Oh Florida you muggy and hot, magical, hell. I forgot about the way your gentle breeze blows through my perfectly waved beach hair, and turns me into a frizzied-hair... beauty. I forgot that wearing anything longer than a three-quater length, leaves you regretting your outfit choice...immediately. But, none-the-less, you are chalked full of entertainment, and beautiful scenery, which keep the tourists coming back...including me.
I could sit here and talk about the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and dipping my toes in the water, but, let's face it, it's been told. And quite frankly, no one probably cares. So, instead, I am going to share with you three facts that I learned while traveling from the very corner of the pan handle-to the very center of the state...
1. Florida isn't just for families vacationing: I could have easily avoided the surf shack, on the beach, (that probably had the best shrimp tacos I've ever had), and went straight to Panera for a You-Pick-Two. But, I didn't. I marched right in, past all the parties of twelves, and took a seat at the bar. And you know what? It was okay. Actually, it was great. I didn't even have to pull out my book to pretend I was reading, or make a phone call to prove that I really did have family and friends. Nope. I just enjoyed the few minutes of not working, and being some place new.* I learned to get over the stigma. To explore. To eat the damn ice cream cone with all the other families. To enjoy time with myself.
2. There is only one way to dance to Backstreet Boys: Ladies, we all know the song..."Everybody." We all throw our hands up in the exact same way. We all look just as terrible as those boys trying to mimic "Thriller" moves. It doesn't matter how much time has passed since the release of this song. We all do it. Don't even try to deny it. So FL, while cruising down the highway, in my very cool, red, Kia Soul, I looked like a complete and rockstar. WRONG...I looked like an utter ass. But, my point is, is that I had to make my seven hour solo road trip from Destin, to Tampa somewhat entertaining, and my suggested, Apple Music playlists, were just the sort of thing I was looking for. They are both life savers, and motivation to clean up your music act.
3. It pays to be kind: Seriously. We should all live by this motto, daily. I will be the first to admit that traveling can be hard, and least of all, fun. It leaves you to become an irritated, Medusa-esque* type of creature. I get it. Just try to remind yourself that things will happen, delays will happen. Terrible, unclean hotel rooms, will happen. But, those things shouldn't ruin your time. Let them ruin the ten seconds of time that they have taken up, and move on. Continue to be that kind person you were when you were planning your adventure. Believe me it pays off, and gives you access to private beach areas that aren't even part of your hotel, just because you smiled. Thank you, front desk gal. Thank you.
So, Florida. I learned a lot. See you next month for my family vacation, where we will teach you a few things!
*Shout out to my Tennessee friends at the bar! Thank you for the tips about where to visit when I'm in your neck-of-the-woods. And also, to avoid Panama City. Apparently, and I quote, "It's Walmart with sand."
*Medusa: She had the face of an ugly woman with snakes instead of hair; anyone who looked into her eyes was immediately turned to stone. That's all you need to know.