17 Observations About Living In Florida

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  1. Natural Air Conditioning. It may be hot and muggy everywhere else, but the constant breeze coming off the ocean at sunset feels like air conditioning heaven. And aside from the gas to get there, it’s FREE for the taking!

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  2. The Law-Abiding Alligator. This really did happen, in Palm Coast, Florida. Thankfully I pulled this photo off Facebook and didn’t see it with my own eyes, because if I had seen it I probably would not have had the presence of mind to snap the photo. I’d be too busy streaking away, screaming like a little girl. sealice_kecil12
  3. “Sea Lice” are invading Gulf coast waters, but they aren’t really lice. They are the larvae of jellyfish, and they can sting and cause a nasty rash. This photo is magnified; apparently they are about the size of a red pepper flake. (shudder!) The things you learn about when you live in Florida!IMG_3779
  4. There’s something satisfying about unpacking all the boxes in a room. Not that I would know much about that yet. But I’m working on it! I do have many boxes unpacked…but still piles of the stuff that was in the boxes, waiting for me to find a place for it. Don’t ask me if this doodad should go on the mantle or the coffee table, or if this photo would look nice over the table, or what color scheme I’m going to use in the bedroom. I.Can’t.Even.  Decorating gives me hives. I have decorating deficit disorder. DDD.  If you move a doodad, or even get rid of one, I won’t even notice. It isn’t that I don’t like decorations. I LOVE the house to be tastefully decorated. And that’s the problem. I have no taste! Thankfully, I have family that can help me figure out where to put All The Stuff.
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  5. Driver’s Licenses. Waiting four hours to get new drivers licenses has to rank up there as strenuous exercise. Otherwise, how to explain the exhaustion I feel after that ordeal? Maybe it was all the effort it took to imprint a sunshine on my forehead?Yawn.
  6. Florida Remembers. Speaking of driver’s licenses, they still had me on file. Including the ridiculous photo of me taken 13 years ago! Aside from having darker hair and a few more lines and age spots and bags under my eyes, I look pretty much the same.imgres
  7. License Plates. Florida also keeps your license plates on file. This means instead of having to purchase plates for all of our vehicles, we only have to buy 1. (This is just one way Florida is smarter than Texas. In Texas, you have to pay for a new license plate every time you get a different car. In Florida, your plates are your plates and “travel” to a new car if you get a different one.)  $675 in savings is not chump change!
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  8. Political Parties. I became a registered Florida voter today. For the first time EVER, I’m officially not affiliated with any political party…and that makes me, coincidentally, want to do the Happy Dance! Of course this means I can’t vote in the primaries (which are over in Florida) but I do have the option to choose a party when it comes time to do so. Maybe in four years I’ll fit better somewhere?
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  9. Sopping Wet. The air is so wet here, I could practically do laundry outside. Ok, well, maybe not that wet (unless it’s raining), but the humidity here drives up the heat index to the mid-90s. Texas friends, remember in August when you dream of a cool, mid-90s day in REAL heat, when the heat index is 115 and your hands melt on your steering wheel? So…yes, it is humid. But compared to 112? Piece of cake!
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  10. Lizards. Google tells me that a group of lizards is called a lounge. Imagine that! We must have a rockin and rollin night club lounge here by the river, because I see multiple lizards every time I step foot outside. There are as many lizards here as there were June bugs in Texas.
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  11. Storms. The tropical storm that threatened earlier this week was a lightweight. It was nothing compared to the shaking the house/humongous hail/damaging tornado storms we were getting in Texas before we moved. I think I have PTSD on account of all those storms this spring, but Florida storms are moving me back to a normal way of thinking. Back in Texas, I had a knee-jerk compulsion to attach couch cushions to our brand new roof every time a storm blew up…with good reason!  Here we get some loud storms with thunder echoing over the river, but so far nothing like those DFW hailers.
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  12. Hair Emergency. Last week I had one of those EPIC FAILS in the realm of trying to find a new hair stylist. The guy I went to was so kind and such an artist. But I needed to speak up and tell him what I really wanted instead of smiling and agreeing to whatever he suggested. On the bright side, I got the name of a different hair stylist from a new friend that I met through homeschooling circles, and I’m going later this week to try to match the outer me with the person inside who just wants to be blonde already!
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  13. Dual Enrollment Rocks! We are on the last stretch of homeschooling as my daughter enters her senior year. She’ll be taking all her classes at a local college, and, thanks to Florida, she’ll be doing it for the grand total of ZERO dollars. That’s right! The school board pays for dual enrollment tuition for students who live in the district. So that means my daughter can potentially take up to 24 hours of credit…on the taxpayer’s dime. Being a taxpayer myself, I guess it is on my dime.  But still!
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  14. Traffic. Oh, I can’t tell you the BLISS it is to get in the car and go…pretty much anywhere, without having to deal with All The Traffic that made living in the DFW area so unbearable. It’s nice to be able to hop in the car and make a Wal-Mart run at 5:30pm without having to worry about traffic stacked up for three light cycles. I didn’t realize how STRESSED OUT I was driving in Texas until I drove the streets around here.
  15. Kindness of Strangers. {No photo for this one because, well, it would have been weird to take his photo OR to post a photo here of a random stranger. So you do it in your imagination.} You know you are living in the real south when people you don’t know go out of their way to be nice to you. Like the man today at the government building who noticed us looking at a directory and directed us towards a covered walkway. Since it was pouring a genuine tropical fury outside, we really appreciated his help! (Our hair thanks you, kind sir, for sparing us the indignity of posing for drivers license photos with wet, clingy locks.)
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  16. Life. Everything here is bursting with life…from the ginormous bird of paradise plants in the backyard to the pineapple plant to the palm trees and flowers and, yes, weeds. Weeds are sprouting up everywhere and palm trees drop a LOT of leaves. Fortunately we live in a place that has a special trash pick-up day and not one but TWO oversized rolling bins for all that lawn debris.
  17. The Missing Element. I don’t miss Texas traffic, Texas heat, Texas storms, or Texas bureaucracy. What I do miss are my dear friends and family. I wish I could magically wave a wand and have you all here, sitting with me, enjoying the view of the river together. So come visit!
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    Oh, and when you do, maybe you could bring me some flour tortillas from Central Market (the ones made with butter?) I miss those, too.

One thought on “17 Observations About Living In Florida

  1. One of your best blog posts yet Christie! So we got a taste of those sea lice over Memorial Day in port Aransas – ouch! Love all the wonderful details of your transition to FL. Next time I’m there (frequently – on Marco Island) I’ll have to head up to see ya. . . Central market butter tortillas in hand. Until then, Enjoy that beautiful state!

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