My family and I recently took a trip to South Florida. We went over the Christmas break and for the most part had a great time. We toured around quite a bit and took in The Everglades National Park, South Beach in Miami and traveled to Key West for a snorkeling adventure.

A couple things about our trip to South Florida stand out in my mind but the one thing I keep getting back to is the crazy lack of restrooms wherever we went. After being there a couple of days you started to figure it out that you'd better watch your inputs or your outputs were going to drive you crazy.

For example. When traveling to Everglades National Park if you didn't hit a Walmart at Homestead forget it. Oh, sure there are quite a few gas stations along the way, but they are nothing like the palatial convenience stores you find here in South Dakota. Even the most run down South Dakota C-Store shame most of the the places in South Florida.

I can't tell you how many times you might pull up to a gas station, packed with people filling up, only to find out when you went inside to pay that the Out of Order Sign, or for employees only sign was up.

I take that back. I did find one gas station in South Beach with a restroom to use. We had just crossed over to paradise, traffic was heavy and the beeper on our rental car had let us know we were low on fuel 15 miles earlier. I pulled into the gas station. There was no line. I soon found out why. It was a full service gas station with a working restroom. Oh, and the full service price was a bit higher than the $2.00 average we were seeing. They were charging $4.98 a gallon. I ordered $20 worth and headed to the restroom. Best $20 I spent all vacation.

The trip to Key West? More of the same. Watch your inputs!

We take a lot of things for granted around South Dakota. I would have never thought an easy to find restroom would be one of them.

Oh, and as we were walking along South Beach, looking for a restroom I couldn't help but notice all the people standing in the waves along the beach. As I flash back to our walk in the sand I recall many of them had a relieved look on their face as they stood in the surf.

Pun intended.