For all sorts of reasons, Florida is not everyone's ideal holiday destination. And, on the whole, I'd say it isn't mine either. Yet, if you avoid the tourist trappings and spend some time in the everyday towns and beaches where the ever-friendly locals dwell, it's a pretty special place to visit.
There's little pretence or pomp to the bars and restaurants in and around Fort Pierce. The fish is good, the beer is cheap and the barmen and women make mean mojitos. I'm sure that every time I come back I say to myself I should give up the humdrum office life and spend the rest of my days making margaritas in the sun. Nice dream, huh? I'm not sure my liver agrees.
Anyway, for this holiday I decided to see how far I could get with just my camera phone and my new friend Instagram. Turns out I got pretty far: from Heathrow Airport, to Jensen Beach, down to the magnificent Key West, Hemingway's home and back to my mother in-laws backyard for more booze in the inflatable pool.
Now, back in the UK and searching for winter jackets and fan heaters, that fortnight already feels like a million years ago.