Well, it's official. I have a Florida license plate on my car, a FL driver's license in my wallet, and I'm officially registered to vote in the country's most populous swing state!
Don't be fooled, though. I am still a Midwesterner, and it shows. I wear capris when it's 95 degrees and 70% humidity outside, and I bring my zip-up hoodie sweatshirt with me everywhere I go just hoping for an excuse to wear it--which there frequently is, since every building is over air-conditioned to compensate for the boiling temps outside. I have to ask people to repeat themselves--and vice versa--since I'm still not used to the Southern drawl (of course, it's *me* that has the accent and talks too fast, according to the locals), and since I'm not willing to get skin cancer just because I changed my zip code, I'm as fair-skinned as ever, and will probably stay that way.
We have been enjoying the Southern hospitality, though--everyone we've met has been extraordinarily friendly and welcoming. Kelly has already caught fresh fish for dinner off our pier (snapper!), and he's anxious to put his scuba certification to good use as well. We take walks on the beach at night and have a hurricane-preparedness brochure stuck to our fridge. (Okay, not exactly, although during an extreme thunder storm that woke us up in the middle of the night about a week ago, I asked Kelly, "Do they have a hurricane siren here?" Which, of course they don't--another of my Midwestern "lost in translation" moments [I mean, come on, I'm used to hearing the practice tornado siren going off every Friday at 11:00 a.m.]. Since we don't have TV, either, we've asked our over-protective grandmother-ly neighbor to let us know if one is headed our way.)
The best part is strolling around our neighborhood in the evenings...which of course, brings us to scenes such as this:
We seriously feel like we take a mini-vacation whenever we go to the beach. It's easy to forget that we actually *live* here!
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