22 Things You'll Understand If You're From Cocoa Beach, Fl

22 Things You'll Understand If You're From Cocoa Beach, Fl

It truly is One of a Kind.
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The World Famous Cocoa Beach, Florida is a well known tourist town that attracts many families every year with its beaches, surfing, resorts, history and relation to the Orlando area. However, Cocoa Beach isn’t just a tourist trap. Every Cocoa Beach native has a special place in their heart for this unique town. It truly is unlike any other and has a special charm that no other place can replicate. Here are 22 things that every Cocoa Beach local can relate to.

1. You can hear and see rocket launches from your own home.

At this point in your life they’re commonplace. If you want to see the launch all you have to do is look out the window.

2. Your childhood was filled with hurricane evacuations.

Every time a hurricane came your family turned it into a vacation to visit another evacuation site.

3. You took at least one field trip to Kennedy Space Center and then probably never went back

Kennedy Space Center is one of the pride and joys of our area, but most locals only go once to visit. It is definitely a cool site to see that everyone needs to do at least once, but once you’ve gone it’s almost no big deal to you.

4. You go to the beach all the time and can probably walk there from your house.

Going to the beach is the main thing to do in this town, so you’re there all the time. Almost the whole town is based off of A1A, so the walk to the beach from your house is usually worth it to avoid paying for parking.

5. You either regularly surf or you’ve tried to learn how to before.

Since Cocoa Beach is the East Coast Surfing Capital, the sport is kind of a big deal here. If you don’t regularly surf, you’ve definitely had lessons or have tried to learn from a friend at least once. Learning to surf is practically a right of passage to live here.

6. If you’re feeling bored you just go to Orlando.

While you love this town, it can get a little boring sometimes. Luckily, Orlando is just a stone’s throw away, so you go there a lot to enjoy their many attractions.

7. You feel like you know almost every person who lives in the town.

Even though we are a tourist town, it still feels pretty small. Everyone is a mutual friend of everyone and it’s hard to find someone that you’ve never heard of.

8. Surfinista, Tiny Turtle, Epic Burrito, Taco City, Grill's, and Rock the Guac are your lifeblood and if you’re feeling fancy you go to The Fat Snook.

Cocoa Beach has some of the best restaurants on the Space Coast. You grew up eating good food and never expect anything less.

9. If you had a dollar for every “I love this Island” sticker you’ve seen in your life you’d be a millionaire.

These things are everywhere. They’re the symbol of our friendly neighbor town, Merritt Island, and are commonly seen all around our town when their residents come to our beaches.

10. You know how to avoid Cocoa Beach traffic as much as possible during the summer and rocket launches.

As soon as you got your license, you learned all of the back roads, rush hour times, and alternative routes to avoid A1A as much as possible during tourist season.

11. You refuse to pay for parking at the pier and will find different ways around it.

Parking at the pier can cost as much as $20 on some days, so you will do whatever you can to avoid it. Whether you park at a church, a friend’s house, or at Publix, you’ll do whatever you can to avoid paying to park.

12. Every time you describe to someone where you live you pinpoint the relation of your house to Ron Jon’s.

Ron Jons is like our city’s landmark. Describing where you live in relation to Ron Jon is second nature and the easiest way to describe your location.

13. Kelly Slater is practically a god

His supernatural level talent is awe inspiring and the fact that he’s from Cocoa Beach makes him a symbol of our town. There are multiple Kelly Slater statues around town, but the main one is constantly decorated for holidays and visited by tourists. Not many other towns can say that they’re home to one of the greatest athletes in history!

14. You’ve watched I Dream of Jeannie and have been to the area it was filmed.

Everyone in Cocoa Beach feels kind of famous watching I Dream of Jeannie and recognizing the places where the show was filmed. You probably drive by the main area it was filmed every day.

15. Every time you go on a road trip, you use the Ron Jon’s billboards to figure out how far you are from home.

Who needs a GPS? These signs show up every few miles for a stretch that reaches many states. All roads may lead to Rome, but all billboards lead to Ron Jon’s.

16. The skate park was the coolest place to hang out in middle school.

During your angsty teen years, the skate park was the place to be. Whether you were skating or just watching other people skate, you used to hang out there all the time hoping your crush would notice you.

17. You despise driving near those scoot coupes that tourists love to rent.

Those things are so small and annoying. Tourists, who are notoriously not the best drivers, are always manning them too, making them especially dangerous.

18. You genuinely get annoyed when people confuse Cocoa Beach and Cocoa.

Nothing can make a Cocoa Beach native more mad than telling them they live in Cocoa. Cocoa is another town in Brevard that is not even anything like or very close in location to Cocoa Beach. Educate yourself, everyone.

19. The amount of seafood you’ve eaten in your life is much higher compared to the average person.

This town has some of the best seafood around. Period.

20. Going on a cruise is your family’s go-to vacation.

Port Canaveral is incredibly close by, so whenever your family is thinking of a quick vacation to go you always choose a cruise. For many people going on a cruise is a novelty, but for us its an almost annual thing.

