Ahh Florida. The perfect American vacation standby- not quite “across the pond”, but enough of a necessary climate change from legendary northeast Ohio winters. It is a state populated by migrating old folks, Mickey Mouse, and MTV-sponsored spring-break hedonism, a wild and wonderful mish-mosh of generations all hell-bent on relaxation.
My trips to Florida with my cousins were always the best part of the summer. The year we went to Disney World, I was so excited to be tall enough to skip the Dumbo rides and brave the terrors of Space Mountain. I think the highlight of that trip was getting to pet this guy:
Now that I’m a grown-up, the World Showcase at Epcot is probably my favorite part of Disney. It appeals to the traveler in me while appeasing my broke-college-kid spirit. While I won’t be visit Europe again anytime soon, I’m happy to tag along anywhere I can “see” France, China, and Morocco all in one day.
The year before college definitely holds my greatest traveling adventures to date. After a tour of the Germanic countries with my high school Deutsch class (stay tuned for pictures!), my cousins very generously took me on another trip down South. We stayed on a beautiful beach with sugar-white sand in Ft. Myers and saw Circ de Soleil, a show that will blow your mind sideways and make you wish you HAD run away with the circus when you were a kid. If you have a bucket list, seeing this show should be on there. My favorite act had to be the aerial ballet, which is like a cross between aerobatics and ribbon dancing. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but it’s kind of like Pink’s 2011 Grammy performance, except even more ridiculously awesome.
We also got to explore the Sanibel Island wildlife refuge, where the temperature was 110 degrees and even the alligators were sweating.
While my hair rivaled Snooki’s in the swim-through-the-air humidity, the deliciously hot, lazy weather made for a fantastic vacation. But what makes the sunshine state so special for me isn’t the sandy beaches, nice weather, or even Disney World. Rather, it was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream:
Don’t let that smile fool you. I was TERRIFIED. But having established a three step adventure plan (parasailing, bungie-jumping, and then, *gulp* skydiving), I figured I had better take the opportunity to complete phase one. With a white-knuckled death grip on the bar, my Aunt and I were launched into the air…..
…..and oh man, was I hooked.
Though I might want to wait a while longer until I tackle step two.