Monday, March 03, 2014

50 Things I Love About Living in Florida

I've complained heartily about living in Florida for many years, but I've learned to bloom where I was planted in spite of hurricanes, palmetto bugs, elderly tourists from Quebec and men who try to trade live alligators for a case of beer who somehow make the national news with shenanigans like this.

The rest of the country loves to make fun of Florida, but the truth is, this place is pretty darned entertaining and we Floridians get that so we understand your jokes. We're laughing right along with you and partly because we're about to go to the beach while y'all are stuck shoveling snow.

Here are all the reasons why I love living in Florida:

1. The aforementioned going to the beach while the rest of the country is shoveling snow, which is enough reason right there.

2. Moons Over My Hammy.

3. Hey, I need a lemon for my iced tea. Let me go out in the yard and pick one.

4. We never have to deal with hard, tasteless pink tomatoes in winter or any other time of year for that matter.

5. Cuban food.

6. Cuban coffee.

7. Paul & Young Ron

8. The winning trifecta of Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen and Jimmy Buffett.

9. No matter where you are in the state you can wake up in the morning and decide you really need to go to Disney World and you can be there by lunch. Also, Florida resident passes.

10. Harry Potter World is here too.

11. I can say I share a home state with Zora Neale Hurston.

12. Manatees

13. Freaking out the tourists by ordering dolphin in restaurants. Relax, everyone else calls it mahi mahi. It's not Flipper.

14. Year round flowers.

15. Year round flowers that smell good like gardenias, plumeria and night blooming jasmine.

16. Our ocean is as clear as a swimming pool.

17. Florida lobsters taste better than Maine lobsters and you can just swim out and pick them out of the water for free.

18. Stone crab season.

19. I live on an island.

20. Florida Man.

21. Flori-Duh.

22. Mango Season.

23. Air plants and Staghorn ferns

24. It's very easy to entertain relatives from out of town here.

25. People watching EVERYWHERE. Oh my god, it never gets old or boring.

26. Even our mannequins have ridiculously huge boobs.

27. The Channel 7 News. You just have to see it to believe it. Honestly.

28.  Barrel tiled roofs.

29. Water taxis. I kid you not. You can take a boat taxi just about anywhere you need to go.

30. In high school we had Oceanography classes and actually went snorkeling on class trips.

31. Paddleboarding!

32. You can always find a park to take your kids to.

33.  You can paint your house pink and no one bats an eyelash over it. That's totally normal. I mean, your neighbor's house is turquoise for goodness sakes and the guy down the street painted his house lavender.

34. Have you ever read Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief? Please do so immediately.

35. No state income taxes.

36. You can still talk on the phone and drive here.

37. All nude strip clubs are totally legal. And everywhere.

38. We are probably going to do away with daylight savings time pretty soon, which means no annoying time changes twice a year. We can do this because we are in two time zones. Little known fact.

39. Seaside and Grayton Beach up in the Panhandle. Heaven on earth.

40. Let's not forget Key West, which is essentially its own country anyway.

41. Rainbows are ridiculously common.

42. The Dali museum.

43. We have green parrots and wild monkeys. IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. And it's normal!!

44. Beach yoga.

45. Zoo Miami. It's awesome. Best zoo I've ever been to. Even the National Zoo and San Diego can't compare.

46. Lincoln Road. Everything about it.

47. The garden at the Delano.

48. You can wear flip flops anywhere. They are considered formal attire.

49. The Christmas Boat Parade.

50. Without Florida's craziness, I never would have had the material to write a book like Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat.


Anonymous said...

Maine just decided that the North Atlantic lobster was theirs. We Canuck Maritimers call it ''New Brunswick lobster'' because if they can then we can. And, although reading your list made me feel very nostalgic, your Florida lobster is awful.

I saw a Staghorn Fern for sale here in Home Depot. It was -24C outside.

I miss fresh fruit and veggies. I miss picking a lemon off the bush (you only get badly hurt once) ... *sigh*

... Maureen

Anonymous said...

If you are sensitive about living in a place that gets made fun if, just be glad you don't live in NJ! Except here it isn't a joke, it's all true. Other places claim to have the most corrupt politicians but we actually do. sg in nj

spiffikins said...

Living in California, some of these are familiar to me :)

However - I've recently heard from several people that they really enjoyed the beaches/ocean in Florida.
Being a super fan of warm ocean water (something that is NOT part of my California existence) - I am definitely contemplating a trip to Florida.
Any suggestions for someone who wants to go play in the clear, warm water, without melting in crazy heat? What's a good time of year to visit for someone who thinks 80F is HOT :D

Courtney said...

Publix!! And every other supermarket that you could possibly want. But especially Publix.

Juli said...

I lived in FL for 7 years and the funniest thing was the day that I had to call work and tell them I'd be late because there was a 6 foot iguana sunning himself in the street in front of the house and I couldn't get it out of the way.

All and all, I chose to move back to New England, and I don't miss FL at all... but I will give you that they do have the BEST sunsets I have ever seen.

MizScarlett said...

Grayton beach and Seaside? YES YES YES.

- Alabama girl

Anonymous said...


Wide Lawns said...

Spiffkins, I would say visit the Panhandle absolutely. The beaches there are wild and wide with warm, clear, shallow water.I think they're the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. If you don't want it too hot and crowded visit in October or November.

Anonymous said...

Jupiter, Florida is warm all year round and very fun. 30 minutes north of W Palm Beach. The ocean is warm and free.

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