A Tall Glass of Cold Florida

What’s the scoop, Pigeon Handlers?

Now that we’ve had some time to assess and explore [very minimally, mind you. there are more adventures up ahead] our new home of Florida, it’s time to start letting all of you people out there know the important stuff…like weather.

“It’s called the sunshine state.” You say, snuggling into your jacket at your desk because Janet from Accounting is the closest to the thermostat and she tends to run hot.

Right-o! But whether you care about whatever the weather, I’m here to do something. That last line sounded a lot cleverer in my head but now I’m sort of confused. The point is this: There is weather in Florida.

Anyway, you might recall from my road trip post about my first experience with the climate in Florida. I’ll take this time now to reuse that same information you’ve already got once and give it to you again, because thinking up new and exciting content for every single post is tough work. So there I was, wandering and wayward Texan touring through FLA like a man on a mission, stopping only to rest after the road had become too much. I stopped in the capital city and enjoyed a nice respite in a schwanky hotel, motel Holiday Inn.

Now, a bit of a side note for everyone: I may have started my Florida adventure in November, but I’ve been in the Sunshine State of Mind since about July. This was right about the time my travel trailer in the oil patch stayed 85 degrees up until the sun went down. If you aren’t familiar with West Texas in the summer, sunset isn’t for a while. Anywho, I had been rocking floral shirts as a way to both stay cool and get me in the mindset that as soon as I was able to retire, I was headed out with all the other snowbirds.

Back in Tallahassee, I woke up and walked out to the car in a very brisk 34 degrees, to which I cried “Bait and switch!”

At any rate, that proved to be a bit of the exception and not the norm, as I spent the next month and a half or so in the Keys where the cold weather hadn’t really showed up. Now that’ve I’ve been in Ocala for a few weeks, we’ve alternated between chilly and hot. Say what you will about the wishy-washy and unpredictable nature of Texas weather, but Florida is giving the Lone Star State a run for its money with the ups and downs.

The nice thing, which I’ve come to notice from Okaloosa to Ocala, is that the cold days aren’t that bad. Back home south of I-10, if it is cold in winter, its wet, dreary, and bleh. Here, and this is with limited experience, the sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It feels like what I imagine Fall to be, since neither state I’ve lived in seems to schedule that particular season.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Cold Florida is the water. Back around Thanksgiving, I was driving back to the Keys from South Texas. A full day on the road, especially I-10, had left me feeling pretty meh about being in the car for another day and a half. So, I hoped off the interstate and decided to take 98 down the coastline, mostly because of the beach at Pensacola. I stopped off at said shore front and walked out into the sand and just looked for a while. The crystal-clear blue water, the white sandy beach. And then I got a crazy idea: Why not take a little dip in the ocean during December?

Folks, if you ever get the chance or have the thought to do something like that, I say run with it. I skipped back to the old Soccer Mom Mobile and threw on my trunks and hustled back to the water. There was a chilly breeze on the air, giving my goose bumps and I neared the edge of the shore. After wading into knee deep water, I plunged. Lordy, Lordy, gosh almighty. Talk about refreshing. Of course, it was some pretty cold water and I did sprint back to the car to dry off and change. But I can’t tell you how revitalizing that was. My mood, soured by traffic and a little admitted homesickness, bounced right back up and put me in the Florida Spirit.

Despite being known as a vacation spot for your summer fun in the sun, Florida has a lot to offer during the cold months. So if you’re looking to escape some of the drear that old man winter might be raining down, come out to the Sunshine State. It might not be warm, but it could be just the refresher you need.

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