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I often tell people that I was born and raised in Florida. That is true, really. I was born and raised there but moved away in my 30’s. I’m not sure if you should say that only if you were born and raised there and still live there, though. Oh well. In my heart, I was born and raised there. 🙂

Over the years, I have thought about different things about Florida and what I miss about it. This past year, however, really intensified. I think it has a lot to do with COVID and being quarantined at home. What do I daydream about, you ask? Well, let me share that with you.

Family and friends. Both my husband’s and my family all reside in Florida. We have been away for about 16 years now. While it’s nice to see other parts of the country and create our own lives, it’s also hard at times. Not being able to visit on holidays, birthdays, or other times when a family member may be in need. Most of my friends that I am still in touch with live there, too. Sometimes, it would be nice to plan a lunch date or just a small get together.

Lizards. Oh, yes, those adorable, little prehistoric looking creatures. I just love them! You definitely take things for granted until they’re gone. I remember seeing them all the time on the window screens or just walking around outside. They are so beneficial, too, because they eat bugs. No one likes bugs.;) Here in Texas, we have lizards but scary lizards. :O I’m talking big, spiny lizards. No thank you. We do have other kinds of lizards that are kinda, sorta like the Florida ones but they are super rare to find. Maybe the spiny lizards eat them. Who knows. What I do know is that I’m not a fan at all of the Texas lizards.

Thunderstorms. Hands down, there are no thunderstorms like Florida thunderstorms. I miss them SO much! The close and frequent lightning along with the instant loud crack of thunder. Sometimes it happens at the same time and it’s so loud it makes your house windows rattle. They do say that Florida is the lightning capital of the world and that is 100% true. There is a certain time of year, too, when every day around 5 p.m., the skies will look black in the distance as the storm starts to approach. Then, for about 15-20 minutes, a quick moving strong thunderstorm will blow through and then just as fast as it came, it’s gone and sunny again. There are also times when it will be raining on one side of the street and not on the other, too. That is cool to see.

Disney World. Growing up near Disney World, you really don’t know how good you got it. I had visited a couple of times as a child but then even more as I got older. Living in Florida, too, allows you to get a resident’s discount which is wonderful. It’s centrally located in Florida, too, so it’s convenient really to anyone. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been there but I can tell you how much I miss it. Living in the middle of the country now, I wouldn’t mind some day seeing Disneyland. I’ve heard it’s nothing in comparison but just to see for myself. If I lived back in Florida, I would want to live some place close to Disney, though. Without a doubt, I would be spending some quality time there. 🙂

Beaches. Aaaaahhh, those Florida beaches. In my opinion, there are none like them, at least from where I’ve visited. I’m referring to the beaches on the west coast of Florida (Gulf side), too. The sand is so fine and white that it’s almost like sugar on your feet. The water is warm, too. The beaches on the east coast are not the same, however. The sand is full of shells and the water is cold. I miss the ability to get in the car and just head to the beach for a few hours or the day. The sounds of the seagulls squawking and the waves crashing on the shoreline. The smell of the ocean and suntan lotion, too. How does that not remotely sound relaxing? I have a fond memory of staying in Sarasota (Siesta key) when I was little and my grandparents came down to spend a few weeks in the summer. We would get up in the wee morning hours (4 a.m.) when the beach was dark and go walk to collect shells. Overnight, shells would wash ashore and you had to be up early before anyone else would find them. We would carry buckets or bags and just pick up beautiful shells. That experience will forever be ingrained in my mind.

Sunsets. This one has to be one of my absolute favorites about Florida. Those sunsets! My goodness, I miss those. The skies sometimes in Florida are just absolutely breathtaking. Not having the ability to watch the sunset is hard. There are times when you just want to go, sit on the beach, and watch the sun drop into the water. In Florida, too, you can wake up on the east coast and watch the sun rise and then drive over to the west coast and watch it set all in the same day. That is definitely a cool experience.

Publix. Oh my goodness, why doesn’t this grocery chain expand and go national. We miss it so much! Every time we visit Florida, we make sure to hit a Publix grocery store. They really are the best! Their bakery cakes are amazing! The deli area where you can get a hoagie made is amazing! They are the only grocery store where we have been able to find President butter. (haha) That butter with Cuban bread……well, there are just no words to describe that experience. Just overall, Publix is a great grocery chain.

TUSCALOOSA, AL/USA – JUNE 6, 2018: Publix grocery store exterior and logo. Publix Super Markets, Inc. is a American supermarket chain.

Palm trees. Crazy, I know. But after moving from Florida to Pennsylvania, there of course were no palm trees there. We then moved to Texas and wouldn’t you know, none here either. Maybe you will find them in more south Texas but definitely not here. When I see a palm tree, I instantly think of Florida. They are everywhere!

After listing all of these things that I love and daydream about in Florida, there are a few things I actually don’t care for or miss.

Humidity. I do NOT miss that at all. We have our humid days here in Texas but nothing like Florida. There are days there when you can stand outside in the shade and just drip sweat. It’s gross. Maybe because it’s more tropical there being surrounded by water and the heat, too. That is one that thing pops into my mind if I ever think of moving back.

Sinkholes. You laugh but they do have such a thing. They are scary, too. Entire houses have just fallen into the ground without notice. Not just a few inches, I’m talking gone. So far down, you can no longer see it. Some areas of Florida have a limestone underneath that is spongy. I remember a story of a family that woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of their son screaming. They opened the door to his bedroom and it was gone. All that they could see was the tip of his mattress sticking up out of the ground. Ok….if that doesn’t freak you out, I don’t know what would. :O So, yes, sinkholes are on my (not fond of Florida) list.

Alligators. Another prehistoric creature living in Florida. Florida is filled with them. You can find them in large lakes to even the smallest of ponds. As a Floridian, I would say to you, any body of water you come across, there probably is an alligator in there. Sadly, people just don’t think about them especially people that are not from Florida. Many tourists jump into lakes and ponds while visiting in Florida “thinking” it’s safe just like it is up north. They don’t realize that in Florida, that is SO dangerous. Even walking too close to a body of water could be dangerous. Alligators have been known to bolt out of the water and snatch pets or people.

As you can see by my list, I have a lot more positives than negatives about living in Florida. In my heart, I think if I could manage it, I would consider moving back. Life is just too short to pass up things you love.

Have you ever visited Florida? Share your experience.

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