Tag Archives: Florida

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As a kid, I never understood the expression “You can’t go home again”. I thought it was idiotic. After sleepovers at friends’ houses, after long afternoons at band practice, after a week at SeaCamp (oh, don’t act so surprised: I was and still am a dork), home was always waiting for me. No matter how much time had passed, I’d reasoned that the one thing that you could always go back to was go home.

As I grew older, my understanding of this concept changed slightly. You could still go home, but you might find that someone else lives there. Or that you aren’t welcome any more. Or that your room has been turned into a storage closet and all of your personal possessions are “in the attic” or were “given to the Goodwill.”

Time passes, people change, and sometimes home is no longer that. This realization hit me a few weeks ago, when I returned to the only place besides Seattle that I’ve ever called home: Indialantic, Florida.

What’s that? … Oh, please. You have NOT heard of it. You are thinking of Indiana. Or possibly Atlantis. Both of which have a larger population of residents/mer-people than Indialatic (pop: 3,000).

Indialantic lies on a spit of land sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, and its name is as portmanteau of those two bodies of water. It is not vibrant or bustling. There’s no movie theater. I don’t know what kids nowadays do on a Saturday night (I know what we did. We rented Jeff Goldblum movies and giggled at his impossibly small waist. Kids today now ogle hairless, poreless young men who were probably genetically engineered by Disney. How sad.)

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Since my friend Desiree’s visited a few weeks back, and I’m awaiting an upcoming visit from Christine (the brilliant blogatrix behind this post, and several awesome comments on the site) I’ve been thinking a lot about my life in Florida, and how I’ve changed since then.

Don’t worry – this isn’t some sort of soul-searching post. Nor is it a reflection on how much I’ve grown (gag) or anything of the sort. Because let’s face it: the only thing about me that’s grown since I’ve left Florida is my delightful posterior (more to love, bitches!).

Rather, this is a post about the habits I had in Florida, habits that I suspect most people have in the south. And how different my everyday routine is now that I live in a cooler, rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest. Why do I bring this up? Because the United State is huge. I don’t know if you’ve realized how huge, but here’s a brief reminder:

I am embarassed by how long it took me to make this.

I am embarassed by how long it took me to make this.

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I’ve noted before on the blog how strange my upbringing in Florida strikes me sometimes. Compared to Seattle, it is a radically different place: flatter, more conservative, and somehow weirder.

I remember being devastated when we moved away in the middle of my freshman year of high school (this will remain a sore spot in family history for decades, but that’s another story). And while I wish that certain things had played out differently (because walking into a cafeteria as a freshman in the middle of the school year and knowing no one is absolutely terrifying) I am very, very happy that I no longer live in Florida. Not because I don’t love it or the people, but because so much of the stuff I see when I travel down there is so ridiculously jacked up, that I have to take photos.

And that’s just time consuming.

Behold some of the crazier sh*t the hubby and I saw on our last trip.

1. Tea baggers, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

Real-life teabaggers! I wish we had photo-bombed them with a sign that says, "Honk if you're scared of black people."

I wish we had photo-bombed them with a sign that says, "Honk if you're scared of black people."

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You owe me one.

Because Tin City sucks ass. And now you know, so you will never, ever have to go there. Not that you would. But if you found yourself starving near Naples, Florida, and your husband innocently said, “Hey, that place looks interesting,” you could unwittingly end up spending the better part of an afternoon there. And it would be somewhat awful.

I know. It happened to me.

As you know, from my tedious and extensive but nevertheless sporadic coverage of it, we were in Florida a few weeks back. We covered a lot of the state. A lot of it. This was mostly due to miscommunication, and the fact that my cousin, while lovely, tends to make plans without actually consulting people first. So while we landed in Ft. Lauderdale (where he lives), he thought we were landing in Orlando, so he planned a trip to Disney with the kids.

The result? We ended up driving three hours in the middle of the night through Florida. I do not recommend this.

My husband at a Denny's in Plantation, Florida, in the middle of the night. He is unhappy.

My husband at a Denny's in Plantation, Florida, at 10:45pm. He is unhappy.

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Rand and I headed to Florida last month, since he had some work to do there. Heading back there is always a strange experience: I lived in Florida from the middle of second grade to halfway through my freshman year of high-school. Formative years, to be sure, sandwiched between my life in Washington. The result is a strange one: I’m a Pacific Northwesterner, and I’m one of the few people in the city of Seattle who was actually born here (of our friends, I can think of three). But I missed some pretty quintessential Seattle experiences – including Kurt Cobain’s death, the closing of Pizza and Pipes, and the rise of Microsoft.

Still, I’m a Seattle girl at heart. I am able scoff at the current prices for Bumbershoot, remembering when it was $17  for a two-day ticket (and wondering, on my 16-year-old’s budget, how I would pay for it). I recognize Pat Cashman’s voice on the Taco Time commercials (and when I interned at King-5, I’d freak out if I ever saw him in the halls). And Joel McHale, now on NBC’s Community, will always be Joel from Mercer Island. He will forever be the co-host of Jus’ Pimpin, wearing overalls and a backwards baseball cap, representing the hardcore streets of Bellevue.

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