Advertisement
  1. Florida

How Florida are you? How many of these essential Florida things have you done?

If you live in Florida, you’ve probably encountered an alligator. Or a lovebug. Or gotten caught in a rain shower that lasted, well, for 10 minutes.
Magic Kingdom photo: [ALLE GOULDING | Times]; Orange juice photo: Times (2000); Raining photo: Times (2013)
Published Jun. 14

Ever wondered how Florida you really are? We’re here to give you a better idea.

This week, a graphic asking “How Southern are you?” went viral on social media, allowing people to rate themselves based on how many Southern foods they had tried, like gumbo, chicken fried steak and butter beans.

So we decided to put together our own informal list of what it takes to be a Floridian. We didn’t stop at just food. You’ll find some friendly pests and weather phenomenons on here as well.

If you find yourself nodding your head and relating to most of the items on this list, rest assured, you’re definitely a Floridian.

1. You’ve lived through a Florida rainstorm and you know that things will blow over if you wait it out about...10 minutes.

Times (2008)

2. You can immediately identify a snowbird by their out-of-state license plates and inability to drive.

CHRIS URSO | Times

3. In the summer, you start sweating the second you leave your house. (Sometimes even before the summer.)

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

4. But once it hits a cool 70 degrees, you’ll bust out the parka.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

5. You’ve (seriously) asked the question: “Have you ever seen snow?”

SCOTT KEELER | Times

6. You’ve worn a Hawaiian shirt before—unironically.

Times (2007)

7. You’ve enjoyed some fresh-squeezed orange juice. You know citrus is an essential element of living in Florida.

Times (2017)

8. Key lime pie: We love it, but it’s not actually green. And we know the difference between a Key lime and a regular lime.

Times (2019)

9. You have a favorite spot to get a Cuban—and probably a second-favorite spot. And you have an opinion on the Tampa v. Miami Cuban sandwich war. (Hint: There is only one right opinion. It’s Tampa.)

Times (2018)

10. You know every good morning starts with café con leche and pastelitos.

A woman pours café con leche while pastelitos are pictured. OCTAVIO JONES | Times (2018) | (Zack Wittman, The New York Times)

11. The first time you find a giant, flying cockroach, you scream and just hope it will go away. But by the 50th time, you’re desensitized. You know living in Florida means cockroaches.

CHRIS URSO | Special to the Times (2016)

12. Your car has been covered by swarming lovebugs far too many times.

Insects, Love Bugs, 9/10/1980

13. You’ve spotted a manatee, or sea cow, in the water and immediately told all of your friends.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

14. Waking up to an alligator in your home. Or really any interaction with an alligator.

Photo courtesy of Clearwater Police

15. You’ve anxiously shared hurricane memes on Facebook.

Photo from Reddit.

16. You’ve enjoyed a conch fritter or any type of fried seafood.

SCOTT KEELER | TIMES (2015)

17. You’ve taken your cocktail by the water. What is Florida if not the country’s tiki bar?

Times (2015)

18. Publix is a way of life. We live for their subs and we love their free samples at the deli counter (though they’ve now discontinued that practice in some stores).

Jasmina Meyer, Highlands Today (2008)

19. You know Cuban bread has to be made with palm leaf strips.

Times (2012)

20. You probably have an annual pass to Disney World or Universal Studios. Maybe both?

ALLIE GOULDING | Times

21. You’ve waited in line at Disney to enjoy that delicious snack, the Dole Whip.

ALLIE GOULDING | Times

22. You probably have an orange or lemon tree in your backyard.

Times (2018)

23. You’ve tasted a Plant City strawberry.

Times (2018)

24. You’ve probably lost one friend or family member to this classic rivalry: University of Florida vs. Florida State University.

Special to the Tampa Bay Times

25. Ever had a seagull steal your lunch? Yeah, us, too.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)

26. Some rooms mystify you. A basement? What’s that?

MONICA HERNDON | Times (2018)

27. Other rooms don’t mystify you at all. We love a good Florida room.

Photo provided by Monica Brandies

So how many of these Florida things have you experienced?

Graphic by Allison Graves and Elizabeth Djinis, Tampa Bay Times.

Methodology: If you’re wondering how this list was compiled, we’re happy to tell you. We asked our newsroom. But we know there must be quintessential Florida items that we missed. Feel free to let us know.

Times staff writer Allison Graves contributed to this report.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Bins filled with products move on conveyor belts at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Ruskin. Amazon just announced it will open a similar center in Auburndale, Fla. (Times | 2018) Tampa Bay Times
    The new center will span more than 1 million square feet and be No. 11 in the state.
  2. Authorities say Rocky Ali Beamon strangled and stabbed 27-year-old Nicholas Anderson in January 2017 when they shared a cell at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton. Florida Department of Corrections
    Rocky Ali Beamon previously had been sentenced to life in prison for a 2005 murder in Hillsborough County.
  3. The Bookstore at the  Oxford Exchange during its First Friday event on 09/06/13. TIMES (2013)  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Plus other Instagram-worthy spots around Tampa Bay.
  4. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The FDLE is investigating the incident, during which deputies fired their weapons in an attempt to stop the driver.
  5. The David A. Straz Jr Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa was one of several buildings named for the philanthropist and banker. [DENNIS JOYCE   |   Times] DENNIS JOYCE  |  Tampa Bay Times (2018)
    The David A. Straz Jr Foundation donated more than $33 million to dozens of organizations in nearly 20 years
  6. A sinkhole opened up beneath a phosphogypsum stack at Mosaic's Mulberry plant in 2016, draining 215 million gallons of waste into the aquifer below. Neither the company nor the state Department of Environmental Protection notified the public until a television report revealed what happened. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)]
    Problem at Bartow plant began in October, but public was given no notice.
  7. In this Thursday, Aug. 1, file photo, Amanda Kondrat'yev, the woman accused of throwing a sports drink at U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in June outside a town hall meeting, arrives at Winston Arnow Federal Court House in Pensacola, Fla. Kondrat'yev has been sentenced to 15 days in federal custody for throwing the sports drink at Gaetz. TONY GIBERSON  |  AP
    Amanda Kondrat’yev pleaded guilty to assault in August and had faced up to a year in jail.
  8. Dr. Carlyle Luer and his wife Jane  with an orchid in Ecuador, one of the many countries where they searched for the flowers. Luer, co-founder of Marie Selby Botanitcal Gardens in Sarasota, died Nov. 9 at age 97. Photo courtesy of Selby Gardens. Courtesy of Selby Gardens
    Dr. Carlyle Luer gave up a medical practice to pursue his orchid obsession.
  9. Broward County firefighters spent about four hours early on Saturday, battling fires aboard two luxury yachts that caused nearly $20 million in damage. (Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue/TNS) HANDOUT  |  TNS
    When firefighters arrived, the boats were completely engulfed and smoke could be seen for miles.
  10. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that two-thirds of Medicare Part D beneficiaries, or about 9 million people who don’t receive low-income subsidies, will see their monthly premium increase for next year if they stay in their current plan. To sort through your options, visit the Times' Medicare guide at tampabay.com/news/health or contact Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, a state program commonly known as SHINE. Contact them at 1-800-963-5337 or information@elderaffairs.org. MICHELE MILLER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    About 9 million people with Medicare Part D plans will see higher premiums if they don’t make a change before Dec. 7, a new study says.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement