1. You learned to swim before you could walk.
~ True. I remember going to swimming lessons every summer, but I already knew how to swim. It was more a precaution.... a reminder. Seriously, I don't remember ever NOT knowing how to swim. Babies in pools are pretty much a requirement in Florida and if they know how to crawl, they need to be taking "swimming survival lessons."
2. You were brought up correctly into the true religion of Publix subs.
~ Publix, anything, really. Honey-pressed subs are the best. Except for the holidays when The Holiday Sub comes back. I'm not kidding.... when The Holiday Sub reappears, text messages and FB statuses abound.
3. And you got free cookies at the Publix bakery just because you were a kid!
~ Publix cookies are amazing. Especially the chocolate chip cookies or the sugar cookies with sprinkles. It is a sad day when the Publix bakery lady thinks you are too old for a free cookie. It is a happy day when you take a child (Lydia) who doesn't finish the cookie.
4. By now, the Stingray Shuffle is second nature.
~ I don't think about it and haven't for years. It is amusing, though, to explain to a non-Floridian that they can't pick up their feet and walk normally in the ocean.
5. Your driving test was a joke, and you probably didn't even have to parallel park.
~ I did not have to parallel park. And, while there are areas of my town that have parallel parking, I can't do it. I will say that the girl who took the test after me, failed.
6. And you NEVER had to drive in the snow.
~ Not only that, but I've only seen snow fall from the sky once.
7. Hurricanes don't even make you flinch.
~ Anything less than a Cat 4 is child's play, really.
8. Field trips to the swamp were actually kind of cool.
~ We had swamp bordering two sides of my school, so we didn't have to take a field trip. We just had science class outside. Though, we did take a SUPER fun field trip to the Withlacoochee Forest in the 6th grade.
9. School footwear:
~ Public schools don't allow flip flops now, but they used to. My school did and still does (for secondary).
11. Dressy footwear:
~ Don't forget church footwear, also.
12. You could spend hours in one of these.
~ As long as I have the spray suntan lotion in the chair with me.
13. This was your winter coat.
~ That exact one. And, one in blue.
14. Two words: FUN NOODLES.
~ You don't even need the floating chair, if you have 3 or 4 fun noodles.
15. You didn't have to be rich to have a pool.
~ No one in my family was rich. We all had pools. If you had a pool AND a hot tub, then you were getting somewhere.
16. Hurricane days!
~ More importantly, Hurricane Parties!!!
17. You petted one of these on a field trip.
~ Multiple times. In fact, I petted one last year.
18. You got to go to Disney Grad Nite. (RIP)
~ Ironically, this one DOESN'T apply. I went to Disney, plenty, but not Grad Night. My school didn't participate.
19. After every wave, you knew you got to watch the coquinas bury themselves in the sand.
20. Every Friday and Saturday night: the outdoor mall and a movie.
~ To this day, lol. In high school, my friends would eat dinner at this one particular place and then walk across the parking lot to the movie theatre.
21. You knew exactly where you and your friends could hang out until late at night.
~ We didn't have a Perkins, but yes. More importantly, we knew where NOT to hang out until late at night.
22. You conquered the Montu.
~ Five times in a row. True story.
23. Slow drivers don't faze you, because you're used to going 30 behind a huge Cadillac with Ohio plates.
~ I'm used to it, but it does annoy me at certain times of the day. Also? The guy behind me, tailgating and flashing his lights because he can't see that blue hair is in front of me? REALLY pisses me off.
24. Got a date? You knew exactly where to go.
~ Putt-putt golf is an old standby. In fact, it's like one of the safest dates ever. PS - I have been to that exact course more than once.
25. An acceptable dinner:
~ Banana Split Blizzard with Heath Bar is dairy, fruit, and dessert all wrapped in one.
26. You got to spend most of third grade learning about these.
~ Yep. And, American Indians. Specifically, Seminoles and Cherokees.
27. You didn't have to wear a big coat over your Halloween costume...because it was still 90 degrees outside.
~ Slutty costumes abound on Halloween. Half because of the slut factor and half because it's really hot most October 31st.
28. You got used to these just chilling everywhere.
~ Like pigeons are to NYC.
29. Learning to plot hurricanes was an actual elementary school lesson.
~ As are hurricane and tornado drills are actual drills, at least once per quarter.
30. Every school pizza party:
~ And, then, everyone would fight over the garlic butter.
31. You got to freak northern people out by revealing you'd never seen snow.
~ Still have only seen it fall from the sky once.
32. You laughed when people bought these at shell stores, because you already have a bunch you found (already dead, of course).
~ I will never understand people who BUY sand dollars. Get them at the beach. Dry them out. Bleach them. Dry them again.
33. Shell stores.
~ We have them, but I still don't understand why people frequent them.
34. You and your family knew EXACTLY which side you were on.
~ Orange and Blue, baby. Orange and Blue. I am seriously afraid that I might fall in love with a Nole.
35. You knew you didn't need snow to make it *feel* like Christmas.
~ It infuriates me when people say that it can't be a real Christmas in Florida. As Heidi found out this year and noted several times, "You people in Florida REALLY know how to celebrate Christmas!" We have parades, parades, and more parades. Decorations everywhere. Christmas trees in the middle of the lakes. ICE! at Gaylord Palms. Disney at Christmas time...... Wonderful.
36. You had a drawer for your regular shorts and a drawer for your nice shorts.
~ And, we had/have our regular flip flops and our nice flip flops.
37. This was your family's idea of a good time.
~ It is not MY family's idea of a good time, but I know a lot of people who love it.
38. Someone you knew had one of these in their yard.
~ I had these in my backyard of one of my houses, as a kid. And, a kumkwat tree.
39. It takes a REALLY big bug to gross you out after growing up with lizards, dragonflies, snakes, alligators, and fire ants.
~ Roaches. Or, Palmetto Bugs. Those suckers get huge in Florida. And, they fly.
40. You could play outside all year round.
~ We can. In fact, we do.
41. You're tough with burns, because you've touched one of these after it sat in a Florida parking lot for hours.
~ Worse. Sitting on leather seats in a car with shorts on.
42. You were always tan, just from walking to and from your house.
~ Nope. I burn. It takes all summer of me wearing SPF 50 for me to get tan.
43. And of course, the best part about being a Florida kid: