UPDATED November 7th, 2017
As snow and ice blanket many parts of the East and Midwest, northern temperatures dip below freezing and kids are forced to sleep at school because they can’t travel home, many people dream of spending the winter in Florida. But do you know how horrible it is here in the winter? You do not want to come down here, trust me!
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So before you rush to buy your plane tickets or load up the car, there are just a few things you need to consider. I’m a lifelong Florida resident and I’ve seen the worst of winter in Florida. And with tongue planted firmly in cheek, here are my 12 reasons that you should not come to Florida this (or any other) winter.
Reason #12: There’s no snow! In Florida, snow is so rare that it makes headlines. For instance, it snowed in southern Florida on January 19, 1977. In West Palm Beach, there was a slight (0.5 inch) accumulation on the ground, but it was gone by the afternoon. In January of 2010, flurries were reported from Kendall (near Miami), but nothing stuck. Now, I ask you, what kind of winter is that?
Reason # 11: All your neighbors are already here! There’s a saying in Florida that the further south you go, the more northerly the city that everybody came from. The people in Miami are from New York and New Jersey. Folks on the southwest coast of the state are from Ohio and Michigan, with a light sprinkling of Pennsylvanians. Aren’t vacations all about seeing new kinds of people? You already know everyone here, so, why come?
Reason #10: All that traffic! Every day, you have to deal with horrendous traffic conditions on the daily commute in your big northern city. What with all those Northerners down here for the winter, our roads are clogged and it is incredibly difficult to run even a simple errand. See, it’s just like home! So why come here?
Reason #9: We don’t do it like they do up North! People who come to Florida in the winter always complain about road work, long lines at the Post Office, slow restaurant service, wait time at the Doctor’s Office, etc. If we’re not doing things the way you would like, why do you want to come? Stay home, where they do things the way you want them to.
Reason #8: Old people! Hey, we all love Grandpa and Grandma. But do we love millions of them, all living in the same place? There are a lot of really old people here. The good news is that, because all the old folks are down here, you will be surrounded by young, attractive people if you stay up north. So stay home and enjoy the view.
Reason #7: All that work! Your winter home in Florida has been sitting empty since you left in the spring. You have to take down the hurricane shutters, vacuum the carpets, dust the furniture, mow the grass, have the pest control guy come through, and get the swimming pool cleaned. Why bother with all of that? This year, stay up north.
Reason #6: The wildlife! Florida has a lot of dangerous wild animals. The state has alligators, bears, panthers, pythons, fire ants and rattlesnakes. You could get killed and eaten down here. Don’t risk it; stay home!
Reason #5: The people talk funny! Folks in Florida are from all over the place and they bring their lingo with them. They say things like “Y’all,” and “Youse guys.” Waitresses in restaurants keep calling you “Hon,” and “Sweetie.” Who needs it?! Stay home and talk with people who sound like you.
Reason #4: All that water! Florida is mostly surrounded by water. Plus, there are lakes, swamps, rivers, creeks and all of those canals. The water in these places is often dark, smelly and creepy. Who knows what’s in there? Play it safe and stay home.
Reason #3: Law enforcement! The police in Florida actually expect you to obey the laws. You have to drive sober, keep your speed within the limits and pull over when an emergency vehicle wants to go past. What kind of a place is this?! Stay home where you can drive how you want.
Reason #2: The news coverage! For some reason, the newspaper and TV people in Florida seem to think that the news here is more important than what’s happening in Long Island, Cleveland or Detroit. Who cares what’s going on down here? You want to know the news back home. Stay there and stay up-to-date.
Reason #1: All that sunshine! Everyone knows that winter is supposed to be cold, dark and gloomy, right? You can’t enjoy winter when the skies are a deep azure blue, the temperature is hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s not a flake of snow on the ground. Stay home and be miserable! That’s how winter is supposed to be!