21. The summer boat races and Christmas boat parade are some of your favorite events.

With so many houses on the water, it’s hard not to own or know somebody who owns a boat. The boat races on the beach or the boat parade during Christmas time are always fun events.

22. You wouldn’t trade this town for anything.

This town has a small town feel while still having tons to do. With its prime location, beautiful beaches, restaurants, friendly people, and rich history, Cocoa Beach truly is one of a kind.

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Maine: The Way Life Should Be

This "wicked good" state is a hidden gem in the United States.
Anna
Anna
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When I moved to Maine four years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about it. This rather small state on the East Coast is not particularly well known in Europe or even some parts of the United States as I came to find out later.

But in those four years, I came to love this state despite those long horrible winters that sometimes made me question my choice of moving there. Now that I moved back to Europe, I will tell anyone, whether they like it or not, about this wicked good state and how awesome it is there.

For anyone out there thinking of going there to visit or for anyone who is adventurous enough to move there, here are some reasons why Maine is not only Vacationland but also one of the best states to live in the United States.

Nature:

There is absolutely nothing more breathtaking than the nature of Maine. Throughout all four seasons, nature is something that people from all over come to admire. Whether it's the Indian Summer with incredible views of foliage as far as the eye can see, or the winter wonderland that Maine turns into as soon as the first snow hits the ground. During the summer months, the millions of hiking trails throughout the state will invite anyone to go on a little adventure and to go off the grid to recharge your batteries.

Camp:

During the summer months, most Mainers go out to camp. Camp in Maine can mean anything from a small shack with an outhouse to a nice comfortable house with all the bells and whistles. Maine has a ton of lakes and most families own some property that is on the water. The days during the summer are spent playing lawn games, going out on the water with a jet-ski, swimming and just eating tons of good food. The quality time that you spend out there makes you really appreciate the simpler things in life and will help you get through those long and cold winters.

The food scene:

Maine offers something for anyone. If you are into vegan, and healthy foods there are tons of alternative restaurants or little shops everywhere that will give you exactly that. Many of these places are locally owned and the food is sourced from surrounding farms and cooked fresh. However, if you are looking for some comfort food you will also not be disappointing. Tons of restaurant will offer you that burger with fries or some incredible mac n cheese which you might be graving. Also, you can pretty much find any ethnic cuisine that your heart desires. And because life is only truly complete with dessert Maine has incredible options. Whoopie Pies, for example, is something anyone going to this state needs to try.

The sense of community:

The people of Maine are among some of the most friendly people I have ever met. When I moved there I didn't really know a soul. By the end of my four years, it was hard to say goodbye. These relationships have really impacted me and my life would be very different if it weren't for these incredible individuals. Mainers have this wonderful talent of making anyone feel welcome and part of the community fairly quickly. Also, the support they show for people in need is heartwarming. Whether it's fundraisers or volunteering within the community, if there is something that can be done to help Mainers are always willing to do that.

The quality of life:

If you are looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle, Maine is definitely for you. There are tons of outdoor activities throughout the year, festivals in the summer, football games and apple picking in the fall, and holidays throughout the year that will keep you busy. You have the option of living in a city like Portland which will give you the feel of a big city or you can literally live in the middle of nowhere with your closest neighbor being some deer and moose. Whichever one you prefer Maine has something to offer for anyone!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash
Anna
Anna

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Top 5 Most Haunted Places In America

Haunted places are all over if you know where to look. America is no different.
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I don't think there are any countries that don't have at least one ghost story. Haunted places are all over if you know where to look. America is no different. It's a land built on blood and tears which would make it no surprise if some spirits still linger on its soil.

1. The Cecil Hotel, California

If you're ever in Los Angeles and looking for a place to spend the night I would steer clear of 'A Stay On Main.' That's the name that was creatively given to the hotel in 2011 to help mend its gruesome image. In the late 20's the hotel opened its doors as a ritzy establishment furnished with only the finest things. That lap of luxury didn't last long with the Great Depression leaving the Hotel in one of the worst areas of town. It was nicknamed' Skid Row' because of the mass amounts of transients that stayed in the area. The misfortune didn't end there however. A string of over 10 suicides happened at the hotel over the years, including the mysterious death of Elisa Lam who was found in the hotels' water tank. Her death was ruled a suicide, but that wasn't without speculation. She was seen on hotel security cameras acting frantic inside of an elevator hours before she died. She wasn't found in that water tank until over a week later. A maintenance man had been sent to check the tank after multiple guests complained of foul-smelling water and bad water pressure. Another famous victim was spotted at the hotel before her untimely death; her name was Elizabeth Short; better known as The Black Dahlia. To further add to the deathly aura of the hotel, it also housed notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez. It's no wonder the hotel has been trying so desperately to stay afloat. I certainly won't be staying at The Cecil if I'm ever in LA.

2. Waverly Hill Sanitorium, Kentucky

In the early 1900's Jefferson County was struck by an outbreak of tuberculosis. The number of patients that needed treatment made the demand for a hospital urgent. That's why Waverly Hills was built. It originally housed around 50 patients, but as demand for treatment grew the hospital had to expand. In 1926 a new hospital opened on the grounds of Waverly Hills. This massive structure could house over 400 patients at one time. The hospital thrived until 1961 when new drugs were developed to better help combat tuberculosis. This new medical breakthrough made the need for tuberculosis hospitals unnecessary and they closed their doors that same year. The next year they reopened with a new goal in mind, rehabilitating the elderly. The woodland geriatric center was open until 1982 when they were shut down for cases of patient abuse. The walls of Waverly Hills saw plenty of horror stories in the years it was open, to say the least, but they didn't end when the facility closed its doors for medical treatment. If you went to visit Waverly Hills today you would find that it hasn't changed much over the years. The current owners have spent years restoring the place to its former “glory.” They hold ghost tours and events at the site and spend the profits on the restoration project. One of my favorite shows Supernatural even shot an episode at the site! It's a huge building with a lot of history so it's no wonder why they spirits inside have a lot to tell.

3. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Nestled in the hills of Estes Park Colorado sits one of the most infamous hotels in existence. The Stanley hotel was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley after he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. He decided to spend the rest of his days in the scenic atmosphere of the mountains. The air up in the mountains ended up doing wonders on his disease because he lived to the ripe old age of 91. During his life in the mountains he not only built a luxury hotel but also the first town bank, and sewer company, water company, and power company. The early years of the Stanley were fruitful and happy, but that doesn't change that sinister reputation the hotel has received. In the 70's a much younger Stephen King stayed the night in room 217 and left with an experience that birthed one of the greatest horror novels in American literature. 'The Shining' was a novel that gained massive popularity. When word got out about that site being the inspiration for the film people quickly flocked to see the place for themselves. The equally popular Stanley Kubrick film the novel is based on wasn't film there however. The sightings have been seen all over the hotel, but the hotbed for activity lies in and around room 217. Take a word of advice and book a different room if you stay there unless you don't plan on getting much sleep.

4. The Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Have you ever heard of the jersey devil? If not then you are in for quite the story. Legend states that in the early 1700's in a poor town near the pine barrens a woman named Deborah Leeds had given birth to 12 children. Out of frustration cursed her new spawn saying that “The devil can have him.” The child was born looking like an ordinary baby but quickly turned into a frightening monster. He grew over 20 feet long, dawned hooves, a goat-like head, long black wings, and a forked tail. He then began to destroy the Leeds home before flying out the chimney into the night. That's how the jersey devil was born. People have claimed to see the creature many times over the years from as early as the 1700's to recently. In 1909 a newspaper got over 100 calls stating they had seen the creature. That week he terrorized the town and supposedly knocked over a trolley car in the process. A 10,000 dollar reward was put out for anyone who could find and capture the creature, but no one managed to do so. After a while, the sightings died down, but people still claim he's around the pine barrens occasionally killing livestock, and in some cases small children. Today people use the tale of the jersey devil to terrorize kids and have a good camp story, but with all the sightings over the years who's to say if he really isn't out there?

5. The Winchester Mystery House, California

If you've ever heard the phrase 'the gun that won the west' they're referring the Winchester Rifle. The Winchester Repeating Rifle was the best gun the use in combat at the time, so sales skyrocketed making the Winchesters a fortune. That wonderful fortune didn't come without a price though. Sarah and William Winchester conceived a child in 1866, but the joy didn't last long. The infant contract a disease called 'marasmus' and died in July of that year. Sarah was stricken with grief and withdrew herself from society. She was so heartbroken that her and Oliver never had another child. The tragedy of Sarah life didn't end there, with Oliver dying of Tuberculosis in 1881. She had inherited more wealth than most people could dream of, but that didn't end her suffering. A friend told her to consult a medium to see if she could contact her husband. At the time Spiritualism was a huge movement and people claiming to be able to speak to the dead were around every corner. It wasn't hard for her to find someone to help her on her endeavors. The medium she found was able to accurately describe Williams appearance and went on to tell her that the reason for her misfortune was because of the blood her fortune was built on. The Winchester rifle had killed countless people and now her family was cursed by those spirits. The medium said she to would die if she didn't sell her house in New Haven and move toward the setting sun. She would know the spot when she found it, and she would build a house for her and the spirits. She was also told if she ever stopped building the house that she would die. Soon after her consultation she moved to California where she saw a 162 acre plot of land owned by a man named Dr.Cadwell. Sarah knew this was the place she was meant to go and convinced Dr.Cadwell to sell it to her. This is where she used her fortune to hire the best contractors in the city. She kept her promise and constructed a house that was under continuous construction until the time of her death. The Winchester Mystery House got its name because of the amount of architectural chaos that's contained within it's walls. Sarah had the workers build doors to nowhere, staircases that lead to nothing, and secret passages. Some say this was all because of poor designing, while others believe it was Sarahs' way of trying to confuse the spirits. She would regularly hold seances in the house in an attempt to talk to her former husband. She lived in the house until September of 1922 when she held her last seance before retiring to her room and dying in her sleep. Now the house is a historical landmark and regularly hosts ghost tours for guests. I wouldn't wander off from the tour though, it would be quite easy to get lost in a house like that.




Cover Image Credit: Paraholics

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