In Pensacola, Florida

Faking Winter in Florida

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!

Skating, Toboggan Rides, Santa, Arts and Crafts, Winter Wonderland

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.

ice skaters falling on fake plastic ice

Floridians dropping like flies while “ice” skating on plastic tiles.

The toboggan rides? They were actually giant inflatable slides.

kids sliding down an inflatable slide

The snow was fake too, blown from a machine at the top of a building.

child playing in fake snow

And Santa? He was nowhere to be found.

empty santa chair with toy sack next to it

Where’s Santa?

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?

boy falling while ice skating on plastic rink

As long as there’s someone to help us back up.

man helping boy up after he fell on ice

Who cares if the materials are fake? As long as the joy is real.

Mom sliding down inflatable slide with daughter

And who cares if Santa isn’t there? As long as I get to sit in his fancy chair.

Woman sitting in Santa's 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?

woman playing in the snow

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  • Joelle
    December 23, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Amy, if you ever feel the strong desire to experience “real” winter, feel free to visit me.

    • Amy
      December 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Would love to! As long as you promise we’ll make snowmen, snow angels, and have a snowball fight. :D

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