It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun Times in Fort Myers, Florida

White pants in great!
This past week has been ridiculously fun. I'm in Southwest Florida (Fort Myers to be exact), enjoying the place where I lived and worked for three years during my journalism career. Many of the good friends I worked with at WINK-TV have moved on and moved away, but we all meet during the winter months to escape the brutality that is winter in most parts of this country. And for those of my friends who still live in Fort Myers, we quickly pick up where we left off and laugh about the good ole' days.

Since Wednesday I've been laying by the pool, eating out, meeting friends for dinner, going to the beach and shopping. I've nearly wiped away all the memories of snow and gloomy skies that are inevitable in the Midwest right now.

Perhaps it's revisionist history, but I've always looked back at my time in Fort Myers at the best of my life. I met Mike and three women who would eventually become bridesmaids, I soaked up the sun, grew professionally and learned a lot about myself. It's funny though how time magically erases the memories of the miserable salary I made, the awful traffic during tourist season and the hurricanes I spent many an hour covering with rain-soaked clothes and a worry that my condo might be wiped away or my dogs injured.

It's interesting to come back now as a person who's no longer a local, because I've made some interesting observations this week. If you've ever been to Florida, you'll probably enjoy these...

* Everyone with an Ontario license plate is a terrible driver who goes 20 under the speed limit. Always. I'm guessing the trip from Canada to Florida must take an entire month at that snail's pace. (By the way Ontario drivers--a middle finger in the U.S. is not a good thing.)

* When I look around at all the people with snow white hair, I'm amazed that Florida is the spot where I met my husband. (Really, it's somewhat of a miracle.) To anyone still looking for that special someone, this is proof that miracles really can happen.

* European visitors love tanning their skin until it's of a dark, leathery consistency, and clothing is minimal (think speedos), if not all together optional. Plus, they are either really confident in their bodies, or they don't own full-length mirrors.

* My cellulite is not as bad as I thought.

* Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. At times, it seems like you're spending more time sitting as stop lights than lounging on the beach. (It doesn't help that many drivers are older/don't know where they are going/always drive in the left lane.)

* There really is something magical about eating outside and laying by the pool in March. It's also amazing how quickly you forget that it's snowing and cold in many other states.

* Finally, It stinks that the most relaxing years of our lives have to come with arthritis, health problems and white hair. Why can't we retire in our 20's, and then work later in life, like our 70's?

Tomorrow, I'm trading sun for snow and heading back to Chicago...ugh. Yet somehow I'll get by, knowing there will always been good friends and good times waiting for me in the 239 area code.

No comments:

Post a Comment