I am aware that Florida is one of the only places in the United States where it is not snowing right now. I’m getting plenty of “I’m Jealous” emails and phone calls (I got it guys, you can knock it off now). Sure, it’s 20* and foul where you are, but believe you me, life in the Sunny South isn’t all sunshine and… well, sunshine. So in my defense, here’s a few reasons you shouldn’t hate my guts.
1. Florida is sandy.
Sure, warm sandy beaches sound great. But when I say sandy, I don't mean charming, white fluffy sand. I mean gross, sticky gray sand, chock full of microbes that cause itching and leg crud. Florida sand seems to have a particular affection for white horse legs... something I have plenty of down here.
And it gets EVERYWHERE. I feel like sweeping my apartment is a full-time job. The horses love rolling it in, of course, and so I'm brushing and sudsing it out of their coats all the time. It sticks to their feet. It sticks to their boots. And it sticks to me, too—I feel grimy all the time. Give me good ol' red Virginia dirt any day.
2. Floridians are scary drivers.
A friend who did business in Central America told me a story once about getting in a cab at the airport and heading into town. The driver blasted through the first red light he came to, not even bothering to look both ways. He did the same to the second. The third light they approached was green, and the cabbie came to a screeching halt, then looked both ways. “You have to check to see if someone’s going to run the red!” he explained.
It’s not that bad here, but it’s close. I watched a guy park his car by driving over two different sets of cement parking barriers. In a Buick. Yikes! See, is freezing rain all that bad?
3. All we do in Florida is ride and go out to eat. (OK, so this one maybe doesn’t count…)
No kidding. I was on this big get-back-into-healthy eating plan. I went to the store, bought my produce and roughage. And then I moved down here. I honestly haven’t eaten in my own abode in a week. Fat AND bankrupt. Doesn’t anyone want to go bowling or something instead?
4. Florida has an extensive population of Creepy Crawlers.
Cockroach kill total: 2. And it’s not like I’m living in squalor or anything. This was a beautiful, clean, tidy space when I moved in, and I have (mostly) kept it as such myself. Ew. Cockroach total in snowy Virginia: 0.
5. Florida has no cell service.
None. Zip. Zero. How this can be, in one of the flattest places I’ve ever lived, where I’ve yet to see a building higher than two stories, I cannot say. But it’s a mystery.
Today my voicemail thingy beeped, to indicate I had a message. I had five messages, some of them several days old. (And hey, P.S., if you’ve called me and I haven’t gotten back to you, this is probably why.)
6. Key Lime Pie is everywhere. (Yeah, it’s possible this one doesn’t count either…)
Why would you not be jealous of this phenomenon? You would be if you, like me, are a girl who just can’t say no. It’s fresh. It’s delicious. And it’s EVERYWHERE. Oh God, I’m going to be such a tank when I go back up North. Although, packing on the pounds for a cold winter such as this could be a smart survival technique.
7. They recently pulled a 13-Foot-Long Alligator from a canal down the street.
What more is there to be said about that?
8. Florida has no turnout.
Well, not NO turnout. Half an hour per day isn’t nothing. But my horses are used to 12 hours a day. And while in winter grass is crappy everywhere, even summer Florida grass still looks more like Astroturf than something tasty.
Ella and Tres are very adaptable, but Midge is staging his protest by becoming an absolute pig in his stall. It is NOT pleasant. They would all certainly be happier outside, even if it is snowy and gross.
And there’s more. The water here is yellow and smells like feet. Gas is expensive. Hay is ridiculous (which is why I brought my own, but still.) Everyone here is SO PRETTY. It really is a terrible, horrible place. So you shouldn’t feel bad that it’s cold and horrible while we’re basking in the sunshine, getting melanoma. You’re not missing out—really!