The Sunshine State, a place that gets equal parts love and criticism. People admire its white sand beaches, fun-filled theme parks and year-long warm weather, but often fear its tropical storms, frightening wildlife and “colorful” inhabitants.
The truth is, Floridians live a different way of life that differs from just about anyone else in America. They can be rednecks, or beach bums or even city slickers, but there are some things that they all have in common. Here are 20 things all Floridians have done at least once in their lifetime.
20. You’ve been late because you had to stop for wildlife crossing.
And learned that turtles aren’t usually appreciative if you try to help them cross the road.
19. You’ve eaten a sub at Publix.
And know it’s way better than any average deli sandwich.
18. You’ve survived a hurricane.
And by “survived,” we mean attended a hurricane party.
17. You’ve had a run-in with a bird.
Whether it’s an aggressive nesting mama bird, a Sandhill Crane blocking traffic, or a hungry seagull stealing your sandwich, birds are a part of daily life in the Sunshine State.
16. You’ve been unfazed by an unexpected rain shower.
Because you know it will only last 15 minutes.
15. You’ve been to a theme park.
Or twenty. It’s hard to throw a rock in Florida without hitting a costumed character.
14. You’ve had a horrifying encounter with a Palmetto bug.
And you know that’s just a fancy name for “giant flying cockroach.”
13. You’ve worn a sweater or jacket in 60-degree weather.
Because that is just too darn cold!
12. You’ve eaten alligator.
And can confirm that it tastes “a lot like chicken.”
11. You’ve scraped love bugs off of the front of your car.
And you know there’s nothing “lovable” about these disgusting creatures.
10. You’ve seen the ocean.
Or the Gulf, which is better than an ocean.
9. You’ve had a lizard stuck in your house.
And know that they’re good at hiding inside and under things, much to your dismay.
8. You’ve had passionate feelings, either good or bad, about The Gators.
After all, college football is a religion in Florida.
7. You’ve worn shorts and flip-flops in December.
And January, February and March.
6. You’ve seen an armadillo.
And know that they’re not very good at crossing the road.
5. You’ve cursed “snowbird” season.
Love the boost to the economy, hate the traffic.
4. You’ve eaten at Waffle House past midnight.
And were most likely intoxicated.
3. You’ve seen a space shuttle launch.
Most likely from your car parked on the side of the road with a case of beer.
2. You’ve stopped being shocked by Florida news.
Face-eating zombies; drunken, redneck antics; wild, vigilante monkeys. None of it surprises you anymore.
1. You’ve seen a manatee and dolphin in the wild.
And know that it’s awesome every time.
Regardless of what people say about Florida, you can’t truly hate a place where it’s warm enough to wear shorts all year.