Friday, August 12, 2016

You Call it Florida, I Call it Home

Today we're bringing you a post all about Florida! Heather and I have quite a few things in common actually since we both were raised as military brats and eventually become military spouses. I hope you'll enjoy her post as much as I do!

You call it Florida. I call it Home.

As a military brat and military wife, my entire life when someone has asked me where I’m from I reply, “Everywhere.” Over the course of my life I’ve lived in upwards of thirty different dwellings from coast to coast; and those are just the ones I can count. That’s military life. But when someone asks me where home is, one place comes to mind. My birthplace: Florida. 

I spent a lot of summers there. My memories of saltwater and sunshine go as far back as I can remember. It’s where my grandparents and mom ended up after immigrating to the United States from Colombia, South America. When most people think about Florida it may be the beautiful beaches, Mickey Mouse and mosquitoes that come to mind. For me it’s memories beyond compare.
Florida truly offers something for everyone. The historians love St. Augustine, the first “city” in the United States (nope, it wasn’t Plymouth Rock) and where Ponce de León believed the Fountain of Youth to exist. The glitz and glamour of South Beach appeals to the star in all of us and those Miami mojitos and the Latin food will keep you coming back for more. I’m partial to Colombian and Cuban. Not so far away stands the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. With nine entirely different environments, the Everglades is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators co-exist. Hundreds of birds and fish species inhabit this wonderland along with fifty types of reptiles. The mangroves and manatees top it all off. Of course, family-friendly Orlando offers the most famous theme parks in the world. 

You shouldn’t forget the emerald green waters of the panhandle, the white powder sounds of Sarasota’s Siesta Key, the gorgeous resorts that line Naples’ beaches and the small charming towns hosting Watermelon and Strawberry Festivals, like Arcadia and Plant City. Tampa’s historic Ybor City offers the Columbia Restaurant and one of the best salads you’ll ever have along with the time-honored tradition of cigar rolling that dates back to the late 1800’s. The sports rivalries have gone down in the history books, too!

The entire state can capture your heart, but it is the home of the USA’s only living coral barrier reef that has my heart. I must admit the 120-mile Florida Keys island chain; they are one of my first loves. Deep sea fishing, scuba, snorkel and a pace of living that means the sea is part of your everyday life; each of the Keys holds a special treasure to discover.

One blog post can’t possibly cover all that is Florida. So a suggestion, if I may; book a flight or just get in the car and go! Discover the land of flora, fauna and its ocean depths for yourself. And do NOT forget a grouper sandwich and slice of key lime pie while you’re there! 

About the Author

Miami, Florida native Heather Wilson is an Air Force brat who said she’d never marry a man in the military, so of course she did. After her husband finished his career in the US Navy, they made the move from San Diego, California to his native rural Northwest Arkansas to be with his children. Honored with Business Traveler Magazine’s title of Business Traveler of the Year, Heather is an events and experiential marketing expert, cancer survivor, tea aficionado and biker chick who strives to live the ‘gift is in the giving’. She is amusing herself and others learning to be a city girl living in a country world. You can follow her adventures at Country Life, City Wifeand via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


  1. I've been spending about four months of the year in Florida for the past four years and have come to appreciate all Florida has to offer. Each area of Florida is as diverse as the people who call Florida home. There is a perfect spot for everyone.

  2. My family makes a yearly visit to Florida. It's such a great place to relax and slow down. I love spending time with my feet in the sand enjoying the beautiful ocean. I enjoyed reading your post!

  3. Thank you for sharing my take on my "home" state! :)