The Florida Gulf Coast. 2 days of travel have taken me through some of the most populated and spectacular parts of Florida. From the sugar white Siesta Beach through Sarasota, to Saint Petersburg, and the search for the weatherbeaten deserted beach takes me to the Florida Panhandle. Driving across US 19 all along the coastline, picking up US 98 at Perry, finally finding a beach town that’s pretty close, on through to Panama City, Destin and Pensacola. Although I keep mixing up Pensacola and Panama City, the Florida Gulf Coast was pretty nice on a windy, sunny day not unlike late September back in the upper midwest. I’ve traveled through the southern states many times in my life, and different times. As a kid it was road trips with the family to see the grandparents at Christmas. As an adult work brought me down to Florida, or the pleasure of picking up a brand new car and driving it where ever I wanted. Florida has changed. It seems to be a theme in these travel podcasts, how the southern United States has changed. There are more people than ever. More business than ever. And all kinds of businesses, from industry to banking, tourism, of course the mainstays like agriculture. Those days of finding the out of the way beach and the quiet beach down, still weather beaten from the last hurricane, are waning. Oh those towns are still there, but you might have to look on the Gulf, or on the west coast, or higher up the Atlantic coast, north and south of Jacksonville. Still, travel is so much fun. Getting off the Interstate and onto US19 and US98 were great decisions. Having objectives and deadlines has made this trip great. Ahead, the famous Red Neck Rivera, Louisiana, New Orleans, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa, and back to the Twin Cities. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.