I've lived in Florida for nearly twenty years, and it was starting to feel like I'd never leave. However, that changed earlier this year, and I now find myself on the opposite coast of the USA. Are there some things that I miss in Florida? Sure. However, there are plenty of things that I don't, and IMO, good riddance!
What is NOT Missed
I (literally) cannot count the number of hurricanes and named storms I have been through. This burden is amplified by my job and the number of people I am responsible for. If I had just my husband, dog, and myself to worry about, I'd deem every storm "Hurricane Party" and BYOB.
As a native girl from Kansas, I must say Tornados > Hurricanes.
Don't get me wrong, tornadoes suck, and I've seen a few cows nearly ripped from the fields. However, they are quick, and it's a bonus if you have a basement or storm shelter.
When we moved to Florida and house hunting, I noticed that basements were a rare commodity. Here, you not only get hurricanes but on the outskirts (like where I was), you'll get tornadoes too, so double f*c%!
There were times that I went days without water and weeks without power. (P.S. I would have made MacGyver proud to discover how to brew coffee with a grill, K-cup, and pantyhose on my back porch.)
Sorry, Florida, but you can keep that sh!t. I understand that I face the threat of wildfires and earthquakes now, but I had enough of your near-tropical sh*t storms.
Sweet baby Jesus, it's hot and humid in Florida, where I felt like I lived in Mother Nature's armpit in the summer. Even at 7 a.m., I was sweating in locations I thought impossible, giving a new understanding of the term 'swamp crotch.'
When I hear of something ridiculous on the news and take a guess where it happened, chances are that I am going to assume it's in Florida. Need examples? Here are a few:
Need I go on?
I don't know if it's the heat or the humidity, but damn, Florida. WTF?
What I DO Miss
Oh, Publix, how I miss you. Not only do I crave your noteworthy "Pub Subs," but you often provided me some much-needed comic relief during Hurricane Season with your iconic Hurricane Cakes. Thinking about your BOGOs on top of that makes me tear.
Despite your recent decision to discontinue your Hurricane Cakes, I still miss you.
I am no tax expert, but Florida clearly beats California when it comes to taxes. In Florida, I did not have any state income tax to deal with and received property tax exemptions. Also, let's notice that the sales tax rate of 6% is much better than Cali's at 7.25%.
Cheaper Cost of Living
Three months into living on the West Coast, I am still sticker-shocked by the cost of living here. At the time of this writing, the lowest price for a gallon of gas in Florida is approximately $3 per gallon. However, where I live in California, the average cost of gas is roughly $5.60. Don't even get me started on our grocery bill, either. Being a single-income family, I watch our budget, and OMG, groceries are significantly more expensive in California vs. Florida.
What both states have that I accept
Drivers in both states suck
Dear Florida & California: Your drivers in both states, without a doubt, are 100% S-U-C-K. In Florida, I encountered my fair share of "red light runners." However, in California, I firmly believe that most drivers think they are driving on the Autobahn. When it comes to driving, neither state wins.
Disney & Universal
I've visited Florida's Disney World several times and Universal once, but I immensely enjoyed both amusement parks. However, I can experience both parks again but on a different coast! I have yet to experience California's Disney Land and Universal personally, but from what I've queried, they go head-to-head, and I'm eager to compare both coasts!
Regarding texture, I am partial to Florida's powdery white sanded beaches. However, the area of marine life in California that I have gotten to experience has taken my breath away. Tucking my toes into the warm sand of Florida, it feels like I'm walking on sugar-powder. However, in twenty years of living in Florida, I never pulled over to see whales.
I've been in California for three months (so far) and have gotten to see whales (and keeping my eye out for great white sharks and harbor seals.) It's a toss-up regarding beach life between the coasts, with both having significant benefits.
As an amateur videographer, it's a toss-up regarding the view. Florida provides a sub-tropical vibe, and warm crystal clear water is tough to beat without taking a flight to an island. However, California's coast is also picturesque, providing a powerful juxtaposition of cliffs that drop into the ocean, often reminding me of the Cliffs of Moher.
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About the Creator
Blogger | Creative Writer | Traveler | Full-Time RVer
You can find all of my articles on my blog as well on Medium where I'm most active in Humor, Lifestyle, and Travel. I've self-published one fantasy fiction with the sequel in the works.