In the spirit of last week’s posts, where I detailed the Things I Will Miss about LA and the Things I Won’t Miss about LA, I’ll do a couple of posts on my old/new (temporary) home to give you an idea of what I’m in for here.
(Side note: if you’re not up-to-date on my recent cross-country adventures, I did update my About Me page, if you want a short-n-sweet summary without having to hunt through back posts.)
So… here I am… in South Florida… Land of palm trees, beaches, spring breakers, and old people. And other stuff, I suppose. Read on!
Things I Like about South Florida:
1. My family.
I literally have NO close family west of the Mississippi. (I’m sure there’s a few fourth cousins twice removed somewhere, but that doesn’t count since I don’t actually know them.) The point is, in LA, I was far away from everyone. Here in Florida, I have my parents and grandma and aunts and uncle and cousins, all super close, or within a few hours’ drive. It will be nice to have family nearby for a little while. Even if it’s only a little while.
Also, it’s REALLY wonderful to have the family support for helping me take care of my dog. She gets 2 meals and 4 walks a day. That might not sound like a lot of work, but trust me, it is for one person. She is a really active dog, and boy does she know her schedule, so I have to make sure I’m home at the right times, which gets really inconvenient when I’m in the middle of my shift at the tea shop or if I want to go out to dinner. I really appreciate that my parents help with that when I’m at work, and on occasion, when I’m on a date.
2. Speaking of dates… My boyfriend.
Yep. He lives here. And I’m here. So that is good.
3. The beaches.
Clean white sand, sparkling turquoise waters that are warm. What’s not to like? Also, you can kayak, sail, parasail, snorkel, scuba dive, and swim!
4. The seafood.
In the same vein as #3, a lot of life here is (directly or indirectly) connected to the ocean and to the beach-y way of life. One of my favorite things is that there is seafood available in pretty much all the restaurants, regardless of the price point. I can get a cheapo grilled grouper sandwich at a bar, or I can get fancy stone crab claw for like a zillion dollars at a highbrow restaurant (Ok, technically that doesn’t really happen because it’s super expensive, but I COULD buy it in theory if I chose to shell out the moolah). Granted, not all the fish is necessarily local, but the general seafood culture permeates life since we’re such a beach-centered community. Yay!
5. The health-oriented culture.
There are juice bars, and farm-to-table restaurants, and yoga studios, and fresh produce, and organic foods readily available here. Obviously, this is sort of a sub-culture of South Florida and not super mainstream, but it’s not hard to find things that are right up my alley! I like being healthy.
A TON of people in South Florida have pools. It’s an awesome place to get some exercise, catch a little vitamin D (and chlorine, but shhh, we’ll pretend that doesn’t count), and relax when you don’t want to deal with driving to the beach. Hmm… I could use a little more vitamin D. And maybe I should stop blinding people with the glare off my legs when I’m wearing shorts. I might need to work on this one, folks.
7. It’s quieter.
This may be a reflection of just the neighborhoods I have personally inhabited, but in my experience, Florida is generally quieter. It helps that the population here is less dense (by comparison to LA), so it’s not as easy to hear your neighbors. Also, because it’s hot, people keep their windows closed most of the year, so that cuts down on noise, too. I love me some peace and quiet. There is just more space, too. All the buildings aren’t quite so crowded together. And there are more trees everywhere! Not just in “nature” designated areas.
8. Oh wait, duh, Disney World.
Living near Disney World > living near Disneyland. Disney World is the place of some of my favorite childhood memories. It is gigantic. There are SO many more rides and activities in the many Florida parks that the smaller California parks don’t have.
9. Mom’s cookin’ and Dad’s grillin’
Since we’re on the theme of childhood memories, I should mention that it sure is nice to get some yummy, healthy, homestyle cooking. Thanks, parents!
10. The opportunity to re-examine things.
I’m not exactly sure how to explain this one, but I’ll try. I’m grateful for the opportunity to shake things up. I think I can better appreciate where I’ve come from, both in my childhood here in Florida and in my young adulthood in California. Being in a new/old place allows me to get reaquainted with people and places from my past, so I get a better perspective on myself and my future. This is a good thing.
Well, they’re all good things. #1-10. 🙂