Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Sunshine State of Mind (Orlando, Florida)

In my efforts to continue to travel once a month, I decided February was the perfect time to visit one of my best friends, Dylan. He recently moved to Orlando, Florida to be with his girlfriend while she interns for Disney. I had some time off from work, I'd never been to Florida before, and I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Disney World (my body may be 22 years old but my mind is forever 12) - so I jumped at the opportunity when he invited me over to stay with him for a few days.

Though the #1 thing on my list was to visit Disney World and Harry Potter World (omg) I did actually want to see a little bit of central Florida while I was there. Despite how much I love to travel essentially anywhere and everywhere, Florida has never been somewhere I've been truly interested in visiting. From everything I had heard about it I had an intuition it would be a place I wouldn't particularly like.

Aaaaaaand I was correct.

Let me tell you, pasty white people with curly hair do not fair well in extreme heat and humidity. I walked off the plane at midnight (yes, it was hot and humid at MIDNIGHT) Florida time and within 10 minutes was already ready to go back to California. Oh my sweet lord baby Jesus I would never, ever be able to live there. I felt my skin melting like I was in the frickin' Wizard of Oz.

That being said, my first full day in Florida was enjoyable. I was jeeeeeetlagged and not feeling up to jumping straight up into theme parks, so Dylan and I spent the day being touristy. We blasted music and caught up on life while visiting downtown Orlando (which reminds me strangely a lot of downtown  Phoenix, Arizona) and then quite literally drove all around rural central Florida. We creeped around Lake Jessup for a while on a hunt for GATORS!! The lake is supposedly filled with over 10,000 of the bad boys so we spent our afternoon wrestling and hunting them in the Florida wilderness! Aka we did not find any, which is probably a good thing because if I actually did see one I may have fainted from terror.

(Lake Jessup) 

(Dylan about to spear a gator in the head) 

After our epic gator hunting adventure I was super exhausted, so we grabbed some fast food, came back and watched cartoons. An epic way to end my first day, if you ask me.

(A shady bridge on the lake.) 

I can see the beauty in Florida. The palm trees are pretty, the clouds are really fluffy, and I can even get down with the whole "creepy swamp" thing. But when it comes down to it, I could not be more grateful to my mother for raising me in California and not the middle of nowhere Florida (or anywhere else in the US, for that matter). Mom, if you're reading this - you are THE BEST!

*Extra note: I finally got a new camera! No more iPhone quality pics on the blog. Hope you all noticed the difference!

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