>Florida–The Sunshine State

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I love Florida. Well…it is kind of a love/hate relationship. I know we get hurricanes, rain showers at the most inopportune moments, and the most ridiculously hot summers with 100% humidity. But when you think about everything that is a part of this state, who could not love it? Lets see, from anywhere in the state, you can reach an ocean and beach for a wonderful retreat within in a few hours at most.

As far as the miserable weather we have all come to dread (also known as hurricane season), at least we get a forewarning. Think about the other natural disasters that infiltrate our homes: earthquakes in beautiful California–no (real) warnings, super huge tornadoes in the wild Midwest–no (real) warnings, even blizzards that overtake the pristine northeast and Midwest…well, anything north of Florida has a shot–no (definite) warnings. Sure you know if there is a storm that poses the possible conditions, but there isn’t a chart that can give you multiple days warning. Now since, well, being alive and being a Floridian, I have to say there were probably a handful of bad seasons (as in the storms, no matter their rating-high or low, did enough damage that it hurt). Now we are talking about not even 1/4 of the time! Mostly, they will either miss us or graze us with some wind and rain. Summers, well, everywhere gets hot in the summer to a point. But to all you in the north, I know you are jealous that I am sitting around in shorts and a t-shirt this week, and considering turning on the AC.

Overall, Floridians are pretty blessed. I have to laugh though, because as a 5th generation Floridian, I know the difference in Floridians as a whole. For example: If you want to find the Southerners of the State, you need look no further than the panhandle. The majority of the north part of the state even (minus Jacksonville of course). This trend carries through the central portion of the state in counties including Alachua, some of Orange, but especially Polk. For the urbanites, you know, the city and glam and jazz, look to the south east (Broward through Dade counties). We’re all unique but all Floridians (except Indian River, that is congested with close to a 60% transplant population…I can say that because that is where I grew up and where my parents and sister are living). The Sunshine state is, indeed, a piece of work. But , it’s home. It is the only place I have ever lived and I appreciate the environment in which I grew up in. I learned to endure ridiculous heat as many have learned to endure the frigid cold.

All the same, home is home and I can’t help but laugh when game shows give away vacations to come to Florida. All the same, I am proud to be counted as one of the few remaining true Floridians. Enjoy this list below, it has been one of the highest searches on my last blog.

You Know You’re a Floridian if…

You never use an umbrella because you know the rain
will be over in five minutes

A good parking place has nothing to do with distance
from the store, but everything to do with shade.

Your winter coat is made of denim

You can tell the difference between fire ant bites
and mosquito bites

You’re younger than thirty but some of your friends
are over 65

Anything under 70 is chilly.

You pass on the right and honk at the elderly.

You’ve driven through Yeehaw Junction.

You could swim before you could read

You have to drive north to get to The South

You know that no other grocery store can compare to
Publix.

Every other house had blue roofs in 2004-2005

Youve gotten out of school early on Halloween to
trick or treat before it got dark

You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn’t
worth waking up for.

You dread lovebug season.

You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane
list. They aren’t Hurricane Charley, Hurricane
Frances…but Charley , Frances , Ivan and Jeanne.

You know what a snowbird is and you hate them.

You know why flamingos are pink.

You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty
average.

You were twelve before you ever saw snow or you still
haven’t.

“Down South” means Key West

“Panhandling” means going to Pensacola

.You think no-one over 70 should be allowed to drive.

.Flip-flops are everyday wear.

.Shoes are for business meetings and church.

.No, wait, flip flops are good for church too, unless
it’s Easter or Christmas.

.Sweet tea can be served at any meal.

.An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.

.You smirk (or roll your eyes) when a game show’s
“Grand Prize” is a trip or cruise to Florida .

.You measure distance in minutes.

.You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one
sweatshirt.

.You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.

.All the local festivals are named after a fruit.

.A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.

.You think everyone from a bigger city has a northern
accent.

.You know the four seasons really are: Almost summer,
Summer, Not summer but really hot, and Christmas.

It’s not soda, cola, or pop. it’s coke, regardless of
brand or flavor, “What kinda coke you want?”

Anything under 95 is just warm.

You’ve hosted a hurricane party.

You go to a theme park for an afternoon, and know when
to get on the best rides.

You understand the futility of exterminating
cockroaches.

You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee and
Withlacoochee .

You understand why it’s better to have a friend with a
boat, than have a boat yourself.

Bumper stickers on the pickup in front of you include:
various fish, NRA, Nascar, Go Gators, and a
confederate flag.

You were 5 before you realized they made houses
without pools.

You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn’t
swim.

You get angry when people say ” Florida isn’t really
part of the SOUTH”

You’ve worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.

You know what the “stingray shuffle” is, and why it’s
important!

You recognize Miami-Dade as ” Northern Cuba “

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