Current Events: Summer Tourist Season

All right, people. *Cracks knuckles.* Summer is upon us, which means people hitting the beaches, which means a lot of people traveling to places they don’t go much. Or never have gone before. If that’s what you’re bent on this summer, enjoy, but take a few tips with you. Some may be grim tips, but they may save your safety, or sanity.

First, do not underestimate the heat.

I feel like this needs to be starred, underlined, and maybe painted in flashing neon lights. Heat is brutal; heat plus humidity can be lethal. We’ve already had one tourist arrested on this coast because she went to lunch with four dogs locked in her car. The dogs did not survive.

Do not leave pets in the car. Do not leave children in the car. No, not even if you left the windows cracked and you plan to be “just a few minutes”. The heat down here can be incapacitating in just a few minutes, and fatal in under half an hour. Don’t do it.

And if you see someone else has done it? If possible, first call 911 and tell them the situation. That way you’re legally covered when you and everybody you can get to help go ahead and break the vehicle window out. And the emergency operator will know who to call, ambulance or vet-wise, to render further assistance.

(Yes, Florida has a Good Samaritan law about this, and it covers rescuing animals, not just humans. We got pretty bleepin’ ticked off that people keep doing this.)

Keep water on hand. Keep salt on hand. Keep sunscreen on hand – “boiled lobster” should be on your plate, not sitting in your chair. And if you’re traveling out of town, check the local weather reports. Daily. At least. Our local weather reports not just on stuff in the sky, but whether dangerous sealife’s been spotted and if the conditions are good for riptides.

Speaking of sealife – do not play with any odd blue-purple balloony critter flopped on the beach. Odds are it’s a Portuguese man o’war and you will regret it immensely.

Speaking of other dangerous sealife – I know it looks fun, but don’t swim near the fishing piers. People fish there. You will run into hooks, and bait, and quite possibly sharks after an already-hooked dinner.

Also watch the manatees from a distance. They startle easily, and may swim into real danger if they’re fleeing what they think is a threat.

Keep cool, take your time, always have a current map on hand… and come help us eat all the lionfish invading the Gulf! I hear they’re good! *G*

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18 thoughts on “Current Events: Summer Tourist Season

  1. I lived in the Southwest for a few years and knew people who successfully baked cookies in parked cars for fun. Enough heat and direct sun and you basically have a convection oven. We learned very fast after moving that the car stayed running for the AC or nobody stayed in the car.

    Also, drive carefully on vacation and pay attention to road signs. Seriously.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Back when I was working at an office in Dallas, TX, we had a heat wave where temps hit 105°F for a whole week. When it hit 110°F (thankfully for one day only), my roomate-at-the-time, who worked in the same office as me, baked cookies in his parked car and then brought them in to the office to share with everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s been awhile since I’ve lived near enough to the ocean for frequent trips, but I’m going to mention to check for fresh water flooding in the tributaries. Just because it hasn’t rained locally doesn’t mean the smaller sharks haven’t been washed out into saltier water by upstream runoff. They are hitting the beaches too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. For traveling, you can look at the state laws for an idea of how bad the heat-in-a-vehicle situation is– Iowa and Washington do not have the same problems that Florida does, for example.
    The guy who decided that going in to pay for gas on a 65*, cloudy day in Tacoma was ‘leaving the kids in a car’ and illegal was… memorable. (After that, I had the relevant laws literally printed out.)

    Also remember that a 10 year old kid is not the same as a strapped-in size kid, either; I’ve gotten a few worried texts from our daughter because “Mom, there’s some guy hanging around the car” and it turns out to be someone worried about that kind of safety.
    Manual windows are important, too.

    The best one so far is the guy who thought that the baby was in her car seat and was very startled when I came out carrying the baby, especially since I was bristling because there was some weird guy peering through my car’s windows.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Do yourself a favor and make sure a pet is REAL before smashing someones window or calling the cops.

    I’ve heard lots of second and third hand stories about plushies or little statues in baseboards, but I also actually knew a lady that got her car window smashed open because she had one of those realistic fake cats (the ones that purr if you pet them) curled up in her back window.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Given the question of “is it still because it’s fake or because it’s dying,” I think I’ll also do myself a favor and try not to leave toys/decorations that look like animals in the car. Which is not an issue I had previously considered, so thank you.

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      1. *nods* it really is something you just don’t consider. The fake fur cat curled up in the window doesn’t look real to YOU, but there’s no accounting for what someone else will think, and it might save you an expensive repair or even just having the hassle of talking to the cops.

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  5. I’m headed up to Vail in a couple of hours and usually get hit kinda hard with altitude sickness. Make sure you have plenty to drink and rest by laying down for a while before you do anything. Also remember sunscrean up here too, there’s less atmosphere to protect you.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. And recall that if you’re in a type of heat that you’re not accustomed to – humid or dry – then odds are good that you may end up in trouble because the physiological clues you’re used to relying on can trick you. People from humid areas who end up in the desert often get dehydrated because they don’t realize that they are actually sweating, simply because the sweat evaporates quickly.

    Also, pace yourself. I live in a relatively high-altitude area, but most people don’t notice it until they start exerting themselves and realize they’re getting out of breath way faster than they should.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. When I was in LA, the sweating literally never happened, which was not good. Heck, I never even overheated, except my head. It was the bright sunlight (and hence UV rays, and altitude) that messed with me… and then I caught valley fever, so that was nice.

      California is a death trap, just saying.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But anyway… stuff like a small foldable hat, rain poncho, sweater, etc. Is all good for vacations, because temps and weather vary a lot. You can freaking freeze near an ocean, in the middle of summer.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I know someone who spent two years in Nevada, on a bicycle, in a suit and tie. He said after 115°, everything felt the same. (Yes there was a good reason. No I’m not sharing it.)

    Liked by 1 person

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