The F-L-A

Shockingly enough I was in Florida last week to visit my family. And no nothing bad happened – no Republicans chased me down the street and no hurricaines swept me away. It’s a little known fact that I was indeed born and raised in the sunshine state – I pretty much spent my entire life trying to escape Florida but, as I’ve gotten older, I seem to go back there at least twice a year to see family and to go the big art fair. Being from Florida I grew up in the land of sun, no seasons, driving, and beaches. It’s not all that different from southern California – in fact, I often call southern California the “livable Florida” meaning that there are similar qualities but we beat them out with an actual city (and all the fabulousness that goes along with it), no humidity, and a better location to get to the desert, the forest, or the mountains. Let it be said that we are lucky people to live here.

All that said, Florida is not without its merits. For instance, in the most unexpected town called Punta Gorda (yes the one that Hurricaine Charlie ripped through) has the best sushi restaurant I have ever been to. It’s called Amimoto’s and I’m telling you, it has the best avacodo rolls and a warm tofu roll. If you’ve ever been to Punta Gorda, you can imagine my surprise – it’s a constant, yet wonderful, surprise.

Another great thing about Florida, at least to me, is that it’s a little bit country. One of my favorite things to do when I’m there is visit my former horse trainer Gene Gage who recently launched her first website and, from my encouragement, a blog. Take note folks, this is probably the first horse-related blog plus website in existence.

So that’s that – Florida isn’t as bad as it used to be but that’s really just because I live in Los Angeles.

11 thoughts on “The F-L-A”

  1. The name Punta Gorda made me want to laugh. Some of the town names I’ve heard, once translated, seem kinda weird. Fat point? Rat mouth (Boca Raton)?

  2. How about Islamorada (purple isle) that’s where I’m from and it really WAS named well…it’s full of bouganvilla. Caryn…I’ve always felt that Fl & CA were sisters…both have the same DNA but different attitudes.

  3. I’m another Florida transplant. Grew up just outside of Orlando in Apopka, FL. Apopka means like “Big Potato” in the local Seminole dialect.

    It used to be a bit of a hick town, still is, but now it’s a fricking bedroom community for Orlando.

  4. There are A LOT of things I love about South (and middle) Florida, and A LOT of things I love about Southern California, but one of the things that’s hardest for me here is that it NEVER, NEVER EVER feels like beach weather here. Not that I’d actually get into water that was under 80 degrees anyway. :)

  5. Caryn, you can tell you are a real Floridian…that was a perfect description! “the land of sun, no seasons, driving, and beaches..” *sigh* I as born in the northeast and still feel like a Yankee (more than 30 years later) – I think I need a visa to get out of this state. =P

    DrewB, I am just east of your home town in beautiful Altamonte Springs. Truth is, growing up I thought “Apopka” was the intersection of Wekiva Springs Rd/SR 436. You should see that place now. (Caryn, sorry for babbling on in your comments.)

    Love the site…I hope you don’t mind me just jumping right in.

    ~ Susan

  6. Mmmmm…. there’s a Sonny’s right near that intersection. Man, I miss their iced tea.What the heck is with the rest of the country and its lack of iced tea… even in the Southern restaurants!Ah well. Count me in the Floridian mix. Grew up in Tallahassee, school in Gainesville, worked in Orlando (Altamonte Springs).

  7. Wow, who knew that Florida would bring about so many comments?!

    Lizriz- I never go to the beach (never have) so I don’t worry about that. Strange isn’t it? I’m the only one in my family pale as a ghost!

    Susan – my description should have also included old people, rednecks, pick-up trucks, and the cracker barrell. :P

    Pappy – Ah, iced tea. Although my theory is that good ice tea never needs to be sweetened. My family is divided on this!

    Pappy – Ah, iced tea. Although my theory is that good ice tea never needs to be sweetened. My family is divided on this!

    Pappy – Ah, iced tea. Although my theory is that good ice tea never needs to be sweetened. My family is divided on this!

    Pappy – Ah, iced tea. Although my theory is that good ice tea never needs to be sweetened. My family is divided on this!

  8. Hey now.. Apopka’s a real town at least! (compared to Alt. Springs at least. :) )

    And man… Sonny’s.. get some of that sliced BBQ beef, that thick garlic bread and the hot BBQ sauce for a little impromptu sandwich. And of course, a big honking glass of tea.

    Cool to see that so many hometown folks are around in this weird plain of LA. (Any other FL folk find it weird to be so far above sea level, this close to the ocean?)

  9. Sonny’s!!! YAY!! Sweet Tea and the sliced beef, yeah…I need to get there and soon.

    Caryn, please tell me that you put milk and sugar in your hot tea and NOT lemon. =P

    Oh, and let me just recount one small thought about your continued description. Imagine this – I am a big time concert goer. I decided to go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute concert (to see the Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow and Hootie and the Blowfish mixed in with all of the country acts). Imagine a mix of Nascar fans, country music fans and Florida a day long festival with an endless supply of beer kegs. Yeah…one of the oddest days of my life.

    And Drewb…I wasn’t dissing Apopka…that wouldn’t be neighborly. =)

    ~ Susan

  10. Amimoto’s is okay. Most excellent sushi can be found in Ft. Myers’ BluSushi and also in the Ichiban’s off of University Dr in Tampa.

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