Feb 7, 2014

15 Things A Relocated Floridian Appreciates About "The North"

I was thinking this morning that I really have enjoyed our relocation to Columbia, SC.  If you take out the facts that I hardly have any friends up here, that just about all our family lives a major drive away, that I'm stuck with coverage of USC sports instead of UCF, and that we all really miss our friends in Florida, things are awesome.  Living "up north" isn't so bad.  I've found many things that I actually prefer living in the northern reaches of our country.

[Ed. Note: We realize that South Carolina is not "up north" by any stretch of the imagination.  But, take into consideration that it is eight hours north of where the writer grew up.  Moving eight hours north of Columbia puts you in Cleveland.  Think about that.]

  1. You can leave cold food from the grocery store or chocolate in your car for a few minutes to run another errand without worrying that you will come out to a pool of nastiness in your trunk.
  2. You can make it all day without the ice in your cup of soda or tea melting.
  3. Hot drinks are extra good because they warm you up when it is cold instead of adding to the already severe case of heat stroke you've developed in the middle of January.
  4. You don't have to mow your grass for months when it is dead due to the many random freezes.  And it apparently comes back as grass - not weeds.
  5. Speaking of grass, you can roll around in the grass without itching all over or worrying you will get a "grass cut" (similar to a paper cut, but with a grass blade).
  6. No lizards. 
  7. It SNOWS!  Everyone up here said that it "hardly ever snows" in Columbia.  Yes, but by definition, that means it DOES snow at some point.  Growing up in Florida, in NEVER ever snows in Florida.  And don't try to tell me that just because a couple of flakes fell in Pensacola or Tallahassee and were on your car windshield for six hours that it snowed.  Unless it covers everything, it isn't snow. We've already had it snow twice here - one "Florida" snow and one real one that stuck around for five days.
  8. SNOW AGAIN!  People north of us hate snow because it never goes away.  But having it come a few times a year is pretty cool.  The fact that the South is completely unprepared to handle any level of snow also means that you get to have entire days off to play in the snow.  That rocks.
  9. No Halloween Horror Nights commercials.  
  10. No Morgan and Morgan: For the People commercials or billboards.
  11. Elevation.  The land is not flat.  This is cool to me.  I never liked the fact that the highest point within fifty miles of me was a dump.
  12. Teenagers answer me by saying, "Yes sir."  Every school I've taught at with Kaplan, that has been consistent.  Politeness is underrated in America.  (Could I have sounded more elderly there?)
  13. Gas expenses are much lower.  One, the gas is cheaper.  Two, things aren't so far away that a thirty minute drive is a normal expectation.  Thirty minutes here gets us to the other side of the city.  An hour almost gets us to Charlotte.  It takes me five to ten minutes to get 90% of where I need to go.
  14. History.  There are Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields all over the state.  Sure, there are a lot of people that don't like the way the first one of those turned out.  But as a history buff, I like to experience areas that existed before Walt Disney built a theme park.
  15. South Carolina has a cool logo.  I'm not talking about the university (although they also have a cool logo and great colors).  The state itself has the palmetto tree with half moon logo that is everywhere.  At first, I was confused.  I asked our realtor why South Carolina had a logo that looked like a Muslim symbol.  His snarky reply was, "It was designed by a Muslim."  Then he laughed because that was so ridiculous.  Or because I was so dumb that I even thought that in the first place.  Eventually, though, the logo grows on you.  It is everywhere - usually in blue and white.  And it looks really cool.  Florida doesn't have a cool logo.  What would Florida even use?  An orange? A sun? An aligator? A bag of cocaine?
Yes, there are many things I don't enjoy about South Carolina.  I hate mustard based BBQ sauces. The taxes on cars, restaurants, income. Racists.  And there are many things that seem identical to Florida - terrible drivers, massive potholes in the road, bugs.  But there is also a lot to enjoy in the Palmetto State.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sit in carline and not melt.  OOOO, there's another thing...