Florida vs. Texas
Some of you may already know that I have recently returned from a week-long trip to Florida. Hubby and I had a great time, and criss-crossed the state for our vacation fun. As much fun as we had, I did not like Florida, and Orlando in particular. I just don’t get the appeal.
Part of the problem is that it rained literally everyday we were there. I know this is atypical, since the nickname “Sunshine State” had to come from somewhere, but it was still unpleasant. For the first couple days we enjoyed it, coming from the drought-stricken state that we do. We wandered around, faces toward the sky, talking about how spoiled these Floridians are with all their rain. After a couple days of this, the skin on my entire body felt pruny; I couldn’t get dry. Everything in our hotel rooms, from the carpet to our laundry, felt moist. I worried about mildew growing on me.
We also had issues with the tap water. I don’t know if it’s too hard or too soft, but it tasted terrible, and made me break out. Even though I was using my own soap and shampoo, my skin stayed forever greasy, and my hair was dull and flat. Hubby had the same problems.
Driving in Florida is a nightmare. I love to drive fast, and I think speed limits everywhere should be raised to 85 mph, like in some lucky parts of Texas. We didn’t see anything higher than 55mph the whole trip, even on highways. I don’t know if it’s because all the retirees complained, or so you can avoid running over alligators, but it’s awful. It was so hard to restrain myself to such infantile speeds.
The other huge problem moving around the state is that most of the major highways are toll roads. In order to get anywhere with paying an arm and a leg we had to take long, meandering routes through jungles and swamps. What would have taken 45 minutes in Texas took over 2 hours.
My main gripe with the state is how fake it is. The minute we landed we realized the striking difference. The Austin airport is full of shops of local companies, like Amy’s Icecream, Bookpeople, and Waterloo Icehouse. Orlando’s is full of chains you see all over America, like McDonald’s, the Disney store (which is logical), and Macaroni Grill. It looked more like a mall than an airport. Hubby and I tried in vain the entire vacation to find somewhere local to eat. For seafood we only found Landry’s and Joe’s Crab Shack; for fast food there was Chik-fila (which we did NOT eat at), Wendy’s, and Steak and Shake (they have good breakfast tacos). There wasn’t even anything regional to try, like how Carl’s Jr. and In-n-Out are out west. The whole place was inauthentic and commercial, both things that I loathe.
Now that I have gotten all the complaining out of my system (just on this one topic, so don’t get your hopes up) I plan to write several blog posts about all the fun we had in Florida. It was a great vacation, but I’m content never to return to that state.