Life in Florida

I remember when I first moved to Alabama in late 2010.  Everyone I met up there said the same thing to me, “You left Florida for this? If I lived in Florida I would have never moved! I remember I kept thinking to myself, “Really? Never huh? Go try it out for a few years and see what you think.” I never said that but I wanted to, just because I would get so frustrated.

You see, when people think of life in Florida they think of the beaches and sunshine and Disney World, which is fine. Yes, Florida does have beaches and sunshine and Disney World but full-time life in Florida is not all beaches and sunshine and Disney World. It’s just not. I’ve lived here since 1986. Trust me.

Assuming that your average person (i.e.: me) works Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm and assuming that it is a 35 minute drive to the beach and assuming that I have all of my beach gear with me at work (yeah, right, like that happens!) then I get to the beach at approximately 5:45. The beaches close at 7pm so I have 1 hour and 15 minutes in the early evening hours to 1) tan in the waning sunlight 2) play beach sports with no one 3) relax and read a book.  Sure, there are weekends but like other people, I do have a life that requires that groceries be purchased, a home be cleaned, laundry be washed, homework be finished, quizzes be taken, and not everything can be crammed in to the work week.

Now…sunshine. Ahh yes, sunshine. We do have a lot of it down here but…

Q.) Do you know what they call June 1st – November 30th?

A.) Hurricane Season.  Children in elementary school know that down here in South Florida although even if you didn’t know you could very easily tell when you look your window and you see this every day:

Isn’t that Florida weather gorgeous?  It happens every day during the summer (or nearly every day) typically beginning at about 4pm and finishing around 6:30pm. Sure, it’s only two hours but it’s every day! It’s also right when the work day is releasing so good luck trying to wear a dress or heels or anything else cute. It must be rain-friendly. Also, invest in a good umbrella. You will need it! Also, going out right after work? Forget it. You need at least an hour to go home, dry your hair, find dry clothes, fix your rain-drenched make-up and look presentable for a night out. Even right now as I type it’s a monsoon outside. The parking lot is flooded, the winds are howling and it’s horribly ugly. Sunshine? Yeah right.  Tropical Storm Debby is howling through right now. She’s brought tons of rain and thunder and lightning and flooding with her. I’ve already heard this morning that a few streets and bridges are flooded. Yes…BRIDGES are flooded. The water has risen that high in some areas. :-/  Plus, did you catch that, Tropical Storm DEBBY.  We are only three weeks in to Hurricane Season and already on to the “D” storm. 

Plus, Disney World? Lol. Sure. If I can’t get to the beach on a regular basis what makes you think I can make it to Disney World regularly? There seems to be this misconception that Orlando is oh-so-close but it isn’t. It’s still a 3+ hour drive each way and it’s just as expensive for us Florida residents as it is for non-Florida residents. Sure they give us a “Florida Resident” discount but seriously, it’s like $8 off the ticket price. I don’t know about you but $8 doesn’t suddenly make that place so affordable that I’m visiting on a regular basis. 

Plus, your average resident doesn’t make a whole lot of money in Florida and it’s very expensive to live here. When we moved back to Florida my income rose by $2.80 per hour but my car insurance increased by $60 a month, my rent increased by $205 a month, my electric bill rose by $12 a month, and my gas bill rose $80 a month due to the distance from my job. Yep. Florida…the really expensive place to live and work so that tourists can enjoy all we have to offer.

I’m sorry. I’m not normally this bitter about Florida but on horribly rainy days like today when it’s hot and humid and rainy and windy and dark it’s hard to be happy and cheerful. It does make me miss things about living a little  bit farther north. I miss the decreased humidity which made my hair actually look pretty good most days and I miss the decreased mosquitos and lovebugs and I miss the milder summers and the mild winters and I miss being able to change my wardrobe with the seasons and being able to wear my cute winter hats when it got cold and I miss knowing I could travel a few hours and be in a different state instead of having to drive 7 hours and only being in North Florida. I guess this dark overcast rain just has me feeling a little down today.  I can’t help it…I just want all of this rain to go away.

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