1. You get excited to see alligators. Okay, more than excited. You anxiously await the moment you spot one in the community pool; until then, all you can do is dream up the perfect Instagram filter.
2. The Atlantic Ocean turned turquoise? What is this place? A postcard?
3. Thoughts in the ocean: “Why is there a starfish on my foot?!”
4. Any confidence you once had in a bathing suit is obliterated by thong-wearing South Beach regulars (old, hairy men included; but, that’s none of my business, though).
5. Please define Chonga.
6. Turns out, the daily, torrential downpour is always followed by a big, happy sun. Just go to the beach and fight through it.
7. You don’t typically expect to find a large palm branch sprawled across the entire road, but think again—somehow, they are always there.
8. Fifteen miles no longer equals a fifteen-minute drive? Why?
9. …Driving here in general.
10. So, people drive through buildings here daily or just every other day? It’s hard to keep up.
11. You do everything you can to avoid paying the painful $450 dollar fee for a new Florida license plate.
12. Though, you secretly pick out which one you will get once you’ve finally saved up; so many options! #manateeplate
13. There is actually a tax-free hurricane-shopping holiday? This is news to you—beautiful, new-flashlight-worthy news, at that.
14. What’s the deal with guava-flavored desserts?
15. The lack of Chick-Fil-A locations is concerning. Worse, if you moved from the Northeast, there is no Rita’s Italian Ice in close enough proximity to justify a trip. Creamy custard and nice ice, we will meet again, someday.
16. No, you haven’t heard of UTZ? On to the next gas station.
17. You are ecstatic, though, to see that Wawa is expanding to Florida!
18. Wait. Does this newly discovered Publix sub, in fact, trump a Wawa sub? Further investigation is needed.
19. You are proud of your winter tan lines. (Although you once considered them more of an annoyance than a boastful accessory, the fact that you get them in February calls for celebration).
20. Tourists know more than you do about Florida. They flock your new town during winter rather than summer; even they’re smart enough to get out before the humidity settles in.
21. Apparently, trips between the USA and Cuba are not as impossible as we were led to believe?
22. Spanish seems to be practically everyone’s first language down here. Why didn’t you focus during class in high school? Spanish app, ASAP.
23. So, iguanas are normal?
24. Panthers, too?
25. And, strangely enough, Shark Valley has nothing to do with sharks?
26. Oh, please excuse me while I walk through this giant, unavoidable cloud of gnats. I actually wanted them tangled in my hair, so this is perfect. #southfloridasummer
27. SoFlo doesn’t use EZ Pass like the rest of the East Coast. In fact, the SunPass and C-Pass are extremely frustrating; why are two separate passes used for road tolls? Come on, Florida.
28. You didn’t realize that the words “SoFlo” and “SoBe” are just an ill attempt at trying to sound cool down here. If you aren’t already cool, abbreviating words doesn’t help. Who cares? YOLO.