random park’ breaks in FL

Well, after a nice long holiday break (I took almost a full month off) I’m back on the road. What’s more, it’s in a way that feels much more ‘real roaming’ than what I’d been doing previously in the New York City / Mid Jersey area. North Carolina was good, but still felt mostly like ‘my back yard’ because of the similar climate / terrain.

So… Florida! More specifically, the area outside Ft. Lauderdale. The project I’m working on isn’t huge (~7,000km) and it’s already half done. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the change of scenery / weather.

The area I’m working in currently. Map courtesy of OpenStreetMap.org

I’m loving the area in general. There’s a scent of water everywhere. Not like the shore, and not quite like a swamp – just… moisture and growing things. That’s really good for the mood of a person like me.

The trees are another cool thing. The crazy twisty trees are super inspirational for the whole fantasy art thing.

Yesterday, I was stuck waiting on some replacement parts for my vehicle, so I took the opportunity to go to the Boca Raton Museum of Art and check out their current exhibit on Machu Picchu. The exhibit was pretty great. I kept my mask on the whole time, and it wasn’t too crowded, so it felt safe enough. I took a ton of pictures, and here too, I found a lot of inspiration for RPG content / concepts.

From the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Exhibit on Machu Picchu.

And lastly, the food. If you’re reading this, chances are good that you know I’m a sucker for a good ol’ fashioned diner. In fact, it’s become a bit of a thing for me to check out the local diners. They tend to be fairly universal, and don’t change much from one region to another. Perhaps that’s why I like going to them so much – a sense of ‘home’ or the familiar?

In any event, I stopped at a place called Lester’s Diner in Margate Florida. They pride themselves on being the ‘Home of the 14oz cup!’. Ummm. Okay, sure. (My cup was normally sized.) Nice place though. Clean, open, and the service was great. I selected the “Fort Lauderdale” which is a beef frank on a grilled bun, topped with their homemade chili, onions, and cheddar. Served with cole slaw, pickle, and seasoned fries. Yeah, not the healthiest option under the sun, but I’d done a lot of walking earlier in the day, so I said “what the hell”. Tasty and more than filling.

As a quick side note – my job means that I pretty much need to eat out – even during a pandemic. I eat in my hotel room more these days, but there’s only so many microwaveable meals one can stand. For anyone reading this and wondering, I’m fully vaccinated (including my booster) and I wear my mask the whole time I’m in a restaurant with the exception of when I’m actively eating. Stay safe and healthy folks. That’s the only way you can keep roaming after all! 🙂

Health food. Zero calories. Good for ya. Errr… something.