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43 Reasons Why Growing Up In Florida Was Paradise On Earth

Two words: FUN NOODLES.

1. You learned to swim before you could walk.

2. You were brought up correctly into the true religion of Publix subs.

3. And you got free cookies at the Publix bakery just because you were a kid!

4. By now, the Stingray Shuffle is second nature.

5. Your driving test was a joke, and you probably didn't even have to parallel park.

6. And you NEVER had to drive in the snow.

7. Hurricanes don't even make you flinch.

8. Field trips to the swamp were actually kind of cool.

9. School footwear:

10. Going-out footwear:

11. Dressy footwear:

12. You could spend hours in one of these.

13. This was your winter coat.

14. Two words: FUN NOODLES.

15. You didn't have to be rich to have a pool.

16. Hurricane days!

17. You petted one of these on a field trip.

18. You got to go to Disney Grad Nite. (RIP)

19. After every wave, you knew you got to watch the coquinas bury themselves in the sand.

20. Every Friday and Saturday night: the outdoor mall and a movie.

21. You knew exactly where you and your friends could hang out until late at night.

22. You conquered the Montu.

23. Slow drivers don't faze you, because you're used to going 30 behind a huge Cadillac with Ohio plates.

24. Got a date? You knew exactly where to go.

25. An acceptable dinner:

26. You got to spend most of third grade learning about these.

27. You didn't have to wear a big coat over your Halloween costume...because it was still 90 degrees outside.

28. You got used to these just chilling everywhere.

29. Learning to plot hurricanes was an actual elementary school lesson.

30. Every school pizza party:

31. You got to freak northern people out by revealing you'd never seen snow.

32. You laughed when people bought these at shell stores, because you already have a bunch you found (already dead, of course).

33. Shell stores.

34. You and your family knew EXACTLY which side you were on.

35. You knew you didn't need snow to make it *feel* like Christmas.

36. You had a drawer for your regular shorts and a drawer for your nice shorts.

37. This was your family's idea of a good time.

38. Someone you knew had one of these in their yard.

39. It takes a REALLY big bug to gross you out after growing up with lizards, dragonflies, snakes, alligators, and fire ants.

40. You could play outside all year round.

41. You're tough with burns, because you've touched one of these after it sat in a Florida parking lot for hours.

42. You were always tan, just from walking to and from your house.

43. And of course, the best part about being a Florida kid: