It is no secret I don't like Florida. It is not too bad right now as I am avoiding "wintery mix" and 40 degrees back home, but in general - not my favorite place.
(Time to suck up to Florida residents: it's not you, it's me. I have issues with climate, stereotypes and bad experiences. There are many nice people who reside in Florida, I just won't be one of them and I am begrudgingly a tourist. Please don't take this personally. Thanks.)
I have been compiling a list of things about Florida that cause me to feel the way I do. Following is a sampling.
Gator Heads - They sell 'gator heads in the Walgreens as souvenirs. The large one is $99.99. If you can't afford that one, small ones are $19.99. If you can't afford a 'gator head, you can git yourself a 'gator paw back scratcher. How red-neck is that? When I get home I am going to start marketing squirrel heads and squirrel paw back scratchers - we gots a lot o' them critters runnin' around, too.
Boring - at least where I am. Lots of retirees (aka: Blue Hairs and Gummers) that all eat early, drive erratically and talk too much about their gout and bad hips. I know I should respect my elders, but it is all too elderly for me. I like a mix of ages, I guess.
Strip Malls - everywhere. I have developed an intense dislike of malls lately (even though I met my wife at the largest mall in the US. And "No" we did not get married at the mall. We aren't that "trailer") but I have especially come to dislike strip malls. It is all just so much parking lot and so very little shopping and then the stores are usually junky. Ick!
Humidity. I do not like humidity. I makes me tired.
Sun. I do not like sun. I makes me hot.
I am just not a sit on the beach or lie by the pool kind of person. I will unwillingly drag myself into the pool to play with the kids (nice dad, huh?), but the pool kind of bugs, especially when my kids hang on me like I'm a life raft. I like to toss them in the air and stuff like that - you know, "dad-feats-of-strength", but these kids are perfectly capable of swimming on their own. I find it hard to believe they need to be draped all over me like some "kid suit". I need to do stuff, usually by myself, when I am on vacation. My favorite vacation activities usually involve being unable to talk to people - scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming in the ocean, running, napping - you know, vacation stuff.
Bad food. I don't know if it's all of Florida, but everywhere we have been, not just our current location, but other cities in Florida as well, the food is terrible. Now, I am no gourmand to be sure, but I can tell a good meal from a bad one. Breakfast this morning was fine, but it wasn't some magical feast as described to me. Dinner, again, nothing to write home about. I think the restaurants figure that everyone is so old they can't taste a damn thing anyway so give them inferior food. Ugh.
Leathery people. Don't these people understand that skin cancer is a killer. I just don't get the logic behind getting tan until you look like an old Gucci loafer. Oh, and then get your teeth whitened for that added unnatural effect. Put some fricking sunscreen on, you dopes. (I am talking strictly to the WASPs in the crowd here and the other Caucasians of various religious leanings. And the white atheists and agnostics. Satanists? I am kind of on the fence. Are there nice Satanists out there? I don't know, just to be safe I am talking to them as well. Other ethnicity's with darker skin are encouraged to wear sunscreen as well, but you don't look nearly as bad as those tan white-folks out there. Have I offended everyone? No? Well, if you feel left out, I meant to inadvertently offend you as well.)
Clowns. There aren't more clowns in Florida or anything. I just don't like clowns. (No, kids, I am not afraid of clowns. I just don't like them.)
I still have a few more days here. If I think of other things I dislike about Florida, I will be sure to let you all know.