I’m back home in Florida for the holidays after an exhausting red-eye flight from California three nights ago, and I’ve only just now roused myself from a coma-like state. Time to blog!
Winter in Florida is a mystery to many. It baffles people in California when I tell them it’s colder in Florida right now than it is in California. “I thought Florida was always sunny!” they exclaim. Well, I thought the same about California, only to find out it rains in the winter. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?
The low here last night was 28 degrees; in Cali, it was 48. It’s relatively colder here, but Floridians still don’t experience a typical winter; we don’t get snow, we don’t do sleigh rides, we don’t even use our fireplaces.
So sometimes, we suffer from winter envy. I personally long to build a snowman…and make a snow angel, have a snowball fight, and do pretty much anything involving snow. We Floridians must find ways to cope with our deprivation. Last night, my mom, sister, and I ventured to a brand new “Winter Wonderland” at the Maritime Park in Pensacola, Fla. “Skating, toboggan rides, and Santa” were advertised all over the place. I was super excited. Finally, true winter activities in Florida!
It turned out to be a sham.
The “ice” at the skating rink was actually plastic. Who knew you could skate on plastic tiles? Well, judging by the sheer number of people falling on their butts–you can’t.
The toboggan rides? They were actually giant inflatable slides.
The snow was fake too, blown from a machine at the top of a building.
And Santa? He was nowhere to be found.
At first, I scoffed at the fraudulent festivities. What would my northerner friends think? How they would laugh at our naiveté!
But you know what? We all had fun anyway.
Because who cares if we fall?
As long as there’s someone to help us back up.
Who cares if the materials are fake? As long as the joy is real.
And who cares if Santa isn’t there? As long as I get to sit in his fancy chair.
The absence of these typical winter delights means their presence (even when artificial) brings out the childlike wonder in us all.
Sure, we Floridians have no idea what a real winter is. But does it look like we care?