Growing Up In Florida
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25 Things You Remember From Growing Up In Florida

Some things other states can't match.

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25 Things You Remember From Growing Up In Florida
Tayler Klinkbeil

Living in the Sunshine State your whole life can definitely make or break you as a person. Growing up in Central Florida, I've met kids that were born to live out their days sat in a beach chair dug into the sand, and I've met kids dying of heat stroke miming shoveling because they need to be up North.

If you know me, you know I belong in the first category. But whether you intend to stay in Florida forever or if it's just a stop towards your final destination, growing up here gave us some pretty unique experiences I don't think you'd find in any of the other 49 states.

My fellow freezer babies will share my sentiment of never wanting to stop hugging the Equator, but no matter where you came from or where you intend to go, Florida is a lifetime experience like no other. If you spent your summer days by some sort of water and braved 100 degree July afternoons, you deserve a badge of honor. Or maybe just a flip flop tan line. Even so, I'm sure you'll remember these things from your sun-soaked childhood.

1. Hair tie tan lines.

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This may be reserved for my long-haired girls and boys, but if you've ever worn anything while going outside, chances are you've got the marks to show for it.

My personal favorite was a bandaid tan line across my shoulder blade. To this day, I still think my skin tone is uneven there.

2. Those popsicles. You know the ones I mean.

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With the juice on the bottom and the cuts on the sides of your mouth? Those were the days.

3. Getting out of the water when someone heard thunder.

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Whether you're afraid of storms or not, we learned you don't play with thunderstorms and water here in the Lightning Capital of the World.

4. Dripping off before coming into the house.

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And then freezing in the A/C? Oh, yeah that was the worst.

5. Avoid bodies of freshwater.

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There are some native Floridians that I don't think got the same lesson I did but...I don't swim in freshwater. The things that like to swim in Florida freshwater are gators, water moccasins, and crazy people.

6. Avoid I4.

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At all costs.

(This is the face I made when a semi behind me was still going 70 mph after construction traffic made us all come to a stop. You want to talk about white knuckle driving??)

7. Disney is not actually in Orlando.

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It's actually in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Basically Kissimmee.

8. There are no beaches in Orlando.

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Sorry.

But it is called Central Florida. That means, it's in the middle...

9. Publix.

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Having been born here, it took a trip out-of-state for me to realize the big green "P" was nowhere else.

10. "Can we go swimming?"

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Between the ages of 3 and 13, I don't think a summer day went by without my best friend and I begging to go in the pool.

11. Wear sunscreen even if it's cloudy.

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Even if you've lived here forever. Even if you "don't burn." Even if the sun isn't out.

Wear sunscreen. And any SPF under 30 is a waste of money, just saying.

12. Not all sand is created equal.

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Sand off the Gulf of Mexico is just better. Sorry, East Coast, but I'm talking cool, soft, powder sand. Not cigarette butts and tiny pebbles.

13. A cooler is a must.

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Now, I didn't say buy Yeti. That's just extravagant. But you do need some kind of cooler.

14. Check soda cans for bugs.

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And water bottles. And bags of chips. Basically check everything.

15. Bipolar weather.

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This is not a joke. If you don't like rain, wait 10 minutes.

16. Lovebug season.

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Nasty, huh? It's even worse when you realize a regular carwash doesn't get them off.

17. The humidity doesn't go away.

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In December I still use anti-frizz spray.

18. You shouldn't use an umbrella. It's like your own personal lightning beacon.

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Ponchos aren't very stylish, but they're functional. And not a conductor of electricity.

19. Try not to leave shelter between the hours of noon and 3.

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Three pm is when the afternoon showers hit, so the record-breaking high temperatures shouldn't kill as much.

20. Water.

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Drink it, swim in it, carry it. Always have some sort of water.

21. Brown & green anoles.

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Nonnatives would know them as lizards.

They kind of look giant here. They're small, I promise (usually).

22. Not owning a winter jacket.

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I bought my first at age 18.

23. Always wearing sandals.

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Okay, maybe this one is just me.

24. Having more swimsuits than socks.

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Again, maybe just me.

25. You complain about the heat, but come winter, you hate the cold.

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The children of snow birds that claim they miss the beautiful rolling hills and chilling temperatures of a northern climate, you don't count. Go back.

I'm talking about us freezer babies down here that can't handle under 80 degrees without a hoodie (again, that could just be me).

I hope some of these things brought you back to a simpler, sweatier time. I know that I'll live and die in Florida, with short and sweet visits to colder climates.

If you're like me, let me know and we'll get Pub subs and go to the beach. If you're going to lecture me about the harsh toils of northern settlers that shovel each morning well into May, I'll send you hot dogs for legs pic to brighten your mood.

I know that growing up under the sun made me choose where I want to stay, so to all of those planning on joining me, I hope you find sunscreen and water bottles in your future. We all know you're going to need them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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