Since this time, however, my relationship with the Sunshine State has evolved significantly. On one hand, I have grown much closer to Florida; I have extended family there whom I enjoy visiting, and nearly wed a transplanted Floridian who grew up around Orlando. My late father’s ashes are also buried in the gritty, shallow inlets of Fort Myers Beach.
Yet despite my affection for Florida, I am always happy to return home, and leave its traffic, endless retail outlets, and blue-haired zombies far behind.
Nevertheless, the kid in me still loves the Florida of my imagination in all its nick-nacky glory, which inspired me to post the following from the U of Miami on its collection of Florida postcards dating back 100 years.
I still can’t get enough of this stuff. Cheesy, gator-themed souvenirs are my delicious, delicious crack